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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Range disappeared ??? in the General forums; so last week or so. i was practicing my trumpet, and i felt all warmed up so i decided to ...
  1. #1
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    Aug 2009

    Range disappeared ???

    so last week or so. i was practicing my trumpet, and i felt all warmed up so i decided to get combatable with my range,
    i went from low C to high C fairly easily, then i tried again and again and i kept getting it.
    I even got the high E above that with nice tone.
    and for everyday i practiced i got it
    (by the way i practice 6 times a week for about and hour)
    so i practiced my 6 days and took the 7 off, to rest.
    BUT the week after that, i couldn't get it at all again. like i tried blowing but it would come.
    few weeks later i got the high C again.But now week after that its gone, and now im stuck with that dilemma again.

    what should I do, or what's going on?
    I have good practice habits, I practice our of Arbans (pages recommended by my professional trumpet teacher)
    Last edited by daniel025; 08-24-2009 at 09:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Forte User bagmangood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Bostonish & San Francisco

    Re: Range disappeared ???

    it means that you're probably either very much on the right track, or there is a problem not answerable over the internet :)
    Since you have a teacher, if you're really worried, ask him/her
    Bb: Courtois 305 "Elite", Holton Al Hirt Special (~1966), Benge 3x with Upturned bell (1973)
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    Picc: Selmer Paris, ~1971

  3. #3
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    Re: Range disappeared ???

    Quote Originally Posted by bagmangood View Post
    it means that you're probably either very much on the right track, or there is a problem not answerable over the internet :)
    Since you have a teacher, if you're really worried, ask him/her
    haha you think ? :) i heard of something called
    "being on the plateau" and your just stuck in that phase and eventually break out of it and you can see yourself improving and hearing the difference

    i never really understood it :P
    but ya maybe im just stuck, and i should keep going

    thank you.

    any other possible reasons ?

  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Range disappeared ???

    You got lucky for a day and wonder why?

    Like I have often posted, success is measured in months and years not hours, days or weeks.

    If you had a good day, that could mean that you didn't beat yourself up days beforehand, were especially relaxed, rested, or one or more of hundreds of other things.

    Go back to your standard routine. Be happy when a special day comes, realizing that there is no free lunch and after the first couple of years of playing, no miraculous steps forward, only rewards for work well done!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  5. #5
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    Re: Range disappeared ???

    One of four things could have happened.
    1. You had a good day (like Rowuk suggested)
    2. You had a bad day afterwards
    3. You may have placed your lips differently on the day you got up to the F and forgotten how you did it (forgot your embouchure).
    4. There's something wrong with your trumpet
    If it isn't any of those... I have no idea

  6. #6
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    Jul 2008

    Re: Range disappeared ???

    One thing that I keep experiencing is that
    the day AFTER one or two days off, my
    lips have gone "lazy".

    ***** Some theoretical reasoning without any proof follows here! *****

    I think that what MAY happen to the lips
    when you take one or two days off COULD be

    * the lips swell off completely, and therefore
    donīt feel the same when you start playing again

    * the tension in the lips, the "lip tonus" goes down,
    and therefore the lips donīt feel the same when you
    start playing again

    When we practise every day, the warmup is ment
    to start blood flowing in our face. This will cause lips
    to expand, to "swell".
    The other kind of lip swelling, the one due to accumulated
    water (I think) partly stays overnight (I think) and keeps
    the lips still a bit swollen the next day.
    Muscle tonus is higher in muscles that are in use. One or
    two days off maybe means a decrease in muscle tonus.

    So, when we practise every day, all we have to do is to
    warm up in order to once again recognize our lips, but
    after a couple of days off, we have to both warm up
    AND get our swelling back AND get our tonus back
    in order to recogize our lips again.

    ***** End of theoretical guesswork! **************

    What I do know is this: in MY case, my lips feel a bit differently
    after one or two days off. The first day after resting I therefore
    always take extra good care of them, warm them up extra carefully,
    do not try to beat any records (high notes or others) etc.
    If I do things this way, the second day and forward my lips feel just

    Maybe you were too quick on proving that your high notes still would
    come, already on the first day?

    To everybody reading this: Please give me feedback on my
    Last edited by Sofus; 08-25-2009 at 02:49 AM.

  7. #7
    Forte User NickD's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    Chicago northern suburbs

    Re: Range disappeared ???

    Great thoughts, all. I would only add this. When you have one of those good days, you have to be alert. You have to internalize the feel and form of what you are doing. This stuff is as repeatable as a perfect golf swing, but you have to know what you are doing so luck is totally removed from the picture.

    As to practicing after time off...

    I just took ten days off the trumpet for a family vacation. Upon returning, I simply did my regular routine - three and a half hours minimum - but very thoughtfully. I also stick to a big part of my routine: SOFT playing. I resisted any temptation to stray from that.

    I got back Wednesday and didn't have time to play (got home late). I did this on Thursday and went to a clinic and played OK - fingers felt a bit sloppy but the chops were pretty solid. Then I did it again on Friday and went to a gig. Everything was just fine.

    I try not to think about swollen lips or stuff like that. However, if I sense this coming on, I put the horn down. Sorry Sofus, that's all I've got.



  8. #8
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    Re: Range disappeared ???

    Sorry Sofus, that's all I've got.
    Your answers have always been good enough for me so far, Nick!
    Youīre a player with real info to give, and you do it most generously!

  9. #9
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    Jul 2009
    New Hampshire

    Re: Range disappeared ???

    Remember also that most of the trumpet sound is the result of the breathing and not quite as much of the lips as we often think it is. One very important part of Nick's advice is worth repeating -- soft playing. Another area to work on is low playing -- not necessarily pedal tones, but music from the middle part of the staff on down.

    Keep in mind that progress on a musical instrument is seldom linear -- you will have peaks and you will have valleys. Persevere through them all and what you'll notice is that even though you will always have peaks and valleys, the valleys eventually are higher than your peaks used to be, and the peaks keep on getting higher and higher. But it happens over time -- not a month, not a year, but over many years, and it's often so gradual that we don't notice it and we get frustrated by the valleys in comparison to how great we feel at the peaks.

    What really is gratifying is when someone who hasn't heard you for a while says "Wow, you've really improved! You sound terrific!" and you think you were having an off-day.

    Make your 6-day practice week into a 7-day practice week, and make your 1-hour practice times into 2 or 3 hour practice times (not necessarily all at once) and you'll really notice more rapid progress and more consistency in your playing (not as much difference between the peaks and the valleys.)

  10. #10
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    Re: Range disappeared ???

    I am consistently inconsistent. I am not a professional, and only do one gig a year (alumni band) but I tend to practice just enough to not loose too much.

    My career/family/convienent excuse only allows me an every other day for 30-45 minutes.

    Of which I concentrate on technique, flexibility, sight reading, pedal tones... Things that try to maintain a constant loss of greatness

    To the OP I say don't fret, keep at it. Range isn't everything...
    (Yes - I have the dreaded 'n+1' virus) -ComeBackKid

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