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Brass Trumpet Incentive

Discussion in 'Other Instruments & Players' started by Sweet Dreamer, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. Sweet Dreamer

    Sweet Dreamer Senior Member

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    Ok, I got out my trumpet after not having played it for several months. I never really learned to play it. I was in the process of trying to learn and eventually gave up. :)))

    But now I'm getting it back out again for a second shot at it.

    This is my trumpet. It's a "pocket trumpet" and I know that I've already stacked the deck against myself by purchasing a pocket trumpet versus a standard size trumpet. But it's what I have, so it's either learn to play this or forget it.

    PT.jpg

    I'm currently using John O'neal's Jazz Method for Trumpet book. I'm currently working on "Home Bass" and "Samba for Maya". These are obviously very early pieces in the book.

    I've worked through the previous lessons before and I am able to blow all of the notes for required for these pieces. Just the same, I quickly fatigue in terms of embouchure and in terms of air too. This horn seems to be far more demanding that the sax.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd toss this out there for any potential encouragement, support, or advice.

    I've only just now got a handle on the A note. So my note "repertoire" at this point starting at middle C is, C, D, E, F and A. That's it so far. :)))

    Although I imagine I can hit the sharps and flats of those as well.

    I feel good that I still have control over these notes because when I first started I couldn't even do this. So I feel like I now have at least 5 notes under some degree of control (and probably their sharps and flats). The next lesson in the Jazz method book teaches Bb and C. I'm managing to blow the Bb note already. But I'm still finding the higher C to be very difficult to reach and control yet.

    I am quite patient though. So for now, I'm just working on practicing "Home Bass" and "Samba for Maya", right now. I do practice the exercises for learning Bb and C for the next section (chapter 4 in my book), but I'm currently I'm not there yet.
     
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  3. Sweet Dreamer

    Sweet Dreamer Senior Member

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    I have some more questions too, should a trumpet player stop by. ;}

    I just devised a bit of a practice schedule. The following graphic shows the notes I can play with some confidence (those marked with red in the top line of the staff). I can't really do the Bb yet or the high C note. I'm looking forward to working on those.

    color.GIF

    Below the graphic of the trumpet notes I've listed the triads of the C Major scale. I'm practicing those too. I have them listed in various orders in red, blue, and green. I did that simply because I can't play them all in their natural order using only the notes I can currently play. So I play them in whatever order is required using notes that I can play.

    The part of the note chart marked in pink (from the low F# up to G# are notes I can play but they don't sound real great. Although the low G is starting to sound a bit better now that I've been jumping to it using these triad exercises.

    Another exercise I do is to simply play the scale as far as I can both chromatically and as whole notes, up and down as far as I can go.

    I'm finding that when I do the triad arpeggios I can almost pop off that High B and C note, but I'm still not quite there yet. I think when I put this trumpet away I was just starting to blow the high C note.

    At this point I can't imagine going clear up the scale as far as is written on this chart. If I ever make it up to the G on the top of the staff I will consider that to be a miracle.

    Right now I'm wondering if I'm even going to get capture this C note. :mrcool

    ~~~ QUESTION ~~~~

    In the meantime I have a question about mouthpieces.

    This trumpet came with a 7C which I guess is a standard starting mouthpiece. I felt that it was too small so I ordered a 3C. I do feel more comfortable with the 3C which is supposedly a tad bit larger in some way, but it's sure hard to actually see any difference between these mouthpieces.

    This may sound strange but I was expecting a much larger mouthpiece. I was kind of hoping for a mouthpiece like might be found on a trombone or tuba. :)))

    What's the largest mouthpiece I can buy for a trumpet?

    I just feel like I'm fighting with these mouthpieces. They just feel like they are way too small for me. I'd really like to try something with a larger diameter cup.
     
  4. kevgermany

    kevgermany ex Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

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    Cue Mr Mapfumo... Enters stage right....
     
  5. Sweet Dreamer

    Sweet Dreamer Senior Member

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    I've been flipping through this Jazz Method book looking at some of the photos of these trumpet players. None of these guys look like they are enjoying playing this instrument.

    I mean seriously, they look they are on in total agony trying to blow raspberries in these tiny little mouthpieces. :)))

    Does this guy look like he's having fun?

    CliffordBrown.gif

    Looks to me like he's working real hard to blow a note.

