the myth of "fast air"

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

  1. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

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    Here is a question. If you tighten an E String on a guitar to tune it to say F# (not knowing guitar I assume you can tighten that much), when you strike the string with the pick do you have to strike it faster to make it play? Do you have to strike it harder? (I think so, though it may be so slight it would be hard to notice. . .

    Air speed would be analogous to the guitar pick . . . It has to have sufficient force to "pluck" the tighter string.

    Now the analogy has some holes. We've got "guitar strings" that have build in dampers "muscles" that can be used to slow down or stop the vibration . . . Help me on this because I'm working on this thought . . . the lips muscles are not used to vibrate the lips, but when we change pitches downward, I am assuming we dampen the vibration with our muscles in some way, and when we increase pitch, this would be why we have to give a bit of a push with air - to "excite the muscles" to the new frequency???
     
  2. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    This post will seem so far away from the original thread that it might be unreadable......but it might may be follow some natural laws

    I am trained as a motor mechanic, and together with my son, which also is a trained motor mechanic, I am still working with cars, nowadays tuning his -74 Corvette for "street legal races" (so far 600bhp) which probably explains my use of "venturi" analogy.

    I am also a ropemaker, which has been my occupation the last 30 years. The ropemaking thing might explain the rest of this post.......

    The guitar string anology is similar to what happens when testing the strength of the ropes we produce. I put the ropesample of 1000mm length into the stretchbench, anchors the rope in both ends, and the rope is preloaded with 0,6% of the expected breakingload. This is done to measure the exact diameter of the rope, or "tune" the rope. The rope is stretched 5% of the length and measured again, before we stretch it till breakage.

    We often joked about the "ropeguitar", especially when we tested the flexible polyamide (nylon) ropes, and tried to play scales as the tension increased. The more tension, the harder it was to play the "notes".

    By 90% of expected breakingstrength, a 10mm dia rope could have lost 1-2mm of the measurable dia, and the length of the rope could have increased 30%.

    Close to the breakingpoint the ropes started to "sing" by itself. This "singing" was caused by internal friction of the filaments. At the breakingpoint, the rope "screamed" and broke.

    We tested a lot of different materials, but found Polyamide/Nylon to be the best material to play the ropeguitar.

    This material is also often used in ordinary guitars, but the guitar makers have probably figured this out by themselves.

    I told you in advance: Way off the thread, (or may be not)
     
  3. godchaser

    godchaser Banned

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    Nice thread- my question's off point somewhat Robin.

    Accepting that a trumpet could be built to increase the speed of air from the mouthpiece to the bell. Would this necessarily make for a horn far more easily played in the high range? Would it relegate it to only a bright sound?

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  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    In theory possible, but there are standing waves produced when a human plays that do not have their endpoint at the mouthpiece, rather in the body. This probably cannot be modelled with a speaker.
    A horn works not by speed transformation, rather pressure. Speed is distance vs time (not volume) and the length of the horn, while acoustically not constant, is fixed for the DC component represented by exhaling or playing

    The construction of the trumpet affects the resonant characteristics which govern tone, resistance (impedance) and ease of play. Every part is significant.

    In theory possible, but there are standing waves produced when a human plays that do not have their endpoint at the mouthpiece, rather in the body. This probably cannot be modelled with a speaker.
    As above, speed is not a factor. Pressure changes due to the influence of the horn. Our "airflow" is below the audible passband of the horn and subject to the characteristics of the horn at those frequencies (close to 0 hertz)
    It sure is for me. Even if we could "speed up" our air appreciably, it wouldn't help play better or higher. We can all save time by turning our focus to efficient playing (which we could/should cover in another thread). Jens Lindermann started one last year that was half Yamaha ad, half real useful info!
     
  5. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    Rowuk

    It might be a possible misunderstanding here.

    May be my "norglish" makes up some weird faulty grammatical designs

    I am not trying to say that the airflow pushes the soundwaves through the horn at different speeds at all.

