Tongue Interference

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by brassmouth, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. brassmouth

    brassmouth New Friend

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    Jul 10, 2005
    New Jersey
    Hello Manny (and whoever else reads this),

    In a recent lesson my teacher concentrated on keeping my tongue near the bottom of my mouth when I play because it obstructs the air current. He also said I should begin anchor touguing. I am having a huge amount of trouble controlling my tongue once my embouchure is in place. It is almost like an involentary muscle. He said that it should lay on the bottom as I play and rise only to (anchor) tongue. Have you or anyone else encountered anything like this? If so I'd really appreciate your input, because this is proving to be a very frustrating ordeal. Thanks in advance.

    -Brian
     
  2. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    I am thinking it is possible that either there is a slight misunderstanding between you and your teacher, and also I am uncertain as to what "anchor tonguing" is. Without any disrespect to your teacher, and hopefully without adding to your confusion by providing a contrary thought, I can give you some ideas that might help.

    Your teacher might be trying to get you to open up your sound. Does that sound familiar? When you play a nice, warm, open G in the staff, just think "AAAAH". Hold the note as long as comfortable without going into negative air (when you have to "push" the air out with your abs... you also might start shaking slightly). Now play the note again playing as you normally do, and just see if you don't notice an astronomical difference. Record yourself if you have the capability. Saying "AAH" forces your tongue to drop in your mouth, giving you a much larger resonating cavity (larger opening in your mouth).

    Ok, I'll wait until you have that under control...

    Alright then, part II.
    Play that same warm G, saying AAAH. Now say "EEE". Don't even pay attention to your tongue. Just think "EEE". The note will desperately want to go to the C above the G, or perhaps as much as an octave higher. Allow the note to lock into place. Hold. Now basically just try this several times. Go from EEE to AAAH, AAAH to EEE. Make the notes sound full and in tune. After that, the next syllable is "ICHT". You are really emphasizing the "CCHH" part of that syllable. So now think "AAHHH, EEEE, ICCCCHHHHHT". If you start on the G in the staff you could easily produce G, C, E with little effort.

    As you improve and gain range, you can set what I call pivot points. Your pivot point in this exercise is the G in the staff. You are starting on that note with the syllable "AAAH". Try playing G above the staff with the syllable AAAH and see how easy it is. Then say "EEEEE". You will most likely get an open B flat, but you can easily train yourself to hit a high C. Etc, etc, etc.

    I got all of this out of Mark Van Cleave's "Maximizing Practice" books, which have been the foundation of my approach to trumpet for years.

    Hope this helps!

    V/R
    Joshua Sullins
     
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    For what it's worth, I disagree with Josh's post as I just don't teach that way. Controlling a musical action by attempting to control the musculature is difficult at best. I prefer to do things in a simpler manner.

    Rather than focus on what you want the tongue to do, focus on the musical result. You want to keep the tongue lower, fine. Use syllables each and ever time you play that make that happen. Examples might be TOE or TWO. Don't consciously change as you ascend. The key is to go for that syllable but listen to the final product twice: once in your head before you play and then as you play to make sure the idea and the result match.

    It takes discipline and work but nothing that's worth getting is gotten any other way.

    ML
     
  4. joshuasullins

    joshuasullins Pianissimo User

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    Nov 9, 2005
    Silverdale, WA
    Manny's advice obviously carries more weight than mine. I recognize that there are many ways to approach playing the trumpet, and that most people probably do not use the method that I have outlined. It works for me and what I want to do. I no longer have to think about raising or lowering the tongue. It just happens on its own.

    Manny has been of great help to me in a short period of time, so try whatever he suggests! hehe

    V/R
    Joshua
     
  5. brassmouth

    brassmouth New Friend

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    Jul 10, 2005
    New Jersey
    Anchor Tonguing (or KTM) is a method of articulation whereas the tip of the tongue is placed on the bottom teeth and the middle of the tongue, nearer to the tip, should articulate. Herbert L. Clarke and Claude Gordon used and taught this method.

    Thanks for your response, Manny. Are you referring to using different syllables for each note, or register, like Schlossberg discribes in his Daily Drills method?
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    I wrote that unclearly and I apologize. I should have made it clearer that I use the same vowel for each note and let the changes occur naturally without conscious effort on my part. So, if I play a three octave scale from low F# upwards, I'm thinking TOE on each note.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    ML
     

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