    I might be too lazy to play this instrument. :)))
     
  6. kevgermany

    kevgermany ex Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

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    It's all about image - with a trumpet if you don't look as if you're putting everything you have into getting the best out of the trumpet:

    1 - the instument's too easy and not worthy of being played for Jazz
    2 - you're not a serious musician cos you're not trying had enough...

    Sax players are different - most go for the laid back/cool approach, complete with hat... And they show skill by blowing a storm, while making it look easy - cos they're so good.

    As in all cases of image related performances, exceptions apply and merely serve to prove the rule.
     
  7. old git

    old git Tremendous Bore

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    Oi! Kev!
    It's not paranoia but stop picking on me or the boys will enjoy a German holiday.

    Your problem Sweetie, is you picked the wrong brasswind to play. Fl├╝gelhorn, valve trombone and tenor or baritone horn are the IN instruments.
     
  8. kevgermany

    kevgermany ex Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

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    lol, Biergartens open at Easter. How about meeting in one for a good chinwag ove a Mass or two? I'll ask Mrs Kevgermany very nicely to drive us there.
     
  9. VirusKiller

    VirusKiller Member

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    I think I'll stick with hat-less sax counter-culture.
     
  10. O.C.V.

    O.C.V. Member

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    Hi, Sweetdreamer,
    Try playing a long note on G (second line) then, without tonguing, tighten the embouchure and slur up to C and back to G. Long steady notes all the time. When you feel ready go G C E and down. Keep at it gradually widening the range of harmonics and using different valve combinations. These exercises are utterly boring but do wonders for strengthening the embouchure. Charles Colin's book of Lip Flexibilities is full of these exercises, taking you up into Maynard Ferguson areas. Slow, long notes and aiming for clean slurs without using the tongue will do the job if you can stand the boredom.
    Best wishes
    O.C.V.
     
  11. TomMapfumo

    TomMapfumo Well-Known Member

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    Hi SD!

    Well done on giving the trumpet another go. Yes, it is tougher than playing the sax, but does involve less complicated fingering and is a much lighter instrument. The book you use is excellent as far as it goes, not covering too much in terms of exercises to help develop your embouchure or range. I have been playing for a few years and my range goes from low F# to top C (C3), an octave above what you are trying for, which does take a while to develop, so don't rush.

    2 exercises that will help -

    1. Long notes. Start at C - play as long as you can (say 4 x 4 beats). Then play D. Then C again. Then E and so on up to A. Have a go at one up and one down (up to B, down to B).
    2. Flexies. Down-Up-Down C-G-C (x8), then B-F#-B, then Bb-F-Bb, then A-E-A As your embouchure develops try to go up one higher on any of these, but otherwise just gradually develop your range. Once your embouchure is solid your range will become easier and easier. Make sure that you are practising low notes as they will help in higher note production - try and master down to A below bottom C if you can.

    Regarding mouthpieces - do look up a trumpet mouthpiece chart. I found the Bach 7C and 3C both quite small at 16.20mm and 16.30mm respectively. I play mouthpieces at 17.30mm plus (Bach stop at 17mm). I prefer Curry/Schilke/Stork mouthpieces - do have a look at their websites - I think you could safely aim at a 17mm size, such as a Schilke 14/15 or Curry 1.25 - Mouthpiece Express is a good online service. Bach 7C are commonly recommended and are probably OK for beginners in their early teens, but way too small for adults. Generally you should find that your range will increase more easily on the right size mouthpiece - which is likely to be bigger than you have played up til now. Personally I'd leave Bach well alone - very inconsistent, and overpriced.

    Hope this helps
    Kind regards
    Tom

    BTW the largest trumpet mouthpiece is the Schilke 24 at 18.29mm and the smallest trombone mouthpiece is the Schilke 40B at 22.51mm - so a bit of a difference!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2011
  12. Sweet Dreamer

    Sweet Dreamer Senior Member

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    Tom and O.C.V.,

    Thanks for the exercise suggestions. I'll definitely be trying these. I have no problem with doing mundane exercises if they will help develop embouchure. I live in a very rural area with no close neighbors, so I can blow exercises between raking leaves and doing yard work. Plus I have the sax, if I want to take a break and play some actual music.

    I only just got this trumpet out last night, and already this morning I seem to feel more comfortable with it. Last night I was having difficulty blowing long smooth notes without getting the "motorboat putting" effect. But already this morning I seem to have better control sustaining smooth notes.

    At one time I had the "C" that I'm working toward now. So I should be able to get it 'back' relatively quickly. I have read that trumpet embouchure needs to be practiced continually as it is one of the quickest embouchures to "deteriorate" if not kept up. So if I can get to point where I'm actually playing this instrument I guess I had better keep playing it with some consistency.
     
