The Body Resonant

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by c.nelson, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. TheRiddler

    TheRiddler Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2006
    Pierre Dutot is a French teacher (Lyon?) and one the major parts of his approach to trumpet playing is body resonance. He practices singing with an embochure set through the trumpet amongst other things... I have studied a little bit of his teachings and I have taken a lot from it. His sound is spectacularly huge - well rounded with incredible amounts of centered, fat, raw tone. Absolutely beautiful. I have noticed a great change in my playing/sound/everything since I added a few of his exercises to my routine of things I do everyday.

    Amy Gilreath at Illinois State studied with him on her recent sabatical... I'm sure if you looked her up and emailed her she would love to offer you more information.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2007
  2. Jim Wilson

    Jim Wilson New Friend

    Mar 14, 2006
    Vulgano Brother wrote:

    "I can't ever remember stuff ever shooting out my nose while playing with a cold. (I've shot stuff into my ears [which does indeed make my trumpet seem to sound ugly] but never out my nose. ) Any reasons why?"

    My "snot good" comment was obviously in jest to Rowuk's use of snot (?intentional or unintentional). If you're really wondering about stuff not coming out the nose when we play, it is because we have both voluntary and involuntary control of the soft palate which raises up to close the back of the nose (the choana). When raised up, further pressure in the oral cavity and pharynx/hypopharynx just pushes the soft palate more firmly over the choana (at least in most people). The openings from the eustachian tube (from the back of the throat to behind the ear drum) are not under any significant volunatry or involuntary control and we can pressurize the oral cavity in such a way as to increase pressure in the middle ear. Forgive me if your question was in jest.

    Riddler's comments about the teachings of Mssr. Dutot are fascinating. I would definitely be interested in hearing more. As a 55 year old comeback player I've found that some of the things I did well as a youngster (fingering speed/double and triple tonguing and sight reading) are not returning as quickly as sound. I'm fairly certain I sound far better than I ever did as a youngster and continue to make progress in that department. It has been fascinating to me to learn about resonance and how to improve/expand/manipulate it in ways I never had when young.

    I wonder how much "feedback" of our resonance through bony conduction from the jaw and oral cavity/sinuses influences one's resonance. What I'm observing is that there are certain jaw/oral cavity configurations which seem to give me far greater feedback apart from my "hearing through the ears". When I have this feedback (or is it truly some improved body resonance), I seem to generate a better tone. It's certainly hard to describe and I don't think I'm doing a very good job of it but if anyone else has a sense of what I'm trying to say and can expand on it that would be great.

    I'm definitely enjoying this thread.

  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I firmly believe that every little bit helps! As far as comparing trumpet playing to singing, I am not sure that the analogy is sound.
    If we look at the anatomy of the human voice, we have two reeds - both sides of the vocal chords with a resonant chamber in front of, and behind them. Each change in the respective chambers causes a reaction on the other side. This we can use to support a tone regardless of pitch or coloration (vowel sounds). The proper balance of support on both sides of the vocal chords, protects them. Because the sound generator is IN our body and has a resonant chamber on both sides, our bodies get a lot of energy passed through the bone structure. The actual (substantial)energy transfer can be easily monitored with a stethescope.
    The trumpet on the other hand functions differently. Our lips are not like two reeds "vibrating", they are more like a switch, pulsing air into the trumpet. The sound produced actually sets itself up as a standing wave in the trumpet and only a minute portion is "reflected" through the lips back into the oral cavity. The energy is not strong enough to get our bone structure to resonate as in singing and thereby is not as "audible".
    Correct body use does lower tension and increases the reservoir of air behind the mouthpiece. This in fact does give our breath more power, which results in a more resonant tone. What our ears pick up is what is reflected off of the outside of the horn AND the sonic signature of the room that we are playing in. A well supported tone will give us more feedback on both counts. A stethescope really does not pick up anything tonal from the bone structure, except near the lips.

    You are right about probably sounding better now. When we are young, we generally just "go for it". As adults, we have the ability to be a little more selective with our senses. We also have much more "experience" to draw on and that increases the amount of choices available.

    Let snot (intentional, again) get carried away without proof - pull your stethescopes out, let somebody else play and search for resonant areas. I have done this several times with consistent results (maybe worth a funny story about a blonde trumpet player.............).
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2007
  4. lunchbox

    lunchbox New Friend

    Jul 31, 2007
    Denton, TX
    I had two teachers, Newell Dayley of BYU and Edmund Cord, who was then with the Utah symphony, work with me on resonance. Newell had me blow on the pitch without the instrument, something between a whoosh and a whistle, both on the inhale and the exhale, and even had me do whole etudes this way. When I played that way into the horn my volume doubled and my intonation improved, as well as range and endurance. Mr. Cord instructed me to breathe in on the pitch I was about to play. It works regardless of the octave--I breathe in on a middle C whether I'm going to play low, middle, or high, and it helps make the note ring. I guess we try to set up sympathetic vibration with our oral cavity and the air column in the horn. I don't know all the science behind it, I just know it works. Whenever I start feeling tight while practicing, I stop and blow through the music without the horn.

    Dave Monette talks about body resonance on his website. I think this is what my teachers were trying to make me understand.

    Doc Severinsen is probably one of the best examples of using resonance. He's not a very big man, but he has incredible breath control. One of the most efficient players on the planet, I think. That or his whole body is just one big lung...

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