Glissando

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Joeobrown, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Joeobrown

    Joeobrown New Friend

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    Aug 16, 2011
    Firstly, I'm a new member to this website, so I'm sorry if this is in the wrong place
    Also, I've only just a couple of days ago begun learning to play the thing properly, instead of just blowing down it and seeing what happens :)
    I do know a fair chunk of theory (I've been playing guitar for 3 years)
    I'm not a complete arse either, I know there are other threads about this, but I'm too much of a newbie to have any idea what they are on about...

    OK, my question:
    Can you describe to me (in a way a complete newbie would understand) how to do a glissando? Both from note to note, and from note to a weird squeal noise?

    I know being able to do it well is probably out of my reach for now, but I would like to know how it works... Is it just playing a chromatic run really quickly? Or just randomly squeezing your lips tighter an tighter?

    Thanks for your help, if you do help me...
    :D

     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Push the valves down half way at your stage of development. You are a long way from having enough chop strength and coordination to use the lips alone.
     
  3. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Okay, I'm no expert on this and am happy to be corrected by the players who reply after me, but this is what I do. From one note to the next I lip up (or down) to the next note - usually the next whole tone - (relatively) slowly operating the valves for the next note, and continue this until the glissando ends. For me the trick is to reset the lip in the right rythm to reduce the wavy irregularity in the gliss. Unlike a trombone, the trumpet tube length can't be continuously changed - each valve combination changes the tube length by a set amount, so I'm using my lips to compensate for that somewhat. Also, by slowy operating the valves I'm introducing more than one pathway through the instrument which helps me blur or spread the frequencies between two notes as I lip through.

    I play glissandos rarely enough that I think I get away with it, or at least I've never been told after a gig that my glisses were poor.

    Or you could use a slide trumpet:
    Steven Bernstein: slide trumpet | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    --bumblebee
     
  4. Joeobrown

    Joeobrown New Friend

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    Aug 16, 2011
    Are you saying to '(relatively) slowly' play every other note so that I spend more time in-between them, making it easier to do with my lips?
    Also, while we're here, do you know of a good way to stop that 'painful throat thing' that happens when using a practice mute?
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The painful feeling is just 5 years of practice missing. Wind instruments are a complex process of body use, breathing, embouchure and horn characteristics. In the beginning there is no synchronicity between all of these things and we compensate by adding tension. As we progress, we discover ways to reduce tension and that leads to the next series of improvements.

    Unlike a guitar where we can get a different sound electronically, wind instruments are totally dependent on the total picture of the player.

    In my lessons I teach posture to minimize body tension, breathing to minimize the work the chops have to do, holistic exercises to synchronize Body, Soul and Mind. If a particular aspect of our playing is not mature, it can cripple the rest.

    Long tones, lipslurs and scales are a very good way to build a foundation. Then comes hundreds of tunes and finally technical studies.
     

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