Can't keep third finger on valve!

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

  1. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    This thread has given me an idea for a new valve setup style, and one which could be applied to most current trumpets (or horns). Instead of finger button surfaces you press down on, imagine a ring on each valve stem which you insert your fingers into. Now the valves move with your fingers, your fingers won't slip out of the rings unless you move your hand away, and if you could arrange for the rings to be close-fitting, you could probably dispense with valve springs too. Perhaps the rings could be implemented as little straps you can lash around your fingers.
    Horns could be provided with a set of buttons or a set of rings and you screw the version you want onto the valve stems.

    Anybody know a good patent lawyer?

  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    You'll have a heck of time on a page turn or mute change with your instrument hanging on the valve felts and compressing them. Bet you'll need plenty of valve alignments ... the techs will love to take your money for such.
  3. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Aha! For page turning I propose using a tablet computer with score-aware software which changes for you, and for the mute changing I think Jon Dante and his "Inferno" mute concept has that covered.

  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    We have great strength pushing down, but need help in pulling them back up - like a crocodile
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Yes - that could be a problem, which I would address by providing lighter springs.

  6. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Here are some practice techniques you might try:

    - during your practice just stop playing at intermittent times, try not to think about it too much, anyway, just stop playing and note where your third finger is. Is it on the valve? No? This will start to train your brain to be aware of that finger so that you'll begin to know when it's not in place.

    - when you catch yourself with your finger not on the valve, immediately play a chromatic scale from low F# up two octaves. Do this slowly and make sure the finger stays put during the whole scale. Over time you should be able to increase the speed that you play this chromatic scale and keep the finger in place. After doing the scale (up and down). Return to your practice.

    - spend time practicing exercises in keys that require the third valve a lot...that is Ab, Db, Eb, keys like that. This will just make you use the finger on the valve more often and hopefully orient you to keeping it in place.


    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Crocodile’s play trumpets too ? How do they change mutes ?
  8. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    Not sure, but they apparently are born naturals when it comes to scales.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    And scratches on your horn! Incentive to not let go!:D
  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Trumpetplayer24,
    Chances are, your problem is more psychological than physical. You have done this behavior for years and now, you are being asked to change it. Your task is not easy by any measure. We are creatures of habit and once we get use to doing something a certain way, doing it differently can be a challenge. The first thing I would ask would be "does it restrict your playing"? You've already said it does.
    Here's a possible way to deal with this to make the transition easier and more efficient:
    1.When you play, tilt your horn to the right to where the length of the bell seems to be in line with your left eye.
    Notice that the fingers tend to seat themselves onto the buttons when you do this. It's almost like twisting the horn a little to the right makes the valve buttons meet your fingertips. Pretty cool huh.
    2. Extend your right hand and extend your fingers straight out. Next, bend (flex) your ring finger. What did you notice? Nothing, right? Next do the same thing but bend (flex) your pinky finger. What happened? The ring finger tends to follow the pinky.
    3. Since the horn is tilted, placing the fingers on the buttons is far more natural.
    When you play keep the fingers on the buttons and pinky on top of the pinky ring. Let the pinky tap the top of the pinky ring as you depress the third valve with the ring finger. This makes it easier since the two fingers (ring & pinky) can work in unison. It's almost like the top of the pinky ring becomes a dummy third valve button.
    To develop a routine (habit) takes around 21 days to a month of concious effort. However, once you do this, it will being to become engrained into your method.
    Hope this helps
    bumblebee likes this.

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