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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetplanet, Dec 14, 2011.
^Exactly. In Trumpeting by Nature, Jeanne Pocius discusses a loose grip.
The more comfortable you feel with whatever grip you use, the better you will sound and feel......the better you feel, the better you will sound. My hand is too big to hold the trumpet in the "normal" way, so I hold it with thumb and forefinger - no problem using first and third triggers at all. Do whatever workd best for you.
I hold the horn lightly, but with a firm grip. Back in high school, I accidently broke off the ring and immediately lost about a minor third off my upper register. I would have sworn that I was not using the ring to pull the horn into my face; but apparently I was.
I have been doing a lot of Clark-type exercises lately, to build up technique and I find that I have to careful about angle and position of the horn in relationship to my embouchure. As I work these exercises, I am not only working technique, but breath control and (what I call) ‘sensitivity’ – which is the degree to which I am able to play super softly with solid tone and control. I love dovetailing exercises because it saves time and effort. Hope this was helpful!
How you hold the horn with yiur left hand can alter tone flexibilty,and possibly even range and endurance. Depending on how many fingers you have above or below the third valve slide, the angle of the bell will move up or down,thus changing the angle of the mouthpiece on your lips.
Should it be the goal of each practice session to loosen our grip? I say NO. Successful trumpet playing is a holistic process and that means actions must be complementary. A limp grip for a beginner without a solid "feel" for breathing and embouchure simply makes their playing even LESS reliable. Instant less mouthpiece pressure results in instant reduced range and endurance for the weak player.
I see playing as an evolutionary process that even needs our brain. Almost all of these posts have NOTHING to do with enjoying the ride - yet that is the MOST IMPORTANT part of our practice. Playing tunes that sound cool to us.
Now if anyone wants to argue the grip thing, let's think about how we can scientifically prevent BS from entering the equation:
For a control group (the bigger the group the better):
Compare sound at the players ear (spectral analysis should give us some clues - the resolution could be an issue)
Compare sound at audience distance
rate slotting, articulation, intonation with ONLY the "grip" changing
Do this for a variety of popular horns - perhaps some are more sensitive than others
Repeat all the comparison when the player has earplugs in
Repeat comparison on the marching field.
The last two comparisons will show that the HORN does not change much, but that player perception is the real problem. When we realize that, we see that grip is really insignificant compared to body use as a whole. It can be one trick in the teachers bag to raise awareness in a worthy student, for most it just feeds the mush in their heads with a further factoid.
My recommendation: play hard, play fun. Most of us are not on the train to be the next Maynard, Bud, Maurice or Wynton. Most of us would LIKE to be on the train with Alison, Tine or Liesl. Without having worked on our heads, the conversation could get boring really quick.........
Enjoy the ride, receive more than you transmit!
Thanks for all your comments. I guess that the "paralysis by analysis" comment is most valuable! Probably just because I was listening so hard already any tiny difference was being picked up on. I also think that I may have liked there to be a reason to adopt some kind of crazy grip just because I have small hands and have always struggled with holding the horn comfortably.
Wondering now why I'm sat at my computer rather than practising my trumpet. See you later.
I am living proof you can do both! Just played a high G! SWEET!!
It starts to come apart before you hands turn "brown"!
Stick it on a tripod. You can get the tripod mount from an old camera tripod and solder it to the bottom of your horn. Viola! The ultimate in "non invasive" handling AND your left arm gets a break at the same time. Perfect for that moment you need to use the plunger.
And then send us pictures.