Using the Kick Valve

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Satchmo Brecker, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    My low C#'s are way sharp. I've been told to use the kick valve (left hand valve in the front) to flatten the tone. Works like a champ, BUT when exactly do you "kick" it out? On long tones only? Kicking it out seems kinda clunky with that finger, so it seems like you can never get it to be very efficient, like kicking it out on quick runs, etc. Thoughts?

    I just want to know what to practice...kicking it out every single time I play a C#, or only certain times.

    TIA! :play:
  2. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

    Nov 16, 2005
    "kick valve" = 3rd slide to most people...use for low C#, D every time
  3. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 10, 2006
    Try using the third valve slide instead of the first valve slide, because if you do that, you can leave it out for notes that are first and second valve (which is most of them), and you can play your C# in tune on runs without being clumsy. When you kick the third valve slide out, the only time you would have to push it back in is when you are playing notes like d# and g# , which are usually flat on the horn (?). This is much better than having to push back in on e, f, f#, a, bb, and b. There are more as you move up the scale, but generally, third valve saves you some trouble.

    Good luck
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
  5. ltg_trumpet

    ltg_trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 21, 2009
    that was lulzy
  6. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    Kick valve, lol. I need to build the dealio for my trumpet to use that, it's missing. My cornet doesn't have one.
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Using the 3rd valve slide for the notes that are naturally sharp such as C# and D, really isn't that big of a deal. Start using it while playing scales slowly - pop it out on the notes that need it, pull it back in when you don't. Do the same thing working with familiar music, but do it slowly. If you work on it long enough, eventually it becomes second nature and you just do it without thinking about it - kind of like how you push the right combination of valves without thinking about it.

    Heheh - kick valve. :-) I had never heard it referred to like that before.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The hardest part is the continuing maintenance to keep the slide free. The third valve slide has to move freely and has a lot of area that can make it harder to move. I use anhydrous lanolin from the drugstore with a drop of valve oil on the top and bottom slide. That seems to keep the slide moving freely and still relatively airtight. Vaseline works too, but residue seems to build up.
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    The 3rd valve slide needs to move light like a trombone slide. That way you only have to straighten the tip of your finger.
  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    There are as many answers to that question as there are players. If you watch videos (many on Youtube) of the great players, you will almost never see them move either the 3rd valve or first valve slides. There are two reasons for that: First, when playing solos, it is not as critical that the notes be in tune as when playing in a group where everyone is supposed to be on the same note, and second, those players learn to adjust the tone with their embouchure (it's called "lipping" into tune) so that the slide is not needed.

    That brings us to another area where I am not an expert (low-time comeback player and all). It seems to me that it also depends somewhat on the music pattern. There are some intervals where that low C# sounds REALLY sharp - almost painful, and other times when it is barely noticeable. Of course, it will always be more noticeable on long tones since the fast notes go by too quickly.

    When I first learned, the band director did not even mention the use of the slides and I did not learn what they were for until I started my comeback a year ago. On the other hand, my grandson started 6th grade band this year and the director insisted that everyone bring an instrument with at least the 3rd slide in functional condition and started them out from day one using it. So now he uses it whenever he plays and I still don't (unless I'm trying to impress him).

    I hope this helps.

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