open valve slur's

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jimba, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Jimba

    Jimba New Friend

    Dec 28, 2006
    My latest lesson got into slurs a bit deeper. when I first looked at the page I thought "piece of cake",....well I was wrong. the whole page does mainly open valve slurs, with the exception of bottom of the staff E. anyways, as i work up, I found real quick, that the higher notes, C on up to above the staff, are not so easy. :-o I can do them, but sometimes get stuck, and not sure what to focus on to correct it with.

    So, my question is, if you had to explain doing the above, what would the main focus be for sluring up. extra kick of air, tongue/ embouchure change, other, all the above?

    Jim :cool:
  2. Stile442

    Stile442 Piano User

    Mar 26, 2007
    Deland Fl
    Think faster air. The faster the air column the easier the upper notes are to hit. When I was first starting my teacher explained it using syllables. When you start a pitch with the tounge you make a "Ta" sound right? Well, once the air gets moving change the "a" to "e". ie....Taaaaaaaaaaaa-eeeeeeeeee. This moves the back of the tongue up toward the roof of the mouth and creates the faster air column. Also think about tightening your corners when changing to the "e". Its alot to think about at first, but play with it for a while and it will become second nature soon enough. Hopefully this helps.
  3. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    I, personally, like to think in terms of controlling the aperture, as opposed to thinking about corners. I try to focus in "pushing" my bottom lip up into my top lip as I have to play higher, along with my tongue position and firm air support.

    Breathing is going to be key in every aspect of trumpet playing. I'll quote ROWUK here and save him the trouble of typing the same response for the ten millionth time :cool: ... (hope you don't mind Robin) if your breathing is wrong, it will all be wrong. Do a search on breathing and you will get lots of great advice. :D

    Try taking a few yoga classes... they are very enlightening as to how "wrong" we breath!!

    And remember... have fun!!

  4. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Ditto, ditto, ditto!!! Yes, and trust that a good deep open breath (like stepping into the end of a cold swimming pool - Ahhhhhhhhh) will help you get those notes out. I usually add range & endurance exercises at the end of my lip flexibility session, and when I'm not concentrating I'll mistakenly take a tense breath because I'm trying to get a lot of air in to hit those higher notes. This is a huge mistake, because then I'm not relaxed and I try too hard to reach those notes; my body tenses, my throat tenses, and my face tenses. Thus, no notes at all!!! If you're not used to taken the right kind of breath it can seem counter-intuitive. You're thinking "oh man, high note gotta squeeze that thing out!", but that's what will happen... you'll squeeze: your throat, face, and body... leading to total shut down. So, trust the breath man!!!

    Ok, with that said, when ascending in a slur use a crescendo, and when descending use a decrescendo. A lot of method books advise this as well, but be careful not to over do it. What that should do is force you to use the correct air support when moving up and down the register of the horn. Be aware, though, not to cut the air off as you descrescendo in your descending lines.
  5. Jude

    Jude Piano User

    Dec 2, 2007
    Changing the tilt of the trumpet can help. Try tipping the end of the horn VERY SLIGHTLY up or down (you have to experiment) when the notes start to seem too high. ("Very slightly" may mean so little no one can actually see it.) Doing this helps keep the airstream directed at the outlet of the mouthpiece as your embouchure changes and redirects the air for the high notes.

    Another thing: do the pattern going up the chromatic scale - all open, then 1-2-3, then 1-3, .... You'll give out before you can do the entire series, but when you go back and only have to get to the open note it'll seem easier.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2008
  6. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Pianissimo User

    May 22, 2004
    Brewerton, NY
    I would also like to add: don't over analyze. Just take a nice deep relaxed breath and play! Practicing this way will lead to improvements and many things will correct themselves through time and practice. The air is the key; practicing is the door. Now go through it.
  7. Jimba

    Jimba New Friend

    Dec 28, 2006
    Thanks all,...all good stuff.

    so most of that my instructor has gone over. he really hits on the burst of air part, he would pretend to hit me in the stomach to emphasize the lower muscles to do the work. he has also talked about the tounge change.

    Jude, your right about the chromatis scale part, I have no problem with that, but ya take the valved notes out, it is surprising how much harder it is to jump to those notes. he has also taught me the tilt trick, works very good.

    Jeff your also right, dont over think it, just go do it.

    It was fun just to hear what most hit on the most, that seems to be the breathing/air part of the equation is the big one.

    again thanks to all. :-)
  8. Jimba

    Jimba New Friend

    Dec 28, 2006
    oh and commakozzi, I like your avitar, I am a flight instructor myself, CFII land sea, Dad started me when I was 6, going on my 37th year of flying. learned on floats.
  9. pipedope

    pipedope Pianissimo User

    Sep 2, 2007
    Lots of ways to think about it but the thinking is just part of training the body and mind to do it automatically.

    I like Eric Bolvin's "Tongue Level and Air."
    ::: Eric Bolvin Music Studios - Publications ::: TONGUE LEVEL & AIR

    Also Bill Knevit's, "Building a Strong and Flexible Embouchure ..."
    Home Page

    In any case on a given attempt try to do it perfect and if you mis try again but only three times before moving on. Come back and try again later.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    when slurs don't work, the breathing is ALWAYS wrong. Even beginners after a couple of weeks practice should be able to play basic lip slurs.
    More complicated slurs require more strength of the embouchure+air control. That is why we practice the easy ones to build strength. I do not recommend starting Taaaa-eeeh until there is a fair amount of embouchure strength present. I feel this generally slows the development of the student and builds bad habits. Play lots of the easy slurs and then advance to the next category of hard!
    Increase the amount of easy slurs in your daily program and the harder ones will become easier! Don't forget to take that big relaxed breath first!

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