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Upper Register and Confidence



 
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LogsTrumpet
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Joined: 15 Jan 2020
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 7:03 pm    Post subject: Upper Register and Confidence Reply with quote

Hello trumpeters,

I want to run a situation to on by you. I’m currently a student pursuing my masters in trumpet performance at a music conservatory. Until the beginning of this year, I did not have many issues with confidence or my upper register. However, I believe exposure to a new place with new challenges and expectations instilled some bad habits of pinching and stretching my lips outward as I ascend. The beginning of this year was unimaginably tough, with days where I even was a little afraid of taking the horn out to practice. Things are much better now, with many improvements in my tone and sound quality, but I am still tending to pinch and strain as I ascend and especially as I try to slur wide intervals. I’m looking for tips on relaxation and ease while playing high, specifically any studies you would recommend to help with this and get some confidence back.

Best
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INTJ
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Joined: 25 Dec 2002
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Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Skype lesson with Pops would do a lot to fix that.

http://bbtrumpet.com/
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What did your conservatory teacher say. Couldn't s/he see something?
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JayKosta
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Joined: 24 Dec 2018
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Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 3:21 am    Post subject: Re: Upper Register and Confidence Reply with quote

LogsTrumpet wrote:
... but I am still tending to pinch and strain as I ascend and especially as I try to slur wide intervals. ...

-------------------------------------
From your description, it appears you are in the process of increasing your ability. And that some of the material (etudes, etc.) requires improved technique (and the confidence that goes along with it).

Perhaps your current teachers expect that you should already have the required technique and they are only there to 'polish the rough edges'. You might inquire about getting additional 'technique training' that will help you quickly learn the 'missing pieces'.

This is likely something you will have to aggressively pursue, don't wait for someone to reach out to guide you. Go to teachers and counselor, and explain the situation, and get their recommendations.

This might involve things that are new and different, and which don't come naturally. so be willing to listen, learn, and adapt.

Jay
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Last edited by JayKosta on Fri May 22, 2020 6:04 am; edited 1 time in total
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andybharms
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Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 555
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you and your environment are placing a lot of new pressure on you. The same thing happened to me. I’ve also heard a lot of similar stories from other students at major conservatories.

It sounds like a mental thing with physical repercussions. You can try and hunt down the mental problems that are manifesting in your playing or you can try and fix what’s happening physically without worrying about what’s inducing it. My fear with that is that you might be sweeping the problem under the rug. My suggestion is to read “Fight Your Fear and Win” by Don Greene. He does a good job of summing up what pressure can do to your physical state.

Another great book that might help you cope with your new environment is “The Big Picture” by Tony Horton. He’s a very positive character and it will be hard to get through that book without smiling.

Finally, I want to tout the expertise of Phil Hembree. I went to him in the midst of some weird embouchure changes and he completely understood and helped me work through them. Class act. For all the bad covid is doing, one good thing is that many amazing teachers have taken their skills to the Internet.
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LogsTrumpet
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Joined: 15 Jan 2020
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2020 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone, I will explore these new sources and see what I can make of this mental block I’m having. I have done a bit of research about Don Greene and his centering techniques, but I’m excited to learn more. I appreciate the input and support!
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