Hello all you trumpeters. I have been utilizing this forum for a while now to gain some insight into my playing, and now I have decided that I need some help of my own. I am a high school player, and have been playing for 4 years now. From the beginning of my playing, I have seemingly had natural facility in having a very clear, open tone, and also in developing a broad range fairly quickly. I could play up to about a high A after my first year of playing, a solid high C and D after 3 years, and now up to a fairly consistent double G and a DHC that I can employ successfully about 40% of the time. My range is not ascribable to using excess pressure nor to any improper methods such as smiling or pinching. The problem is, about two years after beginning to play, the only thing I cared about or even practiced was this high range. I remember being happy that I finally "got it" when in reality I was smiling a ridiculous amount to get these high notes out. At that point, my embouchure completely transforms from a downward pucker form to a smiling form. This allowed me to play high very easily, and very loudly. Frankly, it is necessary for me to play very loud simply because I am the only semi-capable trumpet player in my school band.

But recently, now that I have gotten the Arban's book and begun to really take an interest in my playing, I've noticed that these years of solely practicing high notes has not led to good playing at all. I first noticed that people have described the action of single tonguing as the tongue hitting behind the top teeth. I thought that that was what I was doing. In reality, my tongue is going between my to and bottom teeth when tonguing. My double tonguing is terrible, and non-existent for anything outside the staff. I tried tonguing the proper way, the "tee" with the tongue hitting behind the top teeth, but it feels strange and simply does not work. This explains why tonguing has been difficult for me. Only now that I need to tongue quickly has this become apparent; everything I've played so far is simply melodies. The other main problem is that now I naturally play extremely loud. My mezzo forte is likely your fortissimo. I am unable to play quieter than mf really. I can play ridiculously loud. Another problem: double buzz. I get double buzz nearly anywhere within the staff. Sometimes I play a low C and the pedal C comes out. The sad part is that I had excellent dynamic abilities before I changed. While I couldn't play higher than A or B flat, I could play middle register pieces with unbelievable dynamic control and nuance, and without double buzz and blatty sounds. The double buzz was literally never a problem until I made the embouchure change.

I tried playing the simplest of passages today. I recorded myself to see how I truly sounded from a listener's perspective. I am a terrific sight reader, but my tonguing is so forceful that when I try to tongue softly, I crack all over the place, and get more double buzz the quieter I try to play. I noticed that I sounded unmusical. How do I fix my tonguing if the way I am doing it is the only possible way? How can I learn to play quietly and expressively like I used to? I play on a rather large mouthpiece if that is relevant.
Created by , 11-27-2016 at 12:16 AM
Last comment by namatjira on 02-20-2017 at 08:14 AM
2 Comments, 654 Views

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