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Need to rebuild my lip? Or throw it out?



 
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Daveinapril
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Joined: 06 Mar 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Need to rebuild my lip? Or throw it out? Reply with quote

Many years ago, I was a class A trumpet player. 1st chair in high school, college stage band, and even played it while working as a weekend warrior in a rock band (along with playing guitar). I stopped the weekend warrior gigs in the mid 90's. I teach guitar, and have been asked to play trumpet in a worship band.

So I got my trumpet out, had it serviced, and thought I'd spend some time getting my lip back into shape. WHAT HAPPENED! I can't even get a sound out of it. I've had the horn serviced, so nothing wrong there. I even got another mouthpiece, a beginners, thinking my 15c was just too small.

Is it my 50+ year old lips just can't do it any longer? Any suggestions on how I can get my lip back in shape? I can squeal out some pitiful high notes, but nothing solid. I can't even get a middle C out of it.

Any advice would be helpful.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barring any lip damage or changes in your teeth, I wouldn't think there's any reason you can't get your chops back. I came back from a decade-long hiatus and I play better know than ever. Start slow, maybe just gentle mouthpiece buzzing until that comes easily.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go back to basics. Get out the Arban's book, start at the beginning - low C whole notes and that kind of thing, and rebuild your foundation first. Depending on how long you've been away from it, you might have to rebuild everything.
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Croquethed
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now is when we learn patience.
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Winghorn
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure the service person did not accidentially put a valve in backwards.

Unless your statement that you can't even get a note out is just hyperbole.

Good luck.

Steve
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless the horn is plugged up (such as if a valve is backwards) it seems impossible that a player with your experience couldn't play a middle C on the horn even after laying off for many years. If you learn to play the trumpet, lay off and then come back it should be like riding a bicycle after not having ridden one for many years: The basics should still be there, you don't forget how to do it at least at some basic level. So, if you can't do it at all maybe the problem is that the trumpet (or bicycle) isn't in working condition. That would seem to be the most logical explanation.

Try buzzing on just the mouthpiece. If you can't do that then I guess you forgot how to play trumpet at even a basic level.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the speculation that there's an equipment problem. A long layoff certainly will set you way back, but unable to produce any sound? Something is not making sense here.

Brad
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:30 am    Post subject: Re: Need to rebuild my lip? Or throw it out? Reply with quote

Daveinapril wrote:
Many years ago, I was a class A trumpet player. 1st chair in high school, college stage band, and even played it while working as a weekend warrior in a rock band (along with playing guitar). I stopped the weekend warrior gigs in the mid 90's. I teach guitar, and have been asked to play trumpet in a worship band.

So I got my trumpet out, had it serviced, and thought I'd spend some time getting my lip back into shape. WHAT HAPPENED! I can't even get a sound out of it. I've had the horn serviced, so nothing wrong there. I even got another mouthpiece, a beginners, thinking my 15c was just too small.

Is it my 50+ year old lips just can't do it any longer? Any suggestions on how I can get my lip back in shape? I can squeal out some pitiful high notes, but nothing solid. I can't even get a middle C out of it.

Any advice would be helpful.



I can safely state age has nothing to do with this. IŽll be 75 end of this year and I have never played better. No long break like yours but recovered from chops-breakdown couple of years ago. Besides pro who gave me 18 lessons (first in my life) nothing, ever, has helped me so much as the BE -method. Try it. I feel people seem to be sceptical around here but ---- I am not an easily `convincableŽ person but this method!!! Kinda re-inventing yourself!
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came back last year after a 50 year sabbatical and just barely played a G, A and B the first day. Keep at it. You'll be surprised how fast it can come back. Within 6 months I was playing with a community band...and I will be 81 in July. I feel I am a smarter player than I was in my teens and twenties, but I don't have the 2 hours or so endurance I had back then. But that's okay. I have nothing to prove.
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Need to rebuild my lip? Or throw it out? Reply with quote

Daveinapril wrote:
Many years ago, I was a class A trumpet player. 1st chair in high school, college stage band, and even played it while working as a weekend warrior in a rock band (along with playing guitar). I stopped the weekend warrior gigs in the mid 90's. I teach guitar, and have been asked to play trumpet in a worship band.

