Blowing the center

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bigaggietrumpet, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

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    Dear Manny,

    I've heard quite a few people mention "blowing through the center of the pitch". Seeing as this is a fundamental concept of Monette's instrument theory, or so I've read, I was wondering if you could explain just what exactly is meant by blowing through the center of the pitch, and how this might be accomplished.
     
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

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    Here are Dave's own words-
    http://www.monette.net/newsite/monette_concept_01.htm

    Wilmer
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Wilmer,

    Thanks, you saved me alot of typing.

    The Readers Digest version of all that is : the place where a given note plays and gets its maximum ring even if it's out of tune.

    ML
     
  4. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Maybe its just me, but all that ended up confusing me more on the subject.


    I was speaking with my instructor today, and we ended up talking at length about blowing through the center of the pitch.

    He gave me this real neat exercise, and it demonstrates the idea.


    Get a straight mute, put it in the horn.

    Take a deep breath, and play a middle space G, comfortably loud. No soft or loud. Controlled.

    Slowly start lipping the note up. You should notice that the sound actually begins decreasing in volume. After lipping up for a few seconds, start lipping down.

    Keep lipping up/down until you hit the center of the pitch. If you keep a constant airflow, and just use the jaws to create the pitch. You should KNOW when you are blowing in the center of the pitch. It is MUCH, MUCH louder. In fact, even though a mute is in your horn, you shouldn't hear the mute much at all at the perfect cnter.

    When you are blowing through the center of the pitch, the horn begins to resonate with you. Why? Because the horn is built to vibrate at the perfect, 440. The horn fights you when you are sharp or flat. When you are in tune, the horn works with you, making the sound more efficient. The horn becomes a resonating chamber. Thats why great, controlled trumpet players sound so resonant, and loud when they play.

    Another good example is a small brass ensemble. When they are all out of tune, the notes begin fighting each other (The wah-wah in the sound). When in perfect pitch, the ensemble sound much larger, as the sounds are supported.

    Of course, even after you get the perfect resonant sound, you still have to get in tune.

    A lot of good stuff for me to work on tonight. :D

    Van
     
  5. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    I guess that is what makes Monettes so much more different. They are built especially to compliment the centered pitch. I bet if a naturally uncentered player plays it, he/she sounds much worse than with other horns, as the Monette isnt built just to be played, but PLAYED WELL. Most other horns will fight you when you off off-center, try and drag you back to the center, but I bet the Monettes would feel like pulling an elephant.....

    VERY interesting. Mr. Laureano, THATS why earlier, in another post, you said the main flak with the Monette is that the ones who don't play the horn work for the sound to come out. :shock::shock:

    When you blow through the center of the pitch, you will feel like the lips are just flapping in the breeze, so to speak.

    I just figured this out today, so apologies for my "EUREKA!" attitude right now. When blowing center, it feels so comfortable, it almost doesnt feel right. I especially felt that, being a player who has developed horrible habits in playing for over 8 years (Basically, brace yourself, cram the horn in as hard as you can, and BLOW like hell till something is produced. Thats how I learned.). :D

    Van
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Cool, Van...

    Here's a fun thing if you can find a buddy to help.

    Get a tuner, the kind with the needle or some kind of indicator to let you know if you're sharp or flat. Have your buddy stand on the opposite end of the room and blow an open C in the staff and play it until your buddy says you're perfectly in tune on that note. Don't favor the note and lip it at all! Trust that your buddy will tell you. In other words, play in the center of the tone, maximum resonance and adjust your slde until you're in tune.

    Now for the fun.

    Have your buddy grab a pencil and paper and as you play a bunch of notes, s/he'll write down where you are pitch wise. The only thing you must do is play in the dead center of the note. Resist all temptation to lip up or down, that's the tough part!

    Play an octave or two of these notes in the center and see what has been written down. Then, if you really want to go crazy get a variety of equipment combinations and see what happens with the various combinations of mouthpieces and horns. What you want to determine is what combo lets you play most in the center of the note and is most in tune in that center.

    It's going to be a long night, Van...

    ML
     
  7. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Yes, nothing is more difficult to grasp than to not use the lips to control the pitch, but the air.

    ANOTHER big problem is using the throat to control the pitch. thats my big problem. I can hear it now when slurring, the "wah-" whine into the note.

    Something I am now REALLY noticing - Every horn sounds completely different when resonating perfectly.

    Pep band tonight, but tomorrow is my big lesson day, and I have a while in-between lessons where I can really get some good, solid practice in. I can hardly wait. :D

    Van
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Van,

    Speaking of revelations...

    I was taking a good look at your avatar and since you've had it up I was convinced that it was a strange monkey, standing with his hands clasped behind his head. Now, I see that it's a flipping dog with a mask! D'oh! I had completely missed the hind legs

    Life is like trumpets... it's all about perception!

    There's your laugh for the day...

    ML
     
  9. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    :D:lol:

    Haha, its a George Rodrigue silkscreen commemorating Mardis Gras.

    He sells paintings of a blue dog, trees, and cajuns for MANY thousands of dollars. Its so ridiculous, I had to set an avatar of one. :D

    I wish I could find his painting of Al Hirt. THAT would be the greatest avatar ever.

    Van
     
  10. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Monroe Ct.
    Since I got my first Monette I have been working on not playing high on the pitch. After reading all of this I am not sure if I do have it or not.

    I was taught to lean slightly down on the pitch. Not hard just slightly. By playing exactly in the center there is a little wobble up and down. If you always lean down you know where you are and the note gets a little fatter.

    What do you think?
     

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