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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Brain fried! ROWUK! in the General forums; Hello, I been trying to work out how to play trumpet properly. The way I played high notes before was ...
  1. #1
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    Brain fried! ROWUK!

    Hello, I been trying to work out how to play trumpet properly. The way I played high notes before was rolling the top and bottom lip, thus causing the surface of mouth to be pressed against teeth (stretched to the max) which thus cause the vibration to be really high and thus I could play high notes. However, after 5 min of playing I would need to leave the trumpet for a day which sucked because I used to play guitar for 3-4 hours and now I cant even enjoy music for 10min. Then I received help, found out the mouth is meant to be in its 'normal' position when blowing, and that should produce a note (low C) which it does, however, as I ascend (D,E,F,G,A,B,C) my mouth seems to be getting tighter and thus the middle of the mouth is harder than how it was playing low C.

    I did a search on here, and I read "do not tighten the corners", how the hell is one meant to play up high if his mouth/lips are in the position of Low C which is soft and loose. The harder I blow air, the more loud the trumpet is, no pitch change though.

    Can someone give an explanation and some pictures of their mouth with mouthpiece on playing the 3rd space C and 4th space E and then taking mouthpiece off and taking photo again playing 4th space E and 3rd C...

    I really do not understand at all what is meant to be going on. As far as teacher goes, I have not found someone in Brisbane that really 'understands' technicality to the level I need to be able to understand

    Can someone help me please?

  2. #2
    Fortissimo User coolerdave's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    okay here is my 2 cents
    When I was in college and started getting into technically understanding the physiological aspects of playing trumpet I was told by instructor...too much analysis causes paralysis .. key words are "too much."
    There are people on this forum who can explain the embrouchure position better then I can so I will toss in what I hope will help.
    Find a reputable teacher and trust him. There are so many things that you could think about that you can do yourself in.
    I can tell you that practicing trumpet is different than guitar because you need to rest as much as you play on the trumpet. I play mandolin and guitar and understand you can play for hours and your fingers won't bleed. When you are first learning trumpet your endurance will be nothing. So you have to play 8 measures and then rest for 8 measures.
    All these things will be covered by a teacher. Find one you can live with and learn to play music.
    One last thing.. which I have posted before.. I took golf lessons from Golftec ... they use computers and sensors... they have graphs and charts.. slow motion video and explain all the proper angles and positions you should be in during the golf swing. Sounds great.. to me it did .... only problem.. it didn't work for me ... I finally stopped lessons after a year and posting consecutive scores over 110 ..consistently... I was thinking too much.
    I could have bought a Committee with what I spent in that year.
    Hope that helps
    tobylou8, mgcoleman and Mark_Kindy like this.
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  3. #3
    Piano User craigph's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    Quote Originally Posted by G-man- View Post
    I really do not understand at all what is meant to be going on. As far as teacher goes, I have not found someone in Brisbane that really 'understands' technicality to the level I need to be able to understand
    You do not need a teacher who "understands technicality to this level" (whatever that means). You need a trumpet teacher. Period. As in, anyone who teaches trumpet.

    What on earth does any of this have to do with Rowuk?

    Ars longa, vita brevis

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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    Quote Originally Posted by craigph View Post
    You do not need a teacher who "understands technicality to this level" (whatever that means). You need a trumpet teacher. Period. As in, anyone who teaches trumpet.

    What on earth does any of this have to do with Rowuk?
    Rowuk has been playing for what, 45 years?

    To me that is a seasoned player who would know how to help due to the huge amount of experience.

    For me the problem is, I get 2 sides to the story

    1: "Stop analyzing things so much and just play"
    2: "Your embouchure is wrong and that is why you can only play for 5-10 min middle C-4th space E"

    I do not analyze and the result is playing wrong. So now I want to be anal about it to make sure 100% what I am doing is actually correct.

    Three ways I found to play low C - 3rd space c.

    1: roll the lips in to tighten them as I go up the scale to reach the 3rd space C.
    2: Clamp my lips down on eachother to go up to 3rd space C which in a way results in them being more rolled in (less lip visible)
    3: Pull the corners of the mouth up as I am ascending which again results in the lips being much tighter/harder feeling than when I am playing Low C.

    What has confused the hell out of me is 'your mouth should not change between notes'

    so... Whats right cause I can develop any one of those 3 and yet all 3 could be wrong. So I gotta analyze. I am sick of playing 5 min and then leaving it for 24 hours. It gets disheartening wanting to do it right and nobody able to actually explain and visually show whats going on to be able to go "o THAT way, NOW I get it"
    Last edited by G-man-; 12-15-2011 at 05:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Mezzo Forte User Mark_Kindy's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    Trust me, Rowuk doesn't want you to be anal. I already think about my playing way too much. XD

    Really though, try to relax for a second.

    What I've gathered over time is this:
    1. Keep firm corners
    2. Keep a relaxed inner embouchure. (not loose. Ever. not for low notes either. Relaxed.)
    3. Let the air do the work.
    4. Listen.

    If you follow this, you will be pleased. Whatever else you do, I don't really want to know, this is a good start. (But try not to do anything weird)
    The key is in #3 and #4. Don't think about what your mouth is doing as much. Think about how the air is moving. You'll notice a HUGE (and I mean gigantic) different in the ease of playing when you don't focus on what's going on in the mouthpiece and instead focus on a beautiful, floating sound produced with ease. You will notice that the drastic changes you are used to for moving notes have diminished. Your lips instead react to the change in airflow/pressure in order to produce the note, working in tandem with the ears. The breath controls the note, not the muscles.

