Unexpected Competence - a Helpful Tip

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I thought I would share my experience of unexpected competence and perhaps a useful tip.

    So, this last week I've been doing a lot of work painting in my basement and just haven't had time to practice at all.

    Last night was the first time I picked up the horn since the previous Tuesday night. It was for my weekly big band rehearsal
    from 8-9:30. I was a little concerned, not having touched the horn in a week I wondered if my chops would be shot after an
    hour or less, as that has been a typical experience when I don't practice regularly.

    Anyhow, I played well, not just OK, but well. Everything felt great, sound, range, endurance was all great.
    This was "unexpected competence" and not at all typical.

    So, what had I been doing for the week prior must have worked. Like I said, I didn't touch the horn at all.
    I didn't even bother to play on the mouthpiece.

    All I did was some embouchure exercises I have used over the past 5 years or so. I fill the front of my mouth with air
    at the maximum pressure I can without have any leak out, making the upper and lower lip area puff out.
    Then at about one repetition per second I contract the upper and lower lips and surrounding "face" forcing the
    air back into the mouth while making the front of the face tight against the front teeth.

    All the while I keep the cheeks tight against the teeth, nut puffed out.

    I repeat this until I feel the muscles start to burn, or until air starts :spurting" out. I would repeat this exercise several times
    a day when I thought about it. That's it! Apparently that's all it takes to keep my chops in shape when I can't play
    a sufficient amount of time.

    Maybe others have similar stories? Just thought I'd share my positive results with a simple exercise that doesn't
    cost you a dime!

  2. Conntribution

    Conntribution Fortissimo User

    Dec 25, 2010
    Lloyd Harbor NY.
    I would add Unexpected Confidence....
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I thought of that exercise. Everyone send me a dime. I'll bend them and market them as lead mouthpieces. If you don't want to be bent and sold, don't send me a dime.
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Its quite a surprise to me that I could replace practice with this exercise.

    I am going to try this again some time when I have a couple week break between gigs and see if
    the results are the same. It seems almost too good to be true.

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