Tone is progressively getting worse

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by daniel117, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Man, I hope you don't captain a ship... you know those "loose lips" could be a hazard. I just did a 2 hour rehearsal using a total of 7 mouthpieces over that time, and I feel Marvelous baby! Keeping continual pressure off the same pressure points of the lip also helps minimize fatigue, which is why weight lifters vary the weights they use in a work out. No reason why this cannot work for a "trumpet work out".

    I am finding it a bit difficult doing warm down push-ups with my lips and I strongly recommend avoiding this practice, just saying!
     
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Also, as was pointed out, a comfortable rim helps. Nothing for me is more comfortable than the Prana. It's like the cusion of a pillow compared to some mps.

    As hard as I tried, I couldn't come up with an alternative to "Loose lips sink ships". "Loose lip flapping, _____________________."???? What the heck rhymes with flapping? :dontknow:


    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    He already has a physician's script stating just that in post #4. I am licensed to practice (license to kill so to speak), all he has to do is print it out and take it in. He's good to go [or rather not go in this situation!]
     
  4. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

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    All the talk of mouthpieces and playing mechanics is missing the VERY large elephant in the room.

    You could be in the BEST playing shape of your life, and if your marching mechanics are bad, you WILL destroy your endurance, range, and accuracy during band camp.

    I disagree about changing mouthpieces unless you know what you're doing. I marched for years (including lead in a drum corps) on a 3C with no problems whatsoever from the mouthpiece. Could I have played a more efficient piece, sure. But marching band shows don't last three hours, they last 8-10 minutes. If you're smart about how you push or don't in practice, you shouldn't have to worry about efficiency issues.

    I will be firm in saying that if you haven't been marching since last November and you suddenly came back to band camp and put moving feet and horn together, that's a recipe for problems. Believe it or not, if you have better mechanics and use less pressure, its MORE of a problem. The pressure players can use the pressure to keep the sound coming for a while longer until total exhaustion kicks in. The low pressure players fall completely apart because the pounding of the mouthpiece against the lips destroys their ability to control the horn. It becomes a downward spiral when that happens, because you then overcompensate in other ways to keep playing until finally, you get where you are now. Picture trying to tie your shoe or write a note while riding in a pick-up down a gravel road. That's your chops with poor marching fundamentals. Now imagine doing the same in a nice SAAB going down a newly resurfaced interstate. That's your chops with good marching mechanics. No other change in how you play, hold the horn, breathe, or what you hold in your hand will have the sort of impact on your playing during marching season has than practicing and refining your marching fundamentals. You want your legs to be the shock absorbers in the car, not your arms or chops.

    Take the weekend, rest, play long tones, whatever. Then Monday, as an experiment, don't play at all while marching. Only play when standing still or sitting. I bet you don't hurt nearly as bad at the end of the day. If that's the case, your mouthpiece is NOT the problem.

    The trick with band camp is to be smart about playing. You should neither go all out all the time, nor should you even play all the time. That is especially true at this point as you get those marching fundamentals put back together again. You will build much more endurance, range, and control to get you through the season by starting slow and resting often than you will by coming in and trying to blow hard and high while you're still not smoothly coordinating the playing with the marching. The people who come out the other side of November in BETTER playing shape and with MORE endurance are not the folks who come in August and blow their chops completely out trying to prove themselves in band camp. There is no shame in taking it easy now.

    If your director always wants to hear the high stuff, trade off amongst yourselves so that only 1-2 are up and everyone else is down an octave. Rotate someone through resting for a run-through each time so that everyone gets a breather during rehearsal. Play everything at mf or lower until the last run-through during the marching part of rehearsal (heck, even during the playing rehearsal if you can get away with it). Believe it or not, from the front, mf in tune and in time sounds louder and better than ff played out of tune and sloppy.

    Scatmanblues
     
  5. daniel117

    daniel117 Pianissimo User

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    changing mouthpieces is for marching band to save my chops and sound better on the field is great and all just one question about the schilke 13A4a.

    Would it be an acceptable mouthpiece to use during concert season? i know it makes your sound project more but that might cause my sound to be out of balance with the rest of the trumpet section. Also the tone, does it produce a rich tone mid and low range or is it just another screamer mouthpiece?
     
  6. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

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    No mouthpiece will be the magic bullet here. Changing to another mouthpiece will NOT make band camp instantly easier. Even if in the long run the mouthpiece is more efficient and helps you play with less effort, that will not happen overnight, and will cause adjustment difficulties in the short term. And the worst time to make a change to equipment that will help you "cheat" and get away with poor mechanics is when you're exhausted and more likely to let those bad habits slide into your playing.

    Right now, today, the best thing you can do is rest and take it easier in rehearsal. Tomorrow, start working on those marching fundamentals I mentioned above. If you can't march 8x5 with your eyes closed and land within a half-inch of the yard line you have work to do. If you can't march across a room at a mirror with your horn on your chops without seeing any movement in the top of your head and the bell of your horn, you have work to do. Movement without playing means movement when playing, and that will beat your chops up no matter which mouthpiece you play on.

    Oh, and the smaller mouthpieces are typically not a good idea for any kind of concert or symphonic playing -piercing is bad there.

    Scatmanblues
     
  7. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    Couple of things here: Try something in the "neighborhood' of a Schilke 13B first. Not sure but this might be a custom piece. If it is custom/factory order only? Ask your experienced sales rep for something close. Like the 14B or the 12B. Or ask for a clone by Yamaha or similar.

