Too Much Pressure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cmathis, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. cmathis

    cmathis New Friend

    Aug 19, 2010
    Well, I had braces for two years, during which I developed the bad habit of using too much pressure to play. Now, THREE YEARS later, I'm still in that habit and I'm finding it's a challenge to get rid of. I know there's no short-cut to doing it, but does anyone have any exercises or anything like that for me to play that will help with my pressure problem? Thanks!
  2. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    So I would work on scales. SUPER CONCENTRATING to make sure that you aren't putting excessive pressure, but rather creating just a full seal so the mouth piece is well covered. Initially, air will leak, but don't mind it. If you try tensing to get the air to not leak, you will be defeating the purpose of the exercise a bit.

    And then with really really little pressure, try starting the William Adam's Expanding Scales.

    For like the first week I was assigned to practice this without much pressure, I could only do the first two. Also, I sounded severely flat and tone was somewhat like a 5th grader starting out... But as I kept on focusing, thinking, and listening, it gradually got better and day after day I could hear the difference. The range in which I went with these didn't go up very fast but tone definitely got better with lesser pressure each day.

    Just... don't get frustrated! We all tend to do that.
  3. cmathis

    cmathis New Friend

    Aug 19, 2010
    Ok, I'll definitely try that! Thanks keehun!
  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I am amazed that you were using so much pressure when playing with braces, must have been rather painful to begin. I would be returning to basics and working on quiet playing doing long tones, lip slurs, scales, and easy tunes. You really only need enough pressure to make a seal.
  5. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    cool. Also, take note of what s.coomer said. Practice playing QUIETLY. It is real gold once you realize its value...

    Also, something of my own observation with myself as I am going through a similar phase of removing real bad habitual pressure. That is that when I practice removing pressure, I'm succeeding at it. I do what's good for me and I feel great since I can notice difference every day... However, when I play an actual piece or a part, I am noticing that the pressure is lurking back and undoing a lot of what I did right before, trying to remove pressure... So take it easy for a while and make sure that it becomes a habit; playing without pressure.

    I mean it's going to take a LONG time to get to where you are now with much less pressure, but always be focused and make sure that the pressure doesn't sneak up on you when you don't realize!

    Also with those expanding scales, really, don't push it. Just go where its comfortable and hold the top note out until you feel like you have just enough air to come back down steadily. On a "good" day, you will feel it. On those days, maybe push your scales to the next one and go at it a couple times. And I learned that that is one of the ways you increase & improve.
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Pressure is the demon we all face. You never get rid of it, you learn to control it.
    You might want to check out a device called the mouthpiece pressure adapter. A lot of people have had great success with it. It cost around $150.00.
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    I've had some luck with letting go of the right hand anchors (thumb and pinky) and letting that hand just float. Only the fingertips are touching. I was pulling the horn into my face with (especially) the right hand pinky in the crook. Not sure how long it's going to work for me, but it can be a help if this is the reason for the pressure.

  8. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I too started using more pressure when I got braces (not idea why though). Fortunately it was never too much (I think), but these suggestions sound good to me
  9. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    Quiet playing while actively pulling the instrument away from your face, plus tongue level exercises.

    That was how I fixed my pressure problem. Used the Schlossberg exercises.
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Players use too much pressure when they try and play beyond their embochures capabilities. I have never had to talk to my students about pressure. That's because I am a firm believer in proper development of good playing habits. These include embuchure and air development by coaching students on HOW to do the training exercises I assign them. This way range and endurance are a byproduct embochure/air development. Proper execution also allows them to sound more musical

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