Proper technique for moving the third tuning slide

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Creaphis, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Creaphis

    Creaphis New Friend

    Dec 21, 2009
    This thread isn't about what you think it's about - I'm not wondering about when to move the third slide, or for what notes. Instead, I'm literally wondering about "how"! The standard method of moving the slide with your ring finger doesn't seem to work well for me - my ring finger can't move independently, so whenever I extend my ring finger to move the tuning slide, I also have to fully extend my middle finger, which means that either I have to drastically change my hand position just to move the tuning slide, or that I have to always support the weight of my trumpet with only my left thumb and index finger (which hurts my index finger). If I try putting my pinky finger through the ring on the tuning slide instead, my whole left hand gets cramped, so that doesn't work any better. Does anybody have any tips?

    Part of me feels that, even though the look of a trumpet is sacrosanct, it's time to redesign it from scratch to make it a little more ergonomic...
  2. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    With my left hand I have my pinky and ring finger wrapped under the third valve casing. My middle finger is the one that is inside the third valve slide ring with my pointer finger just behind the ring. And lastly my thumb is in the 1st valve slide thumb saddle.

    But I personally don't think their is a "proper" way to hold a trumpet, with your left hand. So long as players hand position is comfortable for them, then I see no need for a proper way to hold the trumpet.:-)

    Just try and see if you can experiment with different hand positions.

    Good luck!
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Creaphis, can you explain how you hold up the weight of your trumpet with the middle finger of your left hand? The only way I can think to do so is to try holding the trumpet in a "death grip," and of course that extra un-needed tension would make using the third valve slide more difficult.

  4. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I do this, too - one of my college trumpet instructors recommended this change for me because I have smaller hands, and it's worked very well for about the last 15 yrs. It gives me enough power to throw the slide out without difficulty. The only down side is that I have a huge callous on the joint of my ring finger, since that's where the weight of the horn sits. Could be worse!
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Depending on which horn I play, I either have two fingers on top and two on the bottom, or one finger on the bottom and 3 on top. I either use my ring finger or middle to move the slide. When I play my cornet I have one finger on the bottom, my middle finger through the ring and my pointer finger over top of the bell.
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    If you have a 1st valve saddle or trigger, just use it instead. Most notes that need 3rd slide correction involve the 1st valve, too.
  7. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    I put my ring finger in the ring, pinky above the slide.

    How far into the ring is you finger? Only the tip of my finger is in the ring.
  8. krmanning

    krmanning Pianissimo User

    Apr 18, 2009
    Fayetteville, NC
    In college, my teacher at the time changed my grip so that I held the trumpet with my ring finger and pinkie gripping the valves beneath the third valve slide, middle finger through the ring. It makes it easier to use both the 1st and 3rd valve adjustments instead of just one.

    But, most of the weight of the horn is carries on the ring finger right at the first joint (the PIP joint anatomically). This was OK while I was playing a lightweight horn. But when I switched to a Harrelson beast last year, the weight was too much. So I've had to change back. Now I hold the valves with the index and middle fingers between the bell and third valve slide, ring finger through the ring, and weight of the trumpet is mainly supported by the index finger.

    This is comfortable enough, but introduces other issues. My current teacher is really big on tuning differences depending on key, ie flatting the 3rd and 6th of any key to make the notes fit harmonically. So, I need to use both tuning slides more, but its a little harder to do.

    Bottom line. Hold it any way that's comfortable and works for you.
  9. bockhaus

    bockhaus Pianissimo User

    May 11, 2008
  10. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

    Nov 23, 2009
    Georgia, USA
    The more fingers that go under the 3rd valve slide, the more it tends to point the bell up. So if you have a tendency to have a bell angle that is parallel to the ground, then the above grip might work well. However, for me this puts a real strain on my wrist as I attempt to keep my bell angle down somewhat.

    There ya go.;-)

Share This Page