Newbie/Question

Paul_Davies

New Member
Hey folks!
Im Paul a 36 year old Welshman living in S.Wales valley.
I'm back on the cornet after a 20 year hiatus 16-36!
Although already I think I've put in too much time in the past 2 weeks as I have a little soreness/teeth marks under my upper lip. Even though I was consciously trying NOT to use too much pressure.

Ill attach a picture if anyone would be so kind to comment. Not the best angle but hopefully you can see the marks which are only mildly sore and already feeling better after 48 hours off the horn.
Warning: its not a pretty picture
 

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Vegasbound

Active Member
Think you have answered your own question, after 16 years off too much too soon seems the answer

take a week off, organise to have a lesson or two with a good pro teacher, remember your starting from scratch so too speak

with the help of a teacher build a solid warmup and practice regime

and enjoy your music making
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
You've answered your own question in that it's too much, too soon.

I would suggest, that there's something else you can do for yourself too...

Excessive pressure can snowball during a practice session, but what makes it get that way can vary.

One thing that's definitely worth doing is equalising the pressure between top and bottom lip - you should be able to feel the mouthpiece against both top and bottom teeth through the lips, though obviously not mashed into them.
If you don't currently have that and all the pressure is on the top lip, not only will increased pressure go entirely into the top lip, but it won't do as much and that'll encourage you to use more of it.

Where abouts in the valleys are you? (You can PM if you want), if you're after potential teachers I can probably point you in the right direction...

Are you playing with a band?
 

Paul_Davies

New Member
You've answered your own question in that it's too much, too soon.

I would suggest, that there's something else you can do for yourself too...

Excessive pressure can snowball during a practice session, but what makes it get that way can vary.

One thing that's definitely worth doing is equalising the pressure between top and bottom lip - you should be able to feel the mouthpiece against both top and bottom teeth through the lips, though obviously not mashed into them.
If you don't currently have that and all the pressure is on the top lip, not only will increased pressure go entirely into the top lip, but it won't do as much and that'll encourage you to use more of it.

Where abouts in the valleys are you? (You can PM if you want), if you're after potential teachers I can probably point you in the right direction...

Are you playing with a band?
Hey Tom thanks for your reply.
I live in Mountain Ash and have recently started sitting in wirh Park & Dare. 3rd Cornet.
Ill definitely take on board your suggestions.
The swelling under my lip has faded this week even with some practice so think its improving.
Perhaps I was too excited and did too much too long the first week 😅
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
Hey Tom thanks for your reply.
I live in Mountain Ash and have recently started sitting in wirh Park & Dare. 3rd Cornet.
Ill definitely take on board your suggestions.
The swelling under my lip has faded this week even with some practice so think its improving.
Perhaps I was too excited and did too much too long the first week 😅

Aaaah - say Hi to Mr Eddy for me!

Hopefully that's all it is and sustainable practice is enough.
When you practice, just take time to rest (rest as much as you play, within reason) and when you start to get tired have a break - practice on tired chops does no good, it's literally a hiding for nothing.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
I live in Mountain Ash and have recently started sitting in wirh Park & Dare. 3rd Cornet.

The swelling under my lip has faded this week even with some practice so think its improving.
Perhaps I was too excited and did too much too long the first week 😅

Mountain Ash to Parc and Dare is quite some journey. Maybe not so far as the ‘Crow flies’ but going to another valley in South Wales isn’t usually easy.

I’m a Bass player and haven’t played Cornet in a very long time so perhaps I’m not qualified to comment. That aside building up chops takes months and more so it’s best to both not to beat yourself up and to give your chops recovery time. Little and often in terms of practice time has worked well for me and overdoing things just results in injury, be kind to yourself and make best progress that way.

Practise sessions don’t necessarily need to be all playing, getting rhythms and fingerings right can be done without playing. Sometimes Band pieces are on YouTube too so you can silently play along making sure that you understand where repeats, signs and key changes are. Practise pieces need not be all Band pieces, the Winners series are short unaccompanied tunes and I still enjoy playing them.

Good luck and enjoy your playing.
 
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Paul_Davies

New Member
Aaaah - say Hi to Mr Eddy for me!

