Best tips for lip slurs

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 12erlgro, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    This is what my teacher tells me:

    1. Full and constant air speed.

    2. Use ONLY your tongue to change notes.

    3. Watch yourself in a mirror.

    Do not use lips and/or air to facilitate the change of notes!
  2. keehun

    keehun Piano User

    Feb 4, 2010
    How do you change the note by both not using lips or changing air speed? I think that's ridiculous.

    Dr. Baldwin teaches me the "ahh-eee" lip slurring tip. Literally just say it while you do it. Think the pitch, and during lessons, that has made huge leaps/slurs easy to do. I'm working on it.

    Sure you should NOT use pressure (If that's what your teacher means by "not using the lip")... But you totally need to change how fast the air is blown...
  3. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    My teacher is a pro, and he has studied with some of the best musicians around. The tongue only technique comes from the UNT School of Music.

    You may think it's ridiculous, but it works. My teacher (and I) do this as a daily warm up.

    And yes you can change notes simply with tongue position. There are other ways as well, but in the long run, slotting will improve dramatically with this technique.

    You lower your tongue for the low note, raise your tongue (ahhh-eeee?) midway for the intermediate note, and then arch the tongue a bit higher to move up. The venturi effect created by your tongue is what facilitates the change of notes, while your air volume remains constant. Lips (embouchure) should remain constant throughout the exercise.

    This really does work as I've been practicing this way for a few weeks.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    C'mon guys, lighten up. There are many tried and true methods for proper lip slurring. I can properly lip slur with the pivot, ah-ee-oo, and air "speed". You need to read some Dale Clevenger. You'll have to do some digging, but he advocates a "rubber face" embouchure (I know that's not the topic, but his point is). Whatever method works best for you is the one you should use.

    A poster recently said there should be "no movement" in ones face/lip area when playing. I guess someone forget to tell Allen Vizzutti. I watched a video where it looks like he is chewing the mpc like a goat!
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Lip slurring became a whole lot easier for me when I listened to my teacher.

    A simple thing he gave me to think about ....... Air speed is automatic, you don't have to think about it, it's AUTOMATIC, if you just keep the air stream constant and think of the lips as APERATURES. You change the aperature, and the air speed takes care of itself. Smaller aperature, faster air. Physics does that for you.

    That's pretty simple. Getting the tiny muscles to hold those smaller aperatures is not so easy.

  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    TD sez:
    And yes you can change notes simply with tongue position.
    It might "feel" like the tongue is changing the notes(and yes I use this technique too) but I'm pretty sure the only way the notes can change is by changing the aperture.
    I think its based on a principle written about by Bernouli.
    Try this:
    Play a long single note and "ONLY" move your tongue. You can move it up and down, sideways, any way you want. What happens? Nothing.
    The note stays the same. It might change color, but without the change in aperture, the note will stay the same. It's the coordination of the aperture with what goes on behind it.
    Once this coordination is figured out. It feels like the tongue does the changing.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  7. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    Perhaps, but I'm conscious to maintain everything constant with the exception of tongue position. Not a big deal, but this is the way I was instructed to do the slurs. I find it a bit easier to simply "lip" it.
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Here's a little supporting info that will irritate your teacher.
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]This dispels the common myth that the air speeds up over the tongue so therefore you play higher![/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]When the forward arch of your tongue arches in your oral cavity, it does change the velocity of the airflow but only between the tongue and the roof of the mouth, the cross sectional area, not the velocity of air through the aperture if the Aperture Posture stays exactly the same. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Why does pitch change when I arch my tongue?[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The note that the instrument is giving you changes because as you arch your tongue, your Aperture Corners are increasing in tension [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]due to the musculature connection between the tongue and all of the muscles that make up the embouchure.[/FONT]
    Don't make your teacher so mad he kicks you out of school! I don't think you can do better than UNT. Maybe if you just slip it under his door and run. Yeah, that's the ticket!
  9. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA

    Thanks for the education. I'll pass this on to my teacher to get his feedback. He is such a nice guy (extremely humble), and is a MONSTER trumpet player. Dan is a sight-reading fool and has a range that extends beyond dub C.

    So does this mean that the notes in the upper register (above the staff) all rely on aperture and not airspeed?
  10. Paul Du Bourg

    Paul Du Bourg Pianissimo User

    Oct 27, 2006
    Hi TD,

    Listen to your teacher.

    Tongue arch is where it's at.

    Nominal pressure and no thoughts of higher velocity or tension.

    Just go up and down the scales (ad infinitum) slowly expanding the range.

    Cheers from a student.... penny worth.


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