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Endurance problems



 
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TheAidanAU
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:25 pm    Post subject: Endurance problems Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I am having difficulties with my endurance. I think that this is the main problem with my playing, because I can play up to the G above the staff with ease, and a high C sometimes (with little tension, I am working on relaxing more in that range). I believe my tone is fairly good also. The only problem is that I can not play for long periods of time. I tire very easily, without playing long at all. I used to be able to play for long periods of time fine, but now that I am advancing into more difficult pieces, I am having trouble maintaining my I am most likely going to be getting a teacher for lessons to get better over the summer, before I start marching band camp. If anyone has any recommendations, please comment them below.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although the sign on the door may say "Band Room" to trumpet players it should say "Phys. Ed." Trumpet is a physical instrument. It requires strength development to get to a level where you can play for an extended period of time.

You build the muscles necessary for endurance on trumpet the same way an athlete builds muscles for endurance in whatever sport in which the athlete participates. It can take a long time with a lot of repetition.

Playing a lot will build strength. So will some exercises designed to build embouchure strength such as the pencil exercise. Building strength is a gradual process. You don't want to overdo it because overdoing it can cause an injury which will set you back. You want to work up to your goal slowly but surely.

Efficiency is a big consideration in endurance. "Efficiency" means what you get out of what you put in. Some players hardly work yet get great results. Others work hard yet get mediocre results. So, a part of developing endurance is to develop an efficient way of playing/an efficient embouchure and technique that conserves energy/avoids muscle fatigue while getting great results. A qualified teacher can help you a lot with developing efficiency.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Endurance has more to do with muscle coordination and concentration.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slowly developing the 'embouchure muscles' is needed, as well as developing efficient 'embouchure skills'.

Efficient skills include -
- Learning and doing the proper techniques that are needed for playing.
- NOT doing 'other actions' that take effort and inhibit the good technique.
- Paying attention to the previous items during the 'learning how to play' portion of practice sessions.

And 'efficient' means using the 'right amount' of effort to achieve good effectiveness - it doesn't mean you need to strive for 'less and less' effort, some effort is always needed.
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to increase endurance , don't over blow. Playing too loud will kill endurance every time. Because you're marching doesn't mean you have to blast. Over blowing is not only unmusical, it's out of tune . You will sound louder if you play with a full ,centered , projecting sound instead of a blasting spread one.
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abontrumpet
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is some decent info in the responses so far, but what can you do right now to help your situation that is easy to put into practice without philosophizing or needing a teacher:

1. The number 1 rule about becoming more efficient and increasing endurance is to not play to fatigue. If your face is tired and you have the thought "wow, my face is tired," you should stop or should have stopped a bit before that moment.

2. I think what Al Innella was trying to say was: just don't play too loud. There is a point where you are playing comfortably full and there is a point where you're like "well, now I'm playing loud." Don't get into the "I'm playing loud" territory.

3. Slow practice on the skills that you are encountering in music. Many people think that slow practice is for notes and rhythms, but it's not (you can actually practice those without playing trumpet). Practicing slow is to practice efficiency between notes and playing your best possible sound/musical intent on those notes. The better you can play your music, the easier it is to play, the longer you can play.

4. Listen to great players and record yourself. You need to know what greatness is and you need to look in the mirror (hear yourself on recording) so that you can quickly make strides to become great. As I said, the better it is, the easier it is.

Remember that everybody is different. Like elite endurance athletes, some people can just play for a long time while others haven't been given those same gifts. Unlike elite athletes, we are significantly reliant on genetics and can eventually reach a place where we can do everything that the gifted can do.

