Input Please: Why Is The Tongue Used In The Upper Register?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Pedagogy' started by Dr.Mark, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Richcom,
    Remotely qualified? There's a lot of smart, smart, people on this site (you included). There's a lot of good players, some are a little of both and a scary few are a lot of both (God do I envy them!).
    Something to ponder:
    Isn't it more air makes it louder, not faster air makes it louder. If so then couple more with faster then I think we have something.
    For me, I make the air go fast when I play in the stratosphere but I can play it soft or loud, controlled or compressed depending on how much air I want to push through the horn, right?
    Dr.Mark
     
  2. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

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    Mark,

    Not a cop. Been learning 13 months how to play. I can therefor not speak for notes above the G on top really as that is kinda my range. However in Charles Collings advanced lip slurs, I have managed a Bb on top.

    So I just posted what I really tried to think about and done at a slow pace to feel things moving.

    Having said all that, my question really is then... Should I be spending time to learn how to use the tongue etc, or don't bother???

    I mean, I don't know if it will be needed once you go past A above staff as I can't play there yet and so if it is needed eventually, then it's good I'm learning it so that I know how to use it when needed. Dunno.

    I wonder what Adam Rapa does. Someone here has him as a teacher, maybe they can ask what's he do above High C and what's he do up to High C.

    Is tongue left as flat as possible for the first 2 octaves and then raises there after or does it raise once you get to top of staff etc.

    What about Andrea Giuffredi? He has awesome slurring technique. Very very smooth. Does he use the tongue to achieve it or like I have analyzed, just use air + lip?

    If we could get their input, would be helpful.

    Regarding lip trilling, if I got the term right... Where you play 3rd space C and jump the harmonic to 4th space E fast, semi quavers (2 flags?). So it sounds like a siren C E C E C E C E... In Charles Collings it states lip trilling...

    Anyway, regarding that. I tried to do it with tongue as teacher is trying to teach me that, I then today tried without tongue. I find myself at least double the speed if not triple the speed doing it without tongue. It just doesn't work fast with tongue while with lips it's much quicker by at least double. In comparison sake, tongue version does it in quavers while without tongue I can do it in semi quavers.

    So I'm wondering if I should bring this up with teacher to focus on lip trilling rather than tongue trilling or do I need to learn tongue otherwise some how in future it will set me back if I didnt?
     
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Trilling and flutter tongue are two different techniques. The first created with a steady blow with very fast fingering between the notes and the second by the tongue behind the upper teeth. I'm not sure I've ever discerned a trill with 1/64th notes ... and least I hope I never encounter such and if I ever do I'll pray my valves are the slickest and fingers faster. Too, I learned that a quaver is a quarter or 1/4 note and "semi-quaver" is half that or 1/8th note (one flag). Also, the distance between the notes of a trill could be anything in theory but usually only a half step or step higher.
     
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Although I've been playing off and on for nearly 50 years, I had an embouchure crash a couple of years ago and have had to essentially relearn embouchure control and tonguing technique from scratch. So I can relate quite a bit to the process you're going through.

    In a way, I think this topic is currently beyond both us. It deals with advanced techniques and styles of play that we simply are not ready for; techniques which are something of an optional decorative superstructure that can only be 'designed' after a solid basic foundation is in place. And I'm convinced that that basic foundation is based on lungs, lip and fingers. Nothing else.

    To build that foundation we work through a process (I don't think there's much controversy in this):

    Long tones followed by legato scales followed by simple hymn tunes. When we've advanced a little we can add simple lip slurs and gradually work up to lip trills as our embouchure strengthens (and your understanding of 'lip trill' is correct).

    I'm a great believer in keeping techniques as simple and relaxed as possible with the bare minimum of moving parts necessary to do the job. This approach is inherently the most stable. There are fewer things to go wrong, and we don't tie up bits of our body that we may want to use later for something else.

    Major case in point is the tongue. We can do all the basic exercises I mentioned above without using it. So keep it in reserve for tonguing!

    (Most of this stuff is copyright Rowuk and Dr Mark but I'm sure they won't mind)

    It took me around 7 or 8 months before I felt ready to start adding tonguing. And then only very gradually. Simple tonguing of long tones; simple tonguing of scales; and then steadily working into larger intervals with hymn tunes and arpeggios.

    And then you must launch straight into double-tonguing. I'd never been able to double-tongue at all until quite recently. And I think I only managed to learn it now because I really had gone back to first principles, and my tongue was released from tons of bad habits I picked up years ago. Believe me, you do NOT want to be trying to learn double-tonguing while your tongue is tied up doing something else.

    Of course I speak only from the point of view of recent first hand experience. I have no certificates in teaching ;-)
     
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    "£$%! double post
     
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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  7. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hope this helps
    Dr.Mark
     
  8. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hot damned! This is what I get for not reading carefully. Initially I thought he was on the same track as this post. When I read more carefully, there are similarities but no identification as to the chin's purpose other than support (not sure what he means).
    Thanks VB
    Dr.Mark
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I step back, to say the perfect embouchure is a totality of A + B + C ad infinitum, no part standing alone. It is possible that I'll extend such thought beyond the alphabet. One point I make is that the aperture is only a part of the embouchure as is the lip and tongue setting plus everything else. Otherwise, what works for one player may never work for another, whereas such follows the premise that none of us are identical to another. My very first question to a student begins with: Can YOU ____ ? The best answer usually given to this is: "I don't know until I try.", but IMO a better answer is" When I learn how!
     
  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi sethoflagos,
    You stated in reference to using the tongue for things other than articulation:
    "We can do all the basic exercises I mentioned above without using it (the tongue). So keep it in reserve for tonguing!
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    From the observations I've made and the stuff I've read, the movements of the aperture are extremely small to change a note. Are you sure the tongue isn't ALWAYS being incorporated but in varying degrees depending who you are ? We're talking movements as quick as the flick of the tongue and aperture movements as small as a eyelash (or less). Why are we are able to perform this behavior in the first place is a baffler. I still lean towards the thought that the use of the tongue and it's eventual effect on pitch has a hardwire component for early survival (breast feeding).
    Yet more to learn.
    Dr.Mark
     

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