Is Air Everything???

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JHarris, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

    I'm seconding Dave Bacon's post. Your diaphragm is an involuntary muscle and it relaxes on exhale whether another trumpet player says it does or not. If you don't believe me, ask a doctor or anyone who has taken physiology. Read 'Song and Wind' by Jacobs, or 'Teaching Brass' by Kristian Steenstrup. They've done their homework about how the body actually functions in general and then how that applies to playing an instrument. If you have tension in your system your tone, range and speed will suffer for it.
  2. pots13

    pots13 New Friend

    Dec 5, 2004
    Another great way to get air going is to fill your sink with water, and then putting just your bell underwater, playing up the intervals (c,g,c,e,g, etc.). Your goal is to have the bubbles coming out at the same rate for the high notes as the low notes (trust me it's hard. My teacher makes me do it all the time). It's a great way to measure air, and it's a lot of fun to hear the sounds that come out of the water...
    All the best,
  3. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    I would be intrested in knowing what others here, such as Manny, thought of this.
  4. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 2, 2003
    Bloomington, Indiana
    In response to the original query (and with apologies to the late, great Donny Hathaway), nothing is everything!
  5. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    My teacher yesterday gave me a big lesson on air, and I just wanna share with you guys what I got from it.

    "What sound does wind make?"

    Its a trick question, wind makes no noise. Its when the wind hits and has to move around other objects, like trees, rocks, people, that the wind makes a sound. When we push wind through our bodies and into the instrument, anything the wind hits, like any contractions in the throat, the teeth, the toungue, will cause extra sound that we don't want.

    *Blows silent wind, then drops his teeth down, creating a wet hiss sound*

    *Blows silent wind, then pulls his toungue up, creating a thumping-wet hiss sound*

    Now, when you send air through your mouth to buzz your lips, we don't want the wind to hit anything other than your lips, to create the buzz.

    An analogy he used was a creek with rushing water. When there is nothing impeding the flow or the stream, the water almost looks motionless. If you try to walk across, however, you will know that the water is in motion...

    When the water hits a rock, the water goes around it, the water swirls to get back into its original uniformity after it hits the rock. Think of the air swirling if it hits your teeth of tongue before it reaches the lips.

    Also, when going high or low, the aperture has to open or contract. However, some people mistake higher range as more wind.


    Think the "=" as the aperture, and the collumn behind it as the wind. The wind has nowhere to go, and it has to force through the smaller opening, creating enormous tension in the playing, and in the sound.

    Think of the kiddy toy where you put the shaped blocks through the same shaped hole (My analogy). Except, think of the blocks as being varying-sized cylinders, and the holes a varying-sized circular openings. Its easier to put the same sized block in the same sized hole, isnt it?

    So, we must use the same wind collumn to match the aperture. We do this by focusing our wind.
    (Taken form

    Doing that will help focus the air (the ketchup bottle theory, haha), and match the wind collumn with the aperture.


    Trumpet practicing is work to make your playing so efficient it doesnt feel like work.

    Not written word-for-word, but I think its pretty close. Please, correct me if I am incorrect in anyway, gentlemen (I know you all would anyway, haha). Its better to correct errors before they become habits, right?


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