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Tone and range suddenly disappeared


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IToles
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:53 am    Post subject: Tone and range suddenly disappeared Reply with quote

I'm a sophomore in high school and have played trumpet for the past 4 years. My range usually extends to a D above high C. Around a month ago, I switched from a 7C mouthpiece to a 7EW. At first, it worked fine and was helping me. However, recently my range and tone have suddenly disappeared. Over the past two weeks, my range has fallen off and now I can't play above an F (on the top line of the staff) without sounding absolutely horrible. This is a huge problem because right now my band is in marching season, and I play first part (The majority of my part is right around an F or higher). My tone also has taken a turn for the worst and now all of my playing sounds extremely pinched and forced, even though I'm not pinching. What happened and how do I fix this?!?! In the past, I have had mouthpiece changes, but they have never affected me the way this has (If the mouthpiece change is even the problem). How do I fix this?!
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Switch back to the 7C for three days, and see what happens. Do not keep "trying out" the other mouthpiece to see if it now works. Stay on the 7C.

It is a simple test you can do to remove a variable.

If it doesn't help, I'm sure that plenty of other types of advice will follow.

Jeff
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Don Herman rev2
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teacher?

Any pain or discomfort?

You could try a 7E, without the wider cushion rim.

My guess is it is not the mouthpiece, just over-doing it followed by anxiety making it even worse. You did it before, you can do it again, just a matter of getting it all under control again. Soft easy playing in the low and middle register to re-establish control and tone, getting the sound in your mind and playing to it, and gradually working up your range and dynamics would be where I would start. Take a deep breath and start over; chances are in a short time (hour, day or two) you'll be back where you were. Just don't freak out and make things worse.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trumpet is a complex instrument to play. There are a lot of things that can go wrong and it can be very difficult to isolate exactly what is going wrong on the basis of bad results because different errors can create similar bad results.

I suggest that you try practicing at an extremely low sound volume. It's a lot easier to self diagnose a problem on trumpet when you're not forcing things and can easily produce a sound on which you can focus. In other words, the less effort you expend on producing the sound the more effort you can expend on focusing on the problem, where it develops, how it develops, etc.

There's no guarantee that a teacher can diagnose the problem and prescribe a solution. Some teachers can. Some teachers can't. It depends on whether and to what extent the particular teacher has experience diagnosing and solving the specific problem(s) you have. It can be very difficult for an observer to correctly diagnose and solve a problem like the problem you're describing because the teacher can't specifically measure what you're doing. The teacher can only watch and listen and form an opinion. Diagnosing and solving problems like this can be very hit and miss. It can be very frustrating.
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:17 am    Post subject: tone and range suddenly disappeared Reply with quote

Go back to the 7c for a month and see if it comes back, (your tone and range to where it used to be). Then, if you haven't returned to your original get with a competent teacher. I have played on and sometimes off for 59 years and discovered that I could develop my range equally well with a deeper mouthpiece if I was willing to to the work on lip flexibilities and range studies themselves. And your richer tone will come with a deeper mpc. I have used two different Jettone mpcs. A V-cup and an MF model back in the 70s and 80s just to see what they were like. I would always stick with my Back 1c. The other people on here had great tips too. Good Luck. It is all part of the experience.
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KRELL1960
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:08 am    Post subject: Re: Tone and range suddenly disappeared Reply with quote

IToles wrote:
I'm a sophomore in high school and have played trumpet for the past 4 years. My range usually extends to a D above high C. Around a month ago, I switched from a 7C mouthpiece to a 7EW. At first, it worked fine and was helping me. However, recently my range and tone have suddenly disappeared. Over the past two weeks, my range has fallen off and now I can't play above an F (on the top line of the staff) without sounding absolutely horrible. This is a huge problem because right now my band is in marching season, and I play first part (The majority of my part is right around an F or higher). My tone also has taken a turn for the worst and now all of my playing sounds extremely pinched and forced, even though I'm not pinching. What happened and how do I fix this?!?! In the past, I have had mouthpiece changes, but they have never affected me the way this has (If the mouthpiece change is even the problem). How do I fix this?!


