Legatto with dentures

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Blind Bruce, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    My teacher is trying to help me with legatto tunguing. It is the hardest lesson thus far:shock: If I use the "la la" it is too soft. If I use "ta ta" it is too hard. I try not to stop the air flow bu placing my tongue to the back of my upper teeth but it hits my lower partial plate due to a slight overbite.
    It sure affects my tone as well. Any suggestions?
     
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

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    Bruce, I hope that your teacher has more tools than the above to help you.

    If I was he, I would let you try as many different articulation as possible. I suggest that you try Tu (too) (or tou) or Doo to start with, assuming that you have already done what many of us call "Breath attacks". If you haven't go back there, than ass the tonguing. I would also suggest to start the exercises you do in mp or even p to avoid tonguing too hard. I am sure that you will get plenty of good advices here, but none of us can see or hear what actually you are doing.
     
  3. Pete

    Pete Piano User

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    Bruce,

    Try the da instead of ta syllable. It may help. It keeps the air moving more evenly too!

    Pete
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The first step is to not articulate at all. Inhale then exhale the note with no articulation.

    The second step should be a lesson in music theory for your teacher. Legato does NOT mean soft. It means CONNECTED. A lightening quick, positive strike of the tongue is the best way to separate notes once our breath support can support them. This is like using a super sharp knife in the kitchen. There you can cut meat, veggies or whatever so finely that it still appears connected. All of this la-la or da-da stuff is not helpful at your stage of development.

    Once you have the critical TuuhTuuh and breathing really down (at least 6 months or so) then other less defined methods of articulation can be easily learned.
     
  5. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

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    Robin, I don't fully understand the tuuh approach. However, I tried the inhale and exhale trick and it really is tiring. It MUST be a good exercise to build up the breath control. Played an entire lesson with no tungue. Whew!:shhh:
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Bruce,
    here is my take:
    in the beginning we start by simply inhaling and exhaling. I visualize this process as a circle - the left side is in- and right exhale. At the top and bottom, the circles are still round and our transition between in and ex should be the same.

    Once our breathing is "round", we replace exhale with "play". At first with no articulation - only exhale. It takes some time to get the hang of that but after a week or so, it works and we have a "full" sound.
    The hard part now is adding tonguing to the beginning exactly at the point between in and exhale. This can also take a week or more if everything stays "round". Our attack should be very quick and positive, nothing limp! Now we can play whole notes properly and know what an attack should sound like.
    The next step is to divide the long tone into pieces. I use the syllable Tuuh or Tooh to keep the tongue out of the way. If I have a razor sharp Tooh, we are then playing legato - the notes sound connected because there is an attack, but no loss of sound. This is legato.
    Most players that come to me with lala, dudu, gugu or foofoo sound limp. They only deceive themselves into believing that they are "articulating"! Any recordings that are made prove the point that what they thought they were doing NEVER reached the audience - or microphone. That does not mean that we can't use those syllables, it means that most players tongue so limply that it cannot be called "articulation".

    I always teach positive and quick. Once that is in our brain, the other vowels snap into musical place expanding our possibilities instead of sounding "challenged".

    Listen to some great announcer on the radio. Even the soft vowels are very clear. Compare that to what you hear on the street. Pretty limp, huh?
     

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