left hand position while holding your trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mctrumpet, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. mctrumpet

    mctrumpet Pianissimo User

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    Apr 5, 2008
    FL
    My middle school director taught me to use the ring finger in the trumpet ring way of holding the trumpet or i guess it could be called the most common way to do it. Anyways i began holding my horn with no fingers in the ring, one finger on top of the 3rd valve slide and three below it and touching the valve casing. I do it exactly the way maynard does it in this picture

    [​IMG]

    My director gets tries to get me to stop. Is this a bad way to hold the horn or is it all personal preference?
     
  2. PSH

    PSH Pianissimo User

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    Feb 20, 2007
    Minneapolis MN; Denton TX
    it's all personal preference. I think he tries to get you to stop because when you do it this way there's no way for you to move the third slide out for tuning. My guess is that's what his concern is...

    ~PSH
     
  3. mctrumpet

    mctrumpet Pianissimo User

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    Apr 5, 2008
    FL
    Maybe
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  4. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Just because you don't play a note in band doesn't mean you shouldn't play it well and in tune. Get a good repair tech to put the finger ring underneath the horn and move the slide with your middle finger.
     
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 24, 2005
    There are many more notes than low D that need some slide, including many that need the first valve slide. Not every horn has a first slide ring, but it can be added. Anyway, preference is part of this, but here are a couple things to consider.

    -Maynard did a large percentage of his playing in the upper register where the slots and intonation each note are a little more slippery and less locked in, allowing the chops to control the pitch more easily than in the low register.

    - The trumpet is not perfectly in tune. If you want to play in tune, some notes need to be adjusted, either with the face or the slides. Moving the pitch with the chops is, for most people, less efficient and more tiring, and there is often a change in the sound quaility when "lipping" a note.

    So for most people, playing in tune, below high C, will be harder with your grip. In my opinion, the trumpet is hard enough as it is, so I use my slides!
     
  6. mctrumpet

    mctrumpet Pianissimo User

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    Apr 5, 2008
    FL
    i have a trigger on my king silver flair and it works pretty good but i tend to play general low on pitch so im usually lipping up instead of down or making the notes pitch lower with the slide. I think im going to take both of your advices
    thanks for the info
     
  7. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Jun 11, 2006
    Two fingers up, two fingers below.
    We have a thread with this same question. Try out the search function and see if you can find it. I think Manny uses two up and two below.
    Maynard used several grips over his career. Check out his youtube clips.

    Adding a ring below is a pretty good idea but the horn may not fit in the case.
    You may have to use a gig bag which most jazzers consider "more hip."
     
  8. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

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    Oct 25, 2007
    California
    Lol I go all 4 above
     
  9. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

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    Jan 24, 2005
    I have all four above too. The 2-2 and 3-1 either makes my wrist cock at an uncomfortable angle or makes it hard to get the third slide out far enough, depending on how close to the casing my palm is. I think the combination of horn angle (up or downstream), posture and the size of your hands will usually combine to make one feel better than the rest. The only thing that really matters is that you can play in tune and not induce any extra tension into your left arm and shoulder.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know how old you are, how long that you have been playing and what analytical powers you posess. I get a case however when I think that someone does not have the answers but brands a teacher or anyone else "semi OCD" or anything else. I was taught that when you point your finger at someone, 3 of your own fingers are pointing back at YOU!

    For your information from a more "conservative" type teacher than you are probably familiar with, your hand position is not there to look cool and distinguish your cosmetics. It is there to hold the trumpet at a specific angle suitable for YOUR embouchure. It is only a factor when a player practices enough to make a difference AND should regulate the pressure between the upper and lower lips. If your jaw, neck and upper body geometry are pretty much "standard" (overbite, downstream player with no handicaps), holding the horn like Maynard will only succeed in getting MORE pressure on the upper lip - poison for relaxed playing.

    Changing hand position can help AND hurt so it is not a no brainer. Especially in high school, you cannot afford to NOT practice your low register, it is what keeps your chops together and tone full. Eliminating a key tool to playing in tune is not an intelligent decision unless you have a gig that pays more than enough to live on and an audience that will accept that quirk. Maynard played in tune, even in the low register, even if that hand position doesn't tell you how he did it. My advice is to play smart. You do not learn THAT by looking at a picture of Maynard!
     

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