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Trumpet Discussion Discuss ***Need Help with Endurance and Tone*** in the General forums; I'm not sure why, but lately I've been having trouble with my endurance and have been sort of underwhelmed with ...
  1. #1
    New Friend theaudhobbit's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Southern Illinois

    ***Need Help with Endurance and Tone***

    I'm not sure why, but lately I've been having trouble with my endurance and have been sort of underwhelmed with my tone quality. I was wondering if anyone had any advice.

    I play about an hour a day with breaks intermitantly (aside from my private practice). I think the biggest part of the problem is that, in an ensemble, we don't have time to warm up properly, especially the brass. I have a feeling this is going to be hard to combat, but any suggestions would be welcome. Time doesn't really permit me to warm up properly on my own.

    Also, my tone has been suffering a little lately. I'm trying to find a new position to rest my mouthpiece, because one of my trumpet teachers told me I'm playing too high on my upper lip, which is due in part to the fact that I don't have "trumpet lips" necessarily (my lips are kind of fat for trumpet-fine for baritone, which I played for a while, but kind of fat for trumpet). I've almost always had a good tone, and lately, it feels under par.

    If you have any suggestions, I'll gladly take them. Also, I was wondering what any of you had to say for or against warming down. I think part of my problem might be my process of ending, not beginning.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Some of the best players had huge lips. They called Louis Armstrong Satchel Mouth or Dipper Mouth because of the size of his.

    Long tones, Long tones, Long tones. These will help your endurance and your tone. Play 3rd space C for 6 beats at 60bpm then the B below it for 5 beats. Breath on the next beat, then play B for 6 and C for 5 and rest for a beat. Next do the same thing on B and Bb. rinse and repeat until you get to G and F#. Always use a breath attack when doing this, and never take the mouthpeice off of your face. You might not make it all the way through for the first week or so, but you will notice a big improvement. AND DONT PLAY THEM LOUD. A nice P or MP will do until it gets comfortable. And always use a metronome.
    In my opinion, the placement of the mouthpiece on the lips is a personal thing. Whatever gets the horn to speak properly without resulting in injury or weird contortions is fine. Aim for something that is comfortable on your face that gives you a good sound in all of the registers. This good sound won't come quickly though, especially if you change your embouchure. Don't get discouraged.
    Try to do a warmup before you play, even if it means waking up in the morning 20minutes earlier than normal. It will pay off in the end.

  3. #3
    New Friend theaudhobbit's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Southern Illinois
    I keep forgetting about long tones. I'll do them for a while, then forget, then remember again. I should write this stuff down, I guess.

    Yeah, I've heard so many different things about mouthpiece placement, I'm not quite sure what to do. I ended up just trying to reposition it a little bit, but still keeping it comfortable. The teacher I talked to about it said it should be placed 1/3-2/3 (top-bottom), but the way my lips are, it'd end up being half and half. He told me I had a "vieled" tone, which I didn't entirely disagree with, but I had never really heard that from anyone else. The problem w/ talking to different teachers is lots of different opinions.

    I'm hoping I'll be able to get into a better routine when I get to college (I'm still in high school, but I'm going into music ed at Carbondale). Right now my schedule is kind of restrictive. Lunch is right before jazz band, and I sort of need to eat...and then right after that is concert band. But I'll spare you the details of my day.

    I really appreciate the advice! I'll paste it into my big Word document of trumpet tips. Thank you! (And the noob entertains herself with icons now...)

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