  13. TomMapfumo

    TomMapfumo Well-Known Member

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    Spot on with embouchure deterioration. As someone once said "miss a day, and your teacher will notice; miss two days and you will notice; miss three days and everyone will notice....!"

    Try and practice for 20 mins a day on exercises at least. Also if you are playing both sax and trumpet then do play trumpet first. If you play sax first (where you are stretching your mouth around a mouthpiece) it is hard to play the trumpet for a good while after (where you need an embouchure which involves tightening your lips).

    Kind regards
    Tom
     
  14. Sweet Dreamer

    Sweet Dreamer Senior Member

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    Yes, the sax and trumpet are radically different. I even find that after playing the trumpet, it's hard to go right back to the sax again. But then that might have simply been because I was tired too.
     
  15. Andrew Sanders

    Andrew Sanders Northern Commissioner for Caslm

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    At least with the sax you don't get that bird's bottom look to your top lip.
    Think seriously SD do you really want to look like Humphrey Littleton. You may never get a sideways glance from a beautiful woman again
     
  16. TomMapfumo

    TomMapfumo Well-Known Member

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    A trumpet embouchure is much more satisfying to women than a sax embouchure.........:shocked: :w00t: ;}

    Other way around for men..........!
     
  17. Andrew Sanders

    Andrew Sanders Northern Commissioner for Caslm

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    My mind's boggling again Tom. Could you perhaps send some diagrams?
     
  18. Sweet Dreamer

    Sweet Dreamer Senior Member

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    Well, that's certainly not going to be a major change in my current life's experience. :)))
     
  19. Sweet Dreamer

    Sweet Dreamer Senior Member

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    More Stuff

    Today I was working on organizing my practice plans and so far I've come up with the following. This is just for me to discover a bit about this instrument and start to get a handle on the embouchure.

    First I did the triplet arpeggios. I created my own lesson plans and graphics on the computer. But as I was doing it I had the trumpet in hand and was practicing each arpeggio as I created the graphic. I'm using a sheet music program also to aid with the graphics as well as being able to hear what I'm attempting to play. Anyway here's the practice sheet I came up with. I'm still learning the notes and fingerings. The notes in red in this graphic are notes that I'm still having difficulty with. Although I did blow a truly beautiful C note tonight. Unbelievable! The problem was that I couldn't blow it a second time to save my soul. But I'm sure it will come with these exercises.

    Note that the timing is not carved in stone. I just drew everything as quarter notes, but I play them as longer notes, and also in various patterns (i.e. both up and down the arpeggios). I just drew these up for reference on what notes I'm actually dealing with.

    arpeggios.jpg

    Then I went on to start working on scales. These are just whole note scales for now. And again I play them up and down, and will eventually improvise with them with proper backing tracking tracks. Part of the reason I wrote this up was to get an overview of where I'm at with being able to improvise. So far I have two "full" scales (albeit in only one octave), but I will soon have the second two scales also as soon as I conquer the B and C notes.

    Trumpet Scales.jpg

    This John O'neal Jazz method book is good, but by creating these extra lesson plans I can jam and improvise with more stuff based on what I can already do. ;}

    So I'm looking forward to creating some simple backing tracks using the keyboard or guitar, in the proper keys and then see if I can start improvising over those using these limited scales.

    This is going to be fun. I'm glad I got this little sucker out again. I think I'm ready to get into this now.
     
  20. jeremyjuicewah

    jeremyjuicewah Senior Member

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    I too dabble with a trumpet. I got it off e bay for twenty quid and have read reviews that slate it as being a truly horrible instrument. It is Lark which I think is Chinese, but so is my sax and thats fine. Lots of snobbery on some of these sites. But, I can only play it in the factory on Saturday mornings when no one is around. The dogs and cats dont mind the sax but when I tried the trumpet they let me know how they felt and I saw them later that evening huddled together in the corner making plans for me. Seriously, I dont think I can progress with a short session every week. So anyone want to buy a trumpet? Its a Lark, of oriental ancestry and a truly remarkable horn and normally sells for about two hundred nicker but you can have it for, er, twenty.
     
  21. kevgermany

    kevgermany ex Landrover Nut Cafe Moderator

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    Please advertise sales in the yard sale forum, and be sure to follow the rules, they'e there for everyone's benefit. :welldone
     

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