Hopefully that's all it is and sustainable practice is enough.
When you practice, just take time to rest (rest as much as you play, within reason) and when you start to get tired have a break - practice on tired chops does no good, it's literally a hiding for nothing.
Haha yes Paul on Sop! Ill see him Sunday.
Yes I have been nerding out watching videos on YouTube on embouche and practice etc.
Common theme rest as much as you practice.
 

Tom-King

Well-Known Member
Haha yes Paul on Sop! Ill see him Sunday.
Yes I have been nerding out watching videos on YouTube on embouche and practice etc.
Common theme rest as much as you practice.

This one's getting old now, but it's one I've come back to a few times as it's excellent stuff..


The way certain things are explained just really resonate with me, and of course the blokes an absolute monster player.
 

Paul_Davies

New Member
Mountain Ash to Parc and Dare is quite some journey. Maybe not so far as the ‘Crow flies’ but going to another valley in South Wales isn’t usually easy.

I’m a Bass player and haven’t played Cornet in a very long time so perhaps I’m not qualified to comment. That aside building up chops takes months and more so it’s best to both not to beat yourself up and to give your chops recovery time. Little and often in terms of practice time has worked well for me and overdoing things just results in injury, be kind to yourself and make best progress that way.

Practise sessions don’t necessarily need to be all playing, getting rhythms and fingerings right can be done without playing. Sometimes Band pieces are on YouTube too so you can silently play along making sure that you understand where repeats, signs and key changes are. Practise pieces need not be all Band pieces, the Winners series are short unaccompanied tunes and I still enjoy playing them.

Good luck and enjoy your playing.
Nice one, great advice. Yes I definitely feel my chops are 'lifting weights' once I start to go up on the stave and often stop mid exercise to rest,
especially when I consciously try not to press and mash the lips too.
It's frustrating because I'm kinda cornet/music mad at the moment and all I want to do is practice but I must take it easy.
Mountain ash to Treorchy is a nuisance because they sit quite central in their valleys so one must drive up or down.
Dreading the mountain passes this winter.
Tunnel through the mountain I say! :D
 

Paul_Davies

New Member
Aweso
This one's getting old now, but it's one I've come back to a few times as it's excellent stuff..


The way certain things are explained just really resonate with me, and of course the blokes an absolute monster player

This one's getting old now, but it's one I've come back to a few times as it's excellent stuff..


The way certain things are explained just really resonate with me, and of course the blokes an absolute monster player.
Awesome! Will watch it tonight.
There's an American trumpet player Charlie Porter who ive found has some great 'setting up' method too.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Yes I definitely feel my chops are 'lifting weights' once I start to go up on the stave and often stop mid exercise to rest,
especially when I consciously try not to press and mash the lips too.
It's frustrating because I'm kinda cornet/music mad at the moment and all I want to do is practice but I must take it easy.

For some reason your comment takes me back several decades and to a big mistake that I’ve made in the past. Being an impatient sort who wanted everything right straight away I was once greatly frustrated by not being able to play up the stave. As an even younger person my range had been better but a long period of no playing had seen all that lip strength disappear. I really don’t know why I was fretting ‘cause the part that I was playing (2nd Horn IIRC) rarely, if ever, called for much up the stave. Only you will know if that experience matches your situation. However, if it does then please learn from my error and concentrate on the range that you will asked to play. Don’t fuss about higher pitches that you don’t need just yet, as the months and years go by they will likely come to you without too much challenge .
 
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Paul_Davies

New Member
For some reason your comment takes me back several decades and to a big mistake that I’ve made in the past. Being an impatient sort who wanted everything right straight away I was once greatly frustrated by not being able to play up the stave. As an even younger person my range had been better but a long period of no playing had seen all that lip strength disappear. I really don’t know why I was fretting ‘cause the part that I was playing (2nd Horn IIRC) rarely, if ever, called for much up the stave. Only you will know if that experience matches your situation. However, if it does then please learn from my error and concentrate on the range that you will asked to play. Don’t fuss about higher pitches that you don’t need just yet, as the months and years go by they will likely come to you without too much challenge .
Yes thats an interesting thought. Currently on 3rd cornet the music occasionally touches the top line (f) but mostly in the lower register.
Come to think of it I kind of packed it in at age 16 partly because of life, leaving school, joining the army etc, but honestly my embouche was quite messed up, weak so that I was using pressure. Playing wasnt fun back then and my school teacher didn't address the issues I was having.
I feel as an adult im more patient and clued up on actually 'how to learn'.
Gotta enjoy the journey. Whats that saying;
its the dance. Not reaching a point in the room
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Yes thats an interesting thought. Currently on 3rd cornet the music occasionally touches the top line (f) but mostly in the lower register.
Come to think of it I kind of packed it in at age 16 partly because of life, leaving school, joining the army etc, but honestly my embouche was quite messed up, weak so that I was using pressure. Playing wasnt fun back then and my school teacher didn't address the issues I was having.
I feel as an adult im more patient and clued up on actually 'how to learn'.
Gotta enjoy the journey. Whats that saying;
its the dance. Not reaching a point in the room

