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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Setting realistic goals in the General forums; Hi there, I'm currently a junior in high school, and it's getting closer and have been in band since 6th ...
  1. #1
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    Feb 2015

    Setting realistic goals

    Hi there,

    I'm currently a junior in high school, and it's getting closer and have been in band since 6th grade. I've been first chair up until now, mainly due to natural talent. Because of this natural talent, I had really neglected practicing many important aspects of playing, especially range. I've mostly eeked my way through my marching music over the years with an okish A just above the staff. Next year I want to really improve my range and musicality above the staff, so I've been practicing every day for the past month and I've been seeing improvements. I can play a Bb above the staff with good tone when I'm fresh, but then I start to really struggle to play above a G after playing for like 20 mins and have to rely on pressure which I try to avoid like the plague. My practice schedule has been the following mostly:

    5-10 mins long tones in the staff, usually chromatic
    10 mins lip slurs, been trying to do octaves lately but struggling a bit
    10 mins Clarke's
    10 mins Arban's
    20 mins on solo music or jazz improv

    i usually do this twice a day on week days and 3-4 times on weekends with atleast 2 hours of rest in between sessions. I also do the pencil exercise once every 2 days before I go to bed, usually for about 5 mins or so. I can hold the pencil straight for about a minute. Now I know it's a pretty impossible question to ask, but do you guys think that I could get to playing at least a High C range music consistently for an hour or so in six months? My private lessons teacher told me not to focus so much on building range, but it's an area I'm really lacking in. If you guys have any advice or comments it'd be really great.


  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Parts Unknown

    Re: Setting realistic goals

    It should be doable. You've been at it for a month now, and seen a half-tone increase in range; continued practice should get you to your goal. I would consider expanding the Clarke Studies by also playing the Studies up an octave where possible.

    Have fun!
    "A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"
    C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

  3. #3
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Re: Setting realistic goals

    Sorry for the stupid question, but what is the pencil exercise?
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  4. #4
    Pianissimo User PelicansRule's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Re: Setting realistic goals


    You have just completed lesson #1: Setting goals.

    Good work!

    I love Arban's by the way. I have been using it since the 1970's and am using it again today to get back into trumpet-playing after an extended layoff. Just like riding a bike it comes back.

    I am on page 44, lesson 22. I have been through the entire book in my younger days** With my trumpet teacher doling weekly lessons out 5 exercises at a time and remember a lot of the exercises. What fun!

    I would also say that it's about tone. Not range. I saw Chris Botti in concert with the Pittsburgh Pops two weeks ago and he said it is not a force of wind he uses, it's a management of wind pressure. He emphatically said there is a lack of young trumpet players who are willing to do the dull scale-type work to build their embouchure and you should contact him by email! He said he is WANTING to help a young, enthusiastic trumpet aficionado and has marvelous connections. I videoed the whole thing on my phone so I can perhaps send you the Q & A session he did after the concert in Pittsburgh, Friday two weeks ago

    Check into getting a mentor/teacher. I'd start with Chris Botti. have fun
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