Trouble learning Trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RyanN, Jan 10, 2015.

  1. RyanN

    RyanN New Friend

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    Jan 9, 2015
    Hello all. I'm new here, and I need some help when it comes to learning trumpet.

    So recently I've been dabbling in a couple brass instruments, because eventually I'm looking to march DCA drum corps (I'm a clarinet/saxophone player). At first I tried baritone for a couple months, but wasn't thrilled with it. Then I moved to mellophone, which was better for me. And now I'm finally at trumpet.

    So I can make noise in it, get a good tone, and pretty much function as a mediocre player. But when I play a concert Bb scale, I have trouble hitting the middle C at the top of the scale. I find myself putting a lot of effort in, and physically struggling pretty hard to just get that middle C out. And when I do it's pretty weak and unsustainable. Forget about going higher than that.

    So is this normal for a somewhat new player? Is there a way I can increase my range here, like with long tones or arpeggios? I also don't want to be doing something wrong embouchure-wise, so I was wondering what advice I might find here. Thanks!
     
  2. therealnod

    therealnod Pianissimo User

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    Sounds like you are in some way choking off the air, either by clamping down with the lips, pulling the horn into your face, or maybe your lips are coming apart and curling out. Try lip sluring from low c to g and see how subtle a change it actually takes, then try lipping from g up to c or c to c. It might seem hard at first, but with a little practice you should find that it is quite easy to lip slur that octave jump smoothly. It doesn't take any extra pressure, so just try to stay relaxed. You'll get it.
     
  3. SAS

    SAS Pianissimo User

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    Jan 7, 2015
    I'm teaching my son and he has the same problem, which stems from choking off his exhale, especially while trying to increase range. Your diaphragm is your control...tighten it while you blow air. Relax your face. Try some different mouthpieces, carry one around and practice with it and try to get into a private lesson with an instructor who can see what you are doing and help you fix the issue. Just like when you play your reed instrument, you also have to control your diaphragm. Also, remember that increased range is made from faster air, not louder or more...just faster. Let the air flow out. If your lips are failing, you just need to do exercises until you get your chops, which takes time. What size mouthpiece are you currently using?
     
  4. RyanN

    RyanN New Friend

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    Jan 9, 2015
    I have both a Yamaha 11b4 and a "USA" 3C (which I'm guessing is a cheap alternative to a Bach).
     
  5. SAS

    SAS Pianissimo User

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    Jan 7, 2015
    The 11b4 is equal to a 7D which should make the high register easier to achieve for you, and the 3C is a medium wide cup for all around use, but is not for normally for beginners. Somebody else here might have a better alternative for you, but I personally would recommend you try a 7c beginner mouthpiece or my choice was a 10 1/2c through high school. The 10c is also one you could try. Some sizes work better than others for different people but you should be on a beginner size right now. Here is a Bach mouthpiece chart: Bach Trumpet Mouthpiece Chart
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    What you experience is perfectly normal for players starting with no idea what they are doing.

    As the lips have to work in sync with the resonance of the trumpet, a beginner must get the breath support down first and then stay in the easy low register until the fine motor activity of the embouchure is developed to play higher.

    What is happening to you is that you are increasing lip tension with the brute force of squeezing the lips between the mouthpiece and your teeth. The lips are NOT free to do what is necessary and more force is added.

    I will go on record as saying the chance of DIY amounting to anything decent is extremely remote if the basics are botched in the beginning. Decent playing is the result of properly trained habits. The entire cycle from envisioning the sound to inhale to producing a sound, the ears hearing it and the brain adjusting is critical to any kind of success. DCI is some of the most destructive playing there is for those that don't have proper habits developed. We get all sorts of posts about crash and burn here and the reasons are always the same - no foundation.

    Get a teacher.
     
  7. RyanN

    RyanN New Friend

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    Jan 9, 2015
    Thanks for the advice. Just to clarify, I hope to eventually go out for DCA, which is a watered down, less stressful version of DCI. So hopefully less chops-destruction. And I actually do have a teacher lined up, and will be starting lessons in a week or two. I do appreciate all the advice though. Hopefully I'll go into my lessons a better prepared :)
     
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    Good advice.

    Welcome to TM, RyanN.

    Mike
     
  9. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Welcome to TM. Glad to hear you have a teacher lined up - maybe reserve mouthpiece matters until you meet with him/her. Its really important that you get started on the right foot.

    Jim
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    A mouthpiece is the sorriest recommendation that one can make without having seen and heard the player. Even then, the knowledge required to intelligently recommend is something not often found on the internet.

    Mouthpieces do NOT reduce pressure or provide instant improvement.

    By the way, the 11b4 is very much a standard mouthpiece.
     

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