Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis
The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8
Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson
Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.
By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!
I have been watching this thread for a while and while there is a lot of great advice and in principle, all of the symptoms addressed, I believe that there is a much bigger picture here.
We have someone talking about depression - something very serious if true. I don't believe that it is depression, rather discouragement but still a sign of bad general strategy. If we give up early, we shouldn't be playing trumpet. This is a behaviour that shows up in other facets of life however. If we get easily discouraged, we need to develop a different approach to dealing with difficult things.
In this case, we after 70 posts have a piece of information that should have been asked for at the very beginning. Broazny has no real daily routine and can't even buzz. This means the source of frustration is simply missing basics. No buzz means a couple of things, breathing sucks, too much tension in the face, I'll bet there are body use issues too, but most of all, there is a teacher not paying attention (or a teacher that really doesn't know enough about basic brass playing).
My recommendation has been posted hundreds if not thousands of times here. We start with inhale and exhale. Don't hold the air in between the two. Try and get a relaxed inhale and then immediately exhale without PUSHING the air out. I call it circle of breath because inhale and exhale are a never ending process. Once we have that big relaxed inhale and smooth transition to exhale, we replace exhale with playing long tones (without force, the natural exhale airflow determines the loudness). The longtones should be exhaled - no tonguing, no breath attack. Once this works, we exhale easy lipslurs.
It can take as much as 4 weeks to get breathing sorted out and I firmly believe that we should not advance to other stuff until we get BREATHING firmly anchored in our daily routine.
I agree with MSEN, if we are practicing stuff good for us every day, we cannot help but get better. Mostly the improvements are small steps and a good teacher keeps track to document improvement until the student starts to see the changes themselves. It is also true that a poor or helpless teacher often is more in the way than of help, but even this we can see if we are dedicated to process.
This is the reason that I posted in this thread. LIFE IS PROCESS. We generally need strategies to learn things and improve. Some things seem easy and we improve in big steps, only to discover later in life that it would have been beneficial to have slowed down and paid more attention to details. My suggestion to Broazny is to slow down. Search on my circle of breath, spend some time with it. Get a daily routine of breathing, longtones and lipslurs. These are for MAINTENANCE, kind of like a shower, breakfast and getting dressed in the morning - doesn't make us better, rather sets the mood in a positive way for the rest of the day.
My next recommendation is to learn to use the right words. Depression got attention here, so one would be inclined to use it again. Crying wolf does not work repeatedly and it definitely slows progress down as we can see here.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
I would like to add that playing/practicing trumpet helped me during times of depression while doing extensive chemotherapy over the years. Even when in the hospital and too weak to hold up my regular trumpet I used my pocket trumpet and a whisper mute that I could prop up using my elbows in bet. Probably the only "normal" thing I could do during these times. Even though I could not play well dong some simple Clarke studies etc. helped me keep a grip on reality and gave me solace that I could still do something like my old self. Playing my horn helped immensely to fight off depression.
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