Playing softly

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by redlips, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    My 2 cents ... make sure you rest as much as you play... play for a minute.. rest for a minute... and it takes alot of patience but it really helps
    also.. what size mouthpiece are you using?
  2. redlips

    redlips New Friend

    Dec 22, 2009
    I'll work on this and playing loud down to soft on long tones. I have the clarke book too so ill try that. It's strange though, playin soft and delicately was so easy when I was using to much pressure, but now it almost as if my lips lost that sense of control.

    I wonder if before I was relying to much on my lips to produce soft sounds rather than controlling the amount of air... So I never really learned the proper way to play quietly. Does this make sense?
  3. redlips

    redlips New Friend

    Dec 22, 2009
    Thats another story... Over 15 years ive moved from 7c to 5c to 3c and now I'm on a Yamaha 11b4. The rim feels a bit nicer than than the bachs and is apparently larger than a 3c with a slightly shallower cup.
  4. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    I think it is generally accepted that playing softly is much harder than playing loudly. The reason it that you much use your chops to control your aperature rather than pressure. I think Pops talks about the analogy of the lips being like a doughnut. If you press down on the doughnut with your hand, the hole will get smaller as things squish. Now, you have to learn to make the hole (aperature) smaller with your chop muscles and not pressure. I have been through this process and it is hard but very rewarding as we relearn.

    The second part is balancing your "air support" with your chops and getting the two to work together to get the right sound, pitch, and intonation.

    Rainer Schmidt told me that you know you are doing things right when the note feels effortless. If you feel like your are fighting the horn and it is hard, something is wrong. That is when you have the "sweet spot" for any particular note. In fact, many players avoid the sweet spot because it is "so" effortless it can be unnerving, they prefer the resistance because it makes them "feel" the trumpet when they are playing.

  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I so agree. Softly and then decrescendo to silence will be much more valuable in conditioning the embouchure than pounding the lips with excessive motor workouts. Conditioning is key for any muscle.

    Ahh! This advice from the person that touts blowing into a towel?! How can that be? Tell me it isn't so!

    Let me make my self very clear on this seemingly wishy washy stance (which it really isn't). Conditioning as supported by the posts above [Vulgano Brother, rowuk] TAKES ABSOLUTE PRIORITY. Only after conditioning, can you then work on toning. Blowing into a towel COMFORTABLY, would then work on the toning. If you start toning before conditioning, you may blow it - so to speak.

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