Physical Tension and Horn Ergonomics

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Comeback, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    I don't know, rowuk, I think what you've written can be helpful indeed. What catches up to some people after years in the construction trades and other occupations are various musculoskeletal disorders (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3125.pdf), which you probably know about. In my case, after nearly four decades away from the trumpet, attention to horn ergonomics seems to be paying off. Maybe some others will find a little direction and encouragement in some of the discussion in this thread.

    Jim
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Jim,
    I most certainly agree that we are the product of what we have done in our lives, good and bad. I think that it is easy to phantasize about ergonomics too!

    The problem is different in my view. If we have our body use down - good posture, hand position, head angle, good balance, and then we add a couple of pounds of trumpet out front, we throw that balance off and have to compensate regardless of where the valve block is. In this respect, only lighter trumpets are more ergonomic! Ergonomy and the trumpet is a subject that deserves some attention, but look what happened to the Selmer Radial 2 degree Trumpet series - didn't sell well enough, discontinued.

    To me, ergonomy starts with our body use, not the hardware. The largest deficits that I have to deal with in my teaching is what I call the unprepared body. We are not ready for a BIG, RELAXED BREATH. When those "not ready" players do breathe big, they build up tension like with a bow and arrow.

    About all that we can really do ergonomically hardware wise, is keep the valves oiled and slides greased. The rest IS truly looking in the mirror!

    Robin
     
  3. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

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    If horn ergonomics aren't right, they are distracting to me. If the pinky ring and intonation aids (1st & 3rd rings, saddles, and triggers) aren't optimum for my hands, I reposition them. Just a small change can make a big difference. As far as the configuration of the horn itself, I place my hands and fingers where they are able to do what they need to do with the least amount of discomfort.
     
  4. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Robin,

    I believe I understand where you are coming from concerning the risk of fantasizing about horn ergonomics, and agree that this risk could misdirect the energies of some players. Pursuit of perfect horn ergonomics could easily end up like an expensive chase for a perfect mouthpiece!

    I confess that I sometimes become a trumpeting slob concerning good body mechanics and acknowledge that this tendency of mine could contribute to what I experience. I'll try reforming my body mechanics behavior and use my lightest trumpet for a while and see if I can observe any ergo-related difference.

    BIG, RELAXED BREATH. When I actually behave as I know I should and play with good posture, so my body is prepared, this makes a big positive difference in the playing results I obtain, far more than subtle details of trumpet design. This is not a new concept for me. I have known it for years. I appreciate the reminder!

    Jim
     
  5. Tomaso

    Tomaso Pianissimo User

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    The reason that happens is that tilting the instrument up a bit removes pressure from and frees up the larger lower lip to vibrate more freely. Not so hot for higher notes but great in the lower/middle registers.
     
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    That and those 3 buttons and $4 will get you a Starbuck's.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Yummmmmmm.... Pumpkin spice latte!
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Not a problem if you use the phwoooooo technique. Endurance in the higher register is why I chose to go phwooooo. Buzzing is so overrated.
     
  9. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Gary, can you remind us again about what sphincter you use to phwoooooo?:lol:

    Jim
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    :think:The relaxed one.:oops:
     

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