Trumpet angle/position

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by samuel, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Certainly there are many pros that play with their instruments pointed every which way, some with miked instruments ... but you don't see the audio speakers turned to the floor and muffled. Playing with an open instrument, the best sound is produced when you point it at your audience or towards the director during practice sessions and the theory of this is projection. Another aspect of this "horizontal" idiom is appearance in a parade band where if instruments are pointed every which direction the music is then considered poorly whether it is or not, it is likewise if their step is not synchronized with all others.
  2. deecee

    deecee New Friend

    Sep 20, 2014
    True but as I mentioned from my lessons with Roy, that was not the only reason he used the pencil exercise. He would also have me hold the horn sideways on the palm of my hand and blow statics, once again with the airstream directed upward. He would remind me that the bottom lip should bear more of the distribution of mouthpiece pressure. As I recall from his teachings, he did not try to have me tilt my horn tilt upward any more than necessary, which I believe is the main problem the OP is trying to correct with his student. From what Roy taught me, the angle can continue to point downward if that is the most comfortable position and the potential weaknesses from that position will be corrected as long as the other mechanics are in place
  3. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    I tried to change my horn angle and messed up my temporomandibular joint. It was years before I could play without pain, and I still sometimes wonder if the damage affects me over 10 years later. I now play bent mouthpieces to raise my horn angle.

    Seriously: If you have no reason to think your student isn't raising the bell to an angle of your satisfaction other than they're not trying hard enough, do the world a favor and stop teaching lessons.
  4. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    How's his tone? Articulation? Intonation? Endurance? Range?
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    This. Don't screw with it or you'll mess the kid up. Yeah, I understand the whole, "can't play at the floor, should be playing toward the audience, blah blah blah" - at this stage of the game, it doesn't matter that much. If all else is otherwise ok, LEAVE IT ALONE.

    When I started playing, due to a bit of an overbite that I had at the time, I played at a downward angle too. Why? Because that's what was comfortable and what worked. Over time, my lower jaw came out and the angle decreased - it happened on its own and it happened naturally. Just let it be an focus on what's important, which are his fundamentals and music.
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Something I'm trying to figure out here - you're the teacher. Shouldn't you already know what you should and shouldn't mess with on a kid where the embouchure and horn angle are concerned?
  7. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

    Oct 20, 2010
  8. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    I think he has already established this and has tried different things. Some people on this post suggest "do nothing" others say "leave it alone"
    Sorry, but playing into the ground isn't the correct, period. I can list a number of reasons why we shouldn't from both a playing and an audience perspective but that's not the issue. Treating this kid like a gentle flower that must be nurished and allowed to grow under their own lazy devices isn't very cricket and allowing so is (IMO) being a poor instructor. I applaud the instructor for seeking a new answer to a common problem. Little future trumpet player can develop his own style and sound in time. In the mean time, they need to do it correctly. If little future trumpet player can't move his mandible, then that's a different story but I don't think that's the story. We're dealing with a lazy little fart who probably has as much drive to play trumpet as I have doing dishes. It's not unusual for a kid to not want to practice or not follow instructions. This is nothing new.
    I love Miles Davis (really do!) but would he make the cut in an audition with his stark sound and his horn pointed into the ground. How would he fare auditioning for one of the main military marching bands, major DCI's or the Berlin Symphony? Would he make it? I'm going with "Nope".
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Mark, I once took a lesson with Jack Wengrosky, retired lead player of the U.S. Army, Jazz Ambassadors. He plays at a pretty fair downward angle and it doesn't seem to have hurt him.

    We don't really know anything about this kid. We don't know that he's a lazy little fart. All we know is that he plays fine, but plays at a downward angle, probably due to an overbite. I was the same way and it never prevented me from being better than all of my peers. If it ain't broke, dint fix it. It may not look right to some, but it's not worth ruining a budding, aspiring player to change something that at this point is just cosmetic.
  10. Churchman

    Churchman Mezzo Piano User

    Apr 26, 2012
    I have an overbite - probably not as severe as the one in question - and if someone tried to force me to alter my physiognomy it would firstly hurt, and then cause longer term issues in my jaw and neck. Let him play how his body is comfortable. Please.

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