Wow, what a year.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet_man, May 29, 2008.

  1. trumpet_man

    trumpet_man Piano User

    Age:
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    Jan 17, 2008
    Wyoming
    It has been quite the year for me trumpetwise. I played so many songs this year and was so actice that I could about say that I spent more time on my trumpet in the last year than the previous 7 years I've played it all put together, I could also just about say that I made as much progress as the previousy 7 years put together (well, probably not, but when I'm exaggerating, I could say that), I'm starting to progress exponentially, though I suspect it will probably let up soon, though I still have quite a ways to go yet, as I've heard many good trumpet players and I'm nowhere close to that.

    This last semester alone I've played and performed 60 sum songs (pep band songs not included), some more than once, in 20 sum performances (pep band games not included) and was in many different groups that same semester including Pep Band, Riverton Highschool Band, Riverton Highschool Jazz Band, Festival of the Winds, Wyoming All-State Concert Band, Central Wyoming College Band, Central Wyoming College Jazz Band, Fremont County Orchestra, I played my solo (3rd movement of the hummel concierto), played for a choir once, and I think that all of that may have contributed to my improvement but I'm sure glad things are slowing up for me. I would gladly do twice that if I didn't have to do homework, but doing all that and a lot of homework had proven to be a challenge. I'm planning on playing in college summer band, learning the flight of the bumble, and working hard on All-Northwest auditions, which, compared to recently, isn't a whole lot. The first 6 years of my trumpet playing, I could take it or leave it, the 7th year I was really starting to enjoy the trumpet, and now this year I'm obsessed with the trumpet and can't seem to stop thinking about it (especially during those long biology lectures). I was going to ask you guys if you think all these activities, trumpetwise, is good for me or if I need to back off. And also why performances are always on Tuesday night's. I don't have a clue why all the different groups I'm in have concert's on Tuesday nights, and I was going to ask you guys if it's not just this town that does that. I have about 6 weeks in a row that I was performing every Tuesday night.

    So that I don't had to polute this forum with more than one of my threads, I was going to ask you about something else. I hate marching. I'm tall, clumsy, and very uncoordinated, probably the most in the group. Marching is not for me, if I wasn't so naturaly bad at it, maybe I wouldn't mind it so much, but for me it sucks. At the beginning of this school year we had to march the first 2 and a half months on grass (THANK GOD IT'S GOING TO BE ON ASTROTURF THIS COMING YEAR, I don't see how I could've ever possibly have been able to make it through those next 2 and a half months of marching if it wasn't, I'm extremely glad about the astroturf part though). Our band director is new, but a great guy, but in marching band, not so much. He's usually grouchy the whole marching season.

    I'm one of the worst in marching band even though I put my full effort into it even though others put no effort into it sometimes even disrespect by talking etc., so I have to use my individed attention the whole time and that's no fun. I'm sorry if I offend any of you that are big on marching, but I really don't see how marching ties into any particular aspect of musicianship, especially the songs that are played and the style in which the bands play them, that's just my opinion though, you're entitled to yours. I can barely do an about-haste while maintaining my balance, that's how clumsy and uncoordinated I am.

    For me, marching band really has a negative affect on my playing. I have jazz band the next class and never have much of a lip left after marching and when I go home to practice after school. And it takes about a month after marching to get back my expressive styles as well as dynamic and articulation contrasts, since those are not emphasized in marching, or at least not our marching band, here it's "play as loud as you can and even blast, even if it doesn't sound good". I can hardly play while marching at all since my trumpet and my embouchure are not really steady but rather sliding back and fourth between each other and I really can't play like that. I've constantly to retain a steady embouchure, but I've come to realize that with all the practice I've had, it's not going to happen or it would've by now.

    I had a lightbulb float above my head when I realized that mellophones can use a trumpet mouthpiece. That would be perfect. Since the mellophones are in the low range anyway, it would never seem like your playing that high to your chops or your air, and it would take less air. That would be the perfect thing to preserve your lip. I tried one out and immediately recognized that it would be perfect for marching. However, the band director didn't seem so thrilled about this mellophone idea. He said there wouldn't be enough mellophones and that I was needed since they would need a strong trumpet player on each part (well, I don't think he knows that I can hardly play while marching). Though not having enough mellophones is an issue. However, if this is something that is really critical to persue, I taking trumpet lessons from the middleschool band director and I might be able to ask him about using one. I don't know though, though I'm definitey proficient on the mellophone (especialy for marching) since it has the same finguring and every thing, I didn't have any difficulty at all adjusting to it especially since it has the same exact finguring as the trumpet. I heard, and I believe this too, that a french horn player would have a much harder time adjusting to the mellophone (I know my sister sure did and she was really good on the french horn) than a trumpet player would (I konw I sure didn't have any trouble adjusting to it, I was outplaying all the horn players first time I played it). What are your thoughts on this mellophone issue, I want to do all I can to preserve my lip.

    I'm basically asking what things I should do as to be the least bit musically affected by marching band. Last year, (the fall of 2007) I played on a Rubymuck 17C so that that huge rim would allow for my embouchure to slide a bit. It helped a lot too, but it's still not enough to preserve my lip, however, it was a Cornet mouthpiece, so I played Cornet that year. I'd prefer to play trumpet, but I don't have that kind mouthpiece for the trumpet. Would you recommend that I get mouthpiece like that for trumpet, or an adaptor for the cornet one so that I can play it on the trumpet (though cornets take more air than trumpet, and it might be the mouthpiece, so maybe that would defeat the purpose of it). I think that marching is great for those who enjoy it and are good at it, but it's not my thing. Thanks in advance for the help. Sorry that this turned out to be a bit longer than I planned for. Thanks.

