drying out (beginner question)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by simonstl, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    I'm returning to trumpet after 24 years away. It's funny how a lot of things are a lot easier now, and I'm figuring out all kinds of things I had wrong back in middle school. (I stopped in 8th grade - one of the wrong things I did was use pressure for high notes, and then braces...)

    Anyway, one of the stranger things I haven't figured out is why I seem to be pouring spit into the trumpet. I'm using the spit valve pretty constantly (with cause), probably every 2 or three lines of a moderately paced song. I know I certainly used it regularly way back when, but this seems like a whole new level of drool.

    Is this just what I get as I work on building my chops back into shape? It's not exactly a part of the body I feel have control over.
  2. BenH

    BenH Pianissimo User

    Oct 14, 2008
    Is it actually spit, or is it condensation from your breath? I'm starting to think that what comes out of my 'spit valve' isn't spit at all. If it's condensation, then I guess the warmer your horn is the less there should be. Do you find there's more when you're warming up?
  3. gord4862

    gord4862 New Friend

    Nov 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    I've noticed the samething, after a return acouple of months ago of 30 years. I think Benh might have something. I play in my basement which is colder than other parts of the house, It could verywell be condinsation,

  4. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    There is more when I'm warming up, and I'll have to keep closer track of that.

    I hope that this isn't just condensation, though - if it is, my lungs are pouring out water!

  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    There is a ton of moisture in your exhalation. You know how you can see your breath on a cold day in Dryden? Well, your horn only needs to be a few degrees cooler than your breath and the water will condense out of it and collect in the inside surfaces of the horn. If it is humid there will be more, as the inhaled moisture is just exhaled (mostly).
    Only a very small portion of the liquid you let out with the spit valve is actually spit - unless you have a particularly active salivary gland.
  6. ccNochops

    ccNochops Piano User

    Sep 30, 2006
    White Marsh, VA
    I came back after thirty years and have the same "issue" with spit and it is definately spit. It has been getting better as I get along with the come back, but the spit valve is getting a workout. Weird........:shock:
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    It's not spit, it's condensation and it's properly called a water key not a spit valve. Spit has a mucus consistance. and doesn't drain like water.
    HSOtrumpet1 likes this.
  8. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    Maybe my spit is more liquidy than some. But I didn't really want to say I was drooling into the trumpet. Folks here seem more to drool over trumpets.

    I played more today and it does get better after I've played a while, though I don't think it has much to do with the temperature of the trumpet.

    We'll see. At this point I'm guessing that my mouth is confused by activity it hasn't seen in 24 years, and eventually it'll figure things out.

  9. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Agree. The amount of water vapor in the air is proportional to the temperature. The air we exhale is relatively warm and contains about 6% water vapor.
  10. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    It is definitely condensation we do not spit in the horn we blow air.

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