Holding Trumpet Differently in High Range?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Joe N., Apr 22, 2007.

  1. Joe N.

    Joe N. New Friend

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    Mar 22, 2007
    I saw a video on you tube of maynard and the monette video with patrick hession and they both seemed to hold the trumpet in some way where they held it from the bottom. Can someone describe this to me and why you would want to do that (to release pressure maybe?).
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Bill Chase used to do that too and I read somewhere that by shifting your grip to a lower position around the bottom of the valves, it helps you to take pressure off of your top lip - if you pin your top lip with the mouthpiece, it can cut off circulation and vibration and be a major hidrance to your playing.

    At least that's one theory I read.
     
  3. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Lynn Nicholson of the circa 1974 Maynard band also uses a low-pressure version of that grip where he only has one finger above the 3rd valve slide and it is obvious that both he and MF are downstream players (as they play higher the trumpet tilts slightly downward).
    See the photo at
    Lessons with Lynn Nicholson

    On the other hand, Doc Severinsen is an upstream player and his grip is just the opposite, so that he only has one finger below the 3rd valve slide:
    http://www.trumpet-stuff.com/images/Doc/index.html

    A few months ago I discovered by accident that I play slightly better using just one finger above the 3rd valve slide: I am an upstream player.
    I just recently discovered that Doc Severinsen is also an upstream player, and until I saw that photo a minute ago I had no idea that Doc uses the same grip that I started using a few months ago.

    So the proper grip does indeed seem to help people with their upstream versus downstream playing.

    There *might* be a tendency for high-register downstream players to play with fewer fingers above the 3rd valve slide, and a tendency for high-register upstream players to play with more fingers above the 3rd valve slide.
    But that is certainly not writen in stone, so every player should experiment with various grips to see which one is best for him.
    I have looked in a mirror and I do not see my trumpet tilting at a different angle when I use the 2 different grips, but I do feel the difference in where it causes the pressure to shift on my embouchure.
    And although I use the opposite grip style of Lynn Nicholson in his photo (my fingers above, his fingers below), I have tended to adopt the low-pressure end-of-fingers aspect of grip that Lynn uses in that photo in order to force my embouchure to strengthen without using too much pressure, as also Bill Chase recommended in his latter years.

    BTW, in his latter years Maynard Ferguson changed his grip from one finger above the 3rd valve slide to all fingers above 3rd valve slide, and a member of his band in the Maynard Ferguson billboard a couple of months ago speculated that it was because of arthritis in Maynard's hand rather than for better playing.

    - morris
     
  4. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

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    "A few months ago I discovered by accident that I play slightly better using just one finger above the 3rd valve slide"

    That was a *typo*.

    It *should* have said:

    A few months ago I discovered by accident that I play slightly better using just one finger *below* the 3rd valve slide, the same as Doc Severinsen uses at
    Doc Frames
     
  5. Deecy

    Deecy Pianissimo User

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    Doesn't anybody around here USE the third valve slide? I find that if I switch my "grip" around, fingers over, fingers under the slide ring, etc, I can't slide the slide comfortably and I end up lipping D and Db down to pitch. And I don't like that.
     
  6. kadleck

    kadleck Artist in Residence Staff Member

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    Right on! Let's hold the horn so that we can play in tune, not look cool!
     
  7. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 24, 2005
    I'll second (third) that! I put all the fingers above because 1) I can move the slides without lots of tension 2) it keeps my wrist straight (more or less) so I don't have to bend my wrist sideways. I think most people can twist their wrist like that without many problems, but it hurts me, so I don't do it.

    I've messed with trying to move the pressure around with those "low" grips, but I felt like I pulled the horn down vertically instead of into the lower lip, and I didn't like that. Some good players do it though, so it can't be all bad!

    Jason.
     
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Well, I don't think it can ever be said that Maynard was the most in-tune player we have ever heard recorded. ;-) For him, it was probably part function AND part show.

    When I was playing in a brass quintet, you bet I used my slides - all the time! However, playing trumpet in a rock band, the only time I use mine is if it is something really exposed and out, and even with a lower grip, I still put my index finger into the ring and have plenty of control over the slides.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2007
  9. Vessehune

    Vessehune Pianissimo User

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  10. S-Money

    S-Money Pianissimo User

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    I sometimes play with a 2 above and 2 below grip... I can work the slides just fine ;)
     

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