Practicing Trills

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jimi Michiel, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

    Mar 22, 2005
    Hi Manny,

    I'm having some problems with trills, specifically the D-E trill at the very beginning of the Brandenburg. More specifically, I have trouble keeping the trill even and getting both notes to resonate. I think this might be because I am a little uncomfortable with the physical motion of using my index finger to sustain an even trill over four beats.

    I've been putting extra time in on Clark, but I haven't seen any noticable impact on my ability to play a tight, even trill. Do you have any excercises you use to practice trills?

  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    Hi, I just rediscovered this question as I was looking through the forum. Sorry I didn't get to it sooner.

    I've found that the trill you're talking about is usually a problem in two regards: a proper mouthpiece and a stable embouchure.

    A good mouthpiece/horn combo prvides those notes with the right amount of definiton and notch. I can't STAND hearing that trill squeezed out as so many players do when they aren''t really ready to play that piece. It's a trill where the tongue is arched so high I'm afraid I'm going to see the tip poking through a nostril. If you listen to the old André recording with Pailliard it is absolute perfection. A proper mouthpiece will also provide you with good pitch that allows the notes to notch or slot, as they say.

    The stable embouchure allows you move the air to support a high trill like that one.

    Here's a little test: since you're working on the Brandenburg, I'm going to assume you have a high A at your disposal. Play a two octave-plus scale from the low G to the high A and observe whether you are losing the ability to notch as you go higher. In other words, do the lower notes sound better-notched than the high notes? If they don't, think make sure you're staying on the lower side of the notes as you ascend. Maintain the same vowel as you ascend and listen for a quality of sound that stays equal. That's why the old André recording is such a fabulous example.

    Good luck,

  3. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA

    Explain this again for a slow learner here -- trills have always been the worst part of my playing. Strange enough the worst trill on my horn is the high A/Bb followed by a G that resolves as the last note in the phrase (one that most people would think pretty easy).

    So explain the mouthpiece/embouchure relationship one more time.

    Sorry for being slow here, but I thought the question was a great question and your answer important and I want to make certain I understand what you are saying.

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