Can't keep third finger on valve!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpetplayer24, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Trumpetplayer24

    Trumpetplayer24 Pianissimo User

    Apr 3, 2013
    Hi, I've been playing the trumpet for about 10 years and after moving to a new teacher he has pointed out that I never keep my third finger on the valve which is slowing me down in runs etc. I'm not sure how long I have had this habit for, but I am struggling to get out of it! I've tried putting blue tac on the valve to keep my finger in place, but I always find a way to move it. I'm not sure whether it is just a bad habit or its something to do with the structure of my hand (I have very small hands and my third finger always seems to be at an angle when on the valves) as I have noticed that my brother also has the same habit.

    Can anyone give me any advice to break this habit?
  2. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Superglue? Just kidding, how about moving your entire hand toward the bell a bit. You would need to consciously place your right thumb in a position that would compel the move, but that's about the only help I can give you.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Try this, if you play with a (right hand) straight wrist, try bending it, if you play with a bent wrist straighten it, try moving your hand closer and farther away from the lead pipe,
    Pinky in the ring, on top of the ring, off the of these combinations will help your concern. Lastly don't be sensitive with pushing your valves down, snap them down, youtube arturo, he talks about
    how to speed up your valving..... Hope this helps.
  4. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Do you mean you float your finger above the finger button, or that you move your finger so it slips off or misses? Or do you mean you are pressing the valve at an angle; that is towards the left?

    If you search the forums you may notice anything that looks like advice from me may not be the best, but here goes...

    1. If you are pressing the valve button at an angle you could consider holding your trumpet rotated from the vertical towards the right, at, say, 45 degrees, then gradually over a few days or weeks move it back to vertical.
    1a. Or you could raise your right wrist up so your fingers tend to lie flat above the buttons rather than at an angle.

    2. Practice more playing slowly and paying greater attention all the time to your hand, until you really do break the "habit".

    I cycle wearing cycling shoes with cleats - and I find now that cycling without my feet locked to the pedals causes my feet to slip off all the time compared to the time before I used cleats or clips. Similarly, I think trying to train your fingers to stay put using blutack or rubber bands or something won't work very well unless you intend to always tether your fingers to the buttons (which doesn't sound too practical to me).

    Now you can wait for the proper advice to flow in.

  5. musicalmason

    musicalmason Forte User

    Dec 14, 2003
    Take a tennis ball, or racquetball...or whatever size ball fits your hand, depending on your hand size. Put it in the palm of your right hand and hold it against th leadpipe with your fingers arched over it, and try to pratctice with it there. This will encourage a natural arch to your hand, if your fingers lift too high, you'll drop the ball. Obviously finding he right size ball is important to this exercise, so if you can't find one that works, just imagine holding a ball in there. Sometimes visualization is just as effective as actually holding a ball. Also, memorize a couple of Clarke passages, something fast, and then practice in front of your mirror watching your fingers.
  6. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Make sure your pinky is out of the pinky hook. That hook is only for page turns and mute changes, although it is often used as an octave key.
  7. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Wynton doesn't keep his finger on the valve either.
  8. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    I had a pro teacher freak out because my fingers were coming too far off the valves during some of the playing. I would say you could even consider straightening out your fingers to where you use the bulk of the finger laying flat across the valve button to keep fingers flat against them, and then over time move to the tips of your fingers... or just have someone sit beside you yelling at you that they are going to hit you with a ruler the next time your fingers come off the valves. :-)
  9. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Ha. Octave key. You got me Ivan. :-)
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Place a small coin or button on the third valve and don't let it fall. This way you get immediate feedback if you take your finger off the key.

Share This Page