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

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Mike,
    I know exactly what you mean. It's almost like the thumb on the water hose example we've all been told. Here's what might be the fly in the ointment.
    The tongue is basically the thumb.
    The hose the oral cavity.
    The water is the air.
    The air comes out between the lips.
    Haven't I put the squeeze on the air a little too soon to make the pitch change? Wouldn't the tongue need to be the thing that buzzes against something else for this to work? Like I said earlier, I advocate using the tongue in the upper register but figuring out "why" it works is perplexing. The basic notion is that pitch is determined by the size of the aperture and not the speed of the air.
  2. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Stumac,
    Holy Cow! If I'm reading correctly, you've determined the minimum amount of pressure needed behind the lips to keep a buzz (tone) going. You probably should do a scholarly paper on this and submit it.
    Can you help us on how the sound is changed by the tongue?
  3. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I might interject that I really don't think my tongue is arching for high notes ---- and how do I verify this?? by tonguing notes, usually doubles, triplets up the scale from the low G, up to the G, 3 octaves higher (G 4 staves above staff) ------- my opinion is that the absolute thing that works best for high notes is very light pressure on the lips, which is easier said than done --- but on those days where I concentrate to NOT overblow, and to use light pressure, and a small aperture -- I find the notes to come out well, and the ability to tongue all the way up the scale -----------------OK, I have some trouble tonguing the, A the next note above the G, but the A is back, and reasonably able to get it almost everyday ----------
  5. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Branson,
    Yes this appears to be a great opportunity to discover!
    Unfortunately, everytime I try to watch it, a message comes up that says "an error has occured please try later
    Could someone please do a little something for me. Watch and report:
    What does the chin do in relation to the note that's being played. Does the chin move a little as it pertains to where they are in the register or is the chin totally locked in? A possible way to watch for the chin to move is to look and see if the distance between the upper and lower teeth change.
    My guess? As the pitch goes up, the chin will go up or out or both ever so little.
    Thank you sooo much!
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I dunno. We can change vowels without moving the jaw--at least I do.
  7. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi VB
    You stated:
    wiki: mental spines of the mandible
    A mental spine is a small projection of bone on the posterior aspect of the mandible (lower jaw bone) in the midline. The adjective mental in this instance is used in its "chin-related" sense (from Latin mentum) rather than its more common "mind-related" sense (from Latin mens). There are usually four mental spines: two superior and two inferior. Collectively they are also known as the genial tubercle,[1] genial apophysis and the Latin name spinae mentalis. The inferior mental spines are the points of origin of the geniohyoid muscle,[2] one of the suprahyoid muscles and the superior mental spines are the origin of the genioglossus muscle, one of the muscles of the tongue.---
    Yes, it's absolutley true that some appear to not move their chin when they play.
    But for those that use their tongue to play higher, is this (the chin being tugged on to raise by the raised tongue) the mouse in the cheese?. It appears that the tongue arch might work because it puts tension on the genioglossus muscle which makes the chin "want?" to raise when the tongue is lifted. When the chin is lifted, maybe this takes a little work off the corners by shoving the lips a little closer together to help make the aperture smaller.
    If this washes, then we can say that we've taken the first steps in discovering why a phenomenon really works and not violate good basic physics. This just might give a lot of concepts about faster air or compressed air to play higher "the dirt nap". (this will make sethoflagos very happy).
    I know for a fact that topics are often hard to come by when it comes to doing a dissertation. Someone might want to grab this up for a dissertation. I don't think anyone will mind.
  8. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Dr Mark,

    I have no idea what my tongue is doing with change of pitch, I will try at my next practice session to see. In the video the tongue remains low after the initial movement regardless of pitch, there is considerable fore and aft movement suggesting the way I was taught in the late 1940s ie to imagine spitting a small object off the tip of the tongue. So far the pressure measurements have only been on myself, I intend to enlist some of my friends for more.

    Regards, Stuart.
  9. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    For the record, Dr Mark, discovering how to play high without air compression would drive me to the depths of despair. Short of a tin lip transplant, fundamental laws would have been transgressed and the universe as I know it would evaporate into the formless eternal void. ;-)

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