Understanding Air Flow?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mark_Kindy, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

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    Well, I'm working on it. I suspect lip trills and such will be very difficult to achieve without proper airflow, so I'm definitely aiming for those in the long run (always wanted to do them!)
    Thanks KT and TJ, I'll take your comments into account -- I suspect they will be of much use. I hope to encounter them along the way to my goal, perhaps as sort of checkpoints for a job well done :)
     
  2. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    Here's a thought: If you're among the crowd that thinks "faster air" from "tongue arch" helps change the pitch? Well technically speaking you're wrong. The speed of air prior to release inside the mouthpiece is irrelevant. In fact it is the air pressure or PSI that determines the speed of air at the release point. And ONLY the PSI. Since the laws of physics dictate that no tongue movement can increase air pressure then the whole "faster air" argument is so much B/S.

    No rocket scientists needed her folks. Basic stuff.. Like water seeking its own level, gravity pulls us downward on Earth etc.

    Now having said that take note: The action of an "arching tongue" may not be irrelevant. Could have some use even though the pressure of the air can not change from its movement and subsequent contraction of the mouth cavity. I fact what an arching tongue can do is this:

    Apply mild pressure to either the upper or lower lips! And it is this action that can support the lips to change pitch.

    Look at the action of the tongue while moving up or forward the same way as a disabled man does his cane. He can't stand on the cane but it does SUPPORT him while standing or walking.

    Now you know what the "tongue arch" does. Or in some cases what it does not do.

    I have experimented with three different types of embouchure. Not just slightly different placement patterns like more upper, more lower, left right etc. but real embouchure changes. Like switching from receded jaw to forward jaw. Both with lips set in natural position and "wigged out". These are real embouchure use functions.

    And on two of them the tongue arch movement had no real value. At least at first. then one day while developing some notes around a High E or so i noticed that the wigged setting responded better with my tongue moved forward, At first this disturbed me because this possibly indicated that my theory debunking the tongue arch for faster air was invalid.

    Then just last year while screwing around with my other forward jaw setting I started noticing the same thing: A solid volume increase on notes above the High C. That made me "2 for 3" on forward tongue movement for range support. the only chop setting unaffected was my regular embouchure setting. the one I use every day and for most all my work.

    Being analytic I experimented with these movements and discovered that it was the mild placement of the tongue against and its subsequent removal back in the mouth that could support pitch change and range production. Or at least help w/volume improvement in the upper register.

    So both sides of the "tongue arch for range" theory may be correct. At least in the sense that a tongue movement can help pitch change.
     
  3. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

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    What exactly do you mean by this, exactly? forward tongue, for high range?
     
  4. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    I'm probably going to have to use an analogy. What I meant is in terms of what most cats THINK they are doing with the "tongue arch for range" idea.

    They THINK that they are constricting their mouth cavity (with the tongue) and that this speeds up the air stream and raises pitch. Like in whistling. And in whistling we truly do raise the pitch this way. Probably how the erroneous confusion began with the TA for Range theory.

    Instead however this forward movement of the tongue APPLIED MILD PRESSURE AGAINST THE SIDES OF ONE OR BOTH LIPS. I am quite certain that this is the reason tongue movements can change or help register/pitch.

    And here's my analogy:

    Back in the 1970's tennis player Chrissie Evert adopted using a two handed backhand. Iow when any ball arrived on her backhand side she would bolster her weaker right hand with the full forward power of her left hand. i think she was among the first to do this. So now she gets a solid contact on these shots through the assist from the left hand.

    I also made the comparison of a handicapped man walking with a cane. He gains stability from leaning a tad on the cane.

    Now just as in the two examples the forward tongue movement LIGHTLY touches one or both lips. Stabilizing and reinforcing them in a more positive manner as the trumpet player ascends into the upper register.

    My estimate is that the tongue probably is assisting the upper lip more than the lower. And that this pressure assist occurs left and right of where the air gets emitted between the lips and into the mouthpiece.

    All this stuff is kinda technical and somewhat speculative but it is probably what is really going on.

    To test and see if this works for you? Try hitting some note a little above a High C if you have one. Sustain this note at say a mezzo forte volume. While holding the tone bring your tongue forward until it lightly touches the upper lip but without blocking the air from leaving your mouth.

    See if it is easier to play louder high notes this way. I'd give you good odds you'll at least find it a tad easier to play louder. Then maybe not.

    The reason i offer these thoughts is to provide a rational explanation for why trumpet players cling to the "tongue arch for range" theory.

    Delving deep once more into what i call "Deep Embouchure Theory" or DET.

    My main problem w/DET is that the gains made from the understanding are usually slight if any. That an understanding of the theoretical may excite and please the geeks among us but other than that isn't of much practical usage. About all its good for.

