Hand Position

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am watching it closely. We have almost reached the limit. This does not belong here, but censorship is much worse than a last appeal to use PMs if something gets personal. I am more than willing to help moderate off line.


    I did it. The escalation is too far off topic and too personal.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I'm a Moderator here, and respect freedom of speech. In fact, I'd be ready to die for it, although I hope I never have to. Freedom of stupidity is a different matter, and there are two types, near as I can tell. (Please note that Vulgani believe stupidity is a learned behavior, not inbred.) There is a stupidity of ignorance, and one of malice.

    As a moderator, I'm kinda sorta on the lookout for malicious posts, and I really hope we resume writing about the topic of hand position.


  3. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    At rehearsal for my very amateur community band this evening, I noticed how the other trumpeters were holding their horns. Their right hands were ALL how I have been traditionally holding mine -- pinky in the ring, thumb under the head pipe and in front of the first valve slide. I couldn't see anyone's left hand, because I am the newest member of the group so they put me in the last "chair" (even though I play 2nd book). It's some weird kind of seniority thing. Anyway my lips felt less 'compressed' at the end of practice. My left arm is fatigued in places it has not traditionally been (the underside of my wrist and the muscle right above my elbow, on the outside of my arm, not tricep or bicep -- I may have to look it up). Not fatigued in a way like I'm doing it wrong, but like I'm using different muscles.
  4. MaynardTrumpet

    MaynardTrumpet Pianissimo User

    May 25, 2008
    Really, I never bothered to care about the way to hold the trumpet. It's whatever is comfortable for you. I like the way Maynard holds his. Put his left thumb on the back of the horn, put the index finger in front of it, and the other fingers go on bottom of the valves. I found this to be a very easy way to hold for me and hold my trumpet like that ever since.
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    It is probably your brachialis (anticus) muscle, the prime flexor (used to bend it) of your elbow. Most of it lies underneath your biceps, but the distal (further from your "center") end connects to the ulna and is exposed just above and outside your elbow. It is important in supporting your trumpet while playing. Changes in grip may be felt there.
  6. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    I hope that the readers here are not getting tired of my remarks about my best ever trumpet student, little 13 year old 'Becca'. She is about your size and was using the right hand 'octave key' on her Xeno. Considering that she has braces and was absolutely convinced that she could not play any note above the staff, I started her on a series of things that have almost totally removed mouthpiece pressure from her playing. One of those was to have her cradle the trumpet in her left hand and NEVER put her pinky into the 'octave key' while actively playing the horn. Rest assured, Misty, that it has worked. Our mutual friend Dave, from Kalamazoo came up to Grand Haven a few weeks ago and sat in with our community concert band, sitting third chair, first trumpet, right next to 'Becca'. I will let him comment on her playing. I am sure that he will be complimentary.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  7. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    Thanks for that, very informative!

    Fabulous! That reassures me that I'm on the right path here.

    I have actually thought of asking my husband to rig something so that I can "hang" the trumpet from the ceiling at playing height (for me, not high!), so that I can attempt to do long tones "hands free", to work even more on the pressure thing. Is this "trumpet traction" idea silly, or has it been done before?
  8. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    If you put your hands behind your back, its been done on the tonight show i think
  9. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    Wow, what a thread! I go away for a weekend and you see what happens.

    I'll throw in my 2 cents on how to hold a trumpet. And I'll admit my "grip" evolved through the desire to minimize mouthpiece pressure. Please allow me two disclaimers:

    1) My hands are on the small side.

    2) My grip is VERY unconventional, but hey, I play for fun.

    My thumb rest under the first valve slide. My index finger is in the third valve ring (the ring is pulled back as far as it can go). My second finger, ring finger, and pinkie, are actually extended straight out beneath the third valve slide. The trumpet rests on my thumb, second, ring, and pinkie fingers.

    Again, my 2 cents.

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