• FAQ  • Search  • Memberlist  • Usergroups   • Register   • Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

Late 30s Comebacker

Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Comeback Players
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
New Member

Joined: 14 Feb 2021
Posts: 3
Location: Central PA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:16 am    Post subject: Late 30s Comebacker Reply with quote

Hi everyone, have been lurking for a while but decided to join the community after a long hiatus!

Was pretty serious about trumpet from late high school into college; I started out as a Music Ed major, then quickly realized that wasn't for me. Kept a music minor and stayed in the trumpet studio for all 4 years.

Had a great teacher, played in the brass quintet, college orchestra, church gigs, marching band. I even did a half-recital my senior year. Met my wife marching the Reading Buccaneers DCA corps (1st trumpet) in 2006.

Then marriage and life happened, my horns collected dust for years. I kept all my music, oiled the valves periodically, but didn't start playing again until Covid hit last March.

I'm definitely finding that some things have come back to me pretty quickly... found my sound again pretty fast. But endurance and range seem to be the 2 things I've lost. I guess it's all those cumulative years of playing from 4th grade until I was 22 years old.

I was never an extreme lead-type of player, but had a pretty solid E above high C, and with my time marching a drum corps I could play for hours.

My interests definitely lie on the classical side of things overall, and I'm slowly figuring out what is and isn't working in my routine coming back.

Almost feel like I'm my own worst enemy at times--my motivation and interest is there, but I need to restrain myself from overdoing it and killing my chops every day.

Realized I don't have the embouchure strength/air support anymore for my awesome Curry 3BC on my Bb horn (a 180-72LR) that sounded so great all through my college years. It sounds great on my old Yamaha C, but too diffuse/airy on the Bb according to my wife. Using my trusty Curry 3C. for the time being. She said I sound focused on the 3C. with clear articulation, but "thin." Mark Curry is making me a 3C. top with a 1 1/2C bottom--blind testing with my wife, I have the richest/fullest tone with a solid core on a curry 1 1/2C but I find the rim to be uncomfortable.

Looking forward to learning from all of you; any tips or words of encouragement are welcome! Been loving my trusty ol' Stamp book, practicing soft clarke, Paudert etudes and bits and pieces of Arban, concone and Melodious Etudes.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Heavyweight Member

Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 1021
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back to trumpet playing! Have fun!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Veteran Member

Joined: 19 Dec 2013
Posts: 366
Location: Oakville, CT

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, back just in time for Mardi Gras! Play Saints and just revel in it!

You're so far ahead of most comebackers I don't know where to start other than to reiterate that the endurance and range thing takes time, and you should get back fairly quickly.

I'm happy as he** the days I hit a nice solid E. Every time I get discouraged I remember that trumpet is an extremely physical instrument to play and that just as 300-lb guards aren't asked to run fly patterns at 4.4/40 speed, some of us aren't screamers.

So maximize. Maximize your skill set, your time and your enjoyment. You're 95% of the way there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Regular Member

Joined: 12 Apr 2020
Posts: 48
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2021 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a similar situation. I was a serious high school trumpeter and a college performance major for a year after which life took me in a different direction. Had one previous comeback before the pandemic that didn't last long. Now I'm using some of the extra time I have every day not having to commute to practice. I've learned that you can make a lot of progress in 30-60 mins every day with smart practice. I'm very happy with what I've accomplished in the last year. I can say confidently that I am now a better player than I ever was.

It doesn't sound like you need much advice in terms of resources and technical exercises. One of the main things I wish I had appreciated earlier in my comeback was how much I was abusing my chops. As a younger player, I relied WAY too much on pressure. So I knew that in my comeback I needed to focus on solving that problem. But I was so accustomed to playing with pressure and experiencing significant swelling in my chops, I perceived what turned out to be only a minor improvement as me having basically solved the problem. Only in the last few weeks am I realizing how much pressure I am still using, that I still need to develop my embouchure strength, and how much my poor form had held me back from continuing to improve as a player. The nice thing about being stuck at home playing is I don't have the external pressure to play longer and harder than I should to keep up with a group.

I wish that I had appreciated the advice to take it slow in the beginning of your comeback, to rest as long as you play, and to be cognizant of when your embouchure is falling apart because you're overly tired. I'm finally getting to a point where I can play through full pieces that I like to play without losing my form. Because I had such awful form as a younger player, I didn't even understand the difference until recently.

So my only advice based on what you've described is to really be sensitive to finding your correct form that allows you to play with that ideal combination of ease and sound, and doesn't seem to be physically damaging your chops. Then be patient. If you can only play that way for a few seconds at a time, take frequent breaks. Rest assured that as you continue to play the right way for you, your endurance will increase and likely your range will as well.

My other advice is that it can be really useful to read everyone's opinions and personal experiences here and use them as guide to experimenting in an effort to find your best form. But also bear in mind that everyone is different physically and has different priorities. So what may be the cure all for someone else may not work for you at all. I've learned a ton from reading all the different opinions on trumpet playing on this forum, but there have been plenty of things I've tried for a week or two and then dropped because I could tell it wasn't going to work for me.
Getzen Genesis 3003
Yamaha YTR-8340em
Bach Strad
Yamaha YHF-635T Flugelhorn
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
New Member

Joined: 14 Feb 2021
Posts: 3
Location: Central PA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words! Yes I am definitely finding that I am almost certainly going overboard and not letting my chops recover enough day to day, despite being diligent about always leaving time for a warmdown, and warming up carefully the next day.

I’m making a concerted effort to focus on quality “reps” of something versus quantity going forward. And that less is often more, at this stage..counterproductive to push TO or past fatigue.

I’m doing a lot of reading and research on different approaches and ideas and experimenting with them to see what resonates and what doesn’t. since I have the time other than my day job!

Currently working on the idea of removing excess unneeded tension from my embouchure so I can get more resonance below the staff and then apply that to the rest of my playing.
Bb...Bach LR18072…Curry 3C.
C...Yamaha 6445HSII…Curry 3BC
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Comeback Players All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group