lip trills and diaphragm fitness

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetnick, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    3,865
    926
    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Hi guys!
    I am a brand new member. Actually, I just registered half an hour ago. I have got a problem which is very much linked to my practice, though it may seems strange that call it a problem. When I started really practicing towards achieving a decent lip trill, my lips were getting tired, so I tried to depend more on my breathing. As a result my lips seems to get less pressure as the lip stamina increased, but my diaphragm now seems to get tired and sometimes I feel a little pain there. Do you know of any exercises of building that kind of stamina, or the reaction is just normal?
     
  2. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

    The diaphragm is only involved when you inhale - it relaxes on exhale to allow the lungs to contract.

    If you are thinking about things that mechanically while you play you will mess yourself up. Keep your mind on the music.
     
  3. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    3,865
    926
    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Dave,
    I am sure that you are right about the mechanics and actually I should speak about the stomach muscles and not the diaphragm...The real question for me is how to do my lip trills exercises in a more relaxed manner. As I wrote before, I found a way not to move too much my chops or to put an excessive pressure on, but still find that the effort which my stomach muscles are doing in order to compensate the lesser mouvement and pressure on the lips seems to be too much, and I did not find an easier (more relaxed) way to do it.
     
  4. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

    Then the next thing I would wonder is if you are really taking a full enough breath if you are needing that much compression to facilitate a lip trill. In which register are you playing at the time, by the way?
     
  5. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    3,865
    926
    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Usually I use few studies from Arban (see the Legato section, p.35 No. 25 &26; the number page may not match depending on the edition). So, normally I am going from middle G to the G above the lines. Sometimes, I try to expand the exercises to the upper C but even as written (25), most of the time it seems quite difficult to play the ex. from beginning to the end without breaking it (I mean introducing a silence somewhere in the middle). 26 feels much easier, I think you know why. Less often I would use the Collins Flexibilities but one of my teachers consider these exercise as unnatural (it is rare to fall on such line in a music piece). or lip trills exercises taken from "Warming Up from the Middle" by Claude Rippas (professor of tumpet at the Zurich Hochschule für Musik, pupil of Pierre Thibaud). Anyway, I do not go above the upper C because I think that I have to resolve the problem within thhis register before trying to go higher. Another reason for this is that in the context of the trumpet literature is rare to see a lip trill above this register (Unless is written by A. Sandoval or M. Ferguson). Well, :bash: that is pretty much the whole picture.
     
  6. John Mohan

    John Mohan Pianissimo User

    128
    5
    Aug 11, 2004
    Chicago
    Hi there Nick,

    Welcome to the forum!

    First off, it's not your diaphragm you are feeling. As someone else wrote, the diaphragm tenses to suck air in and relaxes to allow the normal elasticity of the lungs to gently squeeze the air out during normal at rest breathing. And actually, for the most part it is an involuntary muscle that works while you're asleep or awake but not actually thinking about breathing. When you consciously take a full breath, you are expanding and taking in far more air than the diaphragm can help you to take. This voluntary and fuller type of breathing utilizes the muscles of the ribs, back, chest and abdomen to expand the ribcage to take in air, and then squeeze the ribcage and abdomen to blow the air out forcefully. Okay, enough of that. Too much analysis causes paralysis.

    On to your questions:

    You clearly used the involved muscles a bit more than you usually do. So you felt some pain. This is no big deal. In fact, as a result, if this is done on a regular basis, the result will be that you'll get stronger. This is good.

    Next off, "lip slurs" or "lip trills" are misnamed. It is not the lips that create the trill, but the tongue-level. Try this: Whistle a trill (slowly) and note the movement of your tongue. Notice that it is this movement of the tongue from ah to eee that changes the pitch. It is the same when you play a flexibility or "lip trill" ("tongue-trill"?) on a brass instrument. If you think about this and watch (notice) the way your tongue has to move, you'll probably develop the ability to do good trills quicker and also gain better flexibility in general.

    Hope you find this helpful!

    Sincerely,

    John Mohan
    Former 1st Trumpet "Cats", "Phantom of the Opera", "West Side Story", "Evita", "Grease", 2nd/1st trpt Disney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame", etc.
    Former Los Angeles Studio Musician
    14 Year Student of Claude Gordon
    Premedical Student
    Master of the art of copying and pasting Signature from the Trumpet Herald :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  7. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    3,865
    926
    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    tongue-trill and lower jaw mouvement

    Hi, John.
    Thanks for your suggestion...I was already kind of aware of the tongue's role while trilling but now I am even more conscious about it. I tried it :whistle: and it works, but I am still not sure what amount of the work is done by the tongue, and what part of it is done by the lips and the lower jaw :?: . I saw many trumpeters using a lower jaw mouvement to trill, so I suppose that I am doing it by imitation patern. What do you think about it? is the jaw supposed to be independent of the tongue mouvement while trilling or it is normal to have a sympathetic jaw mouvement during the trill? I had a look at your website, and it seems that you do give a lot :bleah: of importance of the tongue
     
  8. John Mohan

    John Mohan Pianissimo User

    128
    5
    Aug 11, 2004
    Chicago
    I think the tongue is the main component in the case of lip slurs. But yes, the lips, jaw, etc. also play some part. They all work together. How much or what percentage does each contribute? Who knows and who cares! When we start trying to analyse exactly what happens, we get into trouble. As my teacher often said and wrote, "we play by feel, not theory."

    It is best to know, and notice the general movement of the tongue and all, and then practice until it develops. Get the feel or "knack" of it. Once you have it, you will never loose it. I retired from professional trumpet playing more than a year ago now, and I often go several weeks without playing. But I still "have it". The feeling and the technique don't seem to go away. Well, maybe the technique a little... But it comes back very quickly for me.

    Some people have a lot of jaw movement, while some people have very little. This is an individual thing. Stay away from mirrors. What you look like when you play does not matter (except when it comes to attracting girls). :-)

    Just practice and strive to get the feel of it. Be patient with yourself. "Impatience is the enemy of the ambitious player." (that is another CG quote)

    Sincerely,

    John Mohan
     
  9. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

    80
    0
    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    In the words of Claude Gordon, there is no such thing as a lip trill! Use the arch of your tongue.

    V/R
    Joshua
     

Share This Page