Can you please share with me from your experience (school years, teaching, etc.) if you've met people along the way who tried really hard, practiced diligently for months and years but just couldn't play above the staff regardless of whatever they tried and were eventually tagged as 'a hopeless trumpet player' (go play the sax please)?
I'm sure there are/were such people but I mostly read success stories and confident advice on overcoming any difficulties that leads me to believe I'm the first hopeless trumpeter in the world.
I'm thinking of giving up torturing myself trying to reach any note above F on the top line in the staff which actually feels to me like the last note on the trumpet possible and just accepting the fact that I'm one of those who just can't make it (if there are more of them out there). I want to pack up my horn judiciously if I do with a rational realization that what I'm trying to achieve is simply beyond my capabilities.
I'm out of supply of MY 'smarts' what Robin Rowuk likes to call them. Since November 2012 I've tried everything I could including: lead pipe buzzing, soft playing, slurs etc. etc.
- I've learned to buzz the lead pipe (I couldn't in November), two partials;
- I've learned to play soft (I couldn't in November);
- I've learned to slur well (I could barely do it in November);
- I've learned to play below Low C in a relaxed (well, you can't do it otherwise) manner.
I can play within from low Gb up to E on the top space in the staff with the F being the cut-off note and nothing exists above it. I can overblow on the top space E blowing the roof off but it won't change to G on top of the staff. I mean I know it's not the proper way to go but it could work as an indication of its existence. Oh, I mean I tried it soft and loud slur and tongue, whatever. No way.
I mean I could do all the things I've mentioned before up to the top line F and now I can do them very well but it didn't move me a half-tone higher from where I've been in November.
Imagine a baby who first can't walk well, falls down here and there but he can't run. He says: 'OK, I'll try to learn walking well first.' He learns to walk vey well but still can't run. Literally, 'hitting a wall'.
I've learned to change partials by raising my tongue (consciously) and tightening the corners of my mouth and a combination of them and I can slur confidently up to Eb from the middle B (talking of the "true slurs" here) and to E from middle C on a good day.
What saddens me me is that I understand that most people get to the E in the staff after 4 weeks of trumpeting. Is that correct? I've been "playing" for over three years now and I've been through various degrees of frustration and now I'm coming to the state of resignation, realizing that there are people who possibly just cannot play trumpet above the staff.
I'm 41 and I've used the best intelligent approach I've been able to apply to my "development".
The most natural note on trumpet for me when I put the MP to my mouth and begin to blow in a relaxed manner is Low C. I have to start "working" to get the middle G out.
I can play from Low C down to Low Gb all day long and it feels natural.
I can get the pedal C out without a problem.
I have a few horns (cornets and trumpets), all being in order and I can pick up any of them with whatever MP is on and without adjustment do what I can do: play from Low Gb up to F. Nothing higher after months of specifically targeted (and overall a few years) of diligent practice. I mean I've practiced on one trumpet all the time but any of them indicates my limit of top line F.
So, is it smart to say to myself at this time: "I've honestly tried to learn but I have to accept that it's beyond my abilities"?
What I mean is that I want to make music and I could be better off spending my time with another instrument rather then struggling with the trumpet to get the reasonably useable range.
Most of the common tunes go up to at least G on top of the staff and that's beyond my "cut-off" range. So, I'm left only with a "Twinkle, Twinkle... you know".
You see, I've used to beg here for an "intelligent advice" over a few years and I've got quite a bunch - THANK YOU GOOD PEOPLE of the TM!
Now, I want to simply know if my intention to quit is wise enough and you've met people who did the same for a reason. I'm still struggling with myself because I don't want to feel like I show the lack of spirit though.