support and relaxation

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

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    Hi all,

    So I am having the damnest time trying to keep good air support while still remaining relaxed.

    As everyone knows, air support is key in trumpet playing. However, relaxation is also important. Can someone tell me how to keep great support in the diaphram but still remain relaxed? I'm kind of confused as to how to remained relaxed while I am pushing out this air into my trumpet. (I take a big huge breath, and let it sit high up which kind of makes me feel unrelaxed).

    Thanks for any advice. It's kind of confusing I know, and I may not be looking at the whole picture correctly, but any kind words will help.

    Cheers
    Eric S.
     
  2. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    I absolutely do not think support is important. As a matter of fact, in many cases it is the root of at least some evil. It is important to keep the air in motion through the sound. When most people "support" they actually create tension and this usually has the opposite effect. The air flow is negatively impacted.
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    If I may respectfully disagree,

    The term support is extremely misunderstood when it comes to wind playing. As a result of many a teacher and/or music director saying "Support!", then pounding his stomach as an accompanying gesture, it has become a misimpression that support means to tighten the abdominal area.

    It does not.

    Support is critical to expelling air for a wind player. Support is the gradual inward movement of the abdomen as the lungs deflate. It is easier to notice this when we play a loud low C and more difficult to discern when we play two octaves higher because the resistance is greater.

    Your abdomen kicks in when you sneeze, cough, or sigh. Try stiffening your abdomen during any one of those actions and you'll decrease the efficiency of that action. I believe, PH, that's what you're advising against as would I. The term support is about gradual inward movement, not stiffness.

    Eric, if you just sit without playing and notice that your abs and chest expand out when you inhale, you'll also notice that when you blow out a candle without forming an embouchure, rather like a little kid instead, your abs move naturally inward. You have probably been subverting nature by holding your abs tense instead of letting them shrink naturally when you blow out.

    ML
     
  4. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    En punto!

    Exactly!
     
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Yeah, I thought so...

    It's a real problem, this misappropriation of terminology. There's a lot of confusion about what the diaphragm is and what it does, where the lungs are and how long and wide they are, etc.

    The most we can do is keep informing and encouraging questions like Eric's because the fact is we've all made mistakes about the bio-mechanics of playing.

    ML
     
  6. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

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    thanks guys. This is helping alot. Manny, I look forward to your method book

    :D

    Eric
     
  7. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Un-opposed support might be one way to think of it. So you don't have muscle systems fighting muscle systems in opposition to each other. Inhale muscles figthing exhale muscles for example, staying in a state of contraction rather than relaxing to allow the creation of air flow (wind).

    We call it the "constipation syndrome" around the band room! :oops:
     
  8. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    When you're playing, ANY note that seems to disappear, is due to poor support. A lot of players try to rely on the air primarily to push up to the high notes, a "Huh" sound.

    Try this: At the beginning of the piece you are playing, finger the first note, and dont finger the other notes, just tongue them, so its just one note doing all the rhythms. If you've developed the habit of using forced air, you'll notice when you see the notes start moving up, the note will either go sharp, or to another pitch! You may also notice a change in tongue style, which is also bad.

    If it feels uncomfortable, its wrong. If everything's working correctly, you'll notice the high pitched notes should feel just like the lower ones!

    Van
     
  9. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Manny,


    As a teacher how would you address this probelm with students in lessons? what material would you assign a student to work on to address these concepts?

    Thanks,
     
  10. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Diz,

    There isn't anything in particular that I would point to to work on this because it's a question of sound production and that is a constant, multi-situation process.

    G-d help me, I'm starting to sound like Cornell West...

    What I mean to say is that it fits all situations so I don't recommend any particular study to work on supprting the sound. It has to happen all the time.

    ML
     

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