Articulation question for Educators

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bear, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Hello folks,
    First off. What the heck is that video on the homepage? Wow, and she seemed proud of that? lol. We can't all be hereos I guess! HA.

    My question, I recently asked a student to produce more brilliance in their attacks, or maybe just tounge a little lighter. After trying to explain what I meant for half an hour (unhelpful it turned out) she has no idea what to do. I've tried analogies, physical explanations of the tounge, etc. Is there anything else I can do to help her. She's playing a VERY watered down version of Mozart but regardless, it needs to be crisp, light, brilliant, etc. I tried telling her that in Mozarts time there were no trpts in orch. Anything he wrote, he had the sound of the military trpt in his mind. Trps were not known at his time for lyrical expressions, etc. Right now, it sounds like a three ton elephant jumping on a two ton trampoline.

    Wow, can you picture that, lol! Take care and thank you.

  2. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    Sometimes kids concept of tounging involves both tounging and blowing a note. Instead of building up pressure to support the airstream and using the tounge like a valve to release air, they want to puff out each note and can result in the harsh articulation you're describing.

    Try to have them just gently blow air (without a horn or mouthpiece) and then push their tounge forward to close off the airstream. Then have them release the air again. Then try with the horn holding out a note and plugging up the air then releasing it. Hopefully this will be an easy concept to understand and your troubles will be over.

    Good luck.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I love analogies. One of my best friends hates them. So here are some more analogies to try.
    1. The toy trumpet analogy -- try to make it sound like a miniature trumpet.
    2. Running on thin ice, hot coals, etc.
    3. The laser beam approach--intense, straight and thin.
    If these fail, there is always the old, "play it like I tell you or else.." approach. It has worked for many a conductor!
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Light tonguing always starts with solid breathing. When she can "breath attack" cleanly, then you add the tongue, first just tonguing whole notes, then half notes then quarters. The initial attack is every bit as important as how she stops the note! Once the slow notes are down, quarter + 2 eighths, 4 eighths, then 16ths.
    For very light tonguing I have found that La La works as well as Ta Ta.
    The tongue needs to ride on the air - that is why breathing comes first!
  5. pipedope

    pipedope Pianissimo User

    Sep 2, 2007
    I have often found a demonstration to be very helpful.

    "This is how you sound now." Play the part in the manner of the student.
    Then play the part in the manner desired. "This is what I want to hear."

    Sometimes 10 seconds of playing does more than 10 hours of explanation and analogy.

    The words are useful and can do a lot of good but in the end it is the music comming out of the instrument that matters.

Share This Page