First note of phrase.....attack?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Think of releasing the note not attcking it. I have had students try to attack and have had the air get bottled up and get a stuttering sound.Experiment with the different syllables, I use tah dah lah ,others gave some different articulations find the one that works for you.
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Sam Krauss spent loads of time with his students working on the soft entrances in the repertoire.
    Timing is the answer to any problem with ppp entrances.
    Here are Sam's very simple rules. The attack is at the end of the of the inhale. NEVER, NEVER hold your breath before playing.
    It works like this.... 1, 2, 3, breath, attack. The breath can be the last full beat, or the final upbeat preceding the entrance. Never stop the air with tongue before the can be a problem.
    Rhythmic inhale, rhythmic release.
    Try the Oberon lick this way.
  3. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    Another seperate problem exists with many novice trumpeters. They lack confidence and 'sneak' in to most phrases, because they are just not quite certain that the note that they 'hope' to produce is the right one at the right time. I often have to strongly encourage them to start every phrase with determination. In my opinion it is better for them to play a wrong note at the wrong time than to be terrified of doing any little thing wrong. The wrong note at the wrong time can be rectified with just a bit of additional training on that particular chart, whereas an overly timid attitude is a psycological problem that will haunt the student trumpeter for life.

  4. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    Maybe I should clarify myself!

    I completely aggree with what WISEONE2 claims; the attack should always be performed as an ending to an inhale.

    But let´s compare this to judo; a judo master can do a series of tricks without any pauses between them, never the less all masters spend time on practising single tricks to optain perfection.

    1) If your trouble is that your vocal cords are blocking the air prior to your first attack, doing what I stated in my last post (blocking the air with your tounge, soft palate closed, notise the feeling of almost blowing your nose)may help you with this SINGLE trick of tounge attack.
    Once you master this, you certainly always should let this attack become the
    immidiate end of an inhale, described by WISEONE2.

    2) The next problem that might occur is the one of hitting THE RIGHT note.
    As stated earlier by others, one important thing is to know what the note in question SOUNDS like! Singers of various kinds have an advantage here; if they are familiar with the art of reading music "Prima vista", they hear the note inside their heads.

    3) Once you master 1) and 2), the psychological aspects of the problem should be strongly diminuished. Never the less, good posts by SIARR and others above describe some good ways of thinking that will further be helpful.

    Finally, let me just say that all I´ve written is IMO, and there are many good, wellmeaning and experienced players posting every day that may well know a lot more than I do!!
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    why waste time COMPENSATING for a problem instead of curing it? You are just strengthening a bad habit that will require tons more time to straighten out later! I don't know of too many players with that problem that are playing for a living and thus couldn't take some time off to CURE the vocal chord problem. I have had so many students come to me to solve all of the compensation idioty that other "teachers" have burdened them with. I think that approach does more harm than good.
    Just fix the damn thing if it is broke. Stop looking for tricks, get STABLE!
    I teach no attack first. When that works, THEN we add just a little tongue. Once that is DOWN, we can think about accents and more brutal stuff.

  6. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008

    Thank you for you respons on the matter!

    I have read many posts from you, and I have no doubt in my mind
    that you are one of the people out there who really know what they
    are talking about!

    If you have a pupil from start, the "method" you describe never would
    cause any trouble for this pupil. Starting without tounge and at the right time
    adding it is a very good approach.

    What caused me to post what I have posted is due to the fact that CROWMADIC
    actually does have some problem. In other words, he is not a "fresh starter".
    I´m sure that if he was your student you would help him in the greatest of ways, so my post is only to tell him

    1) what MAYBE could be wrong, and
    2) what helped ME, when I had this kind of trouble

    Finally, I´m here to learn as well as to share my experiences with others.
    That´s the great thing with this forum; we all share with each other!
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Have you ever missed saying the word "the" or "tha?" I am an advocate of playing the same way I speak. My teachers were old school, they never spoke of breath attacks.
    Say the word "the" exactly where you would if you had the horn in place, the action of the tongue should be the same. Use a metronome to get the sense of the timed inhale and release. Lose the thought of ever sneaking in, practicing at softer and softer dynamics will build an unshakable confidence.
    You got to believe.................Think, men. Think:-)
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Once, many years ago, on a "vision quest" kind of hike with a friend (well, ok, for us at that time "vision quest" meant drugs and no water) we were walking along a railroad line, balancing on the rails. No problem, until one of us suggested imagining we were above a thousand foot deep canyon. Suddenly, balancing on the rail became a life-or-death matter and was real hard, in spite of the fact we had already traversed canyons of considerably less depth walking across on tree trunks.

    There are two kinds of difficulty--the real and the imagined.

    Wilmer's response is wise (duh!) and practical--but the imagined difficulty is still real, and sometimes we have to trick our minds into thinking that we are only a few inches above the ground when crossing a thousand foot deep canyon.

    The great players are those who know that solid ground is just under their feet.
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Maybe the catch word is "know". I believe it goes beyond knowledge in that the development of the right tools is so complete that the correct thing happens without conscious thought. The entrance occurs as the ear-trumpet connection is completed. The consummate master has his attention on the music, and playing in time, in tune, in tone, happens because his focus is not on process or execution, but on what he believes he will hear.

    Wilmer's "brain in gear" is appropriate as a practice policy, but I am convinced that the greatest performers IMO, while obviously using the brain, do it unconsciously, if that isn't a flat-out contradiction. There is heart/right brain/emotion, ear, and sound - leading to the diminishment of the person and the emergence of the music.

    (I certainly wish I could achieve this, but I must embrace Wilmer's adage myself. My ego is still way too big, and my skills too weak. But still I dream of realizing such mastery.)
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I practice attacks without the attack! If I can just exhale the note (I don't like the term "breath attack") and not crack it, adding a bit of tongue to sharpen up the leading edge is easy. Great articulation simply starts with excellent breath support. The tongue only provides minor modelling. Giving the tongue any more power than that reduces consistency.

    I have had quite a few students that tongued hard to get more air compression to get higher notes. That doesn't really work that long and really messes up the rest! That approach also makes the trumpet sound pretty annoying (I run into this in high school bands quite a bit - marginal support but a jackhammer articulation).

    the "R" from RIT is actually closer to the K syllable, it just doesn't clamp off the air as much. As my articulation (except for the accents)is 99.5% breath support and 0.5% tongue, I guess that just about all of my articulation qualifies as a "breath attack" - without the attack.

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