The case against lip slurs and trills.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    My buddy "Dan" plays a good lead trumpet. I try and feed him as much of the first book as he'll take. He's not only a strong high player but accurate with lots of endurance.

    To hear Dan's warm up is about enduring fifteen minutes of lip slurs in the middle and upper register. Not the most relaxing of sounds to my ears.

    Me? I'm the exact opposite. I never play lip slurs or trills in a warm up. Instead I play slow chromatics into the lower register. Then gradually going upwards via scales and arpeggios and scales. I might only go up to a High D or so. Then will let the gig warm me up. Not unless the first chart starts with a ridiculous high note or something. What I figure is that by the time the chart has made me play a few loud High C's and D's? My High G etc. will be ready.

    And again Dan is exactly the opposite. BUT... But Dan is a forward jaw, dry lip playing screecher. As such he gets a powerful physical advantage. His problem is "getting loose". Or gaining resonance in his chops.

    Me? I can put out a big tone with good resonance even on cold chops. My goal in the warm up is to lightly encourage my chops. To limber up. Avoidance of excessive tension and a gradual awakening. For me to play a whole ton of lip trills before the first chart would uselessly burn my chops out after the first set of real playing. Not helpful.

    Conversely if I'm having a slow week with few gigs? Then playing lip slurs and trills is a good replacement for heavy performances.

    So unless you find a real advantage in warming up with lip slurs like my buddy Dan?

    Don't do them. I won't even play them a whole day before a major gig. Saving it for when it counts.
  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    Like you said, every player is different. If I don't do my extensive lip slur and air flow warm up, I'm basically useless until the second chart. (Though even then I'm not all that useful ROFL )
  3. Schwab

    Schwab Mezzo Piano User Staff Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    I play lead.

    I warmup with lip slurs, usually in a practice mute.

    I'd never tell anyone they should warmup this way, but I also would never tell anyone they shouldn't warmup this way.

    Let people figure out what works for themselves.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  4. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I have been debating this myself, while doing Eric Bolvin's exercises, and there are several months of doing extensive lip slur/glissando exercises. It just seems to tire me out, by the time I start playing I can't hit anything. Where as if I do just a few of these lip slurs, then there is plenty left over, and the songs I play don't have anything like glissando after glissando in it. On one hand I want to stick with program, on the other it is killing me. Maybe I just don't have the coordination to do it properly, but at the same time it is demanding air pushes to get into the upper registers during glissando's.
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Excellent point!
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am not a big advocate of an extensive warmup either. That is not a case against lipslurs however.

    I think that there are different approaches to getting the job done. I have enough endurance which allows me to play my daily routine at home(which include lipslurs) and then drive to the gig and after a couple of "orientation" notes, perform. I really get annoyed at players that warm up on stage or in the orchestras dressingrooms backstage.

    Lipslurs are one of the basic building blocks of brass playing. Leaving them out will severely compromise flexibility, endurance and long term quality playing.
  7. ebjazz

    ebjazz Pianissimo User

    Aug 12, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    I think you need to be properly warmed up and rested before attempting the glisses and flexibility. If the long tones (Part 1) in the lesson you are on are not enough warm-up, consider doing some easy Clarkes or pedals, then Part 1. Then rest for 20 min and hit the flex.
    I agree that some flex is not the best thing to start out on like Irons or Smith, but some slower slurs like Schlossburg seem to work for most people.

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  8. guitarsrmine

    guitarsrmine Piano User

    Dec 29, 2008
    Franklin, Pa
    Whether Im gigging, or practicing, I usually do 10-15 minutes of long tones, the maybe 5 minutes of lip-slurs.....seems to help me.....but, each player is different.....just stating what's worked for me!!
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I concur, and I do less lip slurs -- because they seem to easy for me --- long tones usually get the breathing, and body posture, lips, brain, and face msucles all in synchronization -- or at least all working together ROFL
  10. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I must admit I skipped ahead in the book past the glissando's, I am much happier with my practice routine. I think the thing that bothers me about them most, is that the repetitive glissando's seem to interfere with my dynamics. Maybe this is a style thing, but I am striving to maintain pianissimo dynamics.

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