A simple check for using excess pressure?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet-Golfer, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Trumpet-Golfer

    Trumpet-Golfer Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2008
    Liverpool, England
    I don’t want to open the Pandora’s Box of the trumpet world. However whilst I was practicing yesterday (I normally work on the high end of my range every other day)
    I did a simple test with my mouthpiece. I inserted the mouthpiece normally and then rotated it to get a feel for how freely it moved. I then played some scales up to the top of my range and then tried to rotate the mouthpiece again, and surprisingly it rotated much the same as when I first inserted it.
    I then gave the mouthpiece a slight tap with the palm of my hand and noted that the mouthpiece would not rotate and required some twisting to remove it.
    I no this isn’t very scientific, however I will try to get an approximation of the force I exerted on the mouthpiece when I gave it a tap.
    Anyway I thought it maybe a simple check to use on the trumpet just to see if the mouthpiece has been forced further up its taper after a good workout.
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The best way is to practice with the eyes and ears open. The rest becomes apparent when we are awake.

    Pressure is generally a stadium that every player goes through. That is why the world sometimes falls apart when a student gets braces. They can't push anymore.

    I do not bug my students about pressure. They learn to breathe properly, they get a good mix of slurs, scales, long tones, etudes and tons of tunes. The rest just seems to work out without all the fuss. Everything less to think about means more time for the music
  4. mrsemman

    mrsemman Piano User

    Apr 8, 2010
    My ephiphany came yesterday while practicing. I realized that I was feeling pressure reaching the higher notes. I then realized that I was closing my throat. While practicing opening my throat when blowing, lessened the pressure and gave a fuller tone to my notes. I also realized that reaching the higher notes, were easier and fuller too.

    My simple check, is if my face is purple, then there is too much pressure.
  5. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    If there's a bump in the back of my head, I'm using too much pressure!


    Seriously, though, pressure will reduce your endurance something awful, and mess up your tone, too. Be consious of how hard you're pulling the horn into your face when you start playing, and if you're pulling much harder when you're getting tired, you're pressing too hard! Sometimes it takes a consious effort to take your pinkie finger out of the "octave key" and use more air, but if you do, you'll last alot longer! (IMHO)

    Guy Clark

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