Pressure and air

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ineedhelp, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. ineedhelp

    ineedhelp New Friend

    Apr 30, 2011
    Hey everyone, I understand that a little pressure may be ok, but I was wondering if there are any exercises that I could do to help relieve pressure, especially in the upper register. I find that I myself use a lot of pressure when playing in the upper register, and I know it's bad so I would like any advice you all could give on how to play with less pressure. My second question is, I find that when I play in the higher register everything goes fine, but it's only when I try to play a little louder, with a more powerful sound that I get a "grunt" like sound, this "grunt" also hurts my throat a lot. I have been stopping and taking a sip of water but it doesn't stop it. So, if you have any ideas on what the problem is, please tell me. Again, it's only when I try to play with a louder, fuller, and more powerful sound that this occurs. Thank you for your time and attention everyone!
  2. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    What you are experiencing is from a lack of developement of the embouchure. Your trying to play higher and louder than you are ready for. There is no quick solution to this, just solid training of the embouchure.

    How much do you practice every day?
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Have you tried opening up your embouchure and exhaling? That is pretty much the only exercising you need to do to relieving pressure.

    The next task is in controlling that exhaling flow. So you do not play with less pressure. Playing with less pressure will lose your control. What you need less of is more tension on with the embouchure. Do not read this as more mouthpiece pressure on the lips. In fact you want to relax this pressure as much as possible so you do not fatigue.

    The grunt sound is closing off too much embouchure for the note you are trying to play. In this case keep the pressure high with a good full breath of air before exhaling, put tension on your chest muscles (intercostals with a locked diaphragm) then open up you embouchure. This will allow more vibration from behind with the pressure you have developed in your airway behind your lips (now this is key) as long as you keep your glottis (throat muscle flap) open. Even in this second question opening up your embouchure will transfer pressure, and you have thereby converted potential energy to kinetic energy, and life becomes easy.
  4. tptshark

    tptshark Pianissimo User

    Jun 4, 2005
    Hong Kong
    Try working through David Hickman's "15 Advanced Embouchure Studies"; one study per week. They will go a long way towards not only strengthening your embouchure, but also helping you find a balanced embouchure - with the pressures involved working efficiently in the correct manner. You could also spend some time doing the Chicowitz or similar vocalise studies (Stamp, Thibaud, Colin, numerous others) and working on keeping your airstream free and your throat relaxed.

    I second the notion that you should be wary of pushing yourself beyond what your musculature/technique is ready for.

    Of course your best option is to sit down with an experienced, professional teacher and work through your issues with them. This cannot be overstressed as being the best option over the DIY method.

    All the best,

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