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Trumpet Discussion Discuss I need stronger chops!! in the General forums; Hey everybody, I am a freshman in high school and I have a serious issue with my chops.... My band ...
  1. #1
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    Apr 2009

    I need stronger chops!!

    Hey everybody, I am a freshman in high school and I have a serious issue with my chops....

    My band director chose a original piece for marching band and I have to hold a high E for about 12 beats and immediately to a solo during our second movement.

    I have been very good in the past year and went to the Kentucky honor concert band and was 6th chair and at the Northern Kentucky jazz festival, i was first chair.

    But I cant do it without the equipment, anybody have any chop saver tips?

    Or anybody selling a really tight mouthpiece cheap?

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User Solar Bell's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Metro Detroit

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    If you are a freshman (9th grade?) and you are playing in the KY Honors band and in the Jazz Festival you are on the right track.

    At your age, 13? 14? you are doing alright.

    A new "tighter mouthpiece" is not the answer.

    Are you talking about an E above high C? Three ledger lines up?

    And what does twelve beats mean? WHat is the tempo? How many seconds do you have to hold it.

    Need more infomation, and you need to realize that without seeing you play in person, we will not be able to help you here.

    Some guys will tell you to a get a screamer mouthpiece...that won't work.

    Some people will tell you to get a Schilke 14A4a mouthpice which is a lead ain't.

    Some people will tell you to practice those high note very softly.

    Some people will tell you to play those notes as loud as you can to build endurance.

    Some people will tell to to practice slurs....quietly or....loudly.

    Some people will tell you to play long tones.

    I think you need to find the best private teacher you can and let him have at you.

    Anyone else want to add something not here?
    Chuck Willard
    The Willard of Oz

    "Don't be afraid to see what you see."
    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    The ONLY WAY that you will build up your chops is by properly using them. No hardware on earth can do it for you if your practice sessions are not adequate or are improper. This will not be accomplished overnight. It takes time to build muscle and gain control of those muscles.

    Start with low tones played for as long as you can force yourself to hold them, playing as softly as possible and, being careful not to allow any variance in volume and intonation. When this becomes comfortable, play scales, again VERY SOFTLY. I reccomend that this exercise be done for about 15-20 minutes, followed by a rest period of that same length. Then, play whatever you are required to play by your band director. This will build controlled muscle in your chops and teach you to play with minimal mouthpiece pressure.

    If you doubt any of this, check with what Raphael Mendez has to say in his youtube instructions and in his writings. It is all classic in form.

    Last edited by oldlou; 05-31-2009 at 01:33 PM.
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  4. #4
    Fortissimo User rettepnoj's Avatar
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    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    Check this guy out! He give online lessons, and he have some nice books for chop building..
    Jon Petter

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  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    Funny how so many of the great lead players got their chops through old-school exercises: long tones, lip slurs, Arban and Clarke studies, not to mention hours and hours of practice.

    Oh, yeah, a lot of them talk about good breathing, posture, blowing through the trumpet, listening and emulating.

    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  6. #6
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    Jul 2008

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    Would it perhaps be correct to say:

    There Are No Shortcuts And No Secrets ?

  7. #7
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    Apr 2009

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    Sorry about low info....
    I do take private lessons, ever scence 5th grade, he is trying to help me but I want some exercises on my own.

    Thanks for helping guys, but band camp starts next month and I'm in a hole.

  8. #8
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    Well, if it's just before a solo, and there are other people playing the same part, miss it out! Yeah, it won't be as loud, but if you can't do it, don't! In the bands I'm in, the soloists don't play 4 bars before their solo, so they can take a huge breath.
    I know that's not what you wanted, but if you really can't get it, then it might be the best thing,

  9. #9
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Levittown , NY

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    You can only do what you physically can do, for a freshman your doing just fine,one thing to ask your teacher about is how to pace yourself when playing in the section.

  10. #10
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: I need stronger chops!!

    If you qualified for those playing opportunities, you are doing something right. Looking for a "quick fix" should be below your dignity.
    The only things that works is EARNING it. That means working hard on the things that you can't do.
    Forget changing mouthpieces, hardware will not solve a software (your brain) problem.
    Solar Bell hit the nail on the head. We know NOTHING about your playing, so advice is just taking a guess about what to do. That is easy, if we guess wrong, it doesn't hurt anybody but you.
    I NEVER recommend changing major things during playing season. Too many times, everything falls apart and you can't go back to the old way.
    The advantage of practicing softly is that you can play longer. That means you can maintain your present routine and add more chop builders like slurs and long tones.

    Range is best learned when you don't have a gig where you need it. Then there is no pressure. In your case, you HAVE something lined up. The only safe advice over the internet is to make sure that you get a BIG breath before playing. Come back again when playing season is over. then we can give you some stuff to think about!

    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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