Trumpet Discussion Discuss Personal difficulties in the General forums; Originally Posted by peabodytrumpeter
I have one issue with my playing that I continually work on:
1) Confident first attacks ...
Time is of the essence. Timed attacks have always worked for me. Work with a metronome on this. Set it at 60 bpm. Think of four beats rest before your initial attack. 1,2,3,4+ attack. Breathe on the and of 4, then play. If your inhale is done properly in time, your attack percentage accuracy will improve.
Originally Posted by peabodytrumpeter
Always know where you want to place that first note in a phrase. Practice scales in whole notes this way. One measure rest between each attack.
Play them in all keys, in all registers and at a wide variety of dynamics.
Never hold your breath before the attack.
That should help
Be sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouthpiece in gear.
Mezzo Piano User
Originally Posted by Manny Laureano
This is one of the greatest statements about trumpet playing I've seen on the internet in a long time. Thanks!!!!
Mezzo Piano User
...and this is a close second. You guys are really firing on all cylinders!
Originally Posted by wiseone2
Wow. Thanks for the reply Mr. Laureano.
Here's another side to my story. I used to have decent high chops. I have just graduated with a Master's degree in Performance. Back during freshman year of undergrad, I had a pretty reliable G above high C (4th ledger line). Now, the sound was not ideal, but I know that I am capable of higher stuff. Since then, I have been through an embouchure change or two to improve sound and other stuff. After the first change my range went down to tuning note C (third space). I've been building it back for 6 years ever since.
I don't necessarily blame my lips for everything. This is what I have been told by my last teacher, though believing in this principle hasn't done much for me in the last year or so. What you say makes a lot of sense:
I don't have any trouble hearing pitches. I'll bet your are exactly right about the color and intensity thing; I do a great deal of listening (live and recorded) and really try to get the sound of the "greats" in my head on a very regular basis. I average a symphony concert every two weeks or less, either Milwaukee or Chicago.
Yes, you are right with #2. I did start to focus on the chops you know, because hey, "that was the problem". I have started to realize this summer, after being out of school for a couple months and having time to think on my own, that the chops my not be the root cause. You certainly reinforce this.
Wow, number #3 is right on. I am not relaxed in the upper register. I have been told to "just do it, don't worry about how you feel, tension or anything. It's all about sound." Well, true, but I find it real hard to concentrate on sound when I am tightening up, using too much pressure, and then having my air choke off soon after. Any thoughts on this? I have no doubt that I could be more efficient with my air.
I think I can do a good job of hearing pieces in my head when I am not playing. I do envision a great player when I warm-up, and that does help a good deal. It's harder for me to hear the sound in my head when I am playing music; I must be thinking about mechanics way too much. I've always been an analytical person, very left brained, good with science, etc.
Now, I have come across something regarding hearing a great sound first. I have been working on "Siegfried's Funeral Music" for the last few weeks. The famous sword theme solo is a great place to work on sound I have found. My favorite recording (that I own) is of the NY Phil/Zubin Mehta (1981). The trumpet sound is EXACTLY what I want. I find that when I get this in my head and begin to play that I sound like a million bucks (to me anyway). However, as I work through the excerpt by the time I get to the top of the staff G at the end, and have to build intensity to the downbeat sixteenths I tend to run out of steam. My sound is huge and resonant at that point, but I can't sustain forever. I find this phenomenon increases as I go higher. The high A in the Mahler 5 opening causes me the same grief sometimes. Later in the first movement, where you have the E-G#-B arpeggio, the B is harder to sustain than an A. How do you summon more fuel to do this? Or, am I going about this correctly?
Ok, I have rambled on enough for a while. Sorry for any confusion.
My most humble thanks for your help,
Manny and Wilmer,
I have a similar problem as Lawler Bb with the high register but in my case it gets really hard to tongue above that G concert. I feel that I am hearing the sound as I want it and I have been practicing my scales; Clarke’s and even flow study warm ups single tongued to help with that but haven’t seen much improvement yet.
What would you guys recommend?
Get out your wallet.
Originally Posted by Lawler Bb
I'm going to bet that you try to do it in one breath.
Yeah, I knew I was right. You do that because you're afraid to take the mouthpiece off your lips when you breathe and because you tighten up more with each breath. When you're overly conscious of the embouchure, for whatever reason, you'll leave your lips attached to the mouthpiece for security (insecurity?)
Practice something for fun with a friend:
Have a contest to see who can put his mouthpiece up last before a lick, get the best sound, and the biggest breath. So, last up, best sound, and best breath. How do you measure all that? You don't. You're just messing around and having a fun between beers (Gatorade for Americans under 18).
Let me know how it goes.
Your tongue is arching way too much. Use a lower vowel like "tOH", and get out the Goldman Practical Studies book. Then Sclossberg later after you master that book.
Float the tongue with energy.
I know it is fun to talk about high notes and everything, but MOST people (my self included) could pay a lot more attention to soft...very soft playing.
Or maybe I'm just fooling my self...also with soft attacks. Any thoughts...OK...back to the Clarke book I go.
Let's see...my biggest struggles with playing and things I've had to bust my tail at to make it where I am today (and by no means am I anywhere close to finished!)
1.) Using enough air. The concept of deep, relaxed breathing didn't click in my head until recently, and even still, using too little air is a habit I must bypass.
2.) Sound. My sound was somewhat anemic until this past year, and it's still not consistently my ideal sound (btw, thank you Manny for that post about sound above.)
3.) Articulation. I didnt' learn how to tongue until 7th grade, and it's still not a strength of mine.
4.) Range. Compared to others my age, my range is not very high at all, but I think Manny's post above nailed the problem. Even still, I'm a junior in college and on a good day I top out at Eb above the staff. That, I'm sure, will change as I improve.
5.) Finger speed. My fingers moved slowly, unevenly, and sloppily for a long time. This is the only issue I started out with that has been improved to my satisfaction (for now).
Wow, sorry for the ramble guys. After posting about all that, I should probably hit the practice room...it's always humbling posting your weaknesses! Thankfully, I've had very good, VERY patient teachers, and I've busted my butt for a long time. However, I'm definitely still not finished.
thanks for the advice!
Originally Posted by Manny Laureano
I got the Goldman book in the mail today, should i just start at the front and work my way though or do you have something in mind I should start with?
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