the myth of "fast air"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Pedagogy' started by rowuk, May 2, 2008.

  1. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    "Sorry Herr Dirigent, my trumpet is too perfect for the likes of you and your ilk!"

    Thanks, Robin--the perfect excuse!
     
  2. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

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    Hi there,

    finally made it through the thread and learned a lot indeed.
    Thank you all for the information provided!

    Sorry though for me warming up this rather ancient thread!

    To me there seems to be a crucial misunderstanding concerning the issue "air speed".

    Actually there are two different meanings of that term, which some people might be unaware of:

    One is the Volume of air passing the aperture at a given period of time (volume/time, measured in milliliters/second).
    This to me seems to be rowuk's "version" of air speed.

    Another is the Speed of each single air molecule passing the aperture (distance/time, measured in meters/second).

    IMHO it is the second sense mentioned above which solves the problem.
    There is no myth about it: the faster the molecules pass the lips the higher the frequency of lip vibration hence the higher the tone.

    To me this model declares what I experience.

    For example this declares to me the fact that for high register it takes high air pressure, very little air volume and a tiny little aperture leading to a very high speed of those "very few" air molecules.

    :dontknow:


    Happy New Year To Everybody!!

    :wave::wave:
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Let me see if I can get someone at NASA's JPL to kick this around. It'll probably be summer before I get an answer but it will/might help.
     
  4. crazyandy88

    crazyandy88 Pianissimo User

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    First off...whoa! This is a really cool thread but my head is swimming from all the technical talk. This concept...if you can remember the original...is something I have come to realize very recently. Here's my take. The mouth is a resonating chamber...this is why we can whistle and produce vocal overtones. When one whistles...the tongue changes the pitch, not the aperature or the exhaling muscles or any of that...just the tongue. Each pitch has its exact tongue position just like lingual sounds. The English language has thousands of sounds and the tongue is capable of memorizing and producing all of them on command...quite a versatile and amazing muscle! It can do the same with pitch.

    I don't know the science behind it but I have found the same to be true on trumpet. One doesn't have to make the air faster by "pushing" or "squeezing". Just blow as if whistling and keep the chops pushed forward against the mp, not mp back against chops, and move the tongue as if whistling. It is a hard thing, for me, to make this a habit as I have a long-time habit of trying to force faster air through the horn. That is not the way! I use the same physical "force" to play a high c as I do a low c. I only adjust the oral cavity by moving the tongue to desired pitch. Maybe this is the oral overtones reinforceming the standing wave? Then you get the same from both sides of the lips? Of course if you finger an F# and put your tongue in postion for a C you won't get what you want.

    This is not an idea that I came up with. I had a lesson with Adam Rapa a few months ago and he explained it to me. Since then I have made leaps and bounds. He plays this way and obviously sounds great. Someone said earlier that making the oral cavity smaller by raising the tongue makes the sound thinner. Listen to him do it and see how it sounds!

    Like I said I don't know the science. I only know that it seems to work.
     
  5. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

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    The funny thing is: nobody knows the science yet.
    NASA i.e. is busy doing strange other things so far.

    To me the system of brass playing is much more complex than you considered it above.
    The tongue in my system is a very helpful tool but doesn't do the job as a "stand alone".
    Nobody so far can judge clearly why and how the tongue arch helps - but it certainly does!

    My belief (no more, no less) is, that the mouth cavity smallered by tongue arching ("eeee") just helps the chops to vibrate faster by delivering a much smaller resonance room before the aperture than when shaping a deep vowel (like "aaaa").

    Nevertheless the air has to be speeded up by air compression and lip tension.
    This in my opinion does not do the tongue.

    I doubt very strongly that you (as well as Adam Rapa) use "the same physical force" for playing a low C as for playing a high C - not to talk about dubba C.

    :dontknow:
    .
     
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    There is a video of Adam playing on the Monette site. He is showing that there is no effort when playing the double C.

    I think it's a combination of everything. I can play any of the notes in my range with the tongue in any position so it can't be a given single thing. It does get easier to slur up to a higher note by raising the back of the tongue.

    What if raising the back of the tongue is the only way to get high notes and you need to go higher and your already really high. How do you raise the tongue more?

    I like to stay as open as possible. When I go up I think yeaaa
     
  7. Bixel

    Bixel Pianissimo User

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    Compared to what effort it takes for me to play a double C Adam Rapa's effort might appear as being close to zero.
    His system obviously is working on a higher level than mine - a lot more effective. But still there will be some effort I guess.

    Me too - and as "closed" (tongue arch) as necessary.

    :cool:
    .
     
  8. kalijah

    kalijah New Friend

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    That is called "flow", and rowuck is well aware of the difference between velocity and flow.


    Yes, it is a myth!

    There is a layer of air at the suface of the aperture tissure (or any boundary) that is essentially the same velocity as the aperture tissue. That is, essentially, zero.
    So it is likely that the aperture really does not "know" the velocity of the air passing by.

    The actual air velocity through the aperture also changes during the pulsed cycle. So it would be impossible to correlate the velocity to a frequency of pulsation.

    The velocity through an apertrure is not dependent on size but on pressure. So variation of loudness would be impossible if pitch was dependent on pressure or velocity.
     
  9. kalijah

    kalijah New Friend

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    crazyandy88 wrote:

    This is called a Helmholtz resonance. And the oral space is a resonant chamber when whistling. Changing the size of the space changes the pitch. It has nothing to do with air velocity. And there is a resonant node at the opening.

    But when playing, the trumpet itself is the dominant resonance. The oral space has essentially no effect on pitch because ther is not a resonant node at the aperture. The aperture is pulsing and varying the air pressure into the cup. A study was actually done to show that the oral size has no effect on pitch.

    see:
    http://www.trumpetguild.org/pdf/2002journal/0203science.pdf

    Not while playing. The system is different.

    Physical force, or air pressure, that is. Depends on loudness in a dominant way. Regardless of pitch.


    The tongue (actually the mouth floor) is related to the muscles that are manipulating the embouchure. The embouchure and the aperture disposition determine the frequency of pulsation. There is no direct correlation of oral size or tongue level to pitch.

    Tongue movement is required by most players to control the embouchure.


    No. Another popular myth.



    As long as the pulsing aperture agrees. Of course you will. But the tongue may not agree with the aperture muscular state.

    It is a mental thing. He would serve you better by saying "alow the tongue to rise as you ascend". He would save your time and his breath. If he is attempting explain this as "resonance matching" he is simply repeating what he has heard from equally confused players or teachers.

    Exactly right. The aperture ultimately determines sound.

    And neither does Adam. But he is a fine player. Thank goodness science knowledge is not required to play well. Nor is it detrimental in my case.


    Again. Please read this:\\http://www.trumpetguild.org/pdf/2002journal/0203science.pdf

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  10. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Would using arch tongue and hiss (which causes the oral cavity to be smaller as the person goes higher) mean less oral area to deal with making it easier to create pressure and control a high note verses a constant large open cavity and trying to play the same note?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010

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