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. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I didn't think that there was anything too odd looking about his chops setup. Mine looks worse than that, and yet is somehow functional enough. I'd post a vid of me during the early part of a comeback a year or so ago, but this thread isn't about me - it's about helping our young friend find some solutions.

    Derukun, are you doing anything with marching band? THAT can be the ruination of the chops of young aspiring players - playing too hard, too loud, too much pressure, it's more important that the horn is straight out than how it's sitting on the chops, so the tendency is to play with the mouthpiece mashed up against the teeth incorrectly, etc. My chops used to get all out of whack when I was an Army bandsman and we were doing a lot of outdoor ceremonies and parades, and it would take me a day or two of soft controlled playing before I was really worth a dang in a brass quintet rehearsal - the marching just killed off any kind of controlled soft playing for a few days.

    There seems to be some general thoughts about your predicament:

    1.) Chops have probably been strained
    2.) you may not be practicing consistently, and therefore the additional playing took its toll on them
    3.) a way to get ahead on this is some soft, controlled playing - long tones, chromatic scales and articulation work might be in order

    Something you may also want to consider is working some flexibilities, and by that, do some very basic low flexibilities - arpeggios are good, but keep everything below 3rd space tuning C. I like to start mine on low F# and gradually work them up chromatically to the C. Over and over and over until they are locking in and secure before moving up to the next half step.

    Resist the urge to over-practice. There are day where if I've been working my chops hard for several days in a row where my "practice" will consist mostly of a good warmup that last for 20 minutes or so - I don't want to work my chops, but I don't want to take the day off either.
     
  2. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

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    It was hard to see from the side, and he has beefy looking chops that may not fit!
     
  3. mike ansberry

    mike ansberry Forte User

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    Try playing long tones with your cheeks puffed out. Use as little muscle as possible. Gradually pull your embouchure into shape while playing the long tone. Find the point where you get a good, focused sound with the least amount of effort. Practicing long tones this way will find its way into your regular playing.

    I have a several page pdf that I got from Rusty. It has made a huge difference in my playing. He calls it 19/30s. I don't want to take up the space to post it here. If you'd like to see it, send me a pm.
     
  4. derukun

    derukun New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    Will be working on the things that people have told me to do, hoping for the best.

    I understand that it can't be fixed by the concert, so I guess for the concert I'll just have to use pressure or whatever I can to get the notes out, then for the next month or two really go back to the basics and hopefully I'll be okay.

    Someone mentioned my embouchure looking funny - I noticed that too, but including more of my inner lip actually feels weirder to me. :/
     
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Hang in there - you are not a failure, as you have identified areas for improvement yourself.... that's a big step in the right direction.

    Good luck with the concert, and work your way forward after that...
    You'll do OK. That is certainly not the worst sound I have heard from a player.
     
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    What he said !!!!
     
  7. derukun

    derukun New Friend

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    Nov 21, 2013
    I managed to fix my embouchure a bit (use a bit more upper lip), and pulled off the concert decently (provided towards the last few pieces I was starting to burn out and mispitched some of the high notes). Everyone told me I did well on my solos, and now that all the pressure is off I can take my time and fix my playing.

    Thanks for the support!
     
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    I would highly recommend finding a reputable private instructor. I am glad you got through the concert with some success. The 19/30 is a really good starting point for tonal centering.
     
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    A private instructor might be a good way to go, but unless you really do have some serious embouchure issues - and based on your clip, I'm not convinced you do - it looked more like underdeveloped chops to me - you should be able to get things together with some good practice on your fundamentals. In all seriousness, even if you have some minor embouchure issues, many instructors are probably going to "fix" them by prescribing certain things to practice, such as soft long tones, articulation work, and some low-range flexibilities. Hmmmm - where have I head that before...? Oh yeah, right here in this thread.

    Good luck - you are definitely not the failure you think you are. :-)
     
  10. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    I know it's too late for your concert but I have been very busy with various things. Having watched your clip I tend to agree with VB. I too think your set looks a little out of kilter but I would take the advice of a private tutor before making big changes even then be very wary of "weakening the strong to strengthen the weak" you could do more harm than good if you just start messing. What you could address if your breathing. It looks to me as if your are using a lot of shoulder movement to get air in. GM and myself differ slightly on our approach to lifting the shoulders but in your case it seems to be introducing a lot of tension to your breath. I prefer to use my "singing training" to get breath in with little or no shoulder movement and certainly not the heavy lift that you are making.

    Try this, lay flat on you back and put an Arban on your stomach just over your navel. Then breathe in lifting the book as you do then allow it to drop in a controlled fashion as you breath out. This is basically how a classical singer is taught to breathe (there are a variety of way this is done but this is the easiest way to describe it) and although you may need to modify the technique for the trumpet with a slight raising up and out (of the shoulders) to expand your lung and airway even more.

    I do see a lot of exasperation in the way you are playing when you don't hit the top end, relax, use your air and play lots of long soft low tones with a relaxed face

    Hope that helps

    A
     

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