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rebeginning cornet

brass cornet upper range

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#16 UnnaturalHarmonics

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 18:48

Above all, don't let yourself get frustrated- it's meant to be fun! You don't want to end up all tense. Just play simple things that you can get right for now. Even if they only go up to a G, you can still work on them and get them sounding nice. You'll get it back, don't worry :)

For breathing, I might be able to help if I could see you, but I can't! For supporting the air, one thing that really helped me is to 'think' my chest expanding as I blow. Obviously that's the opposite of what actually happens, so it tricks your muscles into firming up. Try and get used to what that feels like. Also, try and hold a cigarette paper on the wall in front of you using only your airstream (no cornet required for this part!).

You don't have to play fffff, I just mentioned playing louder because most adult beginners or returners default to a slightly self-conscious mp. For your long notes, don't worry if they're 'only' four seconds. Just do four seconds really beautifully, paying special attention to getting a decent and neat start and end to the note. Then when you can do that, aim for six seconds. Then more... it'll all fall into place.
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#17 ten left thumbs

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 21:59

Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying playing! :) Would just like to feel I am on the road to getting better. And I think I may have been guilty of the 'self-conscious mp'.

 

I've always felt I can 'get the lift down lower' or expand more (naval to back) while standing. When playing whistle, I always felt I had better control standing. I spend my working life on a saddle-stool, so the pelvis is in more of a 'biking' angle than 'sitting'. I notice with interest that Steven Mead chooses to stand while doing the breathing video. 

 

However, it's entirely possible that I just need to practice the breathing more, make it more natural, and make it natural sitting down as well. And that if I've neglected focus on breathing in band specifically, it's just because I was having to think about how many flats to remember. 


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#18 owainsutton

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 22:11

Certainly practice it sitting down. Get really rooted on the chair, feel your feet on the floor, but allow your core to move freely.
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#19 Splog

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 08:20

If breathing is difficult sitting down, it's possible your posture is wrong or your clothes are too tight. Your upper body should be more or less in the same position as it is when standing.

 

Other things to think about when playing high notes - some players roll their lips inwards and raise the back of their tongues higher towards the roof of the mouth. I find that's only really necessary for top C though, but I play trombone.


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#20 superwan

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 11:16

Hi,

 

You've had some really good advice already but I just wanted to say that I identify as I started back playing in October after decades break and I also got my grade 5 at school.  I've also joined a brass band and that's pushing my out of my comfort zone and bringing along my sight reading!  I have certainly found that when I began I was playing mp and didn't like the idea of people hearing me.  I got myself a teacher and he gives me lots of things to work on but always says to be patient.  I listened to a lecture the other day on youtube called something like 'what is good enough'.  It listed 3 things to succeed in brass playing, desire,

perseverance and patience, useful I thought.

 

Things I have found useful to build my stamina and range (and confidence):

1. A sshh practice mute (at first you loose your lip very quickly but it really helps if you perservere) about £30 to buy.

2. Working on flexibilities from the book 'How brass players do it by John Ridgeon.  Start at the beginning and don't move to the next exercise until you can comfortable complete it.

3. Lots of long notes up to your most comfortable top note then increase this by a semi tone a week (don't rush this) you can do this practicing your scales and kill two birds with one stone :)

 

hope this helps and welcome back :)


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#21 ten left thumbs

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 23:17

Many thanks for all the advice and help.

 

Here's what I have done:

 

 - Loosened my belt by a notch, and yes I can breathe better sitting down. Still I'd rather stand to play, but I've been making an effort to do each exercise once standing and once sitting, then in band practice, to really focus on the inbreath.

 

 - Practiced long notes, cresc, dim, ff, sfz, whatever comes to mind, up to an A (second space). That was for about a fortnight. I introduced Bb tonight and survived. This has brought my range down considerably but I'm happy with this if I'm on the right track. A semitone a week sounds fine! :) Just think what I'll be doing in a year!!! The piccolos had better watch out! :D OK, I joke.

 

 - Just ordered the John Ridgeon book, it looks great.

 

Mostly, I feel quite strong now on the notes I'm allowing myself. What I occasionally notice is a high note, let's say the A, when ff and close to the end of a practice session, is - I'll just describe this the best way I can - not all my lip is vibrating at the same pitch. Most is A. Part of it is on some other annoying note. So then I tend to take down either the pitch or the volume.


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#22 JimD

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 08:48

I gather you don't have a teacher?

 

Maybe it would be worth getting someone who knows what they're doing to check out your embouchure - you may be doing something wrong and not realise it. Pulling the corners of your mouth back excessively when trying to play higher for example. Just a thought. :)


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#23 ten left thumbs

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 20:36

A good thought. Can't afford regular lessons but maybe someone could do a one-off? Will ask around next band practice.


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