Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by horner, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007

    I pointed out that when I adopted the minimum pressure / minimum loudness playing up the scales to increase range, I suddenly experienced severe slotting problems, that my slotting above High C was looser than the slotting of Johnny Cash's singing ;-)

    I had to exercise much more conscious control of the slotting above High C, using my embouchure to slot rather than relying on the mouthpiece and cornet to slot for me.
    Althought the slotting is becoming much easier, it still requires conscious effort.

    The easiest way to explain it:
    My better embouchure made it easier for me to slide right past my previous barrier of High F / High G, as though I was sliding on wet ice right up to the Double C.
    But that wet ice also made me more likely to slide past, "overshoot", the previous notes above High C.
    I especially find it difficult to slot around High D and High E, as though my trumpet voice is transitioning from regular voice to falsetto voice at that point.
    But months of practice should cure the problem.
    Plus, I don't know how much of the slotting problem is due to my choice of cornet and mouthpiece.

    - Morris
  2. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    Where do you read in my response that you have to blow hard in the upper register? I didn't talk about the volume of air, but about the size of the aperture.

    I always practice high, low and everything inbetween it with etudes and staccato exercises. But I don't play as soft as possible, but just in a normal volume like mf. No pianissimo stuff. So playing beautiful melodies in the upper register as Maynard explains in his article.
  3. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    and don't forget to use the right tool for the job, a suitable lead mouthpiece....
  4. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    So *that* is my problem.

    My mouthpiece is made of brass :D

    - Morris
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I don`t understand what an open aperture is, if the lips are open and not touching they won`t vibrate. I play with no opening, I let the air stream create its own,I have no problems playing in the upper register.
  6. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    You're right, that's the way I think it should work and I'm doing the same.

    I thought screamingmorris meant to say you should use more lip compression (which gives a smaller opening) when playing high. Maybe I didn't understand him correctly.

    Mostly people speak about a closed or a open aperture when they talk about more lipcompression vs more liptension.

    Thomas Moore wrote a nice article about it:
  7. RobertSlotte

    RobertSlotte Pianissimo User

    Jul 7, 2008
    I do not know anything abouth playing with an "open aperture", maby some people do. But what I do know is that I surley do not play that way...the higher I go the smaller it gets and thats why practising softly helps for me also...just like Morris wrote!
  8. max3k

    max3k Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 7, 2007
    Maximum Moutpiece Pressure + Maximum Air Flow = Screaming Trumpet.

    If you can't see the mouthpiece outline on your teeth when you're done, you're not doing it right!

  9. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    As a trumpet player ascends to the high notes, the muscles at the corners of the mouth tighten into a slight frown.
    As the muscles at the corners of the mouth tighten, the opening at the center of the lips becomes smaller, and the lips in the middle become slightly tighter.
    Essentially, the vibrating lips are acting like the vibrating strings on a violin or piano.
    The shorter tighter strings play the higher notes.
    And when the trumpet player's lips tighten at the corners, that leaves a shorter area of the lips in the middle vibrating, leaves the lips in the middle slightly tighter.

    It is a mistake to strongly pinch together the center of the lips.
    The center of the lips will tighten a little bit as the player ascends to high notes, but it is mostly the corners of the lips tightening into a slight frown which does all the work in producing the high notes.
    The Trumpet Stuff Web site used to have a Lin Biviano Web video in which he played a Double C and explained the downward angle of the corners of the mouth as those muscles tightened at the corners of the mouth. (That applies to both downstream and upstream embouchure.)
    Did the Trumpet Stuff Web site go out of business?

    - Morris
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    The high D and E are harder to control than a high F or G because they are thirds in the overtone series An F is a fifth of Bb and an open G is a fifth of C. Tonics and fifths slot better above the staff. One exercise you can try is: start by playing at an easy volume a major scale the octave below (D & E major) and hold the note for a slow count of 4 to 8. The lips should feel like they are "floating" on the air stream. The most common mistake poeple make is blowing too hard at first in the upper register and the muscles aren't developed enough and blow open. this results in forcing the embochure. After your lips feel more secure up ther start slowly single tonguing the held note. This buids control. Be sure and warm up good first.After a warm up star you scale on the F major scale and descend by half steps down to the low F# scale - rest- than start on middle F4 and go up by half steps. Play all scales ascending and descending with arpeggios tongued and slurred. When you get to around the high Bb start the holding exercise. after each hold arpeggio down one to two octaves and hold the bottom note for a few counts. Playing in the exterme high or low registers is about developing the balance between the lip tension and the air speed. Make the sir do the work and the lips will learn what they need to do. As you get "stronger" your sound will open up and get fatter. By the way for this to do any good you HAVE to practice at least an hour EVERY DAY! after this exercisae I like to do false tones and pedal tones.

    Bob Grier
    [email protected]

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