Can someone explain something that has never been explained to me?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mud, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Mud

    Mud Pianissimo User

    May 26, 2012
    Noblesville, IN
    lip slurring-- ive never really got the concept. every time ive tried to lip slur, I apparently do it wrong. I get that you are not supposed to tongue, but I dont know really how! They say its like one of the most important things a trumpet player needs to learn/know, and im just confused. we did these lipslurrs in marching, and i was pointed out multiple times by people about how im not doing it right, and when i try to do it as they say, It just doesnt work?

    can someone explain the whole consept, and how to do it?
    its like i tell a trumpet player that i dont know how to, and they stare at me like a deer in headlights
    its kind of awkward....
  2. D.C. Al fine

    D.C. Al fine Banned

    May 8, 2012
    Okay, talking basics here. Get your horn, play a G that is on the 2nd line in the staff. Now, use more air, raise your tongue, and make that note a middle C, then go back to the G. You could also start on the C, and go down to the G, and back up if you find it easier. Try to make it so there is no stopping of air in-between, but it may happen until you get the process of it down. You can do this with every note on the trumpet, as long as they are the same fingering.

    The biggest thing about slurs, USE YOUR AIR!
  3. Mud

    Mud Pianissimo User

    May 26, 2012
    Noblesville, IN
    okay, with that, am i using my diaphram (or however you spell it)?
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Yes, but no so you'd notice, and probably shouldn't.

    The conception of "tahh-eeh" works fine for beginners. The real stuff happens between the tones.

    Play one of the "tahh-eeh" slurs (or whatever vowels you choose) in slow-motion; really, really, really slow-motion. We do not focus on speed at this point, but rather on awareness on the point of change between the "ahh" and the "eeh" (or whatever vowels you choose) at the point of change.

    Once aware of that point of change, get to know it in a casual kind of way. At this point you are ready for the oft repeated "Magic Bubbles" script:

    When we play a note, the air column inside the instrument has defined and mathematically predictable areas of high pressure and no pressure. In physics these are known as nodes and anti-nodes. The higher the tone, the more of these nodes inside the instrument. With a horn of sufficient light weight, we can play a long tone we can gently run a finger around the leadpipe and/or bell and feel some of the vibrations. Change to a different harmonic and that place will move.

    Now for the esoteric part. Playing a long tone, we can shift our awareness to inside the trumpet, and imagine/feel a point of resistance somewhere inside the horn. I call these "magic bubbles." To slur up, we can "blow" this magic bubble further away, backing off will allow the magic bubble to return to its place closer to the mouthpiece.

    Our body will memorize the feel of these notes and nodes much more quickly than the cognitive control of several variables can. Remember that the embouchure is (or should be, in the Zen Vulgano philosophy)formed in part by the note that it is playing.

    Experiment a bit, and have fun!
  5. Mud

    Mud Pianissimo User

    May 26, 2012
    Noblesville, IN
    okay! now off to do some voodoo-zen lip slurrs lol
  6. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    I agree with Vulgano Brother. It is not voodoo, nor mystical but a mixture of human anatomy and physiology mixed with acoustical physics. The embouchure is central in tone as we are beginning to learn and the tongue is essential tostopping or starting of a note. Practice scales or arpeggios moving up and down slowly without using the tongue in between the notes. You will catch on. Refuse to feel intimidated. Just play with feeling.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Usually I am in total agreement with patkins. But on this comment, not so much. Dr. Adtkin, just to check on your comment, I put the horn to my mouth, and said the tone "voo-doo" into the mouthpiece. I got one cool butt kicking lip slur out of it.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Slurring is a form of "articulation" on the trumpet. We use it to group notes together that should not sound detached. We can compare it to a dipthong in speech:

    Diphthong - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Here we have different "sounds" attached with no break.

    How to do it? Well I prefer to start at the beginning. That means we look at breathing first. I describe it as the "circle of breath". We in- and exhale like a circle - the left side going up is inhale and the right side going down is exhale. At the top and bottom, the circle is still "round". This means tht there is no "bump" where the diaphragm "kicks in" - support starts when during the inhale and isn't a trigger after we have filled up!

    After we are breathing "round", we replace exhale with "play" making sure that the transition from in to exhale remains smooth!

    In the course of a simple exhale we can play multiple notes by moving our fingers and/or lips and not interrupting the sound. This moving from one note to another is called slurring, but is only a part of the picture. Like with our dipthong above, tht movement is only part of a longer playing phrase that also contains at least one tonguing to start the phrase and something to end it before taking the next breath.

    This means that even if we are gliding from one note to the next, we still have to preserve the relationship between tongued and non-tongued notes. This makes our playing "flow" and able to be musically understood. I recommend using easy tunes like in the hymnbook to practice stuff like this.

Share This Page