Trumpet angle/position

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

  1. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi trickg,
    As for the student, Sam posted that he is stubborn and exhibits poor posture. As for the student's playing abilities, I don't remember Sam ever saying anything about this. Pointing the horn down is not the norm but you are right and I stand corrected, The student should not be messed with. Sam said "like an over-bite". If the student truly has a over-bite then he should be seen by a dentist or mandibular expert as an over-bite can come with it's own special problems both orally and psychologically.
  2. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Patrick, I know Jack Wengrosky. I played in a section with him in the Elmhurst College Community Band. He had a powerful, anytime double high C at 18. Great player and yes, he does play at a downward angle.

    Rich T.
  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I kinda-sorta know Jack - more of an acquaintance than a friend - I'd bump into him now and again at a friend Todd's Music store. (Todd is a master brass tech) I took a single lesson with Jack once because I was having some endurance issues on the gig, and that single lesson helped greatly - it was more of a mindset shift than anything more concrete. FWIW, we have 21 mutual friends on FB, but I don't feel like I know him well enough to add him, although with both of us being former members of DC area military bands, we do have a bit in common and a lot of common acquaintances.

    In any case, a couple of reason this kid is being "stubborn" might be because his teacher is trying to get him to shift to a method of playing that 1.) isn't comfortable, and 2.) is detrimental to his playing. I can understand it - the kid is young and hasn't been playing long, so a lot of times sticking with what's working might seem like a better idea than trying to shift to something that takes more work.

    One thing I do know is that often times certain issues will correct on their own if a student puts in the time. We don't go take continued lessons to learn to ride a bike. Sure, we're pretty wobbly at first, but with additional time and practice, our riding "technique" will smooth out, and kids wind up doing quite well on their own.

    I remember when I was 15 and first stared taking piano lessons. My teacher tried to teach me to get my hands above the keys, but my hands had other ideas. I never consciously moved my hands up, but I was doing a ton of messing around on the piano as I got more comfortable with it, and my hands came up over the keys all on their own, without any additional intervention or actual concentrated effort on my part.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Hej Samuel!

    My experience is that the angle is part of a much bigger issue and that most of the time, trying to deal with it specifically simply results in the student quitting. I too am in the camp that the angle per se is not a problem. Pressure is generally then on the lower lip, and that is not a bad thing at all

    That being said, playing trumpet angled down, normally is NOT the result of the overbite. It is the result of practicing in the bedroom without a music stand, it is the result of not having the right role models (not just with the trumpet). It could even be an issue of "low pride". It can be the result of practicing behind a desk.

    I suggest taking a step back, looking at the students practice habits, getting a mirror in the practice room and teaching them to play proudly - without going into detail what that means in the beginning. With a mirror they see themselves and a different part of the brain is activated for self perception.

    As far as the playing goes, I would concentrate on that big relaxed breath. I call it Circle of Breath and it has been posted here many times. Other members have different visualizations that result in the same or similar things. If the student is breathing well, lots of longtones and lipslurs help evolution migrate embouchure and body use to that persons resonant center.

    We simply cannot pour students into a form, and even if we could, the chance of a uniform result is VERY slim. If the student is stubborn, there are yet other issues that could be beneficial if the student gets a healthy look at who they really are and what the trumpet can do for that. Stubbornness can result in a very advanced work ethic IF the student is interested in getting better. Once the teacher has a bunch of successes under their belt, it is far easier to manipulate behaviour than with authority alone!

    Good luck!

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