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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) Taxing trumpet playing is killing my Trombone chops....
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bonenick

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« on: Aug 13, 2017, 04:01AM »

No, this is not about bragging  :D

Taxing trumpet playing (jazz, occasionally wandering in the lead trumpet range) makes my Trombone chops weak (I often switch from trumpet to Trombone and vice versa on this gig).

Anyone with tips about this? I do practice both instruments and occasionally practice the switch itself.
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Andrew Meronek

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« Reply #1 on: Aug 13, 2017, 06:42AM »

You're using the same muscles on both instruments; it makes sense that getting tired on one will make you tired on both. Or, is that not quite what you meant?
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« Reply #2 on: Aug 13, 2017, 07:01AM »

Perhaps you are expecting too much of yourself. If you think you should be able to play the trumpet in a taxing way first and then play the trombone as fresh as you play it when you play it first, then you have exceedingly high expectations, IMO.

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« Reply #3 on: Aug 13, 2017, 07:48AM »

Bummer. Sounds like it's time to stop practicing "making the switch" and just go through with it once and for all  Evil.

I can help you make this decision:

get a large balance scale, and let it decide for you in a non biased way. Make sure the scale is up above you. Put the trombone on one side of the scale, and the trumpet on the other. It will offer you the instrument you should play, and move the instrument you should not play even further away.
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« Reply #4 on: Aug 13, 2017, 09:56AM »

Maybe I should repeat it once again, that I am a professional trumpet player, doubling on trombone. The Tbone is a new instrument for me, which I started playing 7 months ago. I am still figuring some basic embouchure stuff like whether to align the jaws, wether to use air pockets in my embouchure and the use of some not so obvious positions of the slide. I have a decent range on the trombone for a beginner but the stamina is still kinf of an issue. When feeling tired or not in my best shape I can mostly manage it on the trumpet, but on the trombone I have obviously still a lot of work to do.

I am looking up to people like James Morisson, and that's the present goal - but obvously still a long way to go. If anybody has experience in multi-instrumentalists work done on the same gig, feel free to share.
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 13, 2017, 10:04AM »

Here's a nice interview that has some doubling advice:

http://trombone.org/articles/library/viewarticles.asp?ArtID=47
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 13, 2017, 11:49AM »



Patient: Doc, it hurts when I do this.
Doctor: Don't do that.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 13, 2017, 02:56PM »

Andrew, thanks for that. It is an interesting interview. Not much on my "problem" but the few thoughts on breathing and embouchures are quite essential, though not news to me. I admit I'm guilty of not putting enough air in the low register of the Trombone.

Rob, I didn't get hurt - I just probably had exceeding expectation, I believe that geezer is right on the money. The other issue I noticed is when doing the instant switch between the two a la JM (aka question-answer, while using the trombone with a closed slide) I get distracted from. the embouchure switch because of trying to get the playing  instrument in the microphone - seems like a tiny side obstacle, but it is something that is not coming "naturally"
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 13, 2017, 03:56PM »

You're using the same muscles on both instruments

Based on personal (amateur) impressions and not having any particular expertise in anatomy or embouchure types (but a reasonable grasp of engineering)...

On trumpet you use a lot of muscles near the centre of the mouth to create a firm embouchure by pressing the lips vertically together, pretty much across the whole range of the instrument.

On trombone, for the lower to mid range the muscles near the centre of the embouchure are mainly relaxed and used as a flexible vibrating element, with the muscles outside the mouthpiece playing a major role in setting the tension in the lips (and hence the frequency of vibration i.e. pitch).

Regarding the original question, I think trumpet playing creates more highly developed muscles in the centre of the mouth, which may be an impediment to trombone playing as the developed muscles may be less flexible.

(Note: In an earlier life I played cornet for about 20 years. I struggle with low register on trombone - large bore with a 3G mouthpiece.  Having been working on building a trombone embouchure for about 6 years, my cornet playing now REALLY sucks.)

Dave

 


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« Reply #9 on: Aug 25, 2017, 07:46PM »

You're not really saying what it is that's going on.  In what way are you 'weak'?  If you're trying to play both horns using the same embouchure, it'll never work.  What are the symptoms?  What changes are you making between horns?  What does it feel like?  What does it sound like?  I've been doubling for 40+ years, and have never had anything like that happen - it's always my trumpet chops that tire first, as playing loose enough to get a good sound on bone  relaxes things enough that my high chops lose out if I do too much bone playing, but that's just a matter of not enough practice time.  When I play a lot it doesn't happen.
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« Reply #10 on: Aug 26, 2017, 12:22AM »

Recently I had two observation on my own:

1. I probably try to blow the Tbone too hard and too loud. I tend to play soccer on the tbone when practicing. I think that the lack of experience with an instrument having the bell that close (it's a quite different feedback than on trumpet) gives me a wrong impression on how loud I should I play (other issues that leads me to louder playing is trying to lead the band and bad amplifying)
2. Juggling around with horns and trying to play in the mic with both horns while switching distract my attention from embouchure and I tend to do funny things while trying note to miss a note or a phrase.