So I got my trumpet out, had it serviced, and thought I'd spend some time getting my lip back into shape. WHAT HAPPENED! I can't even get a sound out of it. I've had the horn serviced, so nothing wrong there. I even got another mouthpiece, a beginners, thinking my 15c was just too small.

Is it my 50+ year old lips just can't do it any longer? Any suggestions on how I can get my lip back in shape? I can squeal out some pitiful high notes, but nothing solid. I can't even get a middle C out of it.

Any advice would be helpful.



Sounds like a classic case of over trained chops.

First of all take note that this is only a temporary condition. I would bet 500 bucks that Dave hers comeback way too fast. Always set reasonable expectations. Your lips are made of steel. While they're very hardy they do not respond well to being over taxed.

And while I am a major champion of practicing the upper register a lot? Instead lets have you cool it on the high notes for at least two weeks.

What Dave has forgotten is that his original development happened over at least some 4 years of high school and college trumpet playing. With a minimum of one daily rehearsal. So to expect that he get himself back in top shape immediately is like a crash diet trying to lose a hundred pounds in a week. These are called "crash diets" for a reason. They always crash & fail.

Instead he should start all over. Even take a couple days off right now. Just to get the kinks and charlie horsed cramps out of his chops. Then on the first day back? Play middle and lower register long tones for five minutes. Then quit for the day. In fact lets draw up a schedule. Take the weekend off. No trumpet playing or isometrics. Nothing. Period.

Monday: Start. Play 5 minutes only! Just middle and lower register long tones.
Tuesday: do not play at all
Wed: play 15 minutes of middle and lower register long tones.
Thurs: do not play.
Friday: 20 to 30 mins of easy exercises, some tonguing etc. No high notes.
Weekend. Take one day off again and repeat Fri schedule.

2nd week: repeat Friday schedule. No high notes.
3rd week. Play between 30 mins to an hour every day. Gradually work in some arpeggios to High C and D. Take a couple days off between heavy days.

About a month ago I started the above practice schedule. But started working out in a rehearsal band by the second week. Finally 4 weeks later I'm able to blow a solid B natural just below double C but get this,

With the trumpet laying only on the palm of my land!! Just like the Roy Stevens model. The above recommendations work. They really do but require patience.)
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Craig Swartz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blow through your embouchure and quit trying to "buzz" your lips as you play.
(Hey, without seeing you it's as good as anything else anyone's written...)
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Need to rebuild my lip? Or throw it out? Reply with quote

Daveinapril wrote:
WHAT HAPPENED! I can't even get a sound out of it. I've had the horn serviced, so nothing wrong there. I even got another mouthpiece, a beginners, thinking my 15c was just too small.


First of all: welcome to TH! I think every response so far has some merit, but I think there's more stuff you need. First of all, I concur with the idea that there's probably a mechanical issue such as a valve in backwards. Can somebody else play it?

Next, 15C is not anything I recognize, but the notion that you should play a mouthpiece that is BIGGER than what you used to play? Sounds all wrong to me. You might possibly benefit from something of a similar rim size but shallower cup until you build up strength, but your old mpc should suit you just fine even if it is not ideal for you now. We have many threads discussing the ills that come from playing a mouthpiece that's too big for us, even if it does sound nice at first.

Once you have horn and mpc., I would encourage you to just put your lips together and blow. See what happens. Whatever note you get is "the right note," and sustain that to the very end of your breath, and beyond. That might happen to be a high note btw, and that's fine. Deliberately build up air power, by using those blowing muscles! Trumpet is a wind instrument, first and foremost.

Take all the time you need to get each and every note you play to sound as good as you can get it. If at all possible, start with a teacher to make sure your playing mechanics don't start wrong. Take those first few steps correctly and you'll be rewarded!

I did start back after 15+ years off the horn by playing in Church, 2 services per Sunday with a rehearsal beforehand, no practicing during the week. High F's and G's firs time out. I'm not a fan of the notion that it takes forever to build up the muscles to play. If the mechanics are right, the system will work. Endurance is largely a matter of technique. Tone is what really takes practice, and requires refinement!

Lionel wrote:


Sounds like a classic case of over trained chops.


Lionel I'm sure you mean well, and your story is fascinating; but how do 'over trained chops' happen to someone who hasn't played a note?
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