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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Resetting and more problems in the General forums; Hi, I recently switched teachers, as my old teacher moved away. However, there is a big problem now, because the ...
  1. #1
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    Mar 2009

    Unhappy Resetting and more problems

    Hi, I recently switched teachers, as my old teacher moved away. However, there is a big problem now, because the techniques my old teach taught don't agree with the new teacher. One of the biggest problems is resetting. My old teacher got me into a habit of resetting the mouthpiece whenever possible. Even before, I thought this wasn't exactly right, but because me teacher explained, how it would help tone and range I did it. Now, my new teacher says it's bad, but I can barely play a few lines without having to reset. I think it is because I have always played with moderately moist lips, when I reset, I clean off the extra accumulated moisture and play again. If I play continuously, moisture builds on my lips, and the mouthpiece slides and my lips are having a hard time staying together or keeping still. What should I do?

    Also, my range is still the same. Since I started trumpet three years ago, the first year, my range expanded up to a g on the top of the staff, then it just stopped. Over two years, I have gone to three teachers, and each hasn't been able to help me with it. The first told me that I wasn't practicing range, so he gave me long tones and other exercises. I had worked on them for a couple of months and it was the same: some days, I could get around g and work up a few notes, other days I could barely play a good c or d. The next teacher, told me it was because of braces, however, I had stopped improving five months before I got braces. He was the one that told me to reset. What he did was tell me to keep a good embrochure and practice being consistent with my setting and air. My current teacher, has been also saying it is beacause of braces, but he is more concerned with air and breathing.

    I have also problems with tone quality, and tonguing. At the top of my range (above a c third space), I have a lot of trouble getting the note out when I tongue. If I slur is, it is fine. My teachers have told me to say tu and ta, but it still doesn't work. The main problem is inconsistency. All these problems show up one day, and another only one, and another day none. I am so frustrated and even have been thinking of quitting. Please help!!

  2. #2
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    I'm not sure what your other teacher was trying to do. But resetting the mpc is a big no no. leads to all kinds of problems. Does your current techer have experience with embouchure problems. This is very fixable with the right guidence. It doesn't sound like any of your teachers know about the mouth guards for trumpet players with braces. I've had many students with braces and with the right approuch it's not a problem. Google Morgan Bumpers and BraceGuard.
    Bob Grier, An Old Pro
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  3. #3
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    Dec 2008

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    Not to sound mean or anything but I'm doubting that you are seriously practicing correctly. I've seen a lot of people blame their teachers when things might not go their way because they may have misinterpreted something. If I were you I would talk to your teacher and ask him about the reasoning behind some of his actions. Because this is a forum we can't tell if you're embouchure is severely limiting you or if you are suffering from other problems.

    From what you wrote I can't criticize on anything the teacher taught wrong. Breathing and air is an important part of trumpet playing and being able to tongue is essential and a basic skill. If consistency is your problem I'm guessing you're either hardly practicing or practicing the wrong way.

    This may seem very critical but there isn't much people can do without actually seeing you play, you should really discuss this with your teacher.
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  4. #4
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    Aug 2009
    New York City

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    Resetting is not the problem, Not really. Resetting badly is the problem. I cannot go into great detail about this idea at the moment, but the basic idea behind all of Carmine Caruso's teaching was that of using good, internally produced tempo (as delineated by a tapped foot) to time in any and all movements of the body that have to do with playing a brass instrument.

    Now...the very first thing that you have to do in order to produce a note is to put the horn on your chops, right?


    Time the motion in.


    Motions, really. You have probably no more than four places where you habitually hold your horn.

    1-Your rest position while sitting.

    2-Your rest position while standing.

    3-Your position when you take the horn off of your chops but you are going to play again in a very short time.

    and of course

    4-How you hold the horn on your face.

    Time in the movements from the first three positions to the desired fourth position...again, positions really, because none of us has only one...on a habitual basis when you are practicing and there y'are. Like magic, the horn glides into its proper place like a spaceship in one of those sci-fi films unerringly landing in the docking area of the mothership.

    Tap your foot, mentally subdivide in some practical subdivision...16th notes at moderate tempi, etc...rinse and repeat a thousand times and there it is. If you want to "'reset" for whatever reasons...fatigue, a slightly diffferent setting for some kind of extreme range or volume (Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and there are different settings, too. Bet on it.) can do so quite accurately and efficiently because you have timed the motion in thoroughly. Refined it and timed it in.

    Need more info?

    Try this article of mine. Carmine Caruso-A Brief Overview.

    Or ask some more here if you are so incllined.

    Good luck...

    Last edited by Sabutin; 08-19-2009 at 08:16 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    Breaking habits once learned is a pain. Your body, brains and ears fight you the whole way.
    Thousands of repetitions are the only way to build new habits. Be patient, practice slowly and softly, breathe deeply, keep tension to a minimum. Lots of soft long tones and slurs.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  6. #6
    Mezzo Piano User lakerjazz's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    I know exactly what you are going through. I used to have the same problem. The notes above a g are much more difficult to reach than anything up to the g or the g itself. Doing only long tones won't help, but combining long tones with a CHALLENGING routine combined with some rest will. If you really want to improve range, make sure that your muscles are tired after you play. Do this 5-6 days per week and let your muscles rest for a day or two. The problem with your tonguing is just a consequence of not being able to play the notes. You are most likely shoving the mouthpiece in your face in an effort to play the notes that you still can't play properly, and as result, your tongue is stuck and has no place to move. Once you develop your muscles, you will lessen the pressure (though it is true that moving up through higher notes requires a slight amount of added pressure per note- this, however, is a very natural and slight change and should not restrict your tongue; right now, you are probably putting too much pressure).

  7. #7
    Forte User
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    Nov 2005

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    I totally agree with rowuk on this one [as I usually do], long soft tones and slurs. whenever I feel my endurance and range start slipping I go back to long tones. I don't even think about playing high notes just 20-30 minutes of long tones every day and my range and endurance returns. I don't know why but it works for me.
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  8. #8
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    Jan 2009
    Clarksburg, WV

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    Too bad about your situation.
    We can learn alot by just watching a person play.
    I would recommend picking up the Rafael Mendez DVD and watch how he plays or the Clark Terry instructional DVD.
    I think the advice given by Sabutin and Rowuk are excellent and worth serious investigation. I also think that finding someone you wish to sound like and watching how they play will help too.
    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Mezzo Forte User
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    Jan 2009

    Re: Resetting and more problems

    Practice the logic of bringing your face to the trumpet, not bringing the trumpet to your face.

    When set, take in air through one corner of the mouth not both, while still maintaining mp set.

    Get used to contradicting instruction from multiple figures of authority. We all deal with this our whole adult lives.

    You're thinking of quiting, you say. Do you mean quitting the practice of the trumpet, or the practice of the music scene altogether?
    Last edited by Bachstul; 08-21-2009 at 10:19 AM.

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