Hand Position

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by misty.sj, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    Now that's interesting Lou! I tend to smash the horn into my face with my LEFT hand! It's great how many different ways there are to play wrong! :rotfl:
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    i use to use both hands to smash, but then I actually figured out a way that i could relax while hold the horn and use the slides, but yeah
    octave key indeed...
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    An unanswerable question.

    I have a folder in my picture program called grip.

    I have pics of players playing.


    and many, many more.

    I have pics of me holding the horn many different ways.

    I have Harry with and without the pinky ring.

    The same with Doc and Maynard too.

    Clifford Brown....pinky ring....

    Bud Herseth....pinky ring.

    Same with Wayne B and Patrick Hession.

    The people who say they don't use it, generally do.

  4. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    I tend to alternate positions. Left hand, either ring finger in the ring, pinky underneath the slide and around the valve, or past the ring on top of the slide. I also frequently put pinky and ring finger under the slide, and put my middle finger in the ring. I find this reduces pressure.
    Right hand, i do use the pinky ring or hook, and almost always have my thumb in between the casings.

    These are still just very personal choices and preferences, though.

  5. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

    Jul 22, 2007
    I guess I hold the standard way, although occasionally I put all but my index finger under the third valve slide and my thumb under the first valve slide. So I am actually holding the horn with 3 fingers. It is actually quite comfortable. But it is weird, I can't play difficult passages this way. My valve fingers won't coordinate properly with my left hand holding the horn in this manner. I'm sure if I held the horn this way all the time I would overcome this. Weird how the brain works.
  6. iainmcl

    iainmcl Pianissimo User

    Nov 4, 2006
    New Zealand
    I've just started changing a student (longtime player) from the "death-grip" to "2 up, 2 down" in the left hand. His sound opened up immediately.
    Yes, it's different for everyone, but moving away from all fingers wrapped around the valve casing greatly relieves tendencies towards pressure, and also balances the horn a lot better too (IMHO).
    I used to play with the death-grip many years ago, and even had aching teeth from using too much pressure. I could play pretty high, so nobody bothered me about it until it really mattered...and it was nearly too late by then.
    Moving the centre of balance of the horn can help a lot. The arms will be used to hold the horn "up to" rather than "on" the chops.
    I hope I made some sense here. I tend to waffle a bit ;o)
  7. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    OK guys, I am back from my first practice session with the new hand position. Hmm. OK, the left hand is pretty OK. I can't remember how I had my fingers before except that I know my palm was against the casing. Now I am doing the two-up two-down with a more curved hand shape. It's fine except I noticed I get a slight dent in my left index finger where it presses against the third valve casing. I don't know if this is OK or not.

    For the right hand, all I can say is it's hard to get out of the habit of using the pinky ring. not using it makes me want to flatten out my fingers. Also my thumb does NOT like to be tucked underheath between the first and second valve casing. It really wants to hook underneath the receiver pipe and rest on the front of the first valve casing. Is this OK? The hand is curved and there is plenty of room between the palm and the instrument.

    My left bicep feels more tired today. I think I was holding the horn a lot more with my right hand than I realized. I was trying to not have tension in my left arm, but you have to have tension somewhere, it seems like! I'll keep experimenting.

    I was able to go to E at the top of the staff with the trumpet balanced on my flattened left palm. I assume that means I've been using pressure to get above that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2008
  8. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    What is wrong with using the pinky ring?

    Because you read in a book that it's "more correct" than other ways?

    Do what is comfortable to you.

    Do a Google Search on "Images"

    Just type in the names of trumpet players.

    You will find many different ways to hold the horn.

    No way is better than any other way....no matter what you read in a book.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2008
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Of course Harry didn't have a pinky ring--they were the first thing to pop off my Selmer K when I started playing double c's, and the strangely cut valve section sliced ugly cuts in my hand! My old Selmer picc. did the same.

    I mean, Harry had style and class and musicianship, but anybody could have done that without a pinky ring. The double c was there until the ring came off. After that I had a pretty heavy trumpet with sharp edges everywhere.

    Betchya my hands are uglier than your hands!

    Long live the pinky ring!

    If they start showing up on rotaries, we're almost all toast!
  10. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I'd have to say
    pinky ring or no, thumb should probably be between 1st and 2nd valve casings, because otherwise, your third finger usually ends up doing more work, yes you can play that way (and my good players have) but why not create a habit that will help?
    Also, taking your pinky out might help reduce tension, while it isn't necessary, it could help
    There are no single answers...
    and most people disagree on those

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