I’m glad that my experience might be of help to you. Your other points are well taken and in line with my own thoughts.

I love playing the Cornet - it’s easy on air and it has a sweet, full and agile voice. However, I have never managed to get on with small mouthpieces and do not have the reactions and wit necessary to advance beyond the Cornet section’s Back Row. There’s nothing wrong with not advancing and sometimes just being content with where you are is the better attitude, but a younger me wouldn’t have liked it - perhaps my mindset was some mix of pig headed pride, ambition and stupidity.

My own journey to fulfilment in the Band took me from Cornet to Tenor Horn to Eb Bass to Tenor Trombone and back to Eb Bass. I love both Bass and Trombone but I’m a better Tuba player than Trombonist. Now here’s the point that I’m trying to make: just because someone has previously and is again playing the XYZ (Cornet or whatever) doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be better suited to - and maybe more valuable to their Band on - a different instrument. Indeed, to fill the other seats a Band needs players to move between its instrumental sections. Nearly all of us started on a Cornet and then moved off elsewhere to fill vacant seats and/or to find a better match for our chops, etc.

It’s just a suggestion - I hope that you don’t mind - and maybe you’ll leave it some months for things (including your chops) to settle first, but when time and circumstances allow then why not question whether a change from Cornet might be a useful step in your own ‘Dance’? Above I’ve mentioned my own journey or dance and for for me Eb Bass is its happy conclusion. I like and do a good job on Trombone and BBb too, if asked to then I could happily play either of them for years but for me Eb Bass is my ‘Goldilocks’ (just right for me) instrument.
 
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Paul_Davies

New Member
I’m glad that my experience might be of help to you. Your other points are well taken and in line with my own thoughts.

I love playing the Cornet - it’s easy on air and it has a sweet, full and agile voice. However, I have never managed to get on with small mouthpieces and do not have the reactions and wit necessary to advance beyond the Cornet section’s Back Row. There’s nothing wrong with not advancing and sometimes just being content with where you are is the better attitude, but a younger me wouldn’t have liked it - perhaps my mindset was some mix of pig headed pride, ambition and stupidity.

My own journey to fulfilment in the Band took me from Cornet to Tenor Horn to Eb Bass to Tenor Trombone and back to Eb Bass. I love both Bass and Trombone but I’m a better Tuba player than Trombonist. Now here’s the point that I’m trying to make: just because someone has previously and is again playing the XYZ (Cornet or whatever) doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t be better suited to - and maybe more valuable to their Band on - a different instrument. Indeed, to fill the other seats a Band needs players to move between its instrumental sections. I estimate that over half the other instrument players in nearly any Band will have started on a Cornet and then moved off elsewhere to fill vacant seats and/or to find a better match for their chops, etc.

It’s just a suggestion - I hope that you don’t mind - and maybe you’ll leave it some months for things to settle first, but when time and circumstances allow then why not question whether a change from Cornet might be a useful step in your own ‘Dance’? Above I’ve mentioned my own journey or dance and for for me Eb Bass is Home, a square peg in a square hole. I like and do a good job on Trombone and BBb too, I could happily play either of them for years but for me Eb Bass is my ‘Goldilocks’ instrument.
Absolutely. I do love the cornet but im not married to it lol.
Yes it seems alot of people start out on cornet then change which I never thought of before.
The band i play in were looking for cornets which was a big reason i wanted to join as there was a seat for me.
I visited Cuba once and watched an amazing live jazzy group with trombone up front and thought wow thats a cool instrument I'd like to try.
But as you said, early days yet I'll stick with cornet and see how far I can take it.
Its quite a convenient instrument for me at the moment too as I do a bulk of my practice in work when stopped (HGV Driver) but yes I try to always be present in my position and enjoy where I am.
#Zen
 

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