Proper hand positioning

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jorto131, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Jorto131

    Jorto131 New Friend

    May 19, 2011
    Hello again, I had a friend who also plays trumpet tell me that the correct way to position your right hand on the horn(if you're playing right handed that is) is to have your thumb tip poking between the first and second valve casings. I normally have mine resting above my left thumb which puts it right under the lead pipe. Is my hand positioning affecting my playing or is it a non-issue?
  2. NeonMarmot

    NeonMarmot New Friend

    Sep 25, 2010
    Whatever relieves the most tension from the forearm, wrist, and fingers will prove to be 'the best' technique for you. This will be different from player to player.
  3. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    IMO the "correct" way for the right hand is whatever is the most comfortable and creates the least stress in the hand and arm, allowing the fingers to operate smoothly and quickly.

    Regards, Stuart.
  4. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Right (and left) hand not really an issue unless it causes problems. If you are pressing down the valves at an angle then it isn't good for the horn.
    It definitely depends on your hand and your horn(s). I hold my Bb and my C differently in my right hand because their pinky hooks are very different
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The right side thumb between the first and second valve casing allows for a beneficial geometry of the hand. It also provides added coordination for the ring finger. The real benefits are obvious when you practice Clarke technical studies for a week with a proper hand position and then without. Speed and accuracy are not comparable.

    I consider the "What Works" approach to be very wrong. First of all you don't know what you are missing until you have done it right. Second, much of trumpet playing requires skills unnatural to normal people. Building the dedicated skills basically retrains our fine motor movements. A combination of biology, physics, mathematics, sports and music are required for a holistic view.
  7. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 10, 2006
    I was also taught to put my thumb between the 1st and 2nd valve casings, but sometimes my thumb slides up unconsciously; what happens is that I sometimes play a little flat fingered. The purpose of the thumb between the casings method is to keep your thumb bent out towards your face and consequently your playing fingers arched. Notice that if your thumb is bent in away from your face (which is what naturally happens when it is tucked underneath the leadpipe), keeping your fingers arched is very uncomfortable. So if you make it a habit to do the proper method, it should help to free your fingers when you have faster passages. It's for the same reason that they recommend you keep your pinky out of the ring. Notice that when your pinky is lower than your ring finger, it is almost impossible to press the third valve straight down. And because it does not affect muscle memory of the actual fingering, you should always feel free to correct yourself on the spot without suffering any drawback.
    tobylou8 likes this.
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I've done both and the best way is the thumb between 1st and 2nd valve for the reasons already stated so eloquently by Rowuk and Lakerjazz. :thumbsup:
  9. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    When in doubt I look to Doc:

    YouTube - ‚Ä™Doc Severinsen‚Ĩ‏

    Good angle about :55 in where you can see his right thumb between 1st and 2nd valve.

    The only time I change it is for plungers and page turns...
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    All that matters is that your hand is comfortable and that you push the valves (fairly) straight up and down. The rest is bunk.

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