Upper Register - Colin's Lip Flexibilities

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by neal085, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    A few weeks ago, someone started a thread about getting big sound in the upper register, and it morphed into a general conversation on range and upper register after I hijacked it.

    A few of you mentioned Arban's pages 20-56, and I started working on that. It's been great so far, and I've really enjoyed the work.


    I also started on Colin's Advanced Lip Flexibilities. My teacher had me read the entire text on embouchure through twice before I touched my horn. I still need a lot of work, but it's been an immense help in playing up the staff with relative ease.

    Two things really stood out to me about that text:

    1. Making sure you have enough lip in the mouthpiece to get comfortable vibration rather than a predetermined formula of putting the mouthpiece half way on the lip, or 1/3 of the lip or whatever
    2. Using the back of the tongue to regulate air flow/speed that facilitates playing the higher register.


    I don't ever remember hearing that about the tongue prior to reading Colin's. Is that just something every trumpet player should know, or is that a tactic specific to his method?


    My understanding, after buzzing my mouthpiece in front of a mirror over the last week and a half is that it's just a knack that has to be acquired by practice.

    I'd really like to hear some feedback on Colin's book and methods - good, bad or indifferent.
     
  2. Amir

    Amir New Friend

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    I really like the exercises on the collins.
    for me they are great.
    But I'm against the whole tongue thing. for me, raising the tounge is making you sound thinner, and it's not what I'm after.
    so when I'm doing the collins, i just try to do them without straining myself, and KEEP THE TONGUE LOW.
    but that's just me
     
  3. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Neal,
    You asked:
    I'd really like to hear some feedback on Colin's book and methods - good, bad or indifferent.
    -----
    For me, it was a fantastic book that took me to another level. Learning to do lip slurs in this manner (alternate valves) are also found in a document called The Basics Sheet.
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    Making sure you have enough lip in the mouthpiece to get comfortable vibration rather than a predetermined formula of putting the mouthpiece half way on the lip, or 1/3 of the lip or whatever
    -----
    I do not agree with this.
    Colin's states (Pg.18) "The most sensible group however advocates that wherever the mouthpiece feels most comfortable and the lips vibrate most freely, that is the correct placement. Lip formulations of every player is as different as the individual itself. Therefore it is obviously foolish to say that the best placement is "half and half".

    Let's take a moment and ask. Who says? Can anyone direct us to studies that support this claim? While it's easy to say we are all as different as snowflakes, even snowflakes have parameters.
    Here's what I see. If where the lip goes together is the midway point, it appears that most trumpet players cover more of the bottom lip than the top lip. This could make physical sense since the bottom lip is often seen as bigger when looking at a person face to face or from the side. I would contend that a good general placement is a little more bottom lip than top lip. When I watch Wynton, Dizzy, Maynard, well...just about anyone, it appears that the bottom lip is the part that is in the mouthpiece the most. Also, when a person is left to their own devices and allowed to put the mouthpiece anywhere, a common result is to find a person playing too much to the side or some other placement that does not allow for maximum vibration. Observation would suggest that the maximum vibration of the lip can be found "usually" with more of the bottom lip in the cup.

    --------
    2. Using the back of the tongue to regulate air flow/speed that facilitates playing the higher register.
    --------
    Amir is right in that the tongue changing the oral cavity can effect the sound. It's almost like changing the cavity of a violin. However, using the tongue to assist the lips in doing lip slurs works quite well and it's a matter of learning to not use too much. More can be learned in a document called Arch Tongue and Hiss.
    -----
    I don't ever remember hearing that about the tongue prior to reading Colin's. Is that just something every trumpet player should know, or is that a tactic specific to his method?
    -----
    No it's well known. Arch Tongue and Hiss is just one of many articles.
    ----
    Dr.Mark
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Neal085, when we get into things like our tongue we get into some pretty esoteric stuff, since tonguing is something we can't observe without a fluoroscope. The best we have to go on are subjective observations that turn into dogma. Yeah, the airstream is involved in the higher register stuff by using among other things, the tongue. There are plenty of "snake oil" salesmen out there, the good news that with a teacher and not doing anything that will take away from your sound.

    Have fun!
     

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