The above are some things you can quickly implement right now, but I suggest you get a private teacher for best results. Enjoy!
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tmaudlin
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am 67 have always played using bach 3C. When I started to play in community band I was tired after 1/2 hour. I bought a 1966 bach 37 trumpet
has star on Lead pipe never seen that before but I had to have it.
It came with a vincent bach corp. 10 3/4 EW mouthpiece. When I first tried it I could not believe how easy it was to play. Now I can play a 1 1/2 concert with no problem. Now the sound is not as warm as the 3C but I can really blow with this mouth piece. The high notes are much easier and it just works for me.
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Innella wrote:
If you want to increase endurance , don't over blow. Playing too loud will kill endurance every time. Because you're marching doesn't mean you have to blast. Over blowing is not only unmusical, it's out of tune . You will sound louder if you play with a full ,centered , projecting sound instead of a blasting spread one.
This is the truth. A resonant sound will project and require much less effort than playing a bad sound loudly. Playing with strain and overblowing ruins everything. That doesn't mean play quieter, it means find a ringing sound that projects by getting the vibrations in your lips to happen fully and efficiently and do not require forceful blowing.
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royjohn
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi TheAidanAU,
You have some good suggestions here. I am going to go off in a slightly different direction and ask that you pardon me if I assume too much. As at my other post in your inquiry about practice routines, I am going to again caution to rest as much as you play. I just got the "Focal Point" book of Reinhardt exercises from Rich Willey at Boptism Music (recommended) and in that book the rest periods are written in as rests! So you play two measures and rest for two measures! He means it, and so do I! Rest as much as you play during your practice and rest at least a few hours after practicing half an hour or an hour. Do not practice when you are tired. The adage is "build up, don't tear down" and you will be tearing down if you practice while tired.

Secondly, with the zeal that you express about getting better on trumpet, I bet that you are overdoing and that this is the source of part of your lack of endurance. Yes, you will last for a shorter time if you are playing higher and more difficult material, but also, your endurance will decrease if you do not rest enough or if you play too long. I have an experiment for you, but IDK if you can manage to do it. First play a routine for one day and keep careful record of exactly what you play and how long you play. Play until you are only beginning to tire. Then take a day off and don't play. Then play the routine again and see if you feel fresher at the end. If you do, you were playing too much and playing tired.

You want quality, efficient practice and you want to stop playing while you are still fairly fresh. It's also a good ideal to alternate heavy and light practice days.

I have another piece of advice for you. Watch it at brass camp. A lot of camps are run by band directors who don't know that much about embouchure development, esp. as it applies to trumpet. So they won't necessarily rest you enough and they can wreck your embouchure. You have to take charge of your own embouchure health and rest as needed. If the sessions are too long and too arduous, take some notes down an octave or lay out for some measures. Don't play too loud, just mp to mf. Have fun and don't be drawn into some macho contest to see how much you can do before you fall over.

I know I sound like your granny, but people your age have blown out their lips, actually ruptured them beyond fixing by playing too much and too hard. If you feel your range and endurance going down day by day, either at camp or at home, you are doing too much and need to rest a day or two. Good luck!
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

royjohn wrote:
... You have to take charge of your own embouchure health and rest as needed. If the sessions are too long and too arduous, take some notes down an octave or lay out for some measures. Don't play too loud, just mp to mf. Have fun and don't be drawn into some macho contest to see how much you can do before you fall over. ...

-----------
Yep!
Strive to do what will give the best results in the long-term - don't hurt yourself doing dumb stuff.
Let the leaders know that you hear and understand 'what' they want - look back at them and say 'will do'. Don't complain about it or try to explain - acknowledge their instructions and let them know that you're serious about doing well.
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Yamaha 668N, Holton DC mpc
The 'next note' is the most important one.
Don't take a '20 minute mouthpiece' to a 1 hour session.
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WxJeff
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

royjohn wrote:

I have another piece of advice for you. Watch it at brass camp. A lot of camps are run by band directors who don't know that much about embouchure development, esp. as it applies to trumpet. So they won't necessarily rest you enough and they can wreck your embouchure. You have to take charge of your own embouchure health and rest as needed. If the sessions are too long and too arduous, take some notes down an octave or lay out for some measures. Don't play too loud, just mp to mf. Have fun and don't be drawn into some macho contest to see how much you can do before you fall over.


Seconded.

I am 60+ years old and play in a 15-20 piece church orchestra. Typically I am 2nd trumpet to a former band director/music ed major who is a very talented player. Yesterday he was out of town and I was the only trumpet (we often have three.) I knew going in I would have to take it easy to musically hit the extended Bb/A above the staff passages on our anthem, and do so in a musical manner.

Our orchestra director is a very talented lady, but is a flutist and we often joke with her by waving white flags in rehearsal when we're out of gas. She laughs with us but usually comes back with "Ok, then just one more time?" This includes the early Sunday morning session just before the service!

I have learned over the years to lay out on portions of the hymn accompaniments (many of which are either embellishments at the end of a phrase or duplicated chord parts that the pipe organ is already covering.) I also take a lot of the anthems down an octave, except on exposed parts where she wants to hear "how it will really sound."

