New cornet causing problems !!!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by shipbuilder, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. shipbuilder

    shipbuilder New Member

    Suggestions requested.

    I've been playing a Bossey & Hawkes Imperial cornet with a Reynolds B mouthpiece for over 25 years. I managed a full range (with the occasional E and F above the stave)with a half decent tone but the third valve caused me all sorts of problems.

    I decided to treat myself and bought a Besson Soveriegn. The mouthpiece that came with it was an Alliance 3B. I 've had the instrument 4 months now and even though the tone produced is much better (colleagues say it's a bigger bore) I am still finding it difficult to play up in the top register - even top C is difficult after about an hours playing.

    I'm putting in the practice and have marginally improved by using a Dennis Wick 5. My old Reynolds mouthpiece doesn't really fit into the Sovereign. Following threads in TMP most players say that the mouthpiece isn't really relevant - breathing and support are.

    My deduction therefore is that my problems stem from the larger bore - it's also a longer instrument so I have to hold it farther away from my body.

    Anyone out there got any suggestions? Could my practice sessions incorporate something to help?

    Sorry, turned into a longer question that I thought.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  2. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    Yes, don't give up. Bigger bore means you have to work harder to keep the extremes going. Loud playing, soft playing, high and low.

    One of the worst things that someone can do is make a "thing" out of what is perceived to be a problem. You get a new instrument, can't play high on it and suddenly the top register disappears (I know, it happened to me).

    Best thing to do is go to a teacher. Someone who knows what they are talking about preferably. Although a forum like this can be full of help, it's very unwise to give an online diagnosis without someone actually seeing and hearing you play.

    For general issues though, have a look here. The site is run by Mike Saville who is a professional trombonist and teacher.

    Best of luck!

  3. shipbuilder

    shipbuilder New Member

    Thanks HB for such a quick response.

    Visited the 'How to practise' website - looks good.

    More practice then ! Cheers.

  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Be warned - about to open a can of worms

    Mouthpieces are important - choosing one which works with your embouchure configuration is important.
    Breathing and support are very important, but to say that this makes the mouthpiece irrelevant would be, in my view, incorrect.

    The change of instrument is probably the reason, but if you had the range once you will surely get it back in time. Sadly, when we change any part of our equipment (mouthpiece, instrument, even the mutes) the way everything works as a whole changes and we need to get to know how these changes will affect the way we, as a performer, make music.
    If you find that the range goes, it could be that the new mouthpiece change didn't work in combination with your chops, or it could be that the instrument is taking you a bit of time to get used to.
    Use this time, when range is a bit of an issue, to enjoy the beautiful tone that your new cornet has - let the range catch up in time.

    Above all else - don't panic - you got it once, it will return
  5. shipbuilder

    shipbuilder New Member

    Thanks TM

    (Above all else - don't panic - you got it once, it will return)

    Can I quote this back to you in 6 months ?

  6. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    The best advice I can give is get a big mouthpiece, practice mute, and an arban and start from page 1 gradually increasing your range as you go. The biggest mouthpiece you can play on will in the long run do wonders for every aspect of your playing.
    If however you don't want to take the harder way than experiment with mouthpieces, and see which one suits you best.
  7. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    Take a look a this method did wonders for my range and endurance with no loss of tone. I blew away my ideas of a "correct" embouchere.
  8. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    There is no such thing as a "correct" embouchure, in my opinion.
    There are certainly those that are better suited to certain people but I am not of the opinion that one size/style fits all.

    I know that there are some very respected teachers who do try and get all their students using one "perfect" embouchure, but alongside those that have great success are frequently those that have far less impressive results using the same set up.

    If you see a great teacher they will soon be able to see if you are doing anything silly, or whether it is just a question of acclimatising yourself to the new instrument/mouthpiece combination.

    If you want to take a further look into various different embouchure types (and the people who have them) I would recommend getting hold of David Hickman's Trumpet Pedagogy book (PM me for details of where to get this, I don't want to be accused of advertising). Dave is a truly incredible trumpeter (US virtuoso) and one of the world's finest teachers (also a great guy) - this book is not so much a "this is how to play well" as a book describing how other people have done it. EVERY aspiring trumpet/cornet player should take a read of it.
  9. Hells Bones

    Hells Bones Active Member

    I agree with TM. Perfect embouchure? Look at Maynard Fergusson.

    He didn't have a perfect embouchure.

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