Slurring upward

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    Beside mouthpiece pressure, strong air flow, "smiling," IS THERE ANOTHER TECHNIQUE THAT WILL HELP ME WHEN SLURRING THE "NATURALS" WITHOUT WEARING MY LIP OUT PREMATUERLY. By "natural" I mean up and down first valve etc.. I'm just not slotting those top notes cleanly.
     
  2. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Try keeping your embouchure relaxed and using faster air is definitely the key. No mouthpiece pressure and I personally don't recommend "smiling". Think "crescendo" with your air as you go up keeping a "taw" syllable in the oral cavity and avoid prematurely tightening up to make the upper notes speak. At first you might feel like you are too open and that the notes will never come out on top, but trust me, if you use fast air and keep your corners firm, they will sound.
     
  3. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

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    I'm not conscious of "smiling" at all. Wasn't taught that way. If anything, aperture comes to the center without becoming tiny, pinched, etc.

    Tongue arches a bit. Airstream descends a bit faster and like air lifting a wing (that's how I make sense of it), one ascends from one partial to the next.

    Happy Practicing,

    Richard Oliver
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The biggest enemy of upward slurs is inadequate support. If your airflow has to noticeably "change" to get next note in the partial series you need to take a step back and check your breathing.
    Let's assume you want to slur starting with 3rd space C-E-G. Before you play the C, inhale deeply and without holding the air in, exhale and play the (high)G without tonguing. If it doesn't work the first time, try again. Once you can exhale the G with a full sound, you are ready to slur C-E-G - your breath support will do the work for you. If you want to slur to high C, you need to be able to exhale it first!
    I personally never talk about speed or corners or tongue placement when teaching slurs. Those things do in fact change when playing, I have never run into a problem with them once the breathing habits are well trained. AFTER the breathing issue is well on its way, there are exercises to strengthen the corners and aid tongue/lip tension coordination. They are useful when learning lip trills and fast or wide slurring.
     
  5. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

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    Succinct. Nice.

    Richard
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Richard,
    This post contains what I consider to be the 2 most fundemental concepts of playing:
    Deep inhale/exhale with NO tension in the transition and training air without the tongue. Once you have that down most of the other mechanical things about playing fall into place. If this is not mastered, a lot of energy is wasted on practicing things that would otherwise be useful (but only serve to compensate for other sins if the air is not "right").............
     
  7. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

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    Rowuk,

    What a great post! To add to the comment about “exhaling without tonguing†your experience aligns with so many players and teachers that have also commented on the benefits of breath attacks.


    Breath attacks help in the initiation of the sound [getting the lips to respond (vibrate) immediately] and it is a technique that MANY prominent players / instructors advocate. You can do this on the mouthpiece / leadpipe combination as well as on the trumpet once you put your tuning slide back in.

    Here are some great quotes from people that use the breath attack for reference:

    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


    Jens Lindemann
    You remain calm, cool and collected, take a relaxed breath and then “le moment de la vérité†(the moment of truth). The point where you strike the note (ictus) is the moment of truth. Right after that instant you’re back to calm. The only point of true tension is the actual act of striking. It’s a coordinated activity that involves your whole body when you’re playing the trumpet efficiently. If you can get really clean breath attacks you’ll be teaching yourself this. You won’t have to rely on the tongue to release the note.


    I agree, and use them every day myself.
     
  8. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

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    THANK YOU ALL! I feel like I'm "re-born," now let's see if I can materialize the wisdom to my horn? This is the first time I'm printing all the replies........I am sincerely greatful to you all........tom
     
  9. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    Those are all great approaches. To excercise them, go to p. 40 in your Arban. Play the excercises beginning with ascending slurs in 4ths slowly, at about mm quarter=72. Think of smooth connection, blowing up to the upper note as (toe-hoh), following the dynamic indicated. No stronger than mf, though. Then the 6ths, in quarter notes. Same idea.

    What are you waiting for? Get busy! ;-) :D
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I try to be careful with the word breath ATTACK. In my basic breathing concept, there is no attack or Hoo or ho. There is only inhale-exhale with the entire breathing apparatus smoothly transitioning between the two. This keeps the neck muscles and glottis relaxed and out of the way. Once I add a vowel - I have the neck/throat/glottis to deal with - much more work - impossible to diagnose over the internet. This may be what some of the above posts mean, but it clarifies my standpoint.
     

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