Mouthpiece pressure?

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

  1. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Hi Graham,

    can I ask what age is your student?, kingtrumpet offers good suggestions, in my experience most beginners have a tendency to over blow. If she is a youngster I would have her play very soft notes in the range to a second line G and have a competition with you to see who can play the softest, always let her win.:D Also check that she does not have excess tension in the lips.

    I have a friend that was taught by placing the trumpet on a book and playing open notes without touching the instrument, he claims to be a non pressure player but when playing above the stave his arms develop a tension tremor and his lips have a WHITE ring on them that takes several seconds to disappear, this is a sign of extreme pressure, the blood have been forced out of the lips.

    Regards, Stuart.
  2. Graham

    Graham Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi guys, thanks for your suggestions! I've tried "hanging" the trumpet by the valve caps, but that always ends in fits of laughter lol

    She's 15, and is quite a bright kid, she just needs to get less pressure and more air/embouchure doing the work for her!
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    yes, I could never make the string thing work either - but my case seems to "hold" the trumpet enough from twisting and such, so I could play that way. Anyways it took a few months to "get the feel" of my lips and the vibrations - and using less pressure, it didn't happen overnight.
    but in the past year I have not seen any "ring" on my lips - from extended playing or even the high notes (up to DHC) -anyhow
    best wishes - practice, play, and most of all have fun.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    For what it's worth, the string thing is a gimmick used by someone that already has a set of developed "chops". True no pressure means NO SEAL! No seal, no sound. What Rowuk has said about no pressure is spot on. When I caved to the "no pressure" drumbeat, I lost my range and endurance. Somebody help me with this (who said it) but one pro was quoted as saying "he had the strongest right arm in the business" when asked about "no pressure". Truth taken to an extreme becomes error. As long as there is no bruising, pressure is fine.:play:
  5. MichaelCJones

    MichaelCJones New Friend

    Aug 5, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    My question, how are you going to build the necessary strength by playing from a string? Strength comes from appropriate exercise to build the muscles necessary to support a high buzz without using excessive pressure. So, have you added a regimen of the pencil exercise to build the correct muscles off of the horn? Have you added ppp playing to build focus? How about trying the 20 minute middle g?

    Focus on exercises to focus on improvement.
  6. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    In my experience, the string exercise is NOT an isometric exercise and is only intended to illustrate the intended feel, not to build strength. The pencil exercise *is* an isometric exercise, however.

    However, in my personal experience, I'm with TobyLou in that to the best of my knowledge, I cannot recall a single player I have played with who did not use pressure. You learn to counteract the pressure with air support, and you learn to minimize the pressure required to play by playing efficiently and centered, but I don't think you ever truly get rid of it.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

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