As for symptoms - I miss notes, sometimes I miss positions and the sound is forced at times.... surely I need more practice. Probably also some more scales and purely technical stuff - If I try to change a phrase or positions used (alternate positions) on the fly I tend to get lost.

I think that all of that is possible, but every suffering element should be practiced, even things like switching the horns in front of the mic.
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« Reply #11 on: Aug 26, 2017, 01:21AM »

Taxing trumpet playing is one of the best ideas I've heard in a while!
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bonenick

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« Reply #12 on: Aug 26, 2017, 01:56AM »

Taxing trumpet playing is one of the best ideas I've heard in a while!

Well...I could already see that happening...
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« Reply #13 on: Aug 28, 2017, 06:55PM »

Make sure that your mouthpiece for trombone is centered in the same place as the center of your trumpet mouthpiece on your lips so the embouchures are as similar as they can be, and some of the basic playing mechanics should feel similar.

The angle of the horn and how the weight distribution changes with slide movement is something to keep in mind that you didn't have to learn with the trumpet. Try to support the instrument and keep it stable with the left hand. You can experiment with different grip styles to get the best control with the hands you've got. Making sure the slide is clean and in good shape helps here.

Keep in mind that the air will be at a lower velocity, i.e. you will need to blow warmer air, and take bigger breaths when playing trombone. The same phrase with a trumpet breath won't get you all the way through on trombone. Vice versa, a trombone sized breath for a phrase on trumpet would leave you with stale air in your lungs.

It could also be that taxing your trumpet embouchure affects your muscle/air balance in ways you haven't noticed on trumpet, but are apparent on trombone due to being less developed and consistent as a player. Practice relaxed soft playing on both instruments trying to keep focus and control to the tone, and then work up to louder dynamics only after you're comfortable with your softer playing in your practice on trombone. It's easy to fall into bad habits using force to get things to work at louder volumes, and softer practice can help you find efficient ways for tone production with your physical idiosyncrasies.

I've known a couple of trumpet players that double have had good results with some of their trombone fundamentals being done with a mute in as well.
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« Reply #14 on: Aug 29, 2017, 02:05AM »

These are all valuable thoughts, Mr Tenor  Good!

Probably I should have mentioned that some 7-8 aftervI started to play the trombone, I'm still kind of experimenting with some embouchure variables like jaw alignment, normal or unfurled lips...Recently I also changed slightly my embouchure setup to move towards more lead trumpet oriented playing and sound (which means that I am stil figuring out how to apply the on the tbone. The change of the setup made me raise a little bit the bell....tbone seem more tricky - I have to point the head down in order to keep the trombone at an angle that is comfortable to operate...

As for slide positions - I learnt all the basic positions and some alternate ones..However, the micropositions are stil in progres and  some of the alternate ones are far from 'owned'. Fast slide movements and slide movements are still not natural or smooth.
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« Reply #15 on: Aug 31, 2017, 03:22PM »

Keep in mind that the air will be at a lower velocity, i.e. you will need to blow warmer air, and take bigger breaths when playing trombone. The same phrase with a trumpet breath won't get you all the way through on trombone. Vice versa, a trombone sized breath for a phrase on trumpet would leave you with stale air in your lungs.

It may be worth noting here that due to physics, assuming the same buzzing efficiency, that the exact same amount of air will be exhaled when playing the same pitch at the same volume on different instruments, no matter the instrument or the mouthpiece. The biggest reason by far why trombones seem to use more air, or at least, different air, is because the range is different - but there is a significant amount of overlap nevertheless.

Probably I should have mentioned that some 7-8 aftervI started to play the trombone, I'm still kind of experimenting with some embouchure variables like jaw alignment, normal or unfurled lips...Recently I also changed slightly my embouchure setup to move towards more lead trumpet oriented playing and sound (which means that I am stil figuring out how to apply the on the tbone. The change of the setup made me raise a little bit the bell....tbone seem more tricky - I have to point the head down in order to keep the trombone at an angle that is comfortable to operate...

What does any of that have to do with lead playing? Range and power are achieved just by playing efficiently and developing strength, not with mechanical tricks. And the most important parts of lead playing, of course, have very little to do with range and power: timing, articulation, pitch, style.
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« Reply #16 on: Sep 01, 2017, 07:23AM »

What does any of that have to do with lead playing? Range and power are achieved just by playing efficiently and developing strength, not with mechanical tricks. And the most important parts of lead playing, of course, have very little to do with range and power: timing, articulation, pitch, style.

It does...though I didn't expect it. After the change of the setup my sound (on trumpet) became lighter. I can't give a sensible reason for that, but my new teacher said that this meant that I moved in the right direction. Of course, there are other elements like timing, articulation and improvisation that I'm still working on, but that is another topic. Range was never a big issue, but consistency and sound (too classical/orchestral) was.
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