Yesterday the choir director (who has no idea about embouchure endurance!) had written some creative transitions/segue between a couple of the hymns. During rehearsal we discovered that on one one of them there was a disconnect between what he wanted and what was written for us. We probably rehearsed those eight bars four times, and there was no option to lay out with me being the "solo trumpet."

I did "ok" during the service, but did have to take the final Bb/A phrases at the end of our anthem down an octave. That was frustrating and has led me to resolve to build up my endurance and search out this thread

(Because the brass-centric, patriotic 4th of July anthems are just over the horizon!!)
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trickg
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:00 am    Post subject: Re: Endurance problems Reply with quote

TheAidanAU wrote:
Hello everyone,

I am having difficulties with my endurance. I think that this is the main problem with my playing, because I can play up to the G above the staff with ease, and a high C sometimes (with little tension, I am working on relaxing more in that range). I believe my tone is fairly good also. The only problem is that I can not play for long periods of time. I tire very easily, without playing long at all. I used to be able to play for long periods of time fine, but now that I am advancing into more difficult pieces, I am having trouble maintaining my I am most likely going to be getting a teacher for lessons to get better over the summer, before I start marching band camp. If anyone has any recommendations, please comment them below.

There's no trick to building endurance, with maybe the exception of working to reduce mouthpiece pressure, and I suspect that this may be part of the issue - it's difficult to know without hearing/seeing you play.

Based on the things you've posted, I've gather that you are entering high school, and you only have 4 years of experience on the horn.

With many young players who are just getting into playing the horn, and especially those who don't have a teacher to help steer them, mouthpiece pressure becomes part of what helps them to produce their sound. This works when you're playing a mouthpiece that's deep enough for it, but with anything shallow - the "classic" Schilke 14A4a that's peddled by so many music stores comes to mind - with a weak embouchure the chops end up collapsing into the cup, literally cutting off the air flow and buzz.

With that in mind, the thing that's going to help your endurance, and really all of your playing, is to bring things back to basics. You're going to have to put time in working on things that you might find boring.

Even as an active duty Army trumpet player, much of my practice was spent playing nothing above the staff - maybe G on top of the staff, but usually tuning C and lower. Lots and lots and lots of soft long tones. Lots and lots and lots of articulation exercises. (I have a whole rant about how I think articulation/attacks are vastly overlooked) Lots and lots and lots of lip slur exercises.

Quick question: What IS trumpet playing?

When you stop to think about it, all trumpet playing - everything from the easiest things in grade school method books to the most difficult virtuoso repertoire - is comprised of some basic technical elements:

-- Tone production
-- Articulation/attacks
-- Lip flexibilities
-- Dynamics (this is referring more to the ability to play both loud and soft while maintaining control)
-- Fingers/finger coordination with articulation
-- Breath control
-- Phrasing (this is less technical and more musical, although there are some fundamental aspects to phrasing that are kind of technical)


Think about your own playing. What of those elements need the most work? What of those elements do you struggle with? Forget about the endurance thing for a moment and think about the list above.

What is your sound/tone like? Is it good?

How clean are your attacks? Do you struggle to get a good soft and clean attack? Do you struggle with being able to articulate cleanly and quickly? Can you double tongue? Triple tongue? Can you double tongue through passages?

How good are your fingers? Can you play all of your scales quickly and cleanly?

I would propose that if you spend some time really digging into and drilling your fundamentals, the endurance will take care of itself. Doing the nuts and bolts technical work isn't always fun, but it's absolutely necessary.[/list]
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Last edited by trickg on Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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trickg
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick thought on scales.

I didn't really learn my scales until well after my high school years. I knew most of them - you can't play trumpet a lot and not get to the point where you know most of your scales. I mostly knew the ones most used:

C, D, Eb, E, F, G, Bb, A, Ab

I avoided scales like F#/Gb, C#/Db, B, and I didn't really know my minor scales at all. I mean, I understood the relationship between major and relative minor scales, but I never took the time to learn them.

I decided at one point that this was dumb, and that I needed to at the very least be able to play all major keys easily, and I wanted to learn my minor scales too. (I didn't delve into harmonic and melodic - just natural minor.)

