Air pressure question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Glennx, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Glennx

    Glennx Pianissimo User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Feel dumb asking this, but am putting it out here anyway.

    All things being more or less equal, to play higher one needs a smaller aperture and greater air pressure, right? As a dedicated retread of 3 years who practices intelligently every day, my range is s-l-o-w-l-y creeping up, but is still not at high C yet.

    I did a self-check the other day and noticed that beyond an A above the staff, I can't seem to increase the air pressure in order to play higher. My chops seem/feel fine, I'm not choking off the air at the throat nor using excess mouthpiece pressure, and my sound is solid enough within & below the staff, and both good and fairly effortless up to the G just below that A. I generally play a Schilke 14, which is not overly large.

    So how does one increase air pressure in order to play up there?
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Try manipulating your tongue. I know some members here aren't a fan of the tongue arch but it works for me, and quite a few other players
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Try increasing your pucker to feed a bit more lip INTO the mouthpiece.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    For me, the same stuff that goes on with the falsettto voice helps in the upper register. You'll need the lip strength to hold the note in and plenty of air, but it is the same concept. For exercises, "rips" work really well. Starting with a c in the staff, glissando upwards, like dragging mallets across a xylophone, hitting all the overtones and coming down again. Then, like a bouncing ball, take it higher and higher and higher.

    Have fun!
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    use your gut squeezing everything below you belly button including your glutes (which by no means seems to compress air, however it does keep some air from escaping out the other port)-- anyways the idea is to ooomph the lungs up a bit --- that seems to help me "compress" the lung cavity or something like that and get higher notes ---- some people call that "good air support" ---- I call it compressing the air so it SCREAMS at a faster rate, through a slightly smaller aperture for notes above high C or so. ***note*** many will scoff at the idea or compressing your lungs, or faster air screaming through the horn ----- but let them scoff --- I am just saying this technique is working for me ***note***
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Time to toss the good 'ol Vulgano "RAY OF POWER" into the ring again:

    The finicky thing about air is that, yeah, we must learn the mechanics but then forget about them, because under the stress of performance, as tension sets in, our bodies will lie to us, and it will feel like we're moving huge amounts of air, breathing deeply and supporting when in fact, we are not!

    For this reason, I rely on some Vulgano Voodoo and the RAY OF POWER. It involves the Root Chakra, which is located directly at the base of the spine, also known as the coccyx. The chakras have their own mystic qualities, I guess. I don't know for sure, but they do seem to be located in parts of the body where bunches of nerves meet. (The Vulgano version is situated half way between the places we do our number one and number two in the restroom.)

    In practice and in theory, imagine (and feel) a ray of some sort (red is the most common mystic color associated with the root chakra) shooting down into the ground while playing. For high notes, imagine (and feel) a more intense ray. If we practice this sitting in a chair, we can notice all kinds of muscles come into play, which happen to be the same muscles used to "support" the air stream. By taking attention off of the mechanics and experiencing the mysterious, magical and not yet patented RAY OF POWER we can avoid some of the tension involved in "trying hard."

    Nothing mysterious and magical here really, but the RAY OF POWER does permit me to play with a relaxed but working body.
  7. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    Squeeze your buttocks together with a firm pressure.

  8. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
  9. Sidekick

    Sidekick Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 14, 2011
    London UK
    Stumac - I'm not sure that the link is working.
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Yep, that'll really squeeze out the high notes... but from the lower end... if ya catch my draft!

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