Sounds like over-use to me too, it has happened to me, made a mouthpiece switch that gave great initial results and i went bananas blasting out high notes like a machine until i hurt myself. Block buzzing help me get my focus back. If your not sure what that is Google it. You'll find a website that talks about embouchure rehab. lots of good stuff on the site.
But one other thing to check is to make sure your mouthpiece and trumpet don't have any obstructions in them. I actually had some fluff from the trumpet case get inside one of my mouthpieces and i got some bizarre results. Couldn't play above the staff, but in the staff i was fine. i never thought to look down the hole to see if there was something in it. Now i keep mouthpiece brushes in all my pieces so that can't happen again.
I would listen to the others as well about going back to your regular piece, or at least the 7E, the i have an EW and its so different from the 7C rim.
You'll figure it out, its frustrating but some common sense will help you work through it. You might also want to try lead pipe buzzing the bill Adam way, its a great way to relax those tired chops and get the blood flow going again so they can recover.

good luck,

tom
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe controversial but: If I had a student who was playing a 7EW for their regular mouthpiece in high school, I would promptly switch them to something conducive to development.

7EW is a very specific mouthpiece (usually reserved for piccolo trumpet due to it's large backbore and shallow cup). If you were a lead player, there are a number of high efficiency mouthpieces that you could develop on. Again, 7EW is not one of them.

Go back to the 7C and take time to just play in a comfortable range with a comfortable dynamic and lots of breaks. Focus on making the best sound you can, not the highest sound. Don't freak out about it. It'll come back.

Good luck, and get a teacher if you're serious about improvement.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use the 7C
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Christian K. Peters
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:25 am    Post subject: Tone and range Reply with quote

Hello IToles,
Welcome to the TH. Sometimes when you drastically change equipment, you have to change the way you approach that equipment. Air speed, pressure and embouchure have to be addressed when going to extremes. Sometimes, there just is not a silver bullet. The others are correct...Go back to the 7C. Get your tone and range back to normal and then consider a slightly shallower piece, not to the E extreme. I, for one, can't tolerate a super shallow mouthpiece on Bb.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bach 7Cs have, to me, somewhat of a bite and I don't like them. However, a Schilke 11 is roughly the same size but with a more comfortable rim. You might want to give that a try and I don't think that particularly conflicts with the 7C advice above.
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connicalman
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re-teach your chops using the 7C.
Other responses have included this advice.
How to do that?
Don't try too hard, rest as much as you play, reestablish flexibility and endurance, THEN reach for that D. It will be there, waiting for you.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's frequently a honeymoon period with shallower pieces like the 7E, but it doesn't always last. I'd go for something less drastic, maybe a 7D.

That said you'd probably do well to first return to your familiar setup for a while until things settle down before further experimentation.
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swthiel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As others have suggested, I'd recommend going back to the 7C -- you know you can make that work. As Jeff suggested, I'd recommend playing exclusively on the 7C until things are working they way they did before the mouthpiece change.
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TrumpetMD
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:
Switch back to the 7C for three days....
Good advice.
blbaumgarn wrote:
Go back to the 7c for a month....
Better advice.

My advice ... super-glue that 7C to your trumpet, and resist the temptation to change it ever again.

More seriously ... sorry to hear about your issues. It sounds like the increased playing demands of marching band season, combined with a mouthpiece change, were too much at one time. Go back to the 7C for now, back off on your playing, seek the advice of your teacher (if you have one).

Mike
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I doubt that this is a mouthpiece issue. The OP says that the 7EW was working fine and was helping. What changed? Certainly it wasn't the mouthpiece (unless it somehow suddenly got obstructed).

Problems like this virtually always involve some fundamental change made by the player. If the OP goes back to his 7C but doesn't make any fundamental changes I would expect him to continue to have the problems he reports.

It would be unrealistic to expect a mouthpiece change to correct severe issues like those reported by the OP, especially when the player had experienced success on the prior mouthpiece before the problems arose.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: Tone and range suddenly disappeared Reply with quote

IToles wrote:
This is a huge problem because right now my band is in marching season, and I play first part (The majority of my part is right around an F or higher . . .

