Upper register is airy

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by sfrey000, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. AaronPlaysTrumpet

    AaronPlaysTrumpet New Friend

    Jul 7, 2011
    Range is the result of Efficiency! While a) it's always difficult to diagnose the exact problem without hearing/seeing you and b) everyone and their mother has range problems, it's generally a rule of thumb that in order to play well in the upper register, EVERY part of our playing needs to be efficient.

    One thing that MIGHT help (try it a bit and see if it makes a difference after a few weeks, but don't be married to the idea) is soft playing - but so soft that the lips barely buzz.

    Try this warmup/exercise for a bit: Blow into the horn aiming for middle G, and wait patiently for the lips to start buzzing, and play with the softest tone possible. Do middle/low register long tones like this. Then play something like Clarke Studies 1 or 2, starting out just as soft, but crescendoing slightly as the book says to (we lead with the air!).

    Think about FOCUSING the aperture, not closing it per say. This approach has definitely helped me with my range - it certainly isn't the golden key to the stratosphere, but it may make things a little clearer (pun intended!).
  2. Juarez-MA

    Juarez-MA Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2012
    Check your physics. If it's not the lips vibrating that produces the trumpet tone, what is?
  3. keigoh

    keigoh Pianissimo User

    Oct 24, 2012
    maybe the aperture is too big, or too much mouthpiece pressure is there
    Last edited: May 16, 2013

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    One of Maynard’s sayings on a good night was, “ it feels like I can drive an 18 wheeler through my chops, (aperture)” meaning his aperture stayed open and he used “AIR” for everything….
    And yes Roger Ingram and many others do the same thing. Airy upper range or no vibration is due a few main concerns, closing off the air, closing the aperture, excessive pressure or all three. Any one of these will limit range……
  5. BigSwingFace

    BigSwingFace Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Frederick, MD
    What trumpeter(s) are you referring to? I use Caruso's method to strengthen my embouchure but don't know much about any specific embouchure he suggested. Most writings of his I've come across almost seem to overlook it - sort of a "well we can worry about that later" approach. But I've not read about people he personally gave lessons to...any insight?
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    It is the air column vibrating within the trumpet that produces the sound.

    "A brass instrument consists of a long and carefully shaped metal duct coupled to a flow-control mechanism which converts a steady wind supply from the player's lungs into oscillations of the air column contained within the duct. The flow of air from the player passes between his lips, which open and close rapidly in response to the acoustical variations within the mouthpiece and so admit a periodically varying flow of air into the mouthpiece. The air column, on the other hand, is kept oscillating in its longitudinal vibratory motion because of these periodic puffs of air supplied to it via the lip valve." Arthur H. Benade, Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics.

    If the lips aren't allowed to open or close, no sound comes out. Excessive pressure, or pressure applied before the embouchure is set can prevent the lips from closing; excessive pressure or embouchure tension can prevent the lips from opening. A player can compensate by forcing the sound (and kinda sorta sound like Maynard in the process) but that is only a way of getting a sound out and not the most efficient way to play trumpet.
  7. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    Get a flugel or cornet that enhances the "breathiness" then play dark smoky passages.
  8. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

    Feb 23, 2013
    Tuckahoe, NY
    Just one silly but useful tip....hydration. Water and plenty of it so ur lips mouth throat etc are fully hydrated inside. Dry insides become dry surfaces like lips which makes controlled vibration harder. As I dry out I notice the higher notes get airy first.
  9. Lionelsax

    Lionelsax Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2013
    Hum, just a question, what do you call a buzz ?
    Do you make a terrible sound ? I mean making more than one note, I mean E and G at the same time with more harmonics (multiphonic sound) a kind of kluster ?
    I used to have this problem (I've got other problems now), it sounded like a duck, and all notes upper than C4 (third harmonic) and upper than G4 (sixth harmonic) used to sound like a little elephant.

    I think it comes from your mouthpiece, too much pressure and weak lips.

    Is my French English understandable ?
  10. BigSwingFace

    BigSwingFace Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2013
    Frederick, MD
    You speak English better than some Americans I know. Perhaps that's not much of an accomplishment, though :-P

Share This Page