It didn't take me that long and it wasn't hard at all - it was just a matter of putting in the work. I took one 1-2 scales a week hammering through both the major and the minor, and in a few short weeks, I was playing all of them easily. Playing through my scales in a circle of 5ths (or 4ths - I go around the flat side) with both major and minor has become part of my warmup. I regretted not making a point to do this in my early years as a player.

Again, there are no shortcuts in playing trumpet. The greats didn't just happen to get that way - they got that way by working their butts off and working the whole horn - not just the things that come easily.
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
Just a quick thought on scales.

I didn't really learn my scales until well after my high school years. I knew most of them - you can't play trumpet a lot and not get to the point where you know most of your scales. I mostly knew the ones most used:

C, D, Eb, E, F, G, Bb, A, Ab

I avoided scales like F#/Gb, C#/Db, B, and I didn't really know my minor scales at all. I mean, I understood the relationship between major and relative minor scales, but I never took the time to learn them.

I decided at one point that this was dumb, and that I needed to at the very least be able to play all major keys easily, and I wanted to learn my minor scales too. (I didn't delve into harmonic and melodic - just natural minor.)

It didn't take me that long and it wasn't hard at all - it was just a matter of putting in the work. I took one 1-2 scales a week hammering through both the major and the minor, and in a few short weeks, I was playing all of them easily. Playing through my scales in a circle of 5ths (or 4ths - I go around the flat side) with both major and minor has become part of my warmup. I regretted not making a point to do this in my early years as a player.

Again, there are no shortcuts in playing trumpet. The greats didn't just happen to get that way - they got that way by working their butts off and working the whole horn - not just the things that come easily.
That's great advice. I make my students learn all 12 major scales ASAP and play them every day. Memorizing all 12 major scales and being really fluent on them is a really big pre-requisite for becoming good. It also will build your endurance if you play them slowly every day.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaw04 wrote:
That's great advice. I make my students learn all 12 major scales ASAP and play them every day. Memorizing all 12 major scales and being really fluent on them is a really big pre-requisite for becoming good. It also will build your endurance if you play them slowly every day.

I was able to get through my major scales pretty well by the time I left the Armed Forces School of Music, but I didn't really "know" them.

It's good that you do this with your students. I wish it had been emphasized more during my formative years, but I never had a private teacher - I had a school band director who really only gave lessons to the kids who needed the help. The rest of us who were getting it more easily were left to develop on our own. It is what it is - it's never too late to add other things into your body of knowledge.

Like my wife (career elementary educator) always likes to say, "if you think it's important, you'll find a way, if not, you'll find an excuse."
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GeorgeB
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So great to be reading your posts again, Patrick. What you wrote about scales is dead on.
George
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: Endurance problems Reply with quote

trickg wrote:


There's no trick to building endurance


Sure there is - long tones! With or without accompanying Batman slapping Robin. Seriously, the increased focus on tone coupled with the whole playing system filled to capacity and emptied completely is a GREAT workout! And this young developing player has probably never concentrated on this?

Just move on to Clarke #1 quietly before your chops gets stiff. Then into slurs then articulation, and his power, range, sound and endurance should all be improving.

Any teacher will be applying these basics, hopefully suited to this player ...
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trickg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeorgeB wrote:
So great to be reading your posts again, Patrick. What you wrote about scales is dead on.
George

Thanks George! I drop by now and again.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Endurance problems Reply with quote

razeontherock wrote:
trickg wrote:


There's no trick to building endurance


Sure there is - long tones!With or without accompanying Batman slapping Robin. Seriously, the increased focus on tone coupled with the whole playing system filled to capacity and emptied completely is a GREAT workout! And this young developing player has probably never concentrated on this?

Just move on to Clarke #1 quietly before your chops gets stiff. Then into slurs then articulation, and his power, range, sound and endurance should all be improving.

Any teacher will be applying these basics, hopefully suited to this player ...

Ah - SO true! However, young aspiring players don't want to subscribe to the idea that doing long tones is an answer. Most seem to want a tip or trick that's going to bypass the hours and hours over months/years that it takes to truly build your chops.

I'd guess that young Aidan probably hasn't not delved too deeply into the disciplined routines that develop chops and technique. It's hard to know though - they do kind of a hit-and-run on these threads - the thread is created with a question, and then there's not much interaction with this young player past that.

We have some nice conversations though.
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