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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Robbrand, Aug 11, 2015.
..... and THAT goes without saying --- SURELY?
I think that switching mouthpieces/horn feels different mostly because our ears are telling our brain to do different things.
If we stay in our range and volume "comfort zone", the mechanics are secondary in my opinion. Primary is what the ears are feeding the brain and what the brain tells the lips. Here is my hunch:
Generally we play a bit "tight". We are not as relaxed as we could/should be and that causes us to play high on the pitch, squeezing with the embouchure a "bit" too much. When we play flugel, the brain is not telling the lips and body to brighten up, there is expectation of dark. We stay relaxed. Sooooo, now we practice flugelhorn first and then switch to trumpet, we are relaxed and play more centered or perhaps a bit "low" on the pitch. Because our brain is telling the embouchure to stay relaxed, air flows more easily. The more resonant trumpet becomes more responsive in our hands.
When we start with the trumpet, we are tight and stay a bit tight. After a while our brain and ears are used to this and when we switch to flugel, the residual tension in the face cannot be easily or immediately relieved. Everything is stuffier.
To test the theory, take a long hot shower in the middle of the day, then pick up the trumpet and play. Everything should be as relaxed as after the flugel. Next test about how our ears have so much power: Play the trumpet indoors, warm up gently play easy tunes and other fun stuff. Then take the trumpet outdoors in a big field with little or no buildings. The same horn will feel stuffy as hell although humidity and temperature will not be that different.
I think how we hear ourselves is the most powerful factor governing our opinions. Changing mouthpieces or horns only serves to mix up the signals that our ears send to the brains send to the chops. That is also why after an acclimation period, we generally get "our" sound back.
This also helps to explain Gmonadys situation. He plays both horns so much that his brain switches modes. The flugel only minimally affects the trumpet and vice versa.
And that is some explanation of the fact that trumpet players who started on cornet will almost always have a bigger, mellower sound that those who started on trumpet... look at Maurice André...
Yes, we are what we repeatedly do. Maurice Andrés playing for me was devoid of excessive testosterone. It was always relaxed, every note properly placed. If that is the legacy of the cornet "school", we need more of it.