How to properly end a note???

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tgl, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. tgl

    tgl New Friend

    Aug 4, 2010

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Same old spiel... Im a player returning to the trumpet and cornet after a long absence.

    What is the proper technique for ending a note?

    Sometimes when I end a half or whole note it sounds "pinched." Should I practice ending longer tones by using my tongue to stop the sound or simply "cut-off" my breath?

    Hope this makes sense...
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Use your tongue and cut it off as hard as possible.

    Seriously though, just keep practicing and focus on playing musically. As a comeback player it might take some time for your technique to redevelop to a point where things like that are working well again.

    I think that if you focus on the music, the mechanics of the technique will probably take care of themselves. It's probably not the answer you want to hear, but it's the kind of question that reminds me of something that was said at a percussion clinic I attended. The instructor, now a college percussion professor, told a story about when he was first in college and he asked his teacher how to improve his drum roll. He was looking for some kind of sage tip or trick that was going to make it easier. What his teacher said instead was, "if you want to improve your roll, then roll - 10 minutes a day, every day." -- Basically, there is no shortcut other than diligent, focused practice.

    The same rule applies here - if you want to improve your releases, then work on them in a focused diligent way - the mechanics will work themselves out.
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I don't like to end a note with my tongue unless I have to because it happens too fast.

    I think you are getting a pinched sound because your letting up on the air support and pinching the lips together to compensate. Try as an exercise, hold the note to the end with full support at a full volume level and suddenly stop the air from your lungs. Do this until you can do it well and then try getting softer without pinching the lips to keep the sound going. Firm corners and no pinching in the mouthpiece cup.

    This is the best I can do without being there.
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    The simple answer here is to work on note endings as part of your practice, and to strive to make music rather than focusing on the mechanics of the technique - that's what I'd do. (Actually, that's what I do.)
  5. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005

    Stop blowing in a controlled manner. You should NOT use your tongue to stop a note....

  6. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005

    Sorry, but that's pretty bogus advice. Following this logic, nobody would ever learn any kind of technique, or practice the aspects of their playing that are lacking, but simply play songs and try to make them sound good. I'm all for playing songs so that they sound good, but there are legitimate reasons to focus on technique in problem areas of playing...and to practice the techniques required to play the instrument well.

  7. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Some people would disagree (obviously)

    Using the tongue to stop it or not depends on the player and the circumstances.
    I know plenty of people who said to stop it with the tongue (and had a teacher teach me to) and had another teacher practically yell at me not too.

    The important thing is how it sounds - support the note all the way through and make sure it sounds good. Often the best way to do this is by not overthinking it
  8. stevesf

    stevesf Piano User

    Jun 23, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Depending on the style of music you are performing you will be required to end or release notes in various manners. (open tone, end with tongue, taper and everything in between)
    You should practice all of them in your practice sessions. (if not same session alternate sessions)
  9. R.T. Swing

    R.T. Swing Pianissimo User

    Feb 6, 2007
    I imagine blowing a bubble of sound, and then letting it go to fill the room, rather than stopping it. Just stop blowing, the hard part is not to create any tension as the note leaves the horn.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The consummate trumpeter needs it all. Practice staccato with the sharp tongue cut off and work on your breathing so that the support is so solid that you can get away with everything.

    In fact, there are only 3 ways of ending the note - stop exhaling, choke it off, tongue. Only the last is really in line with the currently popular "flow" concept. We have almost infinite consonants at our disposal when speaking. Many are functional with the trumpet too.

    Tuut -> Tuud -> Tuul for instance. I really do not talk much about this when I give lessons. Practicing lots of tunes seems to let the students figure this out intuitively. It is one of the thousands of reasons that I keep posting that at least 1/3rd of all practice time be on TUNES and those TUNES practiced when the chops and mind are still fresh - like BEFORE technical studies.

Share This Page