pitch bending

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    JAY LICHTMAN has some great note bending exercises on this site which you should find helpful. These are all bending down but the more control you gain on these will help you on the upper bends.

    Trumpet Studies

    The difficulty bending up is caused from the closeness on the higher notes as stated before.
    coolerdave likes this.
  2. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    Here's another take on pitch bends by CSO trombonist Jay Friedman (for the trumpet) who played alongside Adolph Herseth for many years. He has a vast amount of articles on his website and, trombone player or not, most are very worthwhile for a trumpet player to read, whether it be to gain more skill on his or her own instrument or to educate yourself on the trials and tribulations of your fellow trombone player.

    Here is a program I guarantee will give you a sound that will be the envy of your peers. This is not a quick fix, but something to use over a lifetime. First, take an old or spare trumpet and put some trombone slide cream on each valve, thick enough so that the valves go up and down very slowly and smoothly. Now start on C in the staff and very slowly play quarter notes, first down to B, then back to C, then down to Bb, then back to C, then to A, chromatically down to low C. The idea is to produce a total portamento ( glissando) where the sound is exactly the same on the note and in between the note to the next note. There should be absolutely no indication of where the note changes. It should sound like a smear on a trombone. Play at a mp-mf dynamic for an easy, relaxed sound. It will be difficult at first to get a true portamento, because most likely you have been relying on the quickness of the valves to change the note. Now that the valves go up and down slowly you must fill in those gaps with air (sound). In order to have a continuous sound it may take several weeks before you can play with a sound that has no break what-so-ever on or between notes. Try visualizing a roller coaster where the highest peak is the upper note, the lowest point is the bottom note, and where the track has no straight or missing sections. Make the tracks as round and gently sloping as possible, with the notes you land on no more prominent than the sound in between them. Try this on the mouthpiece and then don't let the valves or partials change that result. It's easy to imitate a roller coaster on the mouthpiece and difficult on the horn, but that's what we're after.

    As in anything you work on in your practice room it is important to exaggerate the particular thing you are trying to improve, so that when you perform you have a margin of safety, whether it is loud playing, soft playing, articulation or any other aspect of playing. You will eventually notice that in order to get the same amount of portamento between notes involving different intervals you will have to move the valves at slightly different speeds once you return to your regular horn. The distance between C and B, a half step lower, requires a slightly slower change than from C to A. Of course we want all slurs to have basically the same amount of sound between notes. After you have a solid sense of what a great slur is you won't have to think about changing the speed of slurs, your brain and body will automatically do that. Remember that the closer the partials are together, as in the upper register, the more time is required for sound between notes to compensate for the reduced space between those partials.
    Eventually you will want to cover all registers of the horn, making sure that all slurs have maximum sound (gliss) in between. After you have spent considerable time on the glissando exercise, (which you have exaggerated for research purposes) you are going to notice a change in your sound. It's somehow gotten fatter, wider, mellower, and yet clearer. What we're talking about is not stronger air, but more pervasive air. Air that inhabits every nook and cranny of every bend in every inch of your horn. Now, there is no such thing as on the note. There is one continuous stream of sound where the valves have been taken completely out of the equation, and you are now a singer. Even when you play articulated passages the constant air stream produces a more resonant sound because of pervasive air.

    You now have one more crucial aspect to take care of. You must train your fingers to do what the slide cream did and it is going to be a royal battle because your fingers have been used to moving like lightening to cover the fact that probably too little air was used between notes in order to play "cleanly." It's good to keep an old horn with slide cream handy so that you can go back and make sure your air is working. Once it is working well, all those blanks you used to get, because you put a valve down before the air got there, will be eliminated because the note will change because of air, not valve movement. Some players will use the middle joint of the fingers to move the valves and perhaps this is a good way to smooth out the way you depress the valves. Just changing the position of the fingers will help instill a new set of responses over old ones. Once you can think about getting your fingers off automatic pilot and can emulate the valve action with the slide cream, it is time to start playing simple slurs using the amount of legato you would use in a performance situation. First imagine the most beautiful legato slur that anyone has ever conceived. Get a clear picture of what that would sound like. Then have your brain tell your body to go and find it, and don't be satisfied with anything less. Your body will try to talk you out of it. Your body will say "It can't be done, it's impossible, I'll never be able to do it." Be stubborn. I promise it is in the horn. Eventually you will be able to play a melody that flows from note to note without anyone being able to tell where the note changed, because it will sound like you sang it rather than played it. In vocal parlance, this is called bel canto.
    Now you have to master the lip slurs, those that don't require any valve change. It's good to practice bending these because it is important that you keep the air stream under a microscope instead of body englishing lip slurs. You should try to glissando between lip slurs when you practice because it takes really pervasive air to play something like those soft C major lip slurs in the 3/4 section of Zarathustra without getting a blank or sticking your tongue in and spoiling the slur. Try to match your natural slur to the smoothest legato valve slur and not vice-versa.

    Taken from: http://jayfriedman.net/articles -------> Trompete!, by Jay Friedman
  3. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Very interesting stuff from Hakan Hardenberger, thanks for sharing AK trumpet.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Get yourself a Vintage Martin Committee. Pitch bending becomes a piece of cake.
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    You can lip down. You don't have to. You can lip up, you can mold puffs of air in your oral cavity and poof them out with varience, you can puff your cheeks (this really poofs air), you can partially compress a valve or an alternating valve, change the rate of air flow (without changing volume as the energy goes into pitch)... its kinda like letting water color paints bleed together, and on the palatte of a Martin Committee this is so easily done.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Here is a cut I did on an arrangement I made for "Jesus is All the World to Me". On this time I use lip tension changes to bend notes. Again, no magical Martin Committee, but a harmon muted Olds Recording.

    Jesus is All the World to Me by Doctor Jazz on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free

    By the way, many know me here as playing with the Eddie Brookshire Quintet. These two recordings on bending I made back in 2003 on a Demo CD for my previous band "Straight Ahead Jazz". So don't let the mellow fool you, it's still me. With Eddie, I'm now All Jacked Up! Different demands by different band leaders.
  8. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Name of book = Flexus. Her co-author is the great trumpeter John McNeil. Book available at Amazon for mucho dinero ($34?). I have just started to work the half-tone bends into my daily routine and already feel improvements in strength.
  9. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    tried it.. pretty cool
    D.C. Al fine likes this.
  10. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia

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