Air Leaks anyone??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 4INer, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. 4INer

    4INer Pianissimo User

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    I'll preface this with saying I am a decent community band player and a comeback player that has been on the comeback trail for a couple of years. But I have no illusions of ever being on tour..... But I do have decent endurance now, can play through 2 hour rehearsals without any chop issues, and have decent range (high F always, High G usually, High A's and up, not so much but the squeaks are there... :) ) Anyway what has become my daily warm up routine is to start out with long tones and lip bends. I start on G (in the staff) and play G, F#, G with correct fingering, then mouthpiece buzz the same thing, then lip bend it (playing it all open), and then back to the G, F#, G with correct fingering. Then I go down in half step increments playing the same routine all the way to low G, Low F#, Low G. Nearly everyday (and I've been doing this for a couple of years) when I get to about the low Bb or low A, I can feel some air leaking out the sides of my embouchure. It's not a lot, and it doesn't seem to affect my tone or volume (I will normally play crescendos and decrescendos), but I can feel the air leak. I can stop the leak by applying pressure, or by pinching down on the corners of my mouth, but both tend to choke the resonance and tone. After getting down to the Low G, I then go up to C (in the staff) and run the same routine back down to G (in the staff) and then go up to G above the staff and work the routine down to C. After the full routine, I can return to the lower register stuff and the air leak is not there. But the next morning during warm up it is there again. It really doesn't affect my playing any, but I am curious if any others experience anything similar.

    I have theorized that until the chops are fully relaxed and limber they don't completely seal, but then I shoot down my own hypothesis by playing low after my chops are shot and embouchure muscles are sore, tense, and worn out, yet have zero air leaking.........
     
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    You answered your own question. You need to play less loud down below and use less pressure.

    Tom
     
  3. 4INer

    4INer Pianissimo User

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    Thanks for your answer Tom, but this happens throughout the dynamic range and I never belt it out when I'm warming up. In fact there is very little pressure present when this happens. It's just a weird thing with me and I was curious if anybody else experiences anything similar and also if there is anything I should try to work on. I really don't see it as a problem as it in no way affects my playing and is just something I deal with during my first 15 minutes or so of playing everyday........
     
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    See, that's the problem. Idiosyncratic. That means "unique to you". Not something you can really discuss much online.

    Tom
     
  5. 4INer

    4INer Pianissimo User

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    May be Idiosyncratic........ But then I wouldn't know that unless I asked others, and I just figured that the reason for this forum was to allow trumpet players to interact and would be a great place to ask others. But then I'm just a pianissimo user, and when a Fortissimo user tells me to shut up, I guess I'll shut up. Sorry for the intrusion......
     
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    Heh no, I'm not telling you to shut up. I am not the player you think I am.

    You're not intruding, either. Just play slower and lower and pay attention, right?

    And, then, you follow up and tell us how you improved?

    Tom
     
  7. 4INer

    4INer Pianissimo User

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    Sorry if I misunderstood Tom, but I guess I'm not the player you think I am either. I have been playing for a total of 30 years or so. But I had a long layoff of about 10 years and have been back at it for a little more than 2 years. I spent a year of that 2 years back in college attmpting to finish a music degree. As for paying attention to what is happening when I play, I may be guilty of overthinking.... I play an hourvroutine every morning, then on most days get in another hour of just playing music, all kinds of music. The reason for this thread was just to pick the brain of other trumpet players as to why I get air leaks when I play soft and low. This is not a range issue or a pressure issue. I try to play with low lip pressure and only enough air pressure to produce whatever note and sound I am aiming for, and have been extremely delibrative in regaining my former range and endurance. Again, my apologies for any misunderstanding.
     
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I guess I'm at a similar stage in my come back.

    Although I don't leak on those notes (as far as I'm aware!). if I try and make air leak a little, it will, and with a remarkably small change in lip set. Down there, our lip is very relaxed inside the mouthpiece, set moreorless firm outside and perhaps it's not surprising if the seal doesn't coincide exactly with the mouthpiece rim. Unless we force the issue with mouthpiece pressure which would be a bad thing.

    Does a little leak harm your playing at all? Probably might if you worried about it. Personally, I wouldn't pay it too much attention. It'll probably go away of its own accord sometime.
     
  9. Djmennis

    Djmennis New Friend

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    Smile and drop your jaw as if you were speaking high an umlaut. More specific the O with an umlaut
     
  10. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

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    To me, this sounds like the definition of trying to play with too little pressure. Very simply, we need to use enough pressure to seal the mouthpiece against the lips. Under the circumstances you describe, I'd call it too little pressure.

    Except it only happens during your warm up. If it doesn't happen when you're playing, you're using enough pressure when it matters. Maybe during the course of your warm up something changes about your chops and they seal against the mouthpiece with the same low pressure. Or maybe over the course of your warm up you add just enough pressure to make a seal without realizing it.

    But as long as you're not using excessive pressure (and if anything, it sounds like you're a little too intent on using as little pressure as possible) it doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about. If we sounded perfect the moment we put the mouthpiece to our cold chops, there would be no reason to warm up.
     

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