Controlling the Aperture

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MahlerBrass, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Howdy Mr. Laureano, I've been playing a lot of principal parts in school this semester, more so than I typically do, and it's kind of taking a toll on my face. I recently played an orchestra concert, which included the Strauss Weiner Fanfare, the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Trumpets which I played first on, and the Planets, which I also played first on. This kind of heavy playing has led my aperture to be pretty spread apart, and I'm having difficulty getting it back to normal. So seeing as how you have to do heavy playing a lot, and seeing as how you're not too shabby at it ; ) what sort of exercises do you do to keep your aperture under control, both routine maintenance and after a particularly hard program? Thanks!
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    When I have a heavy program like that to play I think of pacing myself so that I can maintain the control I need to keep the sound rich. That's a rather heavy program to play but I'm hoping you're not playing a super large mouthpiece either.

    The important thing is to warm up and practice quietly. No, I didn't say tight, I said quietly, delicately. Think the word leggiero when you play. A ballerina instead of a steel mill worker. Very full breaths and a light sound. Like someone whistling a pleasant tune.

    Your warm up and practice should be about a strong but light focused quality.

  3. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    Manny, that was the damage I had to my set up a couple of years ago. I went to see the principal trumpet of one of the big orchestras and he diagnosed corner stability problems. He advised lots of quiet playing of exercises like the Schlossberg ones and pencil exercise to build up the corners. I don't know if thats relevant here, but after a long struggle I got a much more stable embouchre and the aperture problem seemed to resolve itself.

    I got into that state by not doing enough work on exercises and consistent practice. I was jumping straight into repertoire. I blame the brass band because the demands for keeping up with the volume of repertoire that needs learned and the sheer amount of playing thats required is huge.
  4. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Great, thanks a lot guys! I'll admit I don't do nearly enough soft playing in my routine. As for the mouthpieces I play a Mark Gould on my Bach C which is a pretty big mouthpiece and a 7E on my Selmer picc so I won't kill myself, thanks again!

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