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Returning after 30 years



 
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GabeJ
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Joined: 05 Nov 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:57 pm    Post subject: Returning after 30 years Reply with quote

Hello
I was re-acquainted with members of my old Drum & Bugle Corps a couple months ago. The horn line is quite small now and could use my help.

They gave me an Ultratone II soprano, and I've been playing long tones etc. building my way back, hoping like others to avoid the high pressure habits of my younger days. For now I'm playing with a practice mute so as not to torture the family. I picked up a Shilke 14A4A like I used 'back in the day', but I find that a Yamaha 9C4 suits me better.

I also grabbed my dad's 1951 King Liberty Bb trumpet. That was my first horn, and the one I played through high school. Its got a medium bore and compared to the bugle, is very restrictive. I figure it is a great training tool for the Drum Corp, like lifting weights. Anybody have any opinions on this point?

I'm excited about playing again. My tone has greatly improved, though I'm called on a bit too early in my come back to support the lead soprano parts.

Deep down I think I'm a frustrated flugelhorn player. I started saving up.



Gabe
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1951 King Liberty Bb
Ultratone II soprano bugle
Long Island Ambassador D&B Corp
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mrhappy
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Joined: 03 Dec 2018
Posts: 371
Location: Port Jackson, NY

PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

welcome to the comeback trail!
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Dayton
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Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 871
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back to trumpet playing! I don't know what your level of accomplishment is now, or was before you stopped playing, so it is difficult to offer useful advice, but here are a few thoughts:

-- Try to find as many opportunities to practice WITHOUT the practice mute as possible.

-- Get some lessons from a good teacher as soon as possible. This will help get you pointed in the right direction and minimize the likelihood of forming bad habits that can limit your progress.

-- Be patient. It will probably take a while to get back into good playing shape. Make sure you've built a strong foundation through good fundamentals and gradually increased practice time before you start thinking about performing again.

-- No specific thoughts on your gear. Whether it is a trumpet or a mouthpiece, I'd say that if it feels good and you can produce a good sound it is probably at least adequate. Once you get a teacher see what he/she thinks.

Have fun!
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GabeJ
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Joined: 05 Nov 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both.

I was remarkably average, or less so when I stopped. The music I played wasn't very demanding or refined. Not very much range above the staff. Good tone though.

Forgive my ignorance of this site, but is there some resource to find a 'good' teacher? I was a horn teacher at a local music store when I was just out of high school.... that's not what I'm looking for.

Gabe
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1951 King Liberty Bb
Ultratone II soprano bugle
Long Island Ambassador D&B Corp
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TrumpetMD
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Joined: 22 Oct 2008
Posts: 1976
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Returning after 30 years Reply with quote

GabeJ wrote:
Deep down I think I'm a frustrated flugelhorn player. I started saving up.

We're all frustrated flugelhorn players.

Welcome back. Lots of comeback players, including myself. I'm a music school dropout, who started college as a music major, but ended up going in a different direction. After a 20-year layoff, I picked up the trumpet again about 10 years ago. Nowadays I play in a jazz trio, with about 3-4 gigs a month. Like many things in life, playing the trumpet is uniquely rewarding the second time around.

Mike
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Bach Stradivarius 43* Trumpet (1974), Bach 6C Mouthpiece.
Olds L-12 Flugelhorn (1969), Yamaha 13F4 Mouthpiece.
Plus a few other Bach, Getzen, Olds, Carol, HN White, and Besson horns.
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Zenith
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Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back to the wonderful world of trumpet!

I echo what was pointed out already. Try to practice without the practice mute. It is completely different with the mute on. The resistance is different and the required wind power etc for each note will be different as a result. You will be training yourself to a different set of coordination required compared to 'normal' trumpet playing. Do you have a car? Practicing in it is one option.

As for teacher, go find the best that you can afford in your area. Build a solid foundation is more important than anything else at your current stage. Another option is to have Skype lessons. There are extremely good teachers around who do Skype lessons. Do a quick search here and you will find them.

If having a teacher is not an option, I suggest you take a look at Bill Knevitt's books. I bought mine at qpress.ca (no affiliation). He has books for different levels of players (beginners, intermediate, and pro/advanced). And the lessons are well structured so you can do it at home on your own, provided that you basic playing mechanism is correct to start with (don't place your mouthpiece too low! Many suggest 2/3 upper lips 1/3 lower lips). Judging from what you said about your range, his "Developing Trumpet Player" may be right for you.

Enjoy!
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jhatpro
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Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9377
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back!

To recondition yourself:

Limit your play to as many ten minute sessions as you can fit into your day.

Invest in a Yamaha Silent Brass system to utilize late night hours.

Play everything slow and soft.

Mix drills with tunes.