    What I am trying to say/explain/understand, is how the airflow acts when it passes through the different parts inside the horn, from mouth to bell.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Nordlandstrompet,
    My take is that air flows to keep the player alive (we do have to breathe) and the "speed of the air" in the horn is not significant when playing. The trumpet must have enough "DC" resistance to allow us to play reasonably long phrases without running out of air - regardless of octave.

    The embouchure is a relatively inefficient sound generator, but it is necessary that it works this way, otherwise we would run out of air or suffocate.

    The trumpet is a complex beast that behaves differently in various frequency areas (like any horn).

    Playing high does not need "fast air", it needs a "smart" player. This thread was intended to divert the focus to "smart" and away from "fast".
     
  7. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    Which world class players are you talking about?
     
  8. godchaser

    godchaser Banned

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    'Playing high does not need "fast air", it needs a "smart" player. This thread was intended to divert the focus to "smart" and away from "fast".'

    Fine point Robin. Nobody'd argue it's not the gun, but a Musket's no 45. :) -My question wasn't so much of interest in how a 'different' "resonant design" would find interpretation on thread-emphasis here. (Although i think it'd make for good conversation on point.) But whether if what i'm coming to is right, given that it's a players' volume of air and their strength to force it through a narrowing of the lips, and not 'fast air' in and of itself that makes for 'high notes'. (This, and accomplishment in technique. No question there.) -It's my feeling that a Trumpet design that can not only maintain the players' original force of air volume, but can increase its efficency from the mouthpiece to the bell. (Provided a design that can do that's realistic.) That it would effectively amount to a player having a far greater air capacity and strength to blow, allowing them a high range of play otherwise impractical regardless of accomplishment? And by an increase in efficency, i mean speed. The enhanced speed of a players' original capacity- by way of Trumpet design, doesn't usurp player intent and accomplished learning?

    If anyone can tell me if i'm on track i'd appreciate it. Pardon my indulgence Robin, but i think i'm in-line of thread. :) -Also, i like a darker sound so it's my hope that such a design, if right and doable, wouldn't necessarily translate into a horn that's only a bright playing instrument?


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    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  9. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

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    A reversed bore design of the trumpet?

    If I understand your idea right: The leadpipes bore starts with e.g. .465 bore and stepless narrows to e.g. .425 at the valves/valvetubings, and then opens like a normal belltube?

    I believe that a design like this will make the horn much harder to operate than a "standard" designed horn. This because the airspeed will increase (gradually from the mpc to the valvesection) and make more resistance for the airflow than a standard design. The airspeed will be at the highest in the valvesection, which will be the narrowest point. The whole horn will act like a "venturi", which is mentioned earlier in this thread.

    To understand what happens, take your mouthpiece and blow freely. Then turn the mouthpiece and blow through the backbore. You will feel higher resistance from the backbore, which has the "reverse design".

    Anyway; interesting new idea
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  10. kalijah

    kalijah New Friend

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    No, I am talking about sound power produced per amount of wind power applied.


    Dr. Moore did not mention quality or timbre in the article on oral volume so he makes not statement about whether it DID or DID NOT change.

    However, a different article discusses the aperture vibrational waveshape, how it changes as one plays louder to be more "clamped" or "square" and thus introduce an increase in higher harmonic content (brightness) to the sound.

    Of course it is easy to demonstrate to yourself that if you hold the embouchure and volume steady on a note, while varying the oral size, (if you are coordinated enough to do so) there are no audible changes in the tone color.

    Also, you can hold the oral space AND the embouchure steady and simply increase the air pressure and play a louder note, again with an increase in harmonic activity and a "brighter" sound. The harmoninc increase not due to the oral space at all but the embouchure behavior.

    Most people, in the course of performing, DO make changes to the tongue/ jaw/ teeth/ mouth-floor, to assist manipulation of the embouchure.

    These relatively small changes are not the direct cause of tone color OR frequency.
     

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