Maybe somebody could help me out and tell me whether this is to be expected from a beginner, whether I’m doing something wrong or whether something’s wrong with my equipment..(unlikely)
I only got my trumpet two days ago. I’ve played the piano and drums for years but my first with a brass instrument. Prior to that I’ve been practising with a mouthpiece and Greg’s leadpipe for about 3 weeks. I’ve been getting a sound with the leadpipe and i can tell I’ve gotten more efficient through practice. Now it takes a few (passive) blows to adjust and after that it takes very little effort to make it speak.
The first notes on the trumpet were all over the place and instead of a C I seemed to be hitting the G below that with no valves pressed. I have an electronic tuner that I used to find the shape for C and today it was much easier to find the right shape. However, when going for the first 5 notes I find that I usually peak with the F, having hit the G only a few times and it feels I develop some tension. But what’s really puzzling me is that when I’m at my most relaxed instead of D,E,F, i seem to be consistently a few tones lower hitting lower G,A,B flat. . Looking at my fingering chart these seem to be played using the same fingerings as D,E,F..?
Is this something that happens with most beginners? Is this a matter of just tightening my aperture? Could it be I’m so used to the sensations playing the leadpipe that the bit of extra resistance from the instrument makes me think something’s off? The lower notes sound full and really come out with very little effort and feel pleasant to play. If it helps I have a new Yamaha 2330 which came with a 11B4 mouthpiece. Prior to that I had bought and practiced with Bobby Shew Jazz mouthpiece – both recommended by Greg. Hitting C is perhaps a tad easier with 11B4.
Additionally, can anyone tell me whether to follow the practice instructions of singing C# etc. but work with the notes that come out instead? as in still focus on the sensations more rather than being pitch-perfect?
I’m inclined to think this is not a disaster if there notes still follow the logic of trumpet fingering but any advice from more experienced players would be much appreciated.
Take it slow and easy. Do not rush to play a lot of different notes.
Rewatch the “Leadpipe to Trumpet Transition” video.
It is not surprising that your notes are not spot-on at first. You played the leadpipe with a wide aperture that was probably more suited to the trumpet’s pedal tones.
You can noodle around on the horn for fun, seeing what notes you can play. Warning: This could lead to bad habits and injury. My advice is to be more systematic and wait to learn the other notes by gradually learning to change shape.
Follow WindWords exactly as prescribed.
Here is a beginner exercise that could help you. It sounds like your first note has landed on the low C, which is the C below the staff (stave). Listen to Greg playing this note. You play it and try to match his sound. Do this several times.
Repeat this exercise several times. Focus on playing with passive air and keeping the airflow steady.
Exercise 2. Set a metronome at 80 bpm. Play the C for four counts and rest for beats. Play C four times with a 4 beat rest between each note. Repeat several times. Use the Singing C drone while doing this exercise. Continue this exercise for many days. It can be used as a simple beginner warm-up. If you can, practice the exercise for short periods many times a day.
EXercise 3. Play Greg’s Sing C exercise, Step 1.
Take your time. You may spend 2 to 5 days on these exercises. Continue to practice the backswing and release and all the beginning exercises (backswing, release, etc…) along with the leadpipe exercises. When this is consistent and easy, move on to step 2. I can’t say how long you need to play an exercise before moving to the next. You go on to the next exercise when the current exercise can be played consistently and easily.
Annti, congratulations on your purchase. I remember your earlier posts about getting a horn. I hate sticky, sluggish valves. Those cheaper beginner horns seem to have inconsistent valve action. It seems you got a good deal with your Yamaha trumpet. Hopefully, it was cleaned. If I remember correctly, it is used. Buy a snake brush and a mouthpiece brush and make sure the leadpipe is clean. You are probably using the mouthpiece that you used to play the leadpipe. Mouthpieces should be cleaned often. I like a cleaning product called Spitballs. You can get them from Amazon or music stores. (Herco HE185 Spitballs)
Thanks so much Ronald!
Your explanation with the leadpipe having a wider aperture sounds spot on. I especially liked playing the lower notes as that made the leadpipe sound more full and resonant..
I will follow your advice on what to practice and work my wa to a more effortless low C. I have a degree in physiotherapy so I and wholeheartedly agree with systematic approach and practicing short periods several times a day when possible. It’s simply the quickest way to learn new motoric skills 🙂
I have a Herco cleaning set that came with spitballs. The instructions were to use them once a week, is that what you do? I ended up buying a new trumpet. It’s a student model but I paid less and somehow felt more secure with a new instrument from a reputable shop. If Yamaha student trumpets are anywhere close to in quality with their student drums I’m sure it’ll serve me for a long time. I’ve had some problems with the third valve getting stuck every now and then. I wonder whether this is something that could happen with new valves..? I’ve followed Yamaha’s maintenance instructions but I’m a bit unsure whether the valve oil should go inside the valve where the spring is, to the part with the spring opening or to the casing below that. So i’ve oiled them all… I sent an email to the seller informing them about the issue in case I need to send it back for warranty.
When oiling valves, unscrew the top and pull the valve halfway to two-thirds out of the casing. Next, put two to three oil drops on the top of the valve’s piston. Place 2 or 3 drops on the valve’s other side Push the valve back in its casing. Do not twist the valve while pulling it out or pushing it back in. The valve should not have to be forced in, it should gently slide into place. You may have to give the valve a slight left and right twist to seat into place.
Do not oil from the bottom through the hole on the underside. If you do, the oil will wash particles and grime onto valves.
Here is a Yamaha maintenance video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH1ak_kkZSE
Another maintenance video: Bhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI5eyUrIoIE
Happy Trumpet Playing,