How to play staccato

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tobias014, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    If we listen to the other instruments we can learn alot. A violins pizzicato sounds the way it does because of how the violins sound trails off after plucking. This is a rapid rise in tone and a fairly rapid decay.
    The portato is a short note without removing the bow from the string. This provides a more "rectangular" note shape with constant density from beginning to end - even when creating space between the notes.
    When we listen to singers, we have also almost infinite variation from tut to tuuuuht as well as all of the other vowel possibilities.
    There is a nasty tendency for the modern classical trumpet player to ignore short for the sake of making things "sound". There is a tendency for many to treat flow studies as gospel and connect everything. It is more secure to keep everything flowing, but music is dependent on artistic nuance and this requires advanced articulation.

    A particularly interesting example is comparing Rafael Méndèz Hora Staccato with a real short staccato to Maurice Andrés version that I call Hora Legato. Wynton Marsalis is somewhere in between.

    The truth is that we need it all and once we have it, it is beneficial to pay more attention to fine articulation wherever we may encounter it. Strings, Piano, Harpsichord are very fine examples to follow, then human voices. Generally I do not recommend emulating most trumpeters articulation.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    To follow up on my last post, I teach note shape. We have to investigate connecting a string of short notes to get a musical line. We could do this with dynamics, we can also do it with progressive note shapes from "short" to "long" or even "articulated" like words.

    When someone asks how to play staccato, there is NO CORRECT ANSWER until we know the context. If a player has no experience with short, they need to spend time with phrasing first and then chopping up later. Once we have a model, we can transform our playing. Without the model, we are just reinforcing bad habits.

    The worst reason for playing staccato is because the notes have dots under them, the best reason is after understanding the emotion of the composer/arranger and playing short because you can't play it any other way!
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I believe for the ruler of staccato notes, the angle of duration for King Tut was adolescence.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Wow, I was just going to say nearly the same thing when I wrote this then saw your comment. So true. The use of staccato is relative to the piece you are playing and it's attack compared to other notes in the piece. A real are is also distinguishing the staccato from that note having the ^ above it. The are both RELATIVELY shorter notes, but different in execution.
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    And here is context for you. Just finished playing over an hour at my hotel in Qassim where music is forbidden. I kept the staccato's real short today. Haven't been taken away by the religion police yet. Will keep you updated on ... GMonady Live from Saudi Arabia!
     
  6. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    True. But then there are rarely absolute truths even when the context is clear. As your excellent reference to Hora Staccato shows, even the greatest players can take quite polar views.

    I found this snippet from Farkas' The Art of French Horn Playing - Philip Farkas - Google Books quite interesting.
     
  7. ♠♥CORNET♣♦

    ♠♥CORNET♣♦ Pianissimo User

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    Work a lot on tounging exercises!
     
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Tonguing is so overrated!

    Look at me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me.

    ;-)
     

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