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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Mar 19, 2012.
|: Diligent, intelligent, practice :|
The "Zero Pressure" myth probably started from the over reaction people have had to excessive pressure.
After all, excessive pressure is certainly detrimental so therefore the opposite must be better.... NO PRESSURE!
As everyone has said, it takes pressure to keep the horn on your face and stop the air from leaking out the corners.
HL Clarke was amazed when he saw another cornet soloist performing seemingly endlessly with no visible effort.
The soloist was Walter Rogers, and he set Clarke off on a quest to learn this guy's secret. I felt the same way as Clarke when I was in college when a little skinny kid showed up my second year at UNT and just blew the doors off the place with his seemingly effortless double C's and great fluidity and flexibility. I couldn't imagine how I was going to make it as a trumpet player when I worked so much harder for worse results than the new guy. I ended up trading my Bach 37 for a Packard Bell 386SX anc become a computer guy! (LOL!) In the long run I probably made alot more money than I would have as a trumpet player! (Thx Scott!) Now, 20 years later, I am back at it and like Clarke did, I am working to discover the "secret".
Your lips have to vibrate to produce a tone.
As you ascend in pitch the lips have to vibrate at a higher frequency.
We try to "blow harder" to get the lips to vibrate faster, and so we use more pressure to hold the apeture.
It is a death spiral as you ascend, more air, more pressure, but eventually the pressure wins and kills the buzz completely.
Here is what Clarke learned after weeks of trying to imitate Rogers...
Here is the real gem in Clarke's auto biography...
You have to figure out what works for YOU, not what worked for someone else!
Read Clarke's instructions in the "Technical Studies"... play as softly as possible, without straining for the high tones.
The only way I know to reduce pressure is to breath correctly.Practice softly,rest often,concentrate on your air flow and a centered tone. Watch you volume,don't over blow,don't go over 80% of your top volume,always keep something in reserve. Let you air,tongue and embouchure do the work not your arms.
Which is why walruses rarely marry seals.
Come now, we all know that seals don't favor the whiskers of walruses and thus won't consent to marriage or hanky-panky.
Seriously all, what we're interested in is arm pressure. That you can develop with arm wrestling, but it's a NO NO in playing the trumpet or cornet, even a T-bone, the latter best eaten when smothered with favored sauce, and not otherwise enjoyed by trumpeters and cornetists.
As opposed to UNHAPPY seals?????
Pressure works. 0 pressure is not a goal worth thinking about. There is nothing wrong with pressure if you get through the gigs with all the right notes from beginning to end with the right style and volume. Crapping out early does not have to be caused by pressure.
The right amount of pressure for each player depends on their body use, breathing and dedication as well as brains and ears. My students work on building proper breathing and body use habits as well as the playing exercizes that promote good embouchure. We NEVER address pressure.
You have just been recruited as my back up editor. So noted and will correct this sir!
By the way, your work has earned my seal of approval.
Truly, I believe you do, but not directly or openly. Too, I concur that if you are constantly thinking about it, such is distracting from due thought about the music or etude you're playing. I pick up my trumpet to relax and cast aside my worries.
I really do not address pressure. IF our breathing and body use are working, IF we are practicing stuff that makes us better, our embouchure gravitates to its natural, most efficient state. That also means that the pressure goes down as the level of integration goes up.
With one on one local, live lessons, we can hear the notes that are very "resonant" and build around them. Range, endurance and sound are all functions of integrating the body, ears and brain. Pressure is part of that life cycle, just like filling up diapers is. Kids don't stop crapping their pants because the parents say not to anymore. Some figure it out early, others never get it. The parents concentrate on regular meals and an infrastructure that allows easy access to better crapping habits. I concentrate on good body and soul and an infrastructure that lets the student discover resonance and efficiency WITHOUT worrying about the rest. In my world, pressure is a symptom of another deficit. It is NOT a sickness in itself.