I had an audition about a week ago for a Marine Band about a week ago and I passed. He congratulated me, and I was very happy, but I was hoping to score high enough to get into The Commandant's Own Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. He said the only thing I needed to improve was my range. He said everyone there must have a solid high E minimum.
I'm willing to anything to get to that point, and when I have another audition for The Commandant's Own in a few weeks I want to go in knowing I did everything I could to improve. I've been doing about 2-3 hours of playing a day, mainly extended scales, lip slurs, lip trills, and some tough brass charts to improve endurance. I can post a video of me playing to make sure it's not an embochure issue going on if people will watch it.
At the end of my practices my lips aren't really in pain, I just stop when my tone gets bad and I feel like I'm not being very productive anymore. I don't think it's a major pressure issue, I've been told my neck gets more tense than it needs to be, and before I play my lips need to be more wet than most people's and sometimes catch myself licking the mouthpiece (yuck). So what are some exercises to focus my aperture and get a solid response? How much mouthpiece buzzing should I do? I am not in school right now, just work. I usually practice when I wake up then go to work, but if I need to have 2 practice sessions a day, one in the morning and one late at night I will because I have a practice mute and a laptop with SmartMusic, where I can read hundreds of charts.
If after my second audition I've done all I can and still don't make it into The Commandant's Own, but gave it all I've got I'll be alright with it I think. I've never been a solid lead player, but he said my sight reading and scales were very good. Any tips?