Urgent help needed, concert in 5 days and I can't play properly anymore

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by derukun, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. derukun

    derukun New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    I've been playing trumpet in school for about 5 years now, and while I wasn't ever particularly good I still had decent range and sound ( C above the staff).

    I play in a youth orchestra and the concert is this Saturday.

    However, ever since last week, I haven't been able to play properly at all. My throat locks up beyond octave E, and my bottom lip seems to hurt a bit. My range is completely shot which is a big problem because all of the pieces being played at the concert require me to play above that E ...

    From what I can recall, nothing has really changed in terms of my embouchure... it's positioned the same way on my lips and I can buzz fine (though on a mouthpiece my range has shortened as well. As soon as I approach higher notes, it just becomes air instead of a buzz).

    I think I already developed some sort of subconscious barrier playing upper register after so many failed attempts this week and my throat just refuses to let any air through.

    I think I'm completely screwed for this concert.

    Can anyone help me? :(
     
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    If you are just getting air, then you are cutting off the airflow, so maybe applying too much mouthpiece pressure.

    Check these out - and think about how you play.
    How to Play Trumpet [James Morrison Way] - 4/13 - Range - YouTube

    Trumpet Lesson 5 - SHAPE 08/06/11 - YouTube
    05/04/11 Winners, Harmonic Slurs, Aperture - YouTube

    5 Days to go is not long, but practice slurs and harmonic progressions without mpce pressure.
    Good luck

    ps when you get past this week, go check out MTM vids - they will help you longer term.
     
  3. derukun

    derukun New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    The main concern is that I'm not applying much pressure - the air flow stops before it even gets to my lips..
     
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Hi derukun,
    Firstly (but done secondly) Welcome to TM. I hope you hang in with us.

    Now you say your air cuts off above Octave E, but all OK below that...

    So young Grasshopper,
    Breathe In...
    Breathe out...
    And Relax the chest shoulders and neck/throat.

    Without seeing you I would say that you breathe in and out OK.... you have been doing it over 5 years. So with tension can come panic and frustration. Check your breathe, are you full when you release? How do you go with scales and warm-ups?

    Is it that you cannot get up to the E even on scales? Then tell us how often you practice, and what is your daily routine?

    That info will help us identify where the issue may be.
    Cheers
     
  5. derukun

    derukun New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    Thanks for the warm welcome.

    Uhh, yeah I'm taking deep breaths... stomach expands when I breathe in. With scales sometimes I can make it to a G right now, but just playing the note outright... D/E is as good as it gets clean right now. Just a week or two ago I was able to pump out G - C no problem triple forte. :/

    Practice isn't as regular as it should be... its generally been a few times a week for the whole time I've been playing.

    I start with long tones starting on middle C and as far up as I can go. Usually an A or a B above the staff is the max. Then lip slurs, and then articulation work. Then I go through my repertoire.

    I used to practice from Arban's but after moving I seem to have misplaced the book completely. Still need to find it.
     
  6. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Can I suggest using 12 fingering on the E for the moment.

    That may help you to get past it as a hurdle.

    Practice the F scale and 12 on E. If you can do it, then both the E and G will be getting worked on.

    I still think it is related to airflow. Tension usually means thin - just air coming out is pressure. If no air then you are not breathing out... that's unlikely.

    Try googling for a free Arbans for exercises. They are available for download - may be an old version, but it will allow you to have some exercises for a daily routine.

    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  8. derukun

    derukun New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    Ah! Should have clarified earlier, I get a thin sound on anything above E.
     
  9. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    In that case it is likely Tension -

    Work on keeping panic out of it. Look at relaxing and not tensing up.

    The exercises on breathing using your hand to hear the wind noise for the Backswing really does help.

    The release
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFAqtc1v98A
     
  10. derukun

    derukun New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    I just finished watching all the videos that you linked, though the shape video seems to contradict the first video linked :p

    I noticed something very unsettling about my air stream ; it travels downwards, not straight. And my bottom lip is definitely not curled inwards. I have an overbite, but not to the poimt where I would need braces.
     

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