    The cup depth on 13B is not so radically shallow as on it as the 13a4a. The switch far less dramatic. Use this 13B for only 5 - 10 minutes a day every other day the first week. More the following week if you feel like it. If you feel the switch really easy? Use it more often.

    The 13B by itself probably could be used 24/7 in concert band with no one the wiser. You'll not fool the guys so easy on the 13a4a. That's a bright one.

    Sorry! This is a custom piece1 Oh crap! Here's what the Schilke page says about the regular 13 which is a totally "medium" cup:

    Rounder rim provides increased flexibility and quick response. “C” cup offers volume for tone

    "13" really means "13C". When no lettering is available on the Schilke it automatically means a "C" cup...

    Next the 13a4a:

    The shallow “A” cup, semi-flat #4 rim and tight “a” backbore creates an ideal lead mouthpiece.

    From: Schilke Mouthpieces

    OK other thoughts:

    So you'd have to custom order a Schilke 13B and that is expensive. Again my apologies I thought they put the "B" cup on all the major players like 14 down to 11...

    BUT... In a perfect world with no cost or time limitations my guess is that a custom 13B would give you the best of both worlds for now. Speculation on my part of course but I've been dead on the money so far no?

    Later if you wanted to blow big band lead or (like me) play in a demanding rock band? Put in the shallow 13a4a.


    I have other ideas. Meantime? Try out the Schilke 13. See if the 13B is available or what it would cost to order. Then spend a minute or two on the shallow 13a4a. You'll probably hate the tone at first but this is less a function of the cup depth as it is to inexperience on the shallow pieces.

    You CAN get a pretty big sound on a very shallow piece (see "Bill Chase" for reference) but this take experience. Also a back bore sizing change can help.

    I play a mouthpiece far smaller than 13a4a and you would never know I'm going so shallow. What I did was order several of my shallow screamers and bored the throat out professionally. I also cut a "second cup" in the thing and it sound as full as a Bach 3C.

    With this piece I can play a whole concert band rehearsal while nearly completely out of shape and yet barely miss a note. Nor tire much at all. Sousa marches and everything.

    I do maintain much better shape for jazz and R & B bands though. You won't walk into a gig with lots of High F's and play well if you haven't been putting in the hours in the two weeks prior.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  8. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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  9. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

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    You do realize you are talking to a high school musician here who likely has no idea what 90% of that means, likely can't afford or doesn't have time to order a custom piece, and likely doesn't have the years behind the horn yet to even appreciate the subtle differences in the mouthpieces you're talking about, right? And that YOU can play entire multi-hour rehearsals more efficiently on the mouthpiece because you've got DECADES of practice behind you, not because of .25mm of extra silver on a rim.

    You also realize that not every mouthpiece works the same for every trumpet player, and that there is a better than even chance that even if he bought the Schilke it wouldn't work for him the way it does for you? And that even if he finds a new mouthpiece that works and follows your advice, he'll be halfway through the season (and done with the 8-hr-a-day camps that are the problem here) long before he is playing it enough of the time to make a difference?

    OP, that's not a knock on you at all. There are differences between mouthpieces, and those differences affect how your horn sounds to you and to your audience, but not nearly to the degree that you yourself and your individual practice do. If you want to try a new mouthpiece, the ONLY way to do it right is to actually TRY the thing in your horn. In that regard I completely agree with Local 357's approach (short sessions, first impressions). But don't go in expecting that any ONE mouthpiece will be the one that works. We all have different mouths, chops, etc. and they interact to determine what works best for you. Backbores, cups, rim sizes, gold vs silver -all of that is completely secondary to how the mouthpiece feels TO YOU on YOUR FACE playing YOUR HORN. And the switch takes time -time during which you'll likely NOT have as much endurance, etc. as your chops get used to the change. If what you have is working and you're happy with it -keep it. There's no one perfect or magic mouthpiece out there, and I promise that buying a new one won't fix your face problems in band camp. Rest and smarter practice will.

    Scatmanblues
     
    coolerdave likes this.
  10. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    I gotta take ya to task for this. Respectfully but this is gonna hurt. A "trip to the woodshed" here. So take notes and learn something.

    Your post is absolutely 100% wrong wrong wrong. On top of that it is IRRESPONSIBLE. Bordering on negligent. Follow me so far?The poor guy is DAMAGING HIS CHOPS day after day


    FACTS:

    1. He is playing a HUGE, sharp edged mouthpiece. The Vincent Bach 3B. This is usually a terrible mouthpiece for a developing trumpet player. Especially with the demanding playing BURDEN put upon him at band camp.

    2. He is in a very grueling band camp which keeps him playing constantly days and weeks on end.

    3. His tone is degrading due to over training associated with both the rigorous regimen and a mouthpiece he is incapable of supporting that is cutting his lips to shreds!!! ON TOP OF THIS HE IS MISERABLE. A form of trumpet related DEPRESSION is beginning to set in. Give him the wrong advice and he will continue DAMAGING his chops and getting more and more depressed and for no good purpose.


    Note: In my first post/response I accurately predicted that he was using too large and sharp of a mouthpiece for the challenging music he is playing. My cards are dealt face up. You may return to my original reply and read this for yourself.

    Please post RESPONSIBLY. If you haven't put in the years and done the research? Then don't make blanket statements. I have been behind this horn since 1964. I could go on but perhaps you should re or re-read ANY of my posts. Again: you will always LEARN something from them. I don't write to raise my post count or attract attention. This is my life's work.

    Sadly I am so absolutely 100% correct on the young fellow's condition it is (like said earlier) like i have a video camera inside his practice room.

    POST RESPONSIBLY! Yes I said that already. And worth repeating.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012

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