Inconsistent Attack?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Friggin' Nomad, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Friggin' Nomad

    Friggin' Nomad New Friend

    May 1, 2011
    So when I go to play notes sometimes instead of putting the sound right where it should be I tend to stumble into it. It sounds like "Fawaa" and then it goes into the note. If that doesn't make sense it's like a sprinter who instead of just taking off at full sprint trips on his first step and then recovers to start sprinting. Is there any way to improve consistency? And my resources include an Arban's and a metronome.
  2. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Are you starting the sound with a clear attack with tonguing? Are you saying the sound isn't on pitch at first or that there isn't a sound (when it should be there) and it sort of "starts" over about 1/2 second?

    Knowing the above will help with diagnosis.
  3. Friggin' Nomad

    Friggin' Nomad New Friend

    May 1, 2011
    My tonguing isn't always the best, so that's probably a factor. And the sound isn't on pitch when I start, it takes a second to "slide" into the correct pitch.
  4. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Well, you indicated your tonguing isn't the best so work to be sure you start the note with a clear attack. Also, my guess would be you are not setting your embrassure before trying to begin the note -you are probably doing both (setting it and starting the note) at the same time. Work on clearly setting the chops first. Then take a breathe and tongue.

    Play whatever note your chops are set for (don't change as the note starts-even if it is the wrong note). Eventually, you'll learn the proper chops "set" for the note. What you want to do is work to get all of this to be a habit so you don't have to think about it. Right now, you will be working on breaking a bad habit -so it will take effort. Best of luck.
  5. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    This is how I learned to get a consistent attack:

    when we breathe, we generally put our tongue at the bottom of our mouth on the inhale and tap the tongue on the edge of our gums and teeth on the exhale to attack.

    try leaving your tongue in contact with the back of your teeth and gums and breathing through the outside corners of your mouth and and releasing your air on the exhale. That will give you a nice attack, then it's up to you to practice and get consistent. :)
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    crappy attack is breathing not tonguing.

    A couple of things are most likely happening. You are not taking a relaxed, (or) big breath. You have to release that tension during exhaling to play. You are most likely holding the air in by blocking the throat. You start to play and have to release that tension too. You probably are using a very heavy tongue to get the sound started. That mean your lips are not used to responding by themselves, rather only by force.

    Look up my "circle of breath" here at TM. I address all of those things. It's free, it works.

    You are not alone. Patience and longtones played correctly help most.
  7. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    I practice attacks, at 2-3 dynamic levels all across the range...

    I start with the horn on my knee like a good beginning band kid and then count 1-2-3-4-BOP (a long quarternote). Then take the horn off my face, and do it over and over.

    Especially effective at ppp attacks with whole notes, and also ff attacks on HighC-and up punches. Think somethink like "A Tribute to Art Fern" with the high-c kicks. Sometimes I alternate the count to the and-of-2, or and-of4 just to keep it interesting and to simulate real world punches.

    I also do super soft air attacks when doing low long tones, and love that little moment right before the tone actually starts when you can feel and maybe slightly hear the note vapor starting to swirl around... like all those little lasers on the DeathStar that combine to form the BIG death ray....

    Good attacks require ear training too... you may be scooping/cracking the notes because you are not hearing what it sounds like, and consequently your chops are not set for the right pitch. DO the 1-2-3-4 BOP thing a couple times but SING the pitch instead of playing it. If you can't HEAR the note how can you expect to play it.
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Rowuk, I tried searching for circle of breath but all I got was a lot of threads. What's the best way to find it?
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I think that a lot of issues, provided that there aren't some other serious chops problems that need to be addressed, is to simply play the horn a lot. I made a ton of advancement my freshman year of HS simply because I was playing my trumpet every chance I got.

    I was once at a percussion clinic where the clinician said that if you wanted to improve your roll that there was no big secret or sage tidbit of advice, and that the best way was simply to roll. Ten minutes a day, every day.

    If you want to improve your attack, work on it every day. Focused, dedicated practice on that one element, every day. It will likely come around much quicker than you think.
  10. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    I've searched for this before and wasn't able to find it.

    Would you mind linking what you're talking about?

    Would be much appreciated.

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