Join some bands.
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Jim Hatfield

"Music is not notes. Music is what notes do." David McGill
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GabeJ
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Joined: 05 Nov 2019
Posts: 4
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the replies. My apologies for not following up sooner, but I'm adjusting to a new job and a return to commuting.

Practicing is infrequent, but is done without the mute as suggested. My son gave me a complement the other day, so at least I'm not causing people's ears to bleed.

There are 2 problems I'm trying to resolve. I think both are related to my bottom lip.

Occasionally it sounds like there is water in the horn when there is not. I'm guessing that my embouchure is a bit too relaxed? This happens mid/ low range, and resolves higher in the staff.

The second involves articulation. It feels like my bottom lip rolls in, and the tip of my tongue is hitting that. If I try a Charlie Porter embouchure setup, both my tone and range suffer greatly.

Lessons are out of the question for a while at least, so I'm hoping I'll gain more control with more frequent practicing.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Gabe
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1951 King Liberty Bb
Ultratone II soprano bugle
Long Island Ambassador D&B Corp
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scarface
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Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 1805

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GabeJ wrote:
Thank you all for the replies. My apologies for not following up sooner, but I'm adjusting to a new job and a return to commuting.

Practicing is infrequent, but is done without the mute as suggested. My son gave me a complement the other day, so at least I'm not causing people's ears to bleed.

There are 2 problems I'm trying to resolve. I think both are related to my bottom lip.

Occasionally it sounds like there is water in the horn when there is not. I'm guessing that my embouchure is a bit too relaxed? This happens mid/ low range, and resolves higher in the staff.

The second involves articulation. It feels like my bottom lip rolls in, and the tip of my tongue is hitting that. If I try a Charlie Porter embouchure setup, both my tone and range suffer greatly.

Lessons are out of the question for a while at least, so I'm hoping I'll gain more control with more frequent practicing.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Gabe


Welcome back. I’m familiar with what I call the beginner’s warble in the low reg, and a couple of ideas come to mind:

1. Consider doing an exercise like Caruso 6 Notes, but descending instead of ascending. It should help get rid of that warble (worked for me), and lets your chops to find a solution on their own.

2. That said, here is a quick minor tweak that may help, from two great players in major orchestras: Try bringing your lower lip toward the center as you descend. Should feel similar to when you ascend, and is the difference in feel between saying da and do.

Articulation: Breathing thru the nose before articulating may help, as an exercise. Once you find the sound/sweet spot for the articulation you want, do a nose breath and repeat it, again thinking do or du. Maybe experiment with different release points in the mouth, and different consonants: du dyu, tu tyu, etc.
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scarface
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Joined: 18 Feb 2004
Posts: 1805

PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished a session and had another idea about the low reg thing. My own sloshy mid and low reg is due to collapsing corners, shocker. Can be fixed by relating/transferring the closeness of an upward half step to any downward interval, ala Stamp. A half or whole step trill up establishes the feel for the downward slur without you having to think about firming or tightening your corners. Helped me tonight at least.
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jsieverdes
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Joined: 14 Jan 2020
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is probably discussed in other places, but as a comeback player, Dad, teacher (not music), I am so busy. I can play a little bit every other day, and am part of a jazz combo at a college one day a week. Skills are improving but I do find my lips are sometimes unpredictable. Maybe I'm trying to apply too much pressure or squeeze my lips too hard, but sometimes my lips are sore the next time I practice. I'm settled on a Curry 3C/3M mouthpiece after a 2 year hunt and ready to build some endurance. How does one really incorporate straw or pencil exercises say in your daily commute to work or something like that. I swear if I buzz my mouthpiece in the car, it looks like I'm vaping in the car, Ha! What would be a good routine (seconds hold..rest periods, reps). Thanks all.
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jhatpro
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Joined: 17 Mar 2002
Posts: 9377
Location: Chicago area

PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’d be careful about trumpet-related exercises while driving. Buzziing with or without a mouthpiece can lead to dizziness or momentary blackouts. The safest drill and just as useful while you are behind the wheel are lip crunches: form your embouchure, squeeze, hold and repeat.
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Jim Hatfield

"Music is not notes. Music is what notes do." David McGill
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Bill_Bumps
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Joined: 07 May 2019
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zenith wrote:


I echo what was pointed out already. Try to practice without the practice mute. It is completely different with the mute on. The resistance is different and the required wind power etc for each note will be different as a result. You will be training yourself to a different set of coordination required compared to 'normal' trumpet playing.


I agree all the way. Years ago, when we lived in an apartment, I practiced with a mute -- for obvious reasons. We're living in a house now, and I quickly discovered that playing with an open horn is drastically different.

I wear shooter's earmuffs to save my own ears when I play in the basement.
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