Blasting Issues

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Rainiac, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    Usually because you were using pressure to play loudly/high and the mouthpiece crammed against your chops kept THEM from having to support the buzz.

    Playing softly with no pressure means your lips are maintaining your embouchure without extra "help" from the mouthpiece to hold everything in place. An analogy is balance and dancing. What's harder, Yoga or salsa dancing? Both require core strength, flexibility, and balance. On the surface, dancing appears harder. It's faster, more "energetic", and requires moves that look more difficult -like playing loud and high. There's nothing fast, aggressive, or loud about a 30 minute Yoga session -like playing softly with minimal pressure. Try to do both for an hour, though, and see which one leaves you the most exhausted/sore. Yoga isolates your balance and flexibility, meaning that you have to be stronger to do it well. Soft playing does the same for your embouchure. Dancing provides a crutch that can hide deficiencies in both (e.g., movement through steps only requires balance for a few seconds, your partner's leverage can hold you up and support you when doing something on one foot, etc.). Using pressure and playing loud and high do the same for your chops. While dancing and playing loud and high can "hide" deficiencies in technique and strength, it ultimately backfires in just the way you labeled -endurance is crappy without solid basics.

    To be the most effective at both salsa dancing and playing loud and high you need to be doing things that isolate and develop your core strength and balance. For dancing that's Yoga or some other form of balance/flexibility training. For playing your horn, it's soft playing working on flexibilities, scales, and tone.

    Hope that helps.

  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi ric232,
    You asked:
    I hear this a lot, but then why do our chops wear out more quickly from playing loudly?
    scatman has given you a very good answer:
    "Usually because you were using pressure to play loudly/high and the mouthpiece crammed against your chops kept THEM from having to support the buzz."
    Good job scatman
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If our chops are together we can play nasty loud all night long. I got yelled at (in German) for taking stuff up an octave at a rehearsal. The composer, playing piano didn't mind and saved my sorry behind.

    I am convinced, however, that the ability to play softly (and I've gotten a bunch of foot shuffles from some big-time folk) helps train us to play loudly.

    We want to present a total package.
  4. dsr0057

    dsr0057 Pianissimo User

    Dec 20, 2009
    Denton, TX
    I tend to agree with Rowuk on this because this is something that I have struggled with too recently. We don't play trumpet, we play music ON the trumpet. When we focus on "controlling" the air we lose the concentration of how the music is supposed to sound. Arnold Jacobs was a huge proponent on just breathing and blowing and letting your ear play the music. A second idea behind this is Mark Gould's idea that we don't own the air it's merely a tool. We know all the notes and can play all the notes we just get afraid and think we can't.

    My suggestion to the OP is to sing everything you are supposed to play. Sit down next to a piano if you have to and just sing it like it is supposed to be played. Whenever you can sing it all "perfectly" then pull your horn out and just blow air. Don't think about controlling it, just blow and your body will adjust to how you sing it.
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Blasting! Whats wrong with blasting!?;-);-) VB's "Ghost Tones" are wonder workers. It ain't easy but it does pay dividends. And yes , even trumpets can phrase music.:thumbsup:
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Unless you are on a construction crew putting a roadway through mountainous terrain, OR removing an older building to build yet another, you should NOT be doing any blasting!
  7. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Agreed!! Blasting is best done by trained professionals...
  8. Carolina_Jazzman

    Carolina_Jazzman Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2011
    I was having this problem when I first started playing. You just have to make a conscience effort to play softer. It only took about a week of practicing to get the volume down. I sound much better now.
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    When you play loudly, moving a lot of air through your lips, you must either 1) use face and lip muscles to keep them together so the air doesn't blow them apart, or 2) use your mouthpiece to keep them together by pulling the horn into your face.

    Both will tire you. It is possible to get volume and projection without a lot of force, either air or arm. The key is to learn how to get the maximum out for the minimum in.

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