Air Support/Faster Air

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eliserachel, Nov 30, 2014.

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  1. eliserachel

    eliserachel New Friend

    Nov 21, 2014
    How do you practice pushing air faster through your trumpet? I know it sounds kind of silly, but whenever somebody tells me this I understand what they mean, but not how to physically do this. Also, when I try to blow faster, I just end up using a lot of pressure instead of playing a higher note. I try to use less pressure, but this only works until I get to a G on top of the staff, where I just can't seem to blow air fast enough without changing my embouchure by more than I should and using a lot of force. Even after doing that, I can only play one or two notes higher.
    Any feedback would be appreciated!
  2. Smrtn

    Smrtn Pianissimo User

    Sep 18, 2014
    Someone else may be able to explain it better, but the way I understand this, is in blowing faster one uses air from the bottom of one's lungs, using the diaphragm and forcing the air in a controlled manner. I've recently begun using this concept in this way, and I am waay amazed at how much faster I can slot my notes, and how much clearer they are, and how much longer I can sustain. I can also go a lot higher, and lower with more certainty than when I pushed air from my face or neck ie; range is expanding. Still refining this but for me it is a key.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    There are lots of misconceptions about the use of air. 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 and others to play with a relaxed but working body.

    A very important component is our breathing. Google "Circle of Breath Rowuk" for some great information.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    You do not push the air through the horn. Blow smoke into the horn. No matter how hard you blow, you will not see the smoke coming out the other end until quit awhile later. And I am not blowing smoke at you. You start a standing wave with your breathe. So how can you increase the standing wave? I guess you could play the trumpet at the speed of light. Beam me up Vulgano Brother.
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    That and phwooooo of course.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The idea of fast air is a myth. At best a visualization.

    Thre are hundreds of posts about not having range and they all amount to the same thing -poor understanding about how our bodies and trumpets work.

    If our range stops at a particular note, it is not air speed that is our problem! We are simply using too much pressure. We use pressure because it it a partial compensation for crappy body use and breathing. It works up to a point. If our lips are mashed by too much pressure, they are not free to vibrate. We have to blow harder to get any results and it still does not result in appreciably more.

    Nope, you have to fix the pressure and body use before starting to talk about range.
  7. Smrtn

    Smrtn Pianissimo User

    Sep 18, 2014

    I think that if you blow with force, then blow with less force, the air will move more slowly with less force.
  8. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Welcome to TM. How long have you been playing the trumpet? What sort of instruction are you receiving?

    New players often get caught up in range. What are your trumpeting goals? If those goals include music-making, you may want to focus on that. Good sound and increasing artistry and technique can provide much satisfaction early on. Range will come as you persist with intelligent practice. Best wishes to you in your efforts!

  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    You don't blow air through the horn like an air compressor. In my visualization experience, "faster/more" air results in increased dynamics. PPP crescendo to FFF requires more/faster air. Higher range requires STRONG chops and breath control. LONGTONES, lip slurs, chromatic extension (scales) are part of he foundation you need. There are myriad visualization tools players use that don't correlate with what they're called. For lip slurs, I learned to "Control the little ball in the lead pipe". There isn't actually a little ball in there, I just visualize it going towards me and away. What does your teacher say?
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    This. The key isn't to blow air faster, it's to increase compression to speed the vibration. That, however, is another nut-roll.
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