0 Mouthpiece pressure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    Is their such thing as zero. mouthpiece pressure
    I am trying to play with less by holding the horn a different way with my left hand very little pressure but I can get as high as 3rd space C
    maybe E on a good day Anthony
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Perhaps not, but as little as possible is favorable. Higher ranges come in time with lots of practice. Personally the music I play seldom is above the C on second ledger line above the stave, and even that is a "piece of cake" with a piccolo trumpet as I would use for extended play above the stave.
  3. BrassEye

    BrassEye Pianissimo User

    Sep 9, 2011
    There is no such thing as "zero mouthpiece pressure" in a practical sense; a certain amount of pressure is required to make the seal between mouthpiece and chops.

    There are various schools of thought which include "use minimal ['zero'] pressure", "counteract the backwards pressure with a forward pucker", all the way up to "press until it hurts". Not all of these are necessarily a good idea... If you're wanting to reduce the pressure used, I recommend pp long tones, much like the "sotto voce long tones" exercise demonstrated by Nick Drozdoff on his YouTube channel. Concentrate on good tone, and on keeping the note going without blowing harder or using pressure. This will work the corners no end to start with, but you will soon notice an improvement.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Zero pressure is a fallacy. I think players swing from one side of the road to the other. I've seen "zero" pressure videos and can tell they are using some pressure. I know a guy totally sold out to a particular "ZP" method and his intonation and range have suffered since. He says it'll just take a little more time to get there but it will be worth it. It's been SIX years and he's still waiting for the magical moment. What is sad to me is that he paid hundreds for the materials to achieve this. Too much pressure will damage your muscles and render you unable to play, so that isn't good either. Playing softly works as well as playing loudly (crescendo/decrescendo)!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  5. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    You need some pressure to keep a seal. The point is to not use any additional pressure as you ascend in an attempt to force out higher notes.

  6. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    Plenty of long tones played very softly - best advice out there.
    I would also mention mouthpiece buzzing while holding the MP with only the index finger and thumb works for some people. I personally find that it is nearly impossible to generate much pressure beyond what's necessary for a good seal, in addition to being something I can do while driving to and from work.
  7. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    The answer in one word...NO!
  8. BrassEye

    BrassEye Pianissimo User

    Sep 9, 2011
    Something else that needs to be said is, don't try and do this over night. If you've previously used the "armstrong method", suddenly switching to palming the horn (for example) whilst trying to play the same stuff as before is a recipe for disaster. If it's going to happen, it's going to be a gradual change. I think it was Doc Reinhardt (someone correct me if I'm wrong) who said words to the effect of "do whatever you need to do on the gig". Practice playing your long tones etc with minimal pressure in the woodshed if you want, and that will eventually transfer into your other playing. However, whilst you're performing the audience only cares how you sound, not whether you're trying to reduce pressure; if you're in a situation where it matters if you sound and play well, make sure you do.
  9. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    "No pressure, no tone, no job." William Vacchiano. "More air equals less work." Charlie Schlueter.
    Of course some pressure is used. Do you think even the greats don't get tired at the end of a Mahler Symphony or a long gig as a lead trumpet? Maynard Ferguson once cut his lip while performing.
    One must learn to use the "right" pressure to get the job done and that is learned by diligent, intelligent practice. How quickly one gets tired is entirely dependent on the proper use of air AND embouchure development. This is called learned skills from practice.
    I fully believe that if more folks on this site read the blogs/websites of the great players who have given us their thoughts, these folks would truly learn something. Here is Dave Bilger's site.
    Recently, Dave has had some serious time off the horn due to a major injury occuring during the Shostakovich 7th and other personal issue - one a very happy one. If you don't know who Dave Bilger is, he is principal trumpet in the Philadelphia Orchestra and is one of the world's finest trumpet players.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  10. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    And Eric Miyashiro split his lip open while on a long road tour with the Buddy Rich band. How did he fix his lip? Super Glue!

Share This Page