    Edit: Here is a video of our marching band at the all-state marching festival playing part of a song. I kind of wish whoever recorded it would've recorded more of it, at least the whole song if not the whole show. We really don't sound that bad (at least I hope not), it's just the product of a poor recording device. I doubt you would be able to see me (I might be able to find myself if I consider my marching positions, but those are not fresh in my mind as it's been almost a year, the resolution isn't the greatest, but that's pretty much a given since it's on youtube). YouTube - State Marching Band competition
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  2. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    989
    2
    Jan 24, 2005
    High School marching band was hard on me too...I feel your pain! Here's a couple quick ideas...

    1 - Just don't play too loud! Find your personal maximum dynamic, one where your sound is not spread or blasty and that you can mantain without becoming overly tired. This may not seem as loud as you think you need to be, but by staying within yourself and playing YOUR best loud volume, it will probably seem just as loud or louder to a listener because the QUALITY of the sound will be much better. Spending time each day on breathing will also help with this...there's lots of great breathing stuff on here (search for "circle breath," will help, I think) and you can ask your teacher about it too.

    2 - When the director asks for more, nod and do your best, but don't exceed YOUR personal volume.

    3 - Roll your feet! Put in some time to get better at playing and marching at the same time. It seems a little silly to practice it, but it'll pay off when your chops are working better.

    4 - I don't know why you're excited about Astro-Turf. If it's literally old school Astro-Turf the springy-ness is terrible for the knees. I used to help with a band that rehearsed on that stuff and just walking around fixing posture was hideous. Hopefully you'll have that new Field-Turf or something like it (the new stuff with the chopped up rubber base and fake blades of grass)...it's pretty nice.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. DubbaCTrumpetMSU

    DubbaCTrumpetMSU Mezzo Piano User

    550
    3
    Dec 29, 2006
    Ft. Worth, TX
    I know what you mean. I wasn't always the most coordinated on the field...imagine doing all of that, and being blind in your right eye...that's me.(remember, guide right?)...yeah. Marching band...I loved some of the music, but sometimes it was killer on the chops. Like he said above, don't go above your own personal limit. You'd probably be surprised how musical marching band can be sometimes...SOME dci performances come to mind here. However, I can empathize with you, because I had issues with marching band. Just give it what you can, and try to play, but don't try to overplay.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
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    I had fun marching, because my band director figured out that while I was terrible at walking and playing at the same time, I could scream/float over the rest of the band when standing still, so the shows were written so that good 'ol squad 6 moved into formation and stayed there while the rest of the band moved around. Talk to your director, mention your concerns, and be sure to play your fanny off when standing still.

    Besides, the proportion of cute girls in marching bands is way higher than orchestras. ;-)
     
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    989
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    Jan 24, 2005
    One more thing...all the stuff you said gets lost in MB, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, etc...make sure you add those things into your other practice. It doesn't have to be strenous or time consuming (I'm assuming you'll be spread pretty thin, I always was), but spend some time each day with some lyrical studies (Rochut, Concone, Arban's Art of the Phrase, etc) and refine that stuff that marching band messes up. Technical studies too. Even fifteen minutes a day (when you're fresh) is going to help keep those skills (which are largely mental anyway) sharp.
     
  6. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

    Age:
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    Nov 7, 2006
    north texas
    russ means what he said about having problems...I was his left hand man for 4 years. We always made sure I was on his left so I would guide two people over and he would guide off of me.

    I never much cared for it myself. It always seemed to take me months to get my chops feeling great the next semester.
    JR
     
  7. DubbaCTrumpetMSU

    DubbaCTrumpetMSU Mezzo Piano User

    550
    3
    Dec 29, 2006
    Ft. Worth, TX
    True story there...it never helped that we didn't have concert band at the same time. Josh is right-without him, ha...I'd have been all over the place!! Follow Pedal C's advice, though-spend some time with those...refine all the things that you feel marching band 'takes away' or 'doesn't give' to your music. Even if you have to do it before you go to bed, that way your chops have rested, at least you'll have some of it every day. I'm so glad to be done with marching....:)
     
  8. trumpet_man

    trumpet_man Piano User

    Age:
    26
    482
    2
    Jan 17, 2008
    Wyoming
    Thanks for the advice, I'll try to keep it to a comfortable dynamic level. The reason I'm so excited about the astroturf (well, it is that soft new stuff with the fake grass) is that I'm very allergic to grass. Yeah, it sucks. That's why I always feel better all around in the spring and winter is that the snow keep the grass from giving out pollin. It's extremely hard to stay motived for anything at all during the summer and fall. I have a very big lung capacity, but not during polination seasons, that brings it down considerably. Although I'm always sick during polination seasons since grass is everywhere, I'm twice as worse off when I'm ON IT and marching.

    Thanks for the advice, I'll try to stick to that.
     
  9. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    858
    4
    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    I always hated marching band, to me the lowest form of music on the face of the earth. When I went to college I made sure I went somewhere with no football team so I would never, EVER, have to march again. Playing while you walk? What's up with that? And the repetoire is awful.

    Michael McLaughlin

    Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.
    Groucho Marx
     

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