Low notes problem!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Nico Kelevra, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Nico Kelevra

    Nico Kelevra New Friend

    Aug 1, 2012
    Carapachay, Argentina
    Hi TM, I have a little problem. :D
    When I play the A below the staff, this is tuned (I don't know if this is the word!), but when I keep going down the following are not tuned (Ab, G, F#) until I reach F (pedal) which is tuned like the rest until I get to the C (pedal) but I can't make it sound clear.:dontknow: Any recomendations for me?

    Like always, thanks to all.

    Did I say tuned? :sorry:

  2. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    It's important that you plat low notes and pedal tones woth litres ans litres of air, and relaxed lips. This might solve the Ab, G, F# problem, otherwise just use your trigger like you do with the C# and the D below staff.

    I wonder how well you play the first tier of pedals (F-C#), they are the hardest ones to sound clear, and remember, lots and lots of air, there's never enough air down there. The Pedal C is the hardest note to get in tune and sound good, on a trumpet, if you have access to a flugelhorn, try playing pedals on there, it's way easier. Also, a harmon mute helps. My Pedal C was very flat, almost B-like, I'ld recommend first playing the B with open fingerings, then try the C, and it will come, don't worry, as long as you keep doing them and use lots of air

    On my flugelhorn or on a trumpet with harmon mute, i can get into the double pedals, the D BELOW the Pedal C and if lucky, a double pedal C. There's also a video of a guy on youtube playing down to the triple pedals.

    Did I say use lots of air already? :lol:

  3. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I would be doing this with a tuner, and checking each note. Also check out the Book "Sail the 7Cs" and it comes with a CD, that runs through various exercises to develop the bottom range down to double pedal C.

    It takes air, and patience and keep with it as part of a normal routine. I find the pedal notes to be a good indicator to me that my embouchure is rellaxed, a Ped C to High C interval is worth checking.

    Here's a link to a good read and some explanations:
    Clyde Hunt's, Sail The Seven C's - FAQ's
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    Do a search and read my post on "T/STF" . See if by applying the concept your tone doesn't automatically clear up. T/STF or "tension/suppleness threshold factor" shifts the control of the tone onto those muscles outside the mouthpiece cup. Which is where the load should be shifted. It is a concept generally applied to increasing volume in the upper register but is valuable in any area of your range.

    Next: Play LOUD lower and middle register eighth notes with heavy "bell tone" attacks. The trick is to use a full tongue penetration. Try to get your tongue to just about hit the bottom of the mouthpiece cup.

    Second line "G-G-G-G-G-G-G-GEEE..." "F-F-F-F-F-F-F-FFFF..." E-E-E-E-E-E-E-Eeee..." etc down to low C.

    Then: chromatically a half step down or

    First space: "F#-F#-F#-F#-F#-F#-F#-F#ffff..."E-E-E-E-E-E-E-Eeee..." etc down to Low B natural.

    Work this series down to Low F# again with full tongue penetration and LOUD loud LOUD volume. Don't worry about tone quality at first. Just loud loud LOUD.

    Good volume + earnest practice = good tone...

    Volume development is the stepping stone to good tone. There are other ways of developing tone too but this one is always effective. It works the muscles and clears the unnecessary flesh out of the mouthpiece which is limiting your tonal volume. The lousy tone is caused by mushy, unorganized lip flesh mucking things up.

    You don't want to stretch your lips but neither do you want to allow them to flab up inside the m/piece

    Also forget about pedals until you open up the lower register tone. My experience with pedals is that there is a time and place for them. Well sometimes anyway. Some cats do not respond well to pedals. Reinhardt condemned their usage! Although I think his approach to at least this idea was kinda extreme.

    If you're playing pedals you are essentially creating a "false embouchure". Nothing wrong with that if you're developing high notes. The pedals tend to make you "pooch" forward your upper lip. This can help access to the upper register.

    However too much forward "pooch" will obstruct the lower register sound. Or it can tend to do this.

    By doing those eighth note bell tone exercises you can learn to "turn off" the pedal tone "pooch". Later when more experienced you can turn them on and off at will. Turning the pooch on and off is a way of connecting your register well.

    In my early days I could not connect my lower register to my High G at all. However through the advice given above I was able to make the transition smoothly.

    Lastly the following advice may or may not work for you but it is a common pattern for lower to upper register control:

    Upper register? Pooch out and blow like hell.

    Lower register? Keep chops in their natural position but more open in the aperture.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  5. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    Nico, listen to Local, he is an experienced and very helpfull player, try what he does as well, and you'll come along.

    By the way, I've heard of people playing pedals with their upper or lower lip OUTSIDE the cup and the rim, like hanging al the way out, DONT DO THAT. It messes up your playing and embouchure, I played first chair once, with another guy, he discovered you could play that way as well, played them a lot, and is now out of the first chair.
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Another good post, Local. I'm trying everything in bold above, in today's practice .... more volume. Sorry .... more VOLUME!

  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Alternate fingerings may also work. Have you given this a try?

    Bridging to the peddle tones is so much easier with that 4th valve function, that is why I insist on it for my flugelhorns.
  8. Nico Kelevra

    Nico Kelevra New Friend

    Aug 1, 2012
    Carapachay, Argentina
    Ok, I've searched your post and readed it. It's a great one! Explains everything to me, my challenge now is apply it! :play: I hope it helps me in all my range. I will play with more VOLUME just like Turtle says.


  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    (Ab, G, F#) -- I am sorry, did I miss something in trumpet playing 101??? I suggest using a tuner, AND USE THE 3rd valve slide to help these notes get in tune -- if you have a 1st valve slide in unison with the 3rd valve slide, that might also help the low F#. BUT HEY THAT IS JUST ME, I always use the easy way out!!!
    Peter McNeill likes this.
  10. Nico Kelevra

    Nico Kelevra New Friend

    Aug 1, 2012
    Carapachay, Argentina
    Yes, of course you are right Kingtrumpet! :thumbsup: Maybe I have expressed wrong my issue. It's not only to get the notes tuned but the sound, I can't get these notes sound clear :dontknow:

    Thanks to all for the advices!

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