Hi Greg and all the others.
I am a beginner to the trumpet and work on lip slurs. I have a basic question since the course here is on being aware of the moments when over exerting kicks in. As a bloddy beginner I have no idea what happens the first month or years in the learning process. What happens to me in the last 4 weeks is, that I can somtimes make lip slurs even from the second to the third harmonics at Metronom 138(not perfect surely) but a day or just a couple of hours later I not even can do one. I made a fast progress first but now sometimes it takes so much effort to change the shape of the lips that I am not able to recognize what happens in my throat or stomach or neck because the strain of the lip muscles is so strong making me think I do everything wrong. Is that normal and okay, will it change over the time? When I see you Greg doing it, it looks so easy so effortless. I also noticed that when I try lip slurs, there is a kind of a resistance to lift the tone from the deeper harmonic to the higher, and that needs real power to make the aperture smaller. Can these be an issue of a cheap trumpet or mouthpiece?
Thanks for your reply
Hey there @buekmann, Lips slurs are the trickiest thing to do, especially when you are starting out.
You must be really patient and spend most time making the best sound you can. Develop the slurs slowly each day without forcing. I don’t mind you looking ahead to more advanced material to try out but at this stage spend most of your time reinforcing the basics.
Are you humming a lot? Are you doing the BCH breath with your eyes closed. You must do this several times every day. Are you sure you are doing the PASSIVE balloon exhalation rather than forcing?
The throat will tighten when you either force the air or clamp the lips or worst still, BOTH. Really have that magnifying glass out and notice when things become difficult; at what pitch and at what speed do you lose the purity in sound.
The 3 main points of the aaaahooooh exercise are to 1. eliminate pinching the lips by 2. recognising the Aperture Corners and 3. experiencing the sensation of playing freely – like singing.
It takes months, not weeks to develop on the trumpet, especially with pure PROCESS but taking your time now will offer huge benefits in the long run.
I can’t really comment on your gear but I suggest that is unlikely to be the problem however better instruments are slightly easier to play of course, but you need to know what you are doing to notice the difference.
Take your time and enjoy making a beautiful sound then slowly build it up.
Hi Greg, thanks for your reply. I needed your statement that lip slurs are the trickiest thing in trumpet playing because I am already 59 and thats why I am a little bit impatient. I will take your advice and take my time, doing it slower and just wait for the day it will go easier. As I wrote, sometimes I can do it and than the other time it wont work as before. Okay I will let you know how I progress.
In the first week of March I am in Florida and have some golf sessions, I will think of you and your golf experience. I will do the mental training there, because I cant play trumpet there, the neighbours would kill me, I think they would even kill Arthuro Sandoval.