Trumpet Setbacks?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by marchingcat99, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. marchingcat99

    marchingcat99 New Friend

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    Apr 25, 2015
    Hello, I'm only in highschool but I love my trumpet very much and this is my third year playing. But I started to actually take is serious and started to put effort in it this year. Lately I haven't been able to hit higher notes, and I don't know why. My range is usually to an 'A' above the scale. I haven't been able to hit E(from the higher part of the scale) to A(above the scale). I'm not sure why this is happening, I'm pretty sure my trumpet is in good condition. I've asked my band director about it and he said it was just a "rough patch all brass players go through and only time will fix it." Its felt like this has been going on longer than it needs too. I practice during my lunch and study hall hour, and I'm part of extra band activities. I bring it home during most days of the week and over the weekend. I use fast air, and I'm pretty sure I'm using my muscles correctly. I also use a 7c mouthpiece, if that has any effect.

    Does anyone one have any useful advice or tips? I'm starting to get stressed and upset about this, I don't want to keep going backwards.
     
  2. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Problems like this are almost impossible to diagnose accurately over the internet.

    Worst case scenario is that you've done some serious damage to your lip. Your band director appears not to have considered this possibility, which seems to suggest quite strongly that you need to see someone else about this. Do you know of any specialist trumpet tutors in your area? You need to be face to face with someone with more relevant experience.
     
  3. marchingcat99

    marchingcat99 New Friend

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    Apr 25, 2015

    How can I tell if I've damaged my lip? I don't feel any pain, the worst that happens is that they get sore from practicing. How likely do you think that my lips may have actually been damaged? It's not like I'm constantly playing high notes in band.
     
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    If you've suddenly started struggling to reach top of stave then something's gone wrong hasn't it?

    I'm not saying that it's necessarily severe, but your band master's advice to ignore it and carry on as before (if this is really what he said) is just plain wrong. You'll more than likely make things worse.

    You say that your lips 'get sore from practising'. How much do you push your mouthpiece against your embouchure when trying to play high? Too much mouthpiece pressure is often a root cause for these sorts of issues.
     
  5. marchingcat99

    marchingcat99 New Friend

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    Apr 25, 2015
    I don't think I push my mouthpiece against my lips too hard,I've never really thought about it in the moment, I'll try to be more aware of that when I'm playing. Maybe I'll have more of a word with him.

    If I have possibly done damaged to my lips is there anything serious I need to do? Or is this something a day or more of rest can solve?

    Thanks for discussing this with me, I really appreciate it.
     
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    a) See a real-life expert. b) No. Sorry. I recently had a similar range dip and it took me over a year of soft, low impact stuff to really get going again. But then I'm an old guy. Repairs take longer.

    You're welcome. :-)
     
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Marchingcat99, the quickest way to accelerate your learning curve is through private lessons. A good teacher can spot what you are doing well and not so well and prescribe the right exercises to beef up your weak areas. If that isn't possible, get a hold of the Arban's Method (you can even download it for free: Free sheet music : Arban, Jean-Baptiste - ARBAN COMPLETE TRUMPET METHOD (Trumpet solo) ), but a hard copy is better and requires no batteries. There are exercises for almost everything--tonguing, slurring, ornaments, scales, tunes, etc. and you can try them out to determine which ones are hard and exhausting--those are the ones that need practice.

    Just as we can not tell what you are weak at, we can't know if you've at all injured yourself, so I wouldn't even worry about that possibility until after having a lesson or two.

    Good luck, and have fun!
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I agree with Seth, making a diagnosis over the web is difficult. You said recently. This is a relative term. How recently has this change developed? How have you changed your practice routine over this time? Think about any changes, writhe them down then bring them into that good teacher Vulgano Brother mentioned.

    Before damage is done, fatigue sets in. Fatigue is painless. the earliest sign of fatigue is loss of control or accuracy of your attack. If you play through fatigue, then damage can result. Do real damage, and pain can develop. So while it is very hard to tell at this stage, I am optimistic in thinking you have not done damage. You are possibly experiencing strain. So back away from the trumpet, find a teacher and work through this strain.
     
  9. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    You can always add running into your day, if your doctor believes you are fit. Try 30 minutes 3 times a week.
    You don't even need a running coach for that.
    but
    A private trumpet instructor is the way to go ... with the running of course.
     
  10. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

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    This sounds like the most likely source of your frustration, not knowing any more than what opie's posted.
    1. You say this is recent. Have you ramped up how much time you've spent under the bar (behind the horn)?
    2. You say you're in several groups. How much time are you spending with each per day/ per week?
    3. You don't know how much pressure you're putting on your lips when you play. There are several things you can do, the easiest is play a challenging passage, then immediately check your lips in a mirror. Is there a white ring where your emboucher was? You're probably pressing too hard.
    4. Get a private instructor.
     

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