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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Less Pressure=Problem?? in the General forums; So I recently, no that Im out of school for the summer I have been trying to drastically improve my ...
  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Less Pressure=Problem??

    So I recently, no that Im out of school for the summer I have been trying to drastically improve my playing starting back to basic fundamentals to really become the most efficient player I can be. I have been very diligently practicing with discipline. not playing very high doing lots of long tones, mid range flexibility, playing with VERY little pressure and lots of very soft playing and paying a lot of attention to detail. Even though its only been about 2 or 3 weeks my low register and middle in the staff register sounds gorgeous. Best SOUND I think I'v had ever but once I try to even like play a G# or A above the staff that quickly changes and becomes very thin and out of tune, no vibrancy to the sound whatsoever. and playing loud is just pointless because it sounds terrible and I just cant do it. Is this just something that is going to take time or am I making a mistake by doing this? And like when sound I start getting back to playing higher? I hear all of these pros and great teachers talk about playing soft to build your sound and range and to teach your body the coordination and so I have been doing that and its just seems like its inhibiting my range and intonation? ... or am I just being an impatient young kid wanting a change to happen soon then nature allows??

  2. #2
    Utimate User tobylou8's Avatar
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    Re: Less Pressure=Problem??

    You/we have a tendency to be impatient. I want patience and I want it NOW!
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  3. #3
    Pianissimo User Kevin Whiting's Avatar
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    Re: Less Pressure=Problem??

    Been doing exactly what you are doing. It takes lots of time. Months and months. (I am 55, so your young body should respond faster than mine)

    I am showing progress in both range and endurance. Never sounded better.

    Be patient (I know that is hard - trust me, I KNOW!). Low pressure, up in the register a little, feels sooooo much better.

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    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Re: Less Pressure=Problem??

    Rowuk says it best - to paraphrase (not sure of the exact quote) "success is not measured in days or weeks, but rather in months and years."

    You "can" make some progress in weeks, but it will just be the tip of the iceberg. With that said, I think you are on the right track - just keep rolling with it and things will come around, and sometimes a shift can be pretty sudden. All of a sudden certain things will click and you'll be able to do things that you weren't able to do just a few days before.
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  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Less Pressure=Problem??

    You know, what you, the thread owner has written sounds OK, but I have my doubts. Generally I have my doubts about anyone going into uncharted waters - or waters only charted by the internet.

    There are specific things that happen to our playing when we reduce testosterone - our world collapses in the name of having done something "good" for ourselves.

    I do NOT advocate "reducing pressure". I do not advocate "changing embouchures". I do not advocate "not playing high". Once I have evaluated a student on a one to one basis, live, I advocate a process of evolution that leads to less pressure, a more focussed embochure and better ability to play low, high, fast and slow. It is the PROCESS not the individual exercise that leads to success. The process that I choose is evolutionary, not revolutionary. Certain types of MONITORED lipslurs make important changes to how the chops work, certain monitored breathing activity provides more fuel to ignite the sound, certain monitored body activity increases the bodies ability to get larger quantities of air without increasing body tension, certain monitored articulation allows the rest to work.

    Why don't I write this down, well I did once and several players claimed to be using "my method" and failed dramatically - blaming me for their lack of perception, understanding, willpower and many other things. I do not advocate internet lessons except for maintenance and perhaps artistic goals. Fixing broken playing needs a holistic view of the student and I have yet to have even heard of a success story in getting the basics correct in a virtual environment.

    Even if you only get one lesson, or an opportunity to play next to someone seriously professional, it can change your life. Accurate analysis is 90% (or even more) of success. I believe that is whhy most threads like this simply fizzle - no results=diminished interest.

    Everything is attached to everything. Pressure for instance is attached to our breathing, tongue and chop activity as well as our breathing and body use. We can't just change one or two things that we have read about and expect success. There is also great stupidity in the phrase "do what works for you" as if you are searching for something, you don't know the answer and may not even be moving in the "best" direction.

    If we look at good consulting practice, it is important to identify where you are. Then that situation should be analysed by someone "in the know". A strategy is planned and depending on the "market situation", the strategy is implemented. Jumping into the strategy is a guarantee for failure.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Less Pressure=Problem??

    G# and A are in the next partial. That's why they are so much harder to play. Ultimately, you have to play high if you want to be able to play high. It's good to consciously avoid bad habits, but you will have to use a little more pressure as you go higher. Don't go to either extreme. Use enough pressure but not too much, and be patient.
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  7. #7
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Less Pressure=Problem??

    G# and A are not the problem. A vice grip embouchure that puts a clamp on the highest note are the real source. There is not that much difference for well functioning chops between a G on top of the staff and the C above it. Many have trouble because they are missing the holistic body use, support and low tension chops.
    tobylou8 likes this.
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