Horse Whinny--Tips and Tricks

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by andy-rockstar, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. andy-rockstar

    andy-rockstar Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    It's that time of year again. . . time for "Sleigh Ride."

    I haven't played the tune since I was in high school, but I'm excited to be playing it again with my community band. I've got the horse whinny at the end, which I'm excited about too. I've got a pretty good idea on the technique (valves halfway down, shake horn to and fro), and I understand a good whinny is based largely on feel. Is there any more to it than that?

    Another trumpet player in my band thinks the horse whinny is easier to do on an older horn that doesn't slot as tightly as my Yamaha does. Is there necessarily any truth to that? I think I can do it just fine on the Yamaha, but there's not much of a sweetspot with the valves halfway down. Would an older horn have a larger sweetspot?

    I searched the forum, but all I found were a couple tips on technique.
  2. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    The other trumpet player has no idea what he's talking about.

    Don't over-think it. Just put one of your valves down halfway and do it.

    Like this guy:
    SLEIGH RIDE The Boston Pops (Live) - YouTube
  3. andy-rockstar

    andy-rockstar Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
  4. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    The whinny is always tough for me and Im relieved when someone else does it. Most players need to practice something so foreign and there seems to be lots of theories for success. Practice, practice, practice. Experiment with a listener who knows what a whinney should sound like and keep in mind that most audiences just enjoy the novelty of a horse-like sound in the piece, like the hoof-sounds and the whip. Have fun with it and dont stress out about it. If its not perfect (like the one in the vidio....WOW) it just gives the listeners and other musicians something to smile about, and you have done your job with flying colors. Best wishes.
  5. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I always just half valved ever valve and shook the heck out of my horn >>> slide up...slide down ( I think I let up a little on the valves going up, so it gets louder, and then push down again as I descend )
    IF you are even close it's a win :)
    never ever heard anyone say .. well you need to work on it... it's just fun.
  6. Lawler Bb

    Lawler Bb Piano User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Milwaukee, WI
    Watch the video again too. Notice he only has his 3rd valve down. I find it's much easier with just the 3rd valve "half-valved" instead of all three. You need a balance of resistance and volume. All three valves gives you lots of resistance, but not much in the way of volume. I do a quick "doit" up to the top of the whinny and then physically shake the horn on the way down. I suppose you could also do something like a faster 70s Maynard Ferguson lip trill/shake on the way down too. Concentrate on really blowing through it all the way to the bottom.
  7. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    This question comes up the same time every year.

    Three valves halfway down. Play it loud. A quick gliss up to some note above the staff. I generally hit something between a B natural to D (around High C). Then "shake" it while descending down to something around the second line G. Blow (loudly) through the whole phrase. KEEP THE AIR MOVING!!!

    It's about the only trick sure to get their attention. And with this is a particularly valuable lesson for aspiring trumpet players:

    Loudness demonstrates confidence. Confidence presents at least the appearance of good musicianship/entertainment

    And sadly the reverse is true:

    "Timidity equates weakness. Weakness is interpreted as poor musicianship by the listening public".

    Again: PLAY THE HORSE WHINNY LOUD. You'll be the star. Really doesn't matter how well or poorly you played the rest of the gig. All the girls will get a kick out of it and think you're something special.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  8. jtpowell

    jtpowell Pianissimo User

    Mar 15, 2011
    Like what Local 357 said excepted glissed down instead of up. I hadn't thought about up so I think I'll try that. John Harnum's video below and he goes over other effects in other videos.

    Trumpet Sound Effects (6): The Horse Whinny
  9. sorahauk

    sorahauk New Friend

    Oct 19, 2011
    depends on how loud or bright you want it to sound. more valves pressed=quieter with a more dull sound.

    less valves= louder/ brighter sound.
  10. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Oh hell, I whinnied well but the girls still said neigh!;-)

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