'Is there no hope for me'!?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by choirmaster, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. choirmaster

    choirmaster Member

    Just a quick playing history- I played the cornet from the age of 8 - 18 and became a fairly competent player. However, I then gave up playing completely for the next 12 years. A few years ago I started playing again, this time on Euphonium. Unfortunately, the band I play for became short of cornet players last September which resulted in me volunteering to play the instrument, thinking that it wouldn't take too long to get to grips with the thing again. WRONG!
    I now have the tone of an asthmatic rhino, a comfortable range of 5 notes ( C-G) and a lip that starts going after c. 10 mins.
    I've listened to the advice that often appears on tMP but to no avail (even though some of it appears contradictory). I'd appreciate opinions on whether I should give these pieces of advice a certain amount of time to see if they work, do whatever seems comfortable and hope that eventually things will sort themselves out, or give brass instruments a wide berth and take up the Chinese Yang Qin instead!
    Why is it that what used to seem natural, should now be an ordeal for myself and anyone within a 5 mile radius?!
     
  2. TIMBONE

    TIMBONE Active Member

    It sounds to me like an embouchure problem. You spent 10 years, (whilst you were physically growing too), developing a cornet embouchure. 10 yeras later, you applied a theoretical competence to re-developing what you had in your youth. You have spent 3 years building a larger embouchure for a euphonium mouthpiece. These extra muscles you have now built up in your lips are hindering you when trying to apply this to a smaller mouthpiece.

    I myself went onto Bb Bass to help out the band I play with just before last Christmas. However, I only play on this larger mouthpiece once or twice a week. I still do daily practice on the trombone. Even though I have been playing trombone for 38 years, I am still noticing the strange experience having spent time on a larger mouthpiece.

    In your case, I am afraid the only advice I can give is either go back onto the lower brass, or get the biggest cornet mouthpiece you can and be content to play 3rd cornet.
     
  3. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    I can add from personal experience - (and this is not meant to be in anyway criticial) make sure you are playing the cornet like a cornet, and not just as a small Euphonium.

    Fed up with playing Bb Bass I took up the cornet. It was several weeks before someone pointed out that my style was too heavy for cornet, and asked if I had adapted my embouchure to the smaller mouthpiece. I was about to say yes of course, when it occurred to me that I hadn't.

    Actually consciously thinking about playing the cornet instead of a small Bb Bass really made a difference.

    You'll see from my Sig that the adventure onto the back row didn't last, but that was becuase of personnel issues rather than my playing...
     
  4. Decibels

    Decibels New Member

    If cornet playing was easy.....

    ...then all those publishers who get rich selling tutor books and "methods" and practice mutes etc wouldn't get rich.

    Set yourself some benchmarks for your deveopment (redevelopment). Sounds like you've been out of it long enough that you will be starting from scratch, although progress might be quicker than an absolute beginner. Write down what and how you want to play and assign some realistic time frames. If you try to get straight into solo cornet parts and expect to play reasonably well within a couple of months then you are pushing %#&* up hill and will probably give up in misery.

    If you're getting used to the embrochure again then try some mouthpiece buzzing, lip slurs and lots of slow, low scales (every day) to let your ear readjust to the different feel and response of a cornet. And don't panic if you can't hear the improvement yourself - it's incremental and others will notice.

    Carry a cornet mouthpiece with you in the car and buzz at every opportunity to get used to the airflow.
     
  5. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    Just a quick playing history- I played the cornet from the age of 8 - 18 and became a fairly competent player. However, I then gave up playing completely for the next 12 years.

    A few years ago I started playing again, this time on Euphonium. Unfortunately, the band I play for became short of cornet players last September which resulted in me volunteering to play the instrument, thinking that it wouldn't take too long to get to grips with the thing again. WRONG!

    I now have the tone of an asthmatic rhino, a comfortable range of 5 notes ( C-G) and a lip that starts going after c. 10 mins.

    ...Because you probably have opened up your lip aperture way too big on euphonium during this time...


    I've listened to the advice that often appears on tMP but to no avail (even though some of it appears contradictory).

    it is contradictory because players tend to fall into 3 LIP APERTURE categories as their starting point of embouchure, arrived at by 'some' bad habits:

    TOO OPEN = these have good power / good range / but suffer endurance thru mpc pressure...

    TOO CLOSED = these can play long quiet phrases easily but have no power...

    APERTURE EFFICIENT = can play all over the inst. with great control [all dynamics] making it look easy because it IS!!

    TOO OPEN = 80% of players with problems...
    TOO CLOSED = 15% of players with problems...
    APERTURE EFFICIENT = 5%...doing well...


    'd appreciate opinions on whether I should give these pieces of advice a certain amount of time to see if they work, do whatever seems comfortable and hope that eventually things will sort themselves out

    ...go to my website and try the aperture test [free] so YOU know what your start point is...THEN the relevant info [either too open/too closed cures] will work...MOST players don't even KNOW what their start point is...

    ... and take up the Chinese Yang Qin instead!

    do this anyway...it will make you a more rounded individual ...as..you will be able to order the takeaways more efficiently--ahhahah

    Why is it that what used to seem natural, should now be an ordeal for myself and anyone within a 5 mile radius?!

    the answers above - and waiting for YOU to figure out...contact me by email if you need more info or help.. :D
     

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