How do you get your fingers to go faster?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Calliope, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. Calliope

    Calliope New Friend

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    Jun 17, 2005
    Hi Manny-

    Welcome back home.

    I have a technical question. I'm having a hard time getting my fingers to move faster... specifically the lick at the end of the Hummel Concerto with the turns (measure 194-202, if anyone's counting.) I can get the rest of it up to tempo, but it's just that one lick! I've tried a number of different approaches, but alas! my fingers are still too slow, so I'd love to hear your advice. Thanks a million.

    LJJ
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Calliope,

    This is a great question and I'm hoping that someone who has a degree in neurology can chime in here and add, correct, or otherwise participate in this discusion.

    Certainly, some people are more nimble than others. This pertains to athletics, dance, or other disciplines involving simple to complex movement.

    What are the elements needed to maintain athletic flexibility? Let's figure it out.

    You need strength to support the joints. The joints are supported by muscle. The nerves that receive messages from the brain go through those muscles. Okay, we have that.

    Some people are naturally stronger than others, with denser muscle fibers. Others have a more natural flexibity that has to do with joint construction and, again, density of muscle. In that case, longer fibers.

    What we have to figure out is whether you need more flexibility or greater strength. My first inclination is to start your day with two things: Soak your hands in fairly warm water and then engage in some intelligent finger stretches. If you look up some websites a la google, you'll surely find some stretches that would be useful.

    Before we get into the issue of digital strength training let's try that and see where we are in a couple of weeks.

    Say hi to your favorite fiddler for me,

    ML
     
  3. Calliope

    Calliope New Friend

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    Jun 17, 2005
    Thanks Manny! I'll try the stretching and get back to you.

    LJJ
     
  4. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    In his book Effortless Mastery, Kenny Werner tells of the testing of the finger speed of concert pianists and the man off the street. There was virtually no difference. Werner's conclusion is that the mental obstacles we put in place ourselves are what inhibits our progress in all areas. Now some may say Kenny is a little out there, but I like a lot of what he has to say.
     
  5. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Pianissimo User

    Make sure that your right hand position is not hindering your speed. Difficult to describe, but make sure you are approaching the valves from "above", with your thumb resting in the gap between valve 1 & 2 and your little finger resting on top of the pinky hook! Your fingers should be almost perpendicular to the direction of the valves! if this make sense!

    For an upcoming band contest, I've got quite a few fast passages semi-(quavers & triplets etc) to play with awkward fingering etc. I've taken the approach to go back to Arban triplet and semiquaver exercies and build up speed using them (working with a metronome).

    After about 5 or 6 days doing this, I found immediately that I could play scale studies from Vizzutti and other semiquaver passages at a much higher tempos then previously.
    I think it's like everything else, repetitive practice of appropirate technical exercises, and being tough on yourself, don't proceed to the next exercise until you have played the current one correctly!.

    I remember trying to play those very same passages in the Hummel years ago, working on them in isolation, with little success. If I had to do the same again, I would spend my time on appropriate techincal exercises.

    I have used this approach ever since reading about it in Howard Snell's book The Trumpet, and of course talking about it in lessons with Howard.

    Another advantage to this method is that you don't spend as much of your time playing the recital piece "incorrectly" while you get your physical skills up to speed, therefore you don't build up any "mental barriers" about the particular passage.


    Best of luck!
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Ah, I knew you folks would come through... it's like the cavalry showing up.

    Keep it coming and thanks!

    ML
     
  7. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Pianissimo User

    Ha, all the Spi'aa in the bugle fanfares..... IT WAS ME!!!
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Unbelievable... they even have a different word for "Spleeah" in the UK!

    Still having trouble with aluminium, lift, and anything in Scouse,

    ML
     
  9. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Pianissimo User

    Ha, here's another one..

    pfffaahhdaw


    :lol:
     
  10. Iamtrpt

    Iamtrpt New Friend

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    May 16, 2005
    Hey Mr. L,
    Welcome home I might say! Haven't been on for a while. Got back from orchestra camp three weeks ago but I've been busy and stuff. I thought I might post something because I've been having trouble with it and for some reason it's getting worse.
    I've never had trouble moving my fingers real fast. But at marching band camp last week my ring finger keeps locking (being double jointed??) And it's been somewhat interfering with my playing fast licks.
    I dunno. Any suggestions?
    -Iamtrpt
     

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