Defining helpful advice/physics as applied to the trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I bet you are one those dudes that went and had horn supercooled just because everyone else was doing it.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    OK, another avatar change for Kingtrumpt. Feeling a little feistier today aren’t we KT. Grrrrrrrrrr... big boy!
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006

    is it not interesting that some of the the "just tongue and blow fraction" criticize teachers who demanded just that - 30 years ago.

    I don't care what discipline that we are talking about. Background information is a critical part of learning anything. Very few of us are so gifted as to be able to just "believe" something, run with it and be successful. A plan for lowest common denominator results in students that quit after a short period of time.

    The threads that get the most attention are the ones that are controvesial - that has nothing to do with merit.

    I disagree with the just tongue and blow approach. It sounds great perhaps, but it doesn't work - anywhere. The human state does not function like that and without the constant review of embouchure, breathing, body use and musical expression, a teacher is worthless. Even the teacher MUST learn related things to cross check their "knowledge". Yoga, martial arts, sports can be very beneficial for brass players. Does that knowledge result in an instant double C, of course not. Neither does moving the jaw forward or changing tongue position.

    I won't debate blindness. If Local does not know why the standing wave is important and how we can leverage it for better playing, fine. He is not lined up to take any gigs away from me anyway. The whole issue of efficiency when playing requires all but the extreme natural talents to take a close view of many aspects of our playing. Teachers ignoring this simply are not getting the results - regardless of what a post implies here.
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I cannot grasp how understanding the physics of how our instrument operates is detrimental to
    improving as a player.
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Without scientific knowledge:
    A water key is a spit valve. We just happen to spit more on cold days.
    C and C# are sharp on his trumpet.

    With scientific knowledge:
    All combinations of valves are sharp - that is why we have adjustable slides.
  6. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Interesting posts, indeed.
    I find the physics of the matter helpful, if not necessary. Understanding the blow of the trumpet, and how overtones are produced can help to provide insight into one's playing. Of course, overthinking can be an issue as well.. certainly there is always a balance to be found. Sometimes the physics simply confuses instead of enlightens; at this point, "tongue and blow" would be most appropriate.

    Always consider who the recipients of your knowledge are first, and then this topic can go either way, IMO.
  7. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I guess where I attended HS was different (in the 60s). We played music which occasionally featured a screecher - on tunes like Maria - in MARCHING band. That same player played first chair in concert band where the range was never higher than 3 ledger lines up. We played music and we did it well. Oh yes, there was a smile embouchure and we used it (well, not on the tuba). But I learned anyway. The big deal of the day was the Farkas horn embouchure - not too generally accepted anymore. Yet I played OK.

    I played sousaphone on the field (and we strut-kicked and spun our METAL sousaphones). In concert band I played French Horn. No problem switching for me. To this day I have a sounder and more intuitive understanding of music because I played all those bass lines.

    I know that mediocrity is reigning supreme these days, and I am sure it did in many places back then. But there is no rationale to be found which can justify it. I guess I was lucky to receive a first rate musical education - including the science part - before I was 16. Part of that happened at home, but the schooling - public schooling - was great and I have benefited my entire life from that. I cannot separate science from music from mathematics. Everything is connected. But when I play - perform - I don't think about any of that.

    Anyhow, I see nothing to be gained by blaming our failings on what we were taught or not taught. Learning is the responsibilty of the student - if you want to learn, no bad teacher can stop you.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Now you're talking sense. The stars provide a logical explanation of the vagaries of horn playing. For you scientific types, I really really doubt if Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Harry James and a myriad of other great players gave a rat's patoot about the "physics" of standing waves and the other stuff you're sounding off about.
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    How do you know this. I've found that players know more about the physics of the trumpet than you give them credit for. You're stating an opinion based on what facts. So I could say that they did know quite a lot about the science of the trumpet. My opinion would be just as valid as yours.

    When you are in the moment of playing I can say you not thinking about the science or theory or anything eles except playing the music.
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    The smile embouchure was outdated by the mid 1900s. I find it hard to understand why any teacher in the 60s or 70s would still be teaching that way. Some players in the early 1900s thought that was what the embouchure was doing (smiling). But in reality it was not. it just looked that way because the corners were tucked back. If you really used a smile embouchure you would stretch the lips by pulling the corners back. This leaves the lips open to bruising from even the slightest mouthpiece pressure. because with a true smile embouchure there is no pucker, nana. The slight pucker resists normal mouthpiece pressure. My teachers who learned to play in the 50s knew we didn't play with a smile embouchure.

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