Response Issues

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chrisvenditti, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. chrisvenditti

    chrisvenditti New Friend

    Aug 17, 2005
    What do you do when your response is not working well. Sometimes my response goes after playing a lot of loud stuff, or after playing too much soft. Then again sometimes my lips don't won't to work even when they feel good. There sometimes seems to be no rhyme or reason. Either way, after it is gone there seems to be nothing I can do to get it back. Suggestions?
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    The response goes when your approach is inconsistent and haphazard. Maintain the corners in contact with the mouthpiece by saying TOOH as you play and the response improves immediately.

  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    :worthy: Dear Manny,

    "Corners in contact with the mouthpiece?" This concept is not yet in the Vulgano vocabulary (at least not under that name.) Could you please explain a bit more? Thanks!
  4. chrisvenditti

    chrisvenditti New Friend

    Aug 17, 2005
    I get lost inside the cup of the MP. I have tried moving my corners in, breathing differently, Schubruk and a million other things. Everything seems to 'help' but nothing really solves the issue for me. I just get frustrated and cry myself to sleep. :)
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    I often talk about the four points of contact by the lips on the rim of the mouthpiece. Often, trumpeters will think in terms of the top lip and the lower lip in contact. What I have them visualize is sort of like a cross with the embouchure separated into quadrants: East, West, South, and North.

    When a trumpeter pronounces the word TEE the lips will pull away from the mouthpiece and you'll have less vibrating surface to help initiate an attack When trumpeter pronounces TOOH it brings the corners forward and you have a greater amount of vibrating surface and this fixes response problems just about everytime. It also makes a nice, softer cushion against the mouthpiece.

    Chris, I don't know what to tell you. Without seeing what you do, it's hard beyond what I've already said. I don't know how you think and what your perception level is or whether you have a complete grasp of your concern other than the obvious drag of not getting the notes out. It's a pain in the neck for you and I wish I could be a better aid to you.

  6. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    As I recall you studied with Jim Thompson at Eastman and are now at Juilliard, right?

    When I started addressing response issues in my playing, I decided that I wanted to figure out how to make my response immediate and then I would carry this feel into different registers and dynamic levels gradually. I think Manny’s advice about saying Tooh and getting complete contact with the mouthpiece is fantastic and gets right to the heart of the issue.

    I had to take some baby steps before the concept of “Tooh†was able to help me. I had some bad habits that I needed to replace with good habits related to response. Mostly harmful tension issues and I addressed them slowly over time. These are all just suggestions that have helped me and are based on all of the things that I’m sure your teachers are discussing with you.

    • Bill Adam
      I know there has to be a certain amount of mouthpiece buzzing to warm up the resilience that we have to have here. But, if we can set the mouthpiece and tube in vibration, the embouchure is much more relaxed. What we're trying to do is to get the air through that horn with the least amount of tension and the least amount of muscle.

    Have you ever tried producing a sound on the mouthpiece / leadpipe combination alone? It’s amazing to me how doing this leads to immediacy in my response. There simply is no hesitation in the beginning of the sound. I do this at a gentle dynamic with a breath attack on the fundamental of the pipe (about a 1st space F on Bb trumpet). Do this 10-15 times and then put your tuning slide back in. Demand the same immediacy in response as you play a 2nd line G on the horn. Now try the G#. Does it respond as easily (it’s part of the next harmonic so it will feel different at first)? If it doesn’t pop out immediately, absolutely don’t blow harder to crack the response loose. Just “let†the air out and use a breath attack. If it still doesn’t want to respond, try playing that F on the leadpipe to refresh the idea of immediate response and then try it on the horn again.

    Doing this for a few minutes a day, several times a day, and always gently with the goal of immediacy of response will help you to reduce tension that is creeping into your response.

    • Carmine Caruso
      The breath attack is used in this initial exercise because it is the quickest way to get the lips in focus, to get them touching.
    • David Hickman
      One of the most effective methods of developing correct tone production is through the use of breath attacks. Commencing the tone without the aid of the tongue will require the embouchure and throat to be relaxed and efficient.
    • James Stamp
      Learn to buzz the lips without using the tongue to start the first note.
    • Charlie Vernon
      Use a 'ho' syllable to articulate each note. This exercise aids the lips to vibrate the desired pitch more readily.
    • Bob Findley
      [For the exercises] All breath attacks - don't use the tongue to start or stop a note"
    • Donald Reinhardt
      Hoo (Breath Attack) for the first exercises – Warmup #57

    I’m guessing that you already do breath attacks after studying with Jim Thompson. I like to know the why behind doing a particular technique, and knowing that these help target response if beneficial to me (based on all of these great quotes).

    These are some ideas that Jens Lindemann talked in a recent masterclass about related to breath attacks and breathing that really helped me:

    I know when I was struggling with response issues I took these ideas and really explored them. In addition to breathing ideas from David Krauss (echoed by Jens in the above quote), and articulation advice from Manny and Peter Bond, I feel like I have a much better handle on response issues (very few and far between now).

    I hope some of these ideas are helpful to you!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  7. chrisvenditti

    chrisvenditti New Friend

    Aug 17, 2005

    Wow, thanks for putting that all together for me! I know the direction I need to go...and all those quotes from the pro's will be of great use.

    Also...your memory must be killer. I havn't posted on here in forever and you remembered who I have studied with. Maybe you could give me suggestions on how to learn and memorize scores. :)


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