How to have fast air with quiet high notes?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cantplaytrumpet, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. cantplaytrumpet

    cantplaytrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 2, 2012
    Sorry I've been posting a lot recently, I don't like to be a burden. But...

    Basically, I understand the concept that faster air makes a higher note.
    But when I do that it also makes a louder note. If I don't it begins to sound thin and airy.

    I realise I am not phrasing this well, but what I am really trying to ask is how do you play higher whilst keeping the same volume (or getting quieter)?

    Sorry, for this vague question... but hope you all get the gist.
    I do have a teacher, but I will not see him for a week and he asked me to work on my air speed/support for next lesson.
    And what is this apeture adjusting thing? I don't really understand... I thought the air controlled the apeture?
    Anyway, thanks for any advice. :D
    I don't want to ask too many questions in one go! ROFL
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  2. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I arch my tongue to narrow my air stream, and also make the air travel faster(like the air over the airplane wing traveling faster than the air under the wind causing lift), sometimes it works pretty well, but its one of those things that takes not just a little practice.:play:
  3. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    If your supporting the sound then I really think that the air speed will sort of take care of itself. You do not have to blow harder in order to get air speed, but you must support the air and the sound. Get with someone who can teach you about your air and support. As far as the aperture is concerned you want the aperture to be as open as possible in order to get the most out of your tone. Again get with a good teacher who can help you with this. It sounds like maybe you haven't found the right teacher yet.
  4. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I have heard this concept likened to a garden hose. Turn on the water and it comes out of the garden hose. Now shut off part of the opening with the thumb and the water speeds up and goes farther because of that. The amount of water has not changed yet it has sped up. This is what arching the tongue or pivoting the embouchure accomplishes. Faster air = higher pitch. Can't simplify any more than that
  5. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    I would of thought that if a teacher has told you to work on your air speed/support for your next lesson, they would of explained what you should be working on for the next lesson . Not just say work on your air speed/support.

    I would not worry to much about the air speed but concentrate on your air support at the moment to achieve a nice tone.
    The magic sentence............. play long and soft notes trying to achieve a centered tone.
    I really think that air speed is a thing that that is done without to much thought its really all about support.
  6. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    I bet this gets interesting very soon.
    All I will say is this, air is a gas and can be compressed. Read Boyle's Law.
    Rich T.
  7. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Have a couple of singing lessons and tell the teacher you are mainly interested in the way air supports the sound. Most Singing teachers I know would be happy to give an odd lesson or three to brass players as long as they are hinest about why they are having the lessons. (I have sung in grand and comic opera and trust me my breathing technique changed imensly for the better with singing lessons)
  8. Masterwannabe

    Masterwannabe Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 11, 2009
    I could use some help in this are too! This does sound like an interesting idea, I just hope the voice teacher doesn't tell me like the my voice teacher in high school - "Quit wasting your money".

    Ray Z :play:
    If you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter how you get there.
  9. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Cornyandy has it!
    The great tenor Enrico Caruso put it simply and in roughly these words. When I go to the bathroom in the morning, I push down. When I sing, I push up.
    No air flow, no high notes. Too much tension in your body equals no air flow.
    Rich T.

    P.S. Caruso would often do bass-baritone roles in performance. His low range was astonishing.
  10. bach37

    bach37 Pianissimo User

    Dec 1, 2011
    Don't worry about the mechanics of it. Just hear the sound you want. And let your body do it. (Yes it is that simple) Big relaxed breath. There should be no tension in the breath, if there if the notes won't come out. Just practice and really hear the sound you want. If you do that you can play it. There is no magic bullet if there was we would all be pros. Just practice practice practice.

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