I might have missed it above, but I wonder if there's not an ancillary problem from playing first in marching band, as well.

Are you overblowing, beating your chops a little too much during marching, and other problems that potentially come from marching band?

Maybe you need to lay back a little, don't use too much pressure on your chops as you move around, and, psychologically, be aware of tension to your playing by putting too much on yourself because of your position.
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TrumpetMD
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Tone and range suddenly disappeared Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
IToles wrote:
This is a huge problem because right now my band is in marching season, and I play first part (The majority of my part is right around an F or higher . . .

I might have missed it above, but I wonder if there's not an ancillary problem from playing first in marching band, as well.

Yep ... new mouthpiece combined with marching band season.

Mike
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Tone and range suddenly disappeared Reply with quote

TrumpetMD wrote:
kehaulani wrote:
IToles wrote:
This is a huge problem because right now my band is in marching season, and I play first part (The majority of my part is right around an F or higher . . .

I might have missed it above, but I wonder if there's not an ancillary problem from playing first in marching band, as well.

Yep ... new mouthpiece combined with marching band season.

Mike


...where standard operating procedures technically get thrown out the window at times or most times.
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI wrote:
I doubt that this is a mouthpiece issue. The OP says that the 7EW was working fine and was helping. What changed? Certainly it wasn't the mouthpiece (unless it somehow suddenly got obstructed).

Problems like this virtually always involve some fundamental change made by the player. If the OP goes back to his 7C but doesn't make any fundamental changes I would expect him to continue to have the problems he reports.

It would be unrealistic to expect a mouthpiece change to correct severe issues like those reported by the OP, especially when the player had experienced success on the prior mouthpiece before the problems arose.


Alright.

If you play perfectly, aka fundamentally great, then you can manage to play an inefficient mouthpiece fine enough.

If you play fundamentally imperfectly, sometimes your equipment can actually help put you "in-line" a bit. If you play imperfectly and you switch to more imperfect equipment, then your imperfectness tends to compound and you get more and more out of sync with the system (unless you can continue to keep up the same amount of imperfectness which he managed to do for just shy of a month).

A 7EW would GREATLY hinder fundamental progress as it is a very inefficient mouthpiece for the vast majority of Bb needs. There's currently a 14A4a thread where trumpetherald basically hanged the OP for suggesting it, and that's a significantly more balanced mouthpiece for Bb trumpet than the 7EW. If anything this kid should switch to a 14A4a before staying on the 7EW!

Change to the 7C and get a teacher. And do what kehaulani said the second time.
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

abontrumpet wrote:
HERMOKIWI wrote:
I doubt that this is a mouthpiece issue. The OP says that the 7EW was working fine and was helping. What changed? Certainly it wasn't the mouthpiece (unless it somehow suddenly got obstructed).

Problems like this virtually always involve some fundamental change made by the player. If the OP goes back to his 7C but doesn't make any fundamental changes I would expect him to continue to have the problems he reports.

It would be unrealistic to expect a mouthpiece change to correct severe issues like those reported by the OP, especially when the player had experienced success on the prior mouthpiece before the problems arose.


Alright.

If you play perfectly, aka fundamentally great, then you can manage to play an inefficient mouthpiece fine enough.

If you play fundamentally imperfectly, sometimes your equipment can actually help put you "in-line" a bit. If you play imperfectly and you switch to more imperfect equipment, then your imperfectness tends to compound and you get more and more out of sync with the system (unless you can continue to keep up the same amount of imperfectness which he managed to do for just shy of a month).

A 7EW would GREATLY hinder fundamental progress as it is a very inefficient mouthpiece for the vast majority of Bb needs. There's currently a 14A4a thread where trumpetherald basically hanged the OP for suggesting it, and that's a significantly more balanced mouthpiece for Bb trumpet than the 7EW. If anything this kid should switch to a 14A4a before staying on the 7EW!

Change to the 7C and get a teacher. And do what kehaulani said the second time.


Never mention 14A4a, again.
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