Where's the Buzz?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by treedup, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. treedup

    treedup New Friend

    Jan 2, 2009
    Red Hill, Pennsylvania
    I resumed playing 4 -5 months ago after pretty much a 30-year layoff since high school. I have run into a problem when I'm practicing for which I'm seeking advice. When playing, I sometimes completely miss notes in the lower register where it appears that lips are not buzzing. For example, my usual practice regimen includes a couple of Hering etudes. When the music progression goes to the lower register or even starting in the lower register, I sometimes do not get a sound. I try to compensate w/ my embouchure until the sound comes out. Not sure if I have something going on with the embouchure (hope I spelled this right), or if my chops are tired. I've been adhering to the following practice regimen for 45 minutes - 1 hour every evening -

    Long tones (7 - 8 different notes, beginning at low C, down to low A and back up to C).

    A couple of basic lip slur exercises/warm-ups (5 minutes)

    Colin's Lip Slurs (not trills yet) - I do approximately 8 - 10 of these

    Clarke Technical Studies - approximately 8 - 10 of these (I'm early into this so I'm on the first 3 - 4 pages).

    Double-tonguing in Arban's (a separate thread in and of itself)

    3 - 4 Hering Etudes

    I also go for about 30 minutes in the morning where I pretty much do the same as above but I cut back on the Clarke (5 - 6 instead of 8 - 10), no double-tonguing, and replace the Hering Etudes w/ an interval study from Caruso.

    Lastly, after I've finished playing, I've noticed my upper lip has a ring on it - what is causing this?

    Thanks in advance for your comments.
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    You have asked a great number of questions here and on the whole you are really telling us that you are finding some problems in your comeback. A number of your problems really can not be diagnosed here over the internet. The best suggestion I can give you is to find a competent teacher and do what they tell you. Without seeing and hearing you play no one can diagnose what you really need to do. Anyone who tries is only guessing at this point. Congratulations on your decision to restart playing and find a teacher it will be well worth it.
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    A simple suggestion that served me well when my low tones did what I think you are describing - look to your breathing.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    low register not coming is a sign of "excess" tension in your chops. That normally happens when you practice too loudly before having real strength. Try turning your practice sessions into pianissimo for a couple of weeks (or better yet, the rest of your life!). I am pretty sure you will be satisfied.

    Just for the record, your description of your practice routine is missing what I consider to be the most important part: MUSIC/TUNES. Grab a hymnbook and go for it. They do not waste your face but have plenty of room for expression - even at pp. Play the alto part to work on your low range too!
  5. tony h

    tony h Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2008
    Welcome ,I too am a come back player and also had the same problem of missing low notes . This lasted for about a year , very frustrating . After three years banging around in the dark , I finally got a trumpet teacher , it's like s.coomer said it's the best thing , don't do what I did ( two steps forward , two steps back ) GET A TEACHER NOW!!!!!

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