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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Notes From The Comeback Trail in the General forums; Hello all. I posted a couple of weeks back that I was trying to get my act back together on ...
  1. #1
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Notes From The Comeback Trail

    Hello all. I posted a couple of weeks back that I was trying to get my act back together on the trumpet, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts about how things are going with my playing, and possibly get some advice, pointers or encouragement from all of you.

    Keep in mind the fact that I'm not a comeback player in the sense that I took time off of playing, because I really didn't because I was still gigging on a fairly regular basis. What I wasn't doing was practicing to improve.

    Last night I was playing around with some things and although things are still not where I want them to be, I'm actually pleased with some of the things coming out of the end of my horn. I have found over the years that for me, to practice or not to practice is a catch 22; if I'm not practicing, I don't play well and I lose the desire to practice because playing trumpet becomes a frustrating and discouraging endeavor and sometimes I can't stand the thought of actually picking my horn up to practice. On the other hand, when I am practicing, I start playing well and I enjoy playing trumpet, and my desire to practice increases. Playing trumpet is tons of fun when you aren't working your butt off just to keep from falling apart. For this last go around, I just had to steel myself to the fact that for the first week or so, things were going to be rough.

    Now that I am over that hurdle, my playing has really smoothed out and I think about the things that I want to work on. I have started to work out of my Arban book again, but I have also started playing a lot of real music that I haven't seen in quite some time. This forces me to really focus on what I'm reading, and that is what that exercise is for. I'm familiar enough with the tunes that it isn't completely like sight reading, but it's been so long since I have played or read them, that in some cases, it's almost like I'm reading it for the first time.

    The other positive thing that has come out of this is my level of endurance. I had a rock band gig last Saturday night and where I normally try to pace myself so that I have chops left at the end of the night (sometimes I succeed in this, sometimes I don't) that was never a problem last Saturday. Not only did I have chops left at the end of the gig, but I felt like I was actually playing STRONGER than I was at the beginning of the gig. The one thing that was a bit of a surprise to me was that the beginning of the gig was a little rough because I was trying to get used to a mouthpiece that I hadn't played on in weeks. I'm doing all of my regular practicing and playing on a 5C, and I use a Schilke 14A4a for rock band.

    So, things are definitely starting to look up and I am very thankful for muscle memory. I didn't expect my playing to clean up this quickly, but now that it has, I am going to see just how far I can push it. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel like I have "arrived", because I still have a lot of things that I was to clean up and get more consistency with, but things are definitely looking up.

    Wish me luck!
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

  2. #2
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    Good luck Patrick.

    Practice with your lead mpc some, OR find a mpc that can serve both of your sound concepts, in between the 5C and the Schilke, and use it all the time.

    Playing rock may not be the most challenging music, BUT it can be tons of fun. Two weeks in a row The PitPops had a raucous audience and it was a wild scene.

    Dave
    Schilke '60 B1
    Selmer Paris -- '57 #20 K-Modified/
    '03 Concept TT w/ GR66.8B2.8
    '94 Lawler TL cornet w/ Sparx 2B
    Conn Vintage One flugel - GR66FD
    www.pitpops.com www.ucm-inc.com
    Rocky Mountain Trumpet Fest

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    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Dave,

    thanks for the comments. In the past I usually try to practice with both mouthpieces so that I don't have that issue, but I have been so focused on my legit playing that I have let that slide a bit.

    As for finding a "crossover" mouthpiece, one that I can use on both legit and rock gigs, I just haven't found one that totally suits my sound requirements for both. The closest I have come is a custom mouthpiece that was made for me by Scott Holbert. I had it made with the intention of being my lead mouthpiece, but I find that the sound I get out of it is almost perfect for when I'm playing 4th book in the Big Band. It is a very free blowing mouthpiece and the sound is big, but it also has a certain amount of edge to it so that it cuts and projects fairly well. I also have decent range, good flexibility and good endurance with it, but it is just a little too edgy to use for legit in my opinion. Like I said, I had it made as a lead piece, but I ended up going back to my 14A4a because it was so free blowing that in that context, I felt almost as if I was falling into the mouthpiece and my endurance wasn't as good as I needed it to be.

    I like the 5C that I'm currently practicing with, but due to the inner rim/bite, it feels just a bit too narrow and sometimes I feel a little closed off with it and I'm not as accurate with it as I am with other mouthpieces. The sound is hard to beat though. With the 5C, I have a very smooth yet brilliant sound with a solid core. The question though is do I sacrifice sound for better accuracy by switching to a different mouthpiece, or do I just gut it out, and work towards being more accurate with the 5C?

    I might be paying MouthpieceExpress.com a visit today in the hopes of finding something a little different though, maybe a 2 1/2C. (I never really cared for the 3C, but I have always liked the 2 1/2C) I might even look into the Stork standard sized mouthpieces. I have heard many good things about those. I don't intend to turn this into a mouthpiece safari, but at the moment, I just don't seem to have a good mouthpiece that fits me for legit playing in my current arsenal.
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

  4. #4
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    Talk to Brian Scriver at GR. They're worth the money. At the very least, you can get separate lead and legit pieces with the same rim.

    Dave
    Schilke '60 B1
    Selmer Paris -- '57 #20 K-Modified/
    '03 Concept TT w/ GR66.8B2.8
    '94 Lawler TL cornet w/ Sparx 2B
    Conn Vintage One flugel - GR66FD
    www.pitpops.com www.ucm-inc.com
    Rocky Mountain Trumpet Fest

  5. #5
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcstep
    Talk to Brian Scriver at GR. They're worth the money. At the very least, you can get separate lead and legit pieces with the same rim.

    Dave


    Been there, done that! Unfortunately my GR Experience didn't really net me the results that I was looking for. The mouthpiece that I ended up with, (a 66S I think) while deep enough, for whatever reason, I couldn't handle the bite. Brian called what I was experiencing "death by alpha angle". I just can't afford to keep making $125, non-returnable experiments, otherwise I would stick to GR until I found what I was looking for.
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

  6. #6
    Pianissimo User pops's Avatar
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    But you can experiment for free and still have the same rime for lead, legit, cornet and flugel.

    Try some Curry pieces.
    I even have switched 2 GR dealers to the Curry line. They carry the line now and play them as their personal pieces.

    Much less money and a lot more choices. 8 cup depths in diameters from smaller than .600" to .690"

    Many places will send several pieces to you and let you return the ones you don't want.

    New Expanded Range Arban at http://www.NewArban.com
    Plus my other books at http://www.BbTrumpet.com
    Free Trumpet Ezine at http://www.BbTrumpetNews.com
    Pops

    It is the Smart application of hard work that gets you there.

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