Need practice tips for using no mouthpiece pressure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by raif, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

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  2. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

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    Perhaps a thin spray-on very mild adhesive...of course you'd want nothing that'd work it's way into the instrument, and it'd need to be removable easily...maybe something like a lip balm but not slick and oozy...I see a strange cottage industry coming...STIK-E-LIPZ or PUK-R-SEAL.
    Yeah. A money-making solution to a problem. Yeah. Yeah.
     
  3. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

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    This would help.........


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  4. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Wait, THAT would be interesting...pitch shift under pressure...too bad there is no easy way to pitch-shift downward by a similar method...could eliminate the need for saddle slides and triggers...
     
  5. gordonfurr1

    gordonfurr1 Forte User

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    Where did you find this?
     
  6. A.N.A. Mendez

    A.N.A. Mendez Utimate User

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    Some guy in Texas back in the 40s-50s sold these as a "reduce the pressure" device..... If you press too hard it shuts down airflow....
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    No pressure is pure stupidity. No reason to overrate it. We need a certain amount of pressure to seal the mouthpiece and define the edge of the vibrating area. As our chops get tired we increase pressure to compensate - even if we are professionals. It is critical to have the AMOUNT of pressure under control. This is accomplished with a solid foundation and thousands of repetitions. We do not decrease pressure directly. We INCREASE the amount of muscle activity and control by building the foundations of embouchure, breathing, body use and understanding of music. I use and teach lipslurs, long tones and easy tunes to accomplish this.

    When we lower pressure, generally our playing caves until the rest is built up. My stand is that the player does not even need to consider pressure. They need to focus on PROCESS to build the required foundation. If we are smart strong players, we only use pressure when necessary. After decades of solid basics, we have equilibrium - or at least we are MUCH closer!

    There is no quick tweak. Each player has to be individually checked out and the weaknesses identified and turned into assets!

     
  8. raif

    raif New Friend

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    Yes, I agree some degree of pressure is absolutely required to play any brass instrument. Also, I'm not looking for any quick tweaks or fixes. I just wanted to know how others approach this in daily practice. Sounds like most use quiet playing, long tones, and easy lip slurs. I guess maybe the most important aspect is just to be aware of how much pressure is being applied while practicing, and then try to reduce it over time.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Actually, pressure is not worth spending much time with as it is a SYMPTOM not the root evil. If ones breathing, body use, practice habits are deficient, pressure is a temporary fix (with logical limits). I do NOT recommend taking pressure out of context. I recommend getting the foundation solid, then pressure takes care of itself.
     
  10. tjcombo

    tjcombo Forte User

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    Some observations that the OP may find useful (based on my efforts made to reduce pressure over the past 3 months).

    I agree largely with Rowuk about getting the fundamentals in place. I'm fairly happy with the way my wind/body/mind are working, but found under some circumstances, that I was using excess pressure - tired chops at the end of gig, long stretches of long notes playing melodies (umpteen verses of way too many Christmas carols would you believe) and I'd find the pressure going up.

    I figured that the need was to habituate playing without excess pressure. After three months of various exercises - long tones, 19/30s exercises and playing with minimal pressure at all times is starting to become automatic. A couple of notes at the upper end of my previous range haven't come back yet - which probably says I was depending on pressure before. The "useful range" (up to third leger line E-F) however is much freer and more flexible.

    One tip I found that builds on all of the advice from previous posters, is to do the long tone session at the end of your practice session. This came from practice program attributed to Bill Adam that I found whilst surfing for trumpet exercises. The last page entitled "Endurance Studies" has a mix of long tones and an exercise called Long line chromatics. I'm not sure why, but doing the long tone exercises at the end of a practice session seems much more effective. I even found myself unconsciously pulling the horn back from my lips. This might sound weird and your mileage may vary, but it was good for me and the reason for making this post.

    Best of luck

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