What exercises are recommended for developing a "classical/legit" attack ?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    okay .. briefly
    I am trying to improve my note commencemnt when playing "Classical" ( for lack of a better term). What I am trying not to do is sneak into the note. I am trying to start the note kind of like an organ .. you push the key.. the note sounds. I know to back off on the tongue and have tried softer syllables.
    I have been playing Clarke's with a legatto tongue amd keep the notes almost connected as a way to building up my chops. I also am still playing alot of long tones out of the Vizzutti #1 book and playing at a soft volume.
    My gut is that this is a matter of strengthing the chops so I can play with less pressure while also improving the response time.
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I don't have it in front of me, but the opening section of Arban is pretty good for that sort of thing. Don't work about speed, concentrate solely on getting the sound you want. (the exercise I think helps the most is the one that goes through all the keys - exercise 12 maybe? - in half notes)
  3. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    Okay Dave. I know what you are looking for. The only way to do it right is to have your lips set and a very light tongue. Some of the tubas in my band get in trouble for this, but it might help you. Try to start without a tongue. Just let the air come and dont go waaaaaaehhhhhhh and lock into the note. As in, dont scoop to the note. Just a nice soft attack. But, that is a not a good thing to do. Try to get the same entrance as that an organ with your tongue.
    Good luck,
    coolerdave likes this.
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    That is some of the process I am already working on and that might be the way to do it ... keep practicing until you get it sort of thing. It also could be like someone trying to play high notes by playing high notes. I know one way to improve tone is through tonguing exercises. Sort of a by product of the exercises. What I am looking for is what do some of the teachers here use for their students to improve the attack. I am sure that there's something I am not aware of?
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    "Ta" is what I was taught to do. Do that and the Arban's exercises mentioned and you'll get there. Just start slow at first.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The palette we use for attacks in classical music is not smaller or much different than that used for jazz. The pipe organ simile works for a bunch of the romantic literature, and the kettledrum simile works for a bunch more, but the trick is to know the story, even if you have to make it up yourself. For example, in Don Juan there is a straight-muted long tone. What attack to use? Imagine Don Juan with a case of the clap, taking a painful pee: “Tiiiiiiing!” Do that and the conductor will in most cases keep waving the stick.

    The big thing is to consider articulation as part of the phrasing, including the