Slurring upward

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

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I like to keep the corners in. When I slur up I move the back of my tongue upward. I have read on here from professional players not to do this but it works for me. After you do this for a while you will find that you don't have to think about it and that action won't be as drastic.

    On TH. there was a big debate about this. The thing that I remember reading that contradicts my approach is: "what do you do when you start really high."

    I think it is just an exercise to practice until you get it.
  2. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    I'm not touching the tongue argument. What works for one doesn't work for the other. It doesn't work for me but, hey, there are lots better players than myself who use it. Depends on your individual balance.

    Playing without tension is one of my key goals. Being somewhat of a magpie when it comes to pedagogy I've borrowed something that Dr Karl Sievers came up with. He advocates 'inhale until the tone'. I like that, I find indirect concepts more my style....inhale/exhale seamless.

    Ron, I try to play very much as your advocating.Still work in progress.


  3. trumpethack

    trumpethack Pianissimo User

    Jun 1, 2006
    what I would like to add is to follow the ideas in Rowuk's post, meaning all of the breathing concepts apply and then go with this idea...

    The key to good "lip slurs" is the connection of sound and air between the notes. don't try to mechanically "click" between each note. It should be very smooth. Two exercises to help this are.

    1. play on the mouthpiece with a lot of glissando between all the notes. One of my teachers called this the "goop" make it really "goopy" or smaltzy. This is one of the basic ideas of Jim Thompson's book. Of course when you a playing this on the mouthpiece you are playing the correct pitches...

    2. connect the notes of the lip slur excerise with notes of the corresponding scale first. so if you are doing for example a descending slur C - G - C. start on C and play a C scale down. This gives you a model to follow. Your "setup" (air, embouchure, tongue, eyebrows...whatever) should be the same on the the corresponding notes of the scale as when you play them as just part of the slur exercise. So if you are doing one of those colin exercises that goes up and down an up and down then you just play a scale in that key that fills in all the gaps between the notes.

    This is all done of course with the excellent breathing habits already posted...

    Hope these will help.

  4. TPT81

    TPT81 New Friend

    Apr 17, 2006
    I would, personally, stay away from smiling. Smiling tends to stretch the top lip, and thus thins out the sound. I have found that the main problem with upward slurs (as many people have pointed out), is an inefficient balance of lip to air. James Thompson's approach, where you try and glissando on the mouthpiece, using as little lip contraction as possible, seems to work very well. Also, I find that making sure you have sufficient support on the lower partial can greatly help the slur to the next note. I have met very few people, if any, that use too much air and not enough lip to ascend in register. More often than not, people are using too much muscle in the chops, and not enough air. I would suggest glissando's on the mouthpiece, starting very slowly at first, and gradually speeding up the glissando until it is practically nonexistant. As you speed up the gliss, make sure that you are still maintaining a good ratio of air to chop work (more air than chops). Good Luck.

  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Smiling does indeed "stretch" the lip like a guitar string. Stretch more=higher pitch. This is accomplished by reducing the mass of the lip in the mouthpiece cup (lighter moves faster).
    The other (and better) method is to increase the density of the lip (harder has a higher resonant frequency). This can be compared to the note that you hear when tapping on a 10 pound piece of wood, compared to a 10 pound piece of marble. The marble will produce a higher note in spite of its increased mass. More lip tissue in the mouthpiece greatly reduces your chance of injury.
    The Orbicularis oris is the "big" muscle surrounding the lips. When it contracts, you get the "higher" density. To stretch or smile, the zygomaticus major and minor are used.
    I am not sure that "thin" due to stretching or "thick" have anything to do with the sound per se. I think the inferior muscle situation with a smile causes us to compensate with a higher tongue position/more tense throat robbing us of valuable "volume" behind the mouthpiece. I say this because I can think of many people with thick lips that sound "bright" and many others "dark". The same goes for thin lips.

    quote of the day:
    where other voices have their brains, basses have resonance.

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