Hi, I'm about a week into playing the trumpet. I found a King 600 Cleveland in my friends basement and he said I could have it. I've always wanted to learn a wind instrument and thought trumpet would be a good start. I brought the trumpet to a guy they I know who has played for twenty some years and had him teach me the different parts and such, when I got home I pulled it all apart and cleaned the inside with just some luke warm water, I didn't bursh the inside becuase I lacked the tools. Then I put her back together and today I was going to tune it. Over the week I did pick it up and practiced basic trumpet things, like buzzing and such, I didn't care about the tone, because I didn't know where my embachure was and figured I wouldn't know a C from a Ab anyhow. I found it the other day, and am quite frusterated because I can play a concert Bb an octive HIRER then the Bb shown on videos I've watched. I've tried to produce that lower Bb and I just can't. They say loosen the jaw but that just makes the buzzing go away entirly, I closed the tuning slide fully to see if maybe it was just way out of tune, but the thing still plays way to high. My question is, Is it me? Or is it the trumpet? Is the trumpet suppose to play an octive hirer? Or is it suppose to play normally. Did I do something wrong when I cleaned it? What can I do to get that Bb!
Thanks for helping a noob!
First of all, DO NOT PRACTICE BUZZING. That is wrong! That's where the embouchure comes in, for it will control the airstream (as a result of the vibrations in the trumpet) and controlling notes will become much easier. Besides that, from what it sounds like is that your tongue is too high on the roof of your mouth, thus unnecessarily increasing the velocity of the air and making the pitch go higher than what you want. Another problem is that either your bite (the distance between the teeth) or the aperture (the space between your lips where the air comes out) is too tight thus also accelerating the air and straining the sound. These are just a few things that can be thought about and worked on.
A strong suggestion I have is to get an Arban book and work out of that. Seriously. Develop a routine (if you are serious about it and are willing to work on it) so that you CAN get a good tone. Part of the problem is that without a good tone, pitch and partial recognition becomes unnecessarily harder. I recommend doing long tones (the first few pages) to get a good feel for the different registers, low and high. Then move on to scales, in different keys, major and minor. If you do get the book, go to page 20, #46. Simple quarter note exercise that goes through all of the major flat and sharp keys. Lastly, all of this builds your endurance to achieve ANY note in all registers for extended periods of time.
The arban book is the trumpet bible. Every trumpeter should own it . but I honestly and respectfully disagree with not buzzing. Buzzing helps build stamina/endurance which prolongs your practices which means more xp just because of that alone. Of course after you start learning and getting familiar with the horn, then buzzing should just be replaced with routine practice
I chose to teach myself trumpet because it seemed like a challenge I could not ignore. It is such an outstanding instrument & obviously requires talent of some type to play. I started with a 7c mouthpiece & aquired a 3c & a 5 later. They were all basically just about the same & I could produce notes in the middle range without too much effort; but real high & real low notes were difficult at best. Then only yesterday I aquired a 1.5c mouthpiece & suddenly I could produce very deep rich low notes & extremely clear high notes without any effort at all. I am amazed at how much difference this mouthpiece has made. It only cost a few bucks on ebay but it's the best few bucks I've spent in my life. I aim to get a size 1 next. I'm using an Olds Super Los Angeles trumpet made in 1946.
So even though practice is obviously the main thing to do, it could also be a giant help if you try different mouthpieces.
Great lessons from New York Jazz Academy, hope you enjoy!!
Years ago I ran into the same problem with a new student. He was about 8 years old and the first note he played was an F ABOVE high C. I worked with him for four weeks before he was able to play anything IN the staff. You may be one of those gifted few to have the ability to play in the upper register much easier than the rest of us. That's a very good thing.
After weeks of regular lessons, we were able for him to relax his embouchure enough to play in a normal range. This did not alter his upper range which was a blessing.
Regular practice will solve your problem and if you don't see improvement, try warming down with a trombone mouthpiece at the end of the day. This will relax your lips even faster.
We are all envious of your ability and when you come down to earth with the rest of us you may be another screamer!