Wandering Fingers

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    A couple of years ago as part of the strategy of playing with reduced mouthpiece pressure, I loosened up the grip of both hands and held my right hand little finger up out of the pinkie hook. So far so good.

    Two years on and I've got on to finger flexibility exercises out of the Vizzutti method. Full works playing against the metronome, really bashing those valves down like billy-o.

    Problem is that this finger pummelling is making the instrument bounce around a bit. If I put the little finger back in the pinkie hook, that works fine when 3rd valve isn't in play. But when it is, then it's out of the hook again to get some dexterity into the 3rd finger.

    Gently resting the little finger on, rather than in the hook might end up being a workable compromise. Dunno.

    Any thoughts, past lessons learned etc?
     
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Well, don't get like Bavarian trumpet player Gerd Zapf (Principal Trumpet of the Bavarian Radio Symphony in the 70's): He held his hooter so lightly that on one memorable occasion, in the middle of... yes, the beginning of Mahler 5!! - he dropped the hooter...
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I had the pinky hook left off entirely from my four valve Kanstal flugelhorn more so for the ease of using the fourth valve without the hooking getting in the way. But beyond that purposeful change I requested in the horn, finger dexterity is amazingly increased for even the traditional valve fingerings by freeing up mobility of not only the fingers but the wrist. Relaxing the wrist does so much to releasing tension and providing flexibility to tendons of each finger.
     
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Well that's certainly one shot deal territory. Does your little finger float around a bit, or does it just sit there on 4th valve. (Kudos if your answer is 'dunno').
     
  5. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

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    Same for rotary piccolo? Maybe if one of you guys could play a old Scherzer Picc that should help
     
  6. gunshowtickets

    gunshowtickets Forte User

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    Where is your thumb?

    I re-learned to keep my pinky on top of the hook or loop when i was in high school. Tell me about your thumb and I'll tell you about mine.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that we simply need "enough" left hand grip to keep from losing the horn. Stability is ensured by the right hand thumb. I feel this is the shock absorber for banging the valves down.

    I use the pinky hook on the horns that have them, but also manage with those that don't. Only when I change a mute while playing does the pinky ring help "stabilise" the trumpet.
     
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Most instruments it's between 1st and 2nd an inch or so below the leadpipe.
     
  9. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

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    I use the pinkie hook. It helps with stable, consistent finger action, as it reduces horn movement by taking some of the stress off the left arm. Also, it divides the use of my hands; the left is for support and valve slide adjustment, and the right is for fingering and supporting the horn when using a plunger mute.
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I pretty much cock my wrist to absorb the weight of the bell in a position that keeps my fingers at the ready over the valves. This is an actually relaxing positioning and allows very quick fluid for all 4 valve fingers. Because of the positioning of the wrist and three main performance fingers, the little finger does not float at all. Not so much on the valve but more against the valve kind of at-the-ready.
     

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