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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Has anyone else heard of this? in the General forums; This is a method that my first teacher taught me, and it worked for me; When I first started going ...
  1. #1
    Mezzo Forte User bigaggietrumpet's Avatar
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    Has anyone else heard of this?

    This is a method that my first teacher taught me, and it worked for me;

    When I first started going to the guy, I was one of those who tensed every muscle in the body when I went up. Mr. Cooper, noticing this, told me to play my solo. So I did, and as I started going higher, he suddenly reached out and tried to yank my horn right out of my hands. Of course, it was like I had a Vulcan death grip on it, he couldn't hardly budge it. He told me to play again, only this time relaxing every muscle in my body except for the diaphragm and my lips. It took about 4 tries, but he was finally able to nearly take it away entirely.

    The way that I understand this is that a lot of times people will have a tendency to tensen up as they play technically challenging or extremely ranged pieces, which actually can slow the fingers, and create too much pressure on the embrochure to the point that it actually hurts the tone. If I'm not mistaken, which I very well could be, Doc had a setup where the trumpet was suspended and he would practice some excercises in this fashion, in order to keep from getting to the point of having too much stress.

    So has anyone else tried something like Doc's setup or even like Mr. Cooper? Am I correct in my understanding?
    Michael Smith
    Hullabaloo: The official band of Texas A&M Basketball
    Kanstul 1537/ Schilke 14
    LA Olds Studio

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    Hi,

    Yep I think you just described one of my big faults as a player and I'm only just starting to work on it. I definitely tense up either before I know I have a difficult passage coming up or I'm sight reading a piece that is on the edge of my capabilities. In fact I tend to even go from sitting back in my chair to sitting forward, so I'm doing everything wrong!!

    It came to light when I had a lesson from a visiting teacher and we decided to work on Haydn (1st movement). Although I can play above the high Eb(the Eb is at the edge of my usable range though), that note would be hit or miss on a 50/50 basis. As far as I was concerned it was the only note on the page!! He re-focused my attention to the phrase after that pointing out that this is what was musically important not the high Eb. Guess what? Get it every time now.

    It is, however, a difficult nexus to break.

    Regards

    Trevor

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    Mezzo Forte User bigaggietrumpet's Avatar
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    Man, that was exactly my problem. I was approaching the B above the staff. Choked it so many times that I started focusing solely on that note. We all know how that turned out of course. Then Mr. Cooper just worked at it until I didn't do it anymore. However, I have had some bad habits creep back up, this being one of them.
    Michael Smith
    Hullabaloo: The official band of Texas A&M Basketball
    Kanstul 1537/ Schilke 14
    LA Olds Studio

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    Hi,

    I'm trying to beat it by sitting right back in my chair and relax when I play. Another thing I notice is that my dynamics go right out the window when I tense up so that by consciously playing softer and holding back a bit I'm more relaxed when I'm playing.

    Except in big band...when in doubt blast it out!! Annoys the trom section anyway :)

    Works for me (so far).

    Regards

    Trevor

  5. #5
    Mezzo Forte User bigaggietrumpet's Avatar
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    Well, I believe there are two time when a trumpet player should definitely worry about the tension in his body. The first is obviously when the player goes up to the upper register of the horn. The second is when the trumpet player is trying to play soft (around piano to pianissimo), especially at the upper registers. Both are more mental problems than anything, the upper register being pretty much the easier of the two to solve, in my opinion, just loosen up and put lots of fast air into the horn. But the second one, for some odd reason, has to be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Players have a tendency to tensen up, shutting off the airflow, thinking that less air is needed for lower dynamics. This just totally jacks the tone all up. In reality, the amount of air shouldn't ever change. I believe that dynamics are mostly controlled by the tension of the diaphragm and the embrochure, but as always, the air should take precedence.

    Of course, I am not a professor, or even a music major, so I could be totally wrong on all that. Just my personal observation is all this is.
    Michael
    Michael Smith
    Hullabaloo: The official band of Texas A&M Basketball
    Kanstul 1537/ Schilke 14
    LA Olds Studio

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