Problems on the low middle register

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Bone24
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Problems on the low middle register

Post by Bone24 »

Hello.
For about a year and a half I have been having difficulties with the low and mid-low register (from the C of the second space down). Little by little I have been noticing how I lose effectiveness and it is difficult for me to articulate the notes. I've never had problems and now miss a lot of attacks on those notes (especially C and B natural of the second space and second line with and without transposer).

I cannot identify the change or bad habit that has led me to lose level in this record. It only happens to me when I attack notes, in legato I have a high level and no difficulty.

I suspect it may have to do with unconscious changes in my embouchure. During these last few years I worked a lot in the lower register and I was improving a lot, perhaps there was some change in my embouchure during this work.
But I haven't been able to solve it.

Are any of you in this situation or know someone who has experienced this? Any advice or testimony that can help?

thank you so much for your attention
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BGuttman
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by BGuttman »

Have a competent teacher take a look at your playing and your instrument.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
"Almost Professional"
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by Doug Elliott »

What is your main mouthpiece and horn? Does it happen equally in 6&7 and with the trigger?
Those notes need some resistance to focus, and if you have been trying to "open up" to improve low range, you probably went too far.
I would have to see it to tell you anything more specific. I do lessons by Skype.
"I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two."
Bone24
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by Bone24 »

Thanks for your attention. I play with Bach 42 and Greg Black 5G Regular mouthpiece.
And it happens to me with the triger and without it
Any advice on how to "return" to my embouchure position prior to this? I also notice, as you say, that I have opened too much. But I don't know how to return to the original position that is closer and closer to the embouchure of the middle register.

Thank you also for your offer via Skype, but I don't speak English nor am I able to maintain a fluent conversation. I use Google Translate 😔
timothy42b
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by timothy42b »

Bone24 wrote: Thu Sep 28, 2023 6:32 am Hello.
For about a year and a half I have been having difficulties with the low and mid-low register (from the C of the second space down). Little by little I have been noticing how I lose effectiveness and it is difficult for me to articulate the notes. I've never had problems and now miss a lot of attacks on those notes (especially C and B natural of the second space and second line with and without transposer).

During these last few years I worked a lot in the lower register and I was improving a lot, perhaps there was some change in my embouchure during this work.

Are any of you in this situation or know someone who has experienced this? Any advice or testimony that can help?
Yes.

This sounds exactly like what happened to me about two years ago. I could not be sure of attacking a note, especially loud, anywhere on the staff, and lower was worse. It became bad enough I considered quitting. Almost did.

At the same time in loud playing above that range, others noticed I sounded like a straight mute. I posted an example here back then. Several people pointed out that I was bunching my chin badly.

I have a guess at what caused my embouchure to develop whatever fault caused this. But first I should tell you I am a high placement IIIA setting, and my motion is up and right to ascend, down and left to descend. You may have a totally different embouchure and if so maybe none of this applies to you. I play on similar equipment to you, .547 horn and 4 or 5 range rim mouthpiece.

This is what I did. First took a couple more lessons from Doug. We worked on: not bunching the chin, and that's not as easy as it sounds. You can't not do something, you have to do something else instead. We worked an exercise over a range of a tenth, using the opening of Tuba Mirum but the Jacobs exercise is the same, but playing as correctly as possible. (I went back and reviewed notes from his previous advice, about motion, relaxation of everything above corners, breathing, etc., and tried to do it right this time. Or at least better! <smiley>) He added in tongue position that changes the mouth resonance, something he'd mentioned before but I'd never understood physically. And lots of little things we talked about.

I found an easy exercise that I absolutely could not play and mostly worked on that, using what he'd told me and notes from his old lessons, trying to play just that one more and more correctly. And it got better. I'm still weak in the trigger range but I'm starting notes in the staff okay.

Back to my guess about how I got so far off track. In the year before that developed, I had pretty bad left shoulder impingement. I played trombone mostly with an ergobone. And I spent some of my practice time on a lightweight plastic baritone to save the shoulder. But that horn has an extremely stuffy and difficult low range, and I had to work hard to get any sound out of it down low. So, possibilities: ergobone limiting my ability to get chop settings and motions just right, and cheating somehow while trying to play low on an instrument that didn't want to. Or, none of the above. But the OP mentioned his problems started when he was working on low range, so, maybe. Who knows?
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by Doug Elliott »

If you work on low range a lot with a mouthpiece that's too small for you, you end up shifting to a lower mouthpiece placement (Depending on your embouchure type, but that has a pretty typical situation). That causes you to use two (or more) different settings. And then you have problems like this.

You should try a larger mouthpiece.

I can do Skype lessons by showing you what I want you to do instead of talking.
"I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two."
timothy42b
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by timothy42b »

Doug Elliott wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 12:12 pm If you work on low range a lot with a mouthpiece that's too small for you, you end up shifting to a lower mouthpiece placement (Depending on your embouchure type, but that has a pretty typical situation). That causes you to use two (or more) different settings. And then you have problems like this.
Would that apply to false tones below the staff as well? It seems logical anyway, it might be even worse.
Olofson
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by Olofson »

timothy42b wrote: Mon Oct 02, 2023 5:36 am
Doug Elliott wrote: Fri Sep 29, 2023 12:12 pm If you work on low range a lot with a mouthpiece that's too small for you, you end up shifting to a lower mouthpiece placement (Depending on your embouchure type, but that has a pretty typical situation). That causes you to use two (or more) different settings. And then you have problems like this.
Would that apply to false tones below the staff as well? It seems logical anyway, it might be even worse.
The false tones should not need a shift. It is better to not play them at all than with a strange embouchure. Practise only with a proper embouchure, and as good sound as posible.
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Wilktone
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Re: Problems on the low middle register

Post by Wilktone »

Depending on what you mean by "shift," I would either agree or disagree. There are some mechanical procedures that must happen to change registers (e.g., the mouthpiece and lips together get pushed and pulled along the teeth and gums underneath), but if you're changing the mouthpiece placement that's going to work against you.

Ideally we want to play our entire range without shifting to a different mouthpiece placement or otherwise making an alteration to how we play correctly. False tones or trigger notes shouldn't require changing mouthpiece placement.

Dave
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David Wilken
https://wilktone.com
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