    I understand your frustration -- I approach playing in the same way. What worked for me was changing what I was analysing. Listen to the sound, the air flow, the airstream. Within a couple months, things began to come together much better.

    And absolutely, positively, GET A TEACHER. Best advice I've ever seen on the forums. No one can properly help you when they're not in person (eh skype whatever) to see/interact. Even if you don't follow my advice, I think you should follow this last tidbit.
    Last edited by Mark_Kindy; 12-16-2011 at 12:40 AM.
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  6. #6
    Piano User BrotherBACH's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    "Analysis to paralysis". I feel your pain because I have been through it. I am two years into my comeback and have had to totally relearn how to form and embrouchure from what I used as a young (13 yrs) teeanger. It has been a slow process but VERY rewarding.

    I make the analogy with learning the bread basket technique for shooting a basket ball. It can be done but it is eventually self-limiting in what you can ultimately do and how you perform on the court. If you learn the proper technique, you will have the potential for continual improvement. Same with the embrouchure. There are several ways to get the job done but there is one generally accepted embrochure that allows continual improvement. Yes, there are others that may be acceptable. I am not an expert on this. But, what I can tell you that my own research has come across one most "prevelent". I have a Youtube video. I am including the third in the series by the US army. Please give it a try. There is also a FANTASTIC book by David Hickman titled "Trumpet Pedagogy". If you are the analysis type, it will clear up everyting. It is a definative source.

    I must also say that I got highly regarded teachers who have brought me through this difficult phase. I do not think this is something that you can do yourself.

    Trumpet Lesson #3 - Starting a Beginner Student - YouTube

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited by BrotherBACH; 12-15-2011 at 06:48 AM.
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  7. #7
    Piano User mrsemman's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    What my trumpet teacher is "trying" to teach me is how to use my tongue to direct the air flow for the higher notes. His analogy is to think of the tongue as the forks on a fork truck (lift). As the notes get higher, I raise the tongue up. I can understand the principle, but it will take me forever to get this into practice.

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  8. #8
    Utimate User tobylou8's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    If you would just practice and forget all the crazy embouchure's for "screamin'", your range would increase gradually, not overnight. Range exercises will do that for you OVER TIME. I've tried the crazy stuff and unless you want to have no tonal quality it's great! You can then play in DCI or a rock band! Use this as a guide, "How does it sound"?
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    Utimate User turtlejimmy's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    My view of it is like this .... Trying to get info in here to figure it out will only make it more complicated and lead to more thinking. I'm like that, I think too much and I got the "Stop thinking so much" lecture from my teacher.

    Sooooooo much easier and effective for a teacher (in person) to simply show ...... It's show and tell, Baby. Showing is easy, telling is complicated.

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  10. #10
    Forte User jiarby's Avatar
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    Re: Brain fried! ROWUK!

    The lips and airstream TOGTHER make the sound.

    You are ony talking about lips... you are missing half the equation. Air support is what makes the lips buzz. To address one without considering the other is stupid.

    Your lips are pressed togther and then the mouthpiece rim helps create an apeture in the lips. With practice you will learn to control this apeture. In the beginning you do not have much flexibility or control. You have been "cheating" by rolling your lips under as a substitute for building strength supported by air stream.

    Physics is pretty simple for trumpet players, although most liberal arts types are pretty weak brained for math & science stuff...but it is common sense.

    The lips form an apeture, but they do not buzz without air moving through. A tight apeture can produce a higher pitch than a loose one. Given a fixed apeture, pitch can also be raised by moving air a point, then you have to start manipulating apeture too.

    Did we get to tongue placement, and how it affects the airstream??

    For now... without seeing you, my advice would be to STOP rolling you lips in.
    Practice air support by playing long tones and long lyrical phrases that don't die. Play those long tones softly, then increase volume, and back to softly. CONTROL is the goal.
    Practice changing partials (like from low C to G to middle C) by thinking Ahhhh - EEEEEE and feeling how that raises the back of your tongue.
    Try whistling to "get the concept"... you purse your lips a bit and then blow air. A pitch is generated. Now whistle a trill... what is your tongue doing?
    Now do that trill slowly like as 1/4 notes. Feel that tongue moving?? Feel how you have to blow air across the tongue to keep supporting the tone.

    Each pitch has a bullseye... to hit the center of the pitch, where it resonates and makes a full great sound, you have to set the correct combination of apeture, air speed, and tongue. Without one of the ingredients the tone leaves the center and gets out of tune, or airy and weak.

    As you ascend you have to coordinate apeture control with airspeed to support the new pitch.

    Something I see beginners do often is start on a low C, then ascent chromatically towards the G, or middle C but as they go up the tone gets thinner and weaker and eventually falters.
    They are probably still blowing air across their low C apeture. Maybe also using mpc pressure to try and manipulate the apeture.
    The F# needs to nearly have the setup that a G has... but when kids start at LOW C then they often are playing that F# with the low C chops. Then when they try to go to the G with the valves the whole thing flubs back down to the low C...

    You don't often hear it the other way! Starting on a G, then descending to the Low C and flubbing back UP to the G!
    Last edited by jiarby; 12-15-2011 at 08:48 AM.
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