    Give me enough time and I could explain to you (through DET) why a cat like Mark Zauss can do the incredible things he does here:

    Future Corps - Everybody Loves The Blues (August 1998) - YouTube

    But all that is is an explanation for why Mark can do the stuff he does and not likely something the average person could learn to imitate or develop on his own. So in most cases DET is fairly useless. Never-the-less I still love doing the research, testing the results and whatnot.

    Examples of what DET involves are things like;

    Dry vs wet lip settings and why the dry can offer an advantage (for those who can play that way)

    Receded jaw vs forward jaw and why each has its limitations and peculiarities.

    Changing the elastic properties of the lips through rolling out or in

    Manipulation of the lip in other ways.

    And other stuff that isn't even explainable in a general sense.


    But instead of studying DET I think the most important considerations of embouchure use occur in:

    "ZEV" and

    "T/STF"

    Terms of my own invention. Do a search on my posts with thos abbreviations and you'll find the explanation.

    "ZEV" and "T/STF fall short of Deep Embouchure Theory. Meaning that they are very simple embouchure adjustments. Each requires just a minimum amount of study, is easy to incorporate into one's playing and the gains made are profound and near immediate.

    Whereas most everything w/DET is complicated, difficult to explain, even harder to incorporate and usually of little help.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Both cup and rim effect lip placement and pressure. So, yes both may be a factor. The importance here is to be able to have comfortable lip movement (without constraining) in the front end of the mouthpiece. Also there can be too much movement which impacts on accuracy and tone rather more than loosing the buzz. A mouthpiece safari may be all you need to address this. A word of caution... when on safari, bring your weapon (axe); never know when a kingtrumpet may spring from the underbrush.
     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    just a thought here, and the disclaimer is --- "I have no idea what the air is doing, faster, slower, moister, or dryer, or swirling around" . OK , since this isn't rocket science, if one were to keep the same "speed" of air, and reduce the aperture size in the lips. General physics would indicate -- the air goes faster (uhhmm same air, going through a smaller hole). ON THE OTHER hand, if we keep the air speed the same, and increase the volume of air, without changing the aperture size (uhm forcing more volume of air through the same size hole) --- general Physics would say ----- the air goes faster.
    NOW MARK -- you are in college, and I hope your taking a physics class.
    BY THE WAY AGAIN --- I am not arguing with Local, as I pretty much dont have any physically measured evidence to provide, and I can't substantiate if I (or anyone else) can be positive we keep the aperture the same.
    I am just saying -- I don't think "air speed" is all that much BS, that most people attribute to it ----then again, I have never been able to get the tongue arch thingy to work either ----- so I just try to pump in more air (whether that is faster, more volume, moister, warmer, inflected off my teeth, etc.) I DO NOT KNOW!!!
     
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    KT, just remember ..... AIR FLOW goes from the small end to the big end. :D (normally)


    Turtle
     
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I got that part a few years ago ---and it sounds better that way anyhow. It is the same way with the trombone, blow in the small end --- but the trombone has actually helped the trumpet (by the way give Creds to Local357 and Peter McNeill) for helping me decide to try playing both instruments --- and the tips they gave, to get it started correctly without screwing up MY AMAZING TRUMPET PLAYING ABILITIES!!!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL
    but, the trumpet is "easier" to play, for me, IMHO
    perhaps, it is "easier" to fill the trumpet with an airstream -- while the trombone takes more of everything to accomplish that!!!!
     
  9. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    When raising the pitch the air speed would increase at the true release point, eg inside mouthpiece at lip aperture. But this is not where the Tongue Arch for Range zealots are attempting to speed up the air stream. Instead they attempt to constrict the mouth cavity well BEFORE the release point.

    I say "attempt to constrict the mouth cavity" because I don't believe that they are capable of even going that far.

    Had they truly succeeded in decreasing the size of the channel the air travels through in the mouth cavity? They'd need to make a perfect seal with tongue and sides of upper teeth. Doubtful this could be pulled off willingly while playing. I've tried this and it is possible. However it sets up some muscle group movements that are uncomfortable to maintain while still trying to hold an embouchure together.

    And even if they did decrease the size of mouth cavity air flow it wouldn't do anything positive. Not due to the reasoning of "faster air" prior to release.

    Faster air at release? Yes. This is where the "finger on water hose" analogy is accurate'

    Faster prior to release inside mouth? Wrong! This is putting a kink upstream in the hose. Just like in this old* Stooges movie short

    (see 16:10 here Disorder in the Court - YouTube)


    *Old? All Stooges shorts are old...
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Not so sure about that last one, Local, some days, I get the feeling there is no gravity and the Earth just sucks.
     

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