Lip Trills

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Outkastah, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Outkastah

    Outkastah Pianissimo User

    Aug 29, 2009
    Hello everyone!

    Recently my teacher said "Justin your going to learn this song" it Bozzas Rustiques. Its a very cool tune and I can play most of it except this one spot with a lip trill.... I am having some serious trouble with it. When I move my toung in my mouth it just makes it out of tune I cant for the life of me use my toung to change notes. Can someone help me out here?

  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    You might want to try the "Magic Bubble" approach.

    When we play a note, standing waves are produced in the instrument, and with a normal to lightweight instrument and a light touch, you can feel where different notes seem to resonate in the instrument -- magic bubbles of sound. The higher we go, the more of these standing waves (or magic bubbles) appear. When playing, with a bit of sensitivity and imagination, we can "feel" where these nodes/antinodes (magic bubbles) are. To go from a lower to a higher note in the harmonic series, try pushing the magic bubble down the leadpipe/bell with your air.

    There is a marvelous feedback mechanism at work: the buzzing lips cause the air column to vibrate, which in turn reinforces the buzzing of the lips. This is why using terms like "lip trills," "lip slurs" and "lip flexibility" can mislead us into thinking that it is entirely a lip exercise, rather than an air management exercise.
  3. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Do you regularly practice lip flexibility/slurs? Those are the building blocks of the ability to lip trill, at least in my experience.
  4. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    Lip trills are either 5 half steps or 4 half steps. G to C above staff is 5 half steps which is a hard lip trill for at least 2 reasons to me. First is that lip trills are easier in the upper register ( above G for example ). Second is that there is a 5 half step jump from G to C.
    A to C# .... Bb to D are much easier since there are 4 half steps for the jump as well as inherently being easier as you go up in the resister. You can learn the " feel " of a lip trill by cheating the jump. One way is to put a handkerchief or rag partially in the bell ( everything will be sharp though ). Another way is to " half valve " it to make the jump mechanically easier. Think Ahhh Eeee Ahhh Eeee when you do this. I sometimes use the third or...first and third valves ( approximately 1/4 or less of the way down ). You WILL lip trill within minutes of doing this and then get the feeling of the mechanics. Back off with the " aids " gradually until you can do it without any mechanical assistance. Hope this helps.
  5. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    There are lip trills and then there are tongue trills.
    Lip trills use the lip to change pitchers and tongue trills use the tongue.

    Lip trills are difficult to increase in tempo and tongue trills are difficult to play in tune.

    To do a tongue trill first pick two notes which are as close together as possible with the same fingering- start with top line F to G using 1-3 fingering.
    Play the G and slide down to a note in between the G and the F (F#).

    Try to play and hold the F# with the 1-3 fingering. This is the most difficult part of your exercise.
    Once you are able to hold a pitch close to the F# with the 1-3 fingering, drop your tongue and the pitch should slide down to the F.

    Try the same exercise but this time as you hold the F# pitch, raise the tongue and your G should come out.

    After about two days of this exercise you should be able to use the syllable tee and yah to raise and lower the pitchers. As you increase speed, use the syllables ee-ah-ee-ah to move quickly between the notes.

    One thing to watch- You must hold the F# pitch all the time and that will allow the tongue to do the changing. Tongue trills are incredibly faster than lip trills.

    It will come with time.
  6. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Thnak you, that's a great description!
  7. Outkastah

    Outkastah Pianissimo User

    Aug 29, 2009
    Yes I practice slurs daily, I just can't figure out how to do it fast like it is supposed to be...
  8. GreenFrogJelly

    GreenFrogJelly New Friend

    Jul 19, 2011
    New York
    You might try this exercise:

    Start in a comfortable register (perhaps third-space C). Hold the C briefly and then try a slur to E and back, as quickly as possible, returning to a held C. You only need to hold the first and last pitches for a second or two.

    Just got for the gesture, a flick.

    Next, try two of these quick-as-possible slurs...then three...then as many (and as quickly) as you can for a just a few seconds, before again holding the starting pitch.

    Keep the dynamic at a mf. Go for the gesture - it's ok if it's messy or awkward to start. Work your way up chromatically (doing this about 2-5 min a day).
  9. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    A small trick to help bring the intervals together is to just push the 3rd valve down a touch - not a lot. See if it helps - it is not a true lip trill, but useful with wide shakes and nobody seems to notice.

    It is practice for lip trills - and I'm like you, still practcing it!
  10. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    I think of the motion that the tongue does when whistling a trill.... it moves rapidly up & down. Do that same thing with the horn. Earl. D. Irons focuses alot on tongue movement and flexibility slurs. Of course, it is easier the closer the partials are, especially around High-C

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