Mouthpiece pressure?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by stecer, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    In my opinion -- as far as range (and sound) is concerned -- if you can seal the lips to the horn, and NOT use any excessive pressure you will be better off.

    I have more endurance, better sound, and easier (well if you can call it easy) time of hitting the hight notes (high C to Double High C) when I use very little pressure.

    on days were I start to get frustrated and tense because I can't "hit" the high notes - let alone play a tune there - then I add pressure, get more frustrated, and have NO high notes, and poor sound on that day.
    (((or you can take a rest, readjust your attitude, and RELAX, and wahlaah! -- the high notes are there -- cause I used less (almost - no) pressure ----)))
    but - who am I? -- that is just my opinion
     
  2. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    I use and teach minimal pressure. It does take a little pressure to keep the mouthpiece on the lips,but excessive pressure hinders playing. Excessive pressure kills endurance,tone and flexibility.It's air power, not arm power in playing trumpet.
     
  3. JohnSchmitt

    JohnSchmitt New Friend

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    I think a little less pressure can open up the tone and improve endurance. On the other end, the less pressure you need to play a certain note, the farther you can likely go when you introduce a little more pressure. Not saying it's a great idea to increase range by increasing pressure, but sometimes there's a particular note on the page, you're tired, and nobody cares that you're tired. Same idea as minimizing pivot so you can get a greater benefit once you finally need to. Of course it's all meaningless if you don't move air through the horn. Makes a difference.

    I practice using less pressure by transferring whatever pressure there is to my lower lip. It seems like the upper lip does most of the vibrating anyway, and it's easier to reduce lower lip pressure once you move it there. In other words, change the muscle memory in two little steps instead of one big step.

    I get an Ab above the 4th ledger line every day on a 1 1/4 C using this approach. Not saying it will work for everyone, but it's worth trying. Why I can't play an A is a whole other thread...
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Hey why don't you start that thread? I have a few of those problems also. I find the A and Bb (above the 4th ledger line) to be more difficult to get than a slur from the G to DHC ((not that any of that is super easy for me anyhow). Recently when playing "somewhere over the rainbow" - practicing in 3 octaves --- I am cracking and sometimes double buzzing the 1st ledger line A above the staff and hitting the A above 4th ledger line pretty clean.
     
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    I had this problem when I first started to develop my upper register. The problem was , I was over tensing my lips ,and trying to push too much air, because I thought those notes were hard to play. Once I got myself to relax ,those notes just floated out the bell. It was trying too hard that made those difficult to play with a good sound.
     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Thanks Al,
    actually that makes a lot of sense. I have been trying to increase the volume on those notes, so my air speed adjustment and coordination must be out of whack. I have been playing them softly for awhile, so that they are in tune and consistent, but for some reason I want them louder -- well actually I want to be able to do crescendo --- decrescendo stuff up there ---- oh my --- more patience, more practice, more perserverance!!!
     
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Yes, I also have to keep my "comeback" in perspective. I am 45, and have only been at this for 22 months now, after a 7 yr hiatus. I am pushing for a gig that I am doing (2 or 3 songs) on Jan 29th. I have never ever been able to play much higher than the 1st ledger line A above the staff, with any consistency. So to be an octave higher + with some consistency --- I should just be "excited" about that!!!!

    http://www.theoldiesguy.com/gf.htm

    I haven't been able to get a sound download yet, but thanks for the advice - I appreaciate it.
     
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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  9. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    I played for 7 fairly intense hours last night and this evening. As in, in front of people. Lots of people. I'm a beginner and I sounded it. I took breaks. As I'd get more tired, my upper range would go away. Late in this process, I got my upper range right back and beautifully, by playing more GENTLY and DECREASING PRESSURE and putting more upper lip into the MP so it was more free to vibrate, it was Uh-Mazing.

    Pistol shooters have a big bugaboo called Flinch. And a couple of minor ones called heeling and lack of follow-through. Apparently with the trumpet it's Pressure, and the minors being MP placement and maybe relaxation.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I really do not talk about chops with most of my students. They get exercizes that promote intelligent muscle use and I monitor that every week. It is amazing how the face gravitates to efficient when the surrounding processes like breathing and body use work.

    ALL of my students go through the pressure phase all by themselves. That is because it works - for a while. After you have your first REAL high C, you get the motivation for more. Good teachers keep you out of trouble during that time. Not by crippling your playing with theoreticals, rather moving you forward with intelligent options!
     

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