constipated sound

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cornetguy, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    i am teaching brass methods and have a student with a tight constipated sound. what can i do to get them to get a more open sound.
  2. ustacouldplay

    ustacouldplay New Friend

    Jun 14, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Have them practice with a fiber mute. Should open'em right up.
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Forgive my ignorance about such things but I'm going to assume that brass methods is a class for people that are going to teach and have to know the various instruments. Therefore this person is reasonably proficent on another musical instrument.

    May I suggest that you use that knowledge to help him understand what he's doing wrong? It's always helpful to talk about efficiency in a variety of human events like athletics, walking down the street, speaking... things that we do every day. If you can get across in an analogous way that what he's doing is a very inefficient way of playing by showing, demonstrating the difference between working very hard and working easily, you might have one of those "ah-ha" moments that will make sense to him.

    Get a match and hold it a few feet away and have the subject bear down in an exaggerated way (you can also use a paper tissue if you find that more convenient). Tell him to blow the candle out while he's busy turning deep purple. Then have him blow it out by using a free "Hoh" approach. Have him notice the lack of abdominal tension for a simple, human act. When the abdominal tension is gone tell him to notice how the throat tension is also gone. It's a question of making trumpet playing, the act of putting a piece of metal up to your lips, vibrating against it, and blowing through the tube, a simple, human act. Blowing through the tube and creating the vibrations to be amplified need to feel easy. Get rid of the abdominal tension by instilling the sense of blowing through will go a long way in changing the student's mental imagery for playing. This is pretty important, I think, if this person is going to be teaching young ones to play.

    Good luck,



    In case one of you is going to post the long dissertative speech about how air doesn't really move through the horn to produce sound and all that, save it, I'm hip to it. It's a question of psychology not physiology in a case like this.
  4. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    Another great one Manny!

    Psychology not Physiology. Another way to get the "Hoh" breath; I buy PVC pipe connectors at the hardware store and give them to students. Insert in the mouth between the teeth and breathe naturally. Also the act of fogging up eyeglasses when cleaning is very close to the "Hoh" breath. ....things we do every day.
  5. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    thanks manny

    yes the brass methods class is for future teachers. it is at st. kates and a class of two. one of the girls is a string player and the other is piano/voice.

    will try that on tuesday and let all know.
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    I also use a PVC tube, even in the car. I've gotten more than one strange look from the police, though. I have had to roll down my winder and show him, lest he think it was some kind of bong.

  7. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Mikey- Would that be the new Forced Air Resistance Tube? :D :D :D :D

    (Couldn't resist...sorry!)
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Oh Lord...........And to think I had to read your post twice in order to "get it."


    I'm just a bit slow today.

    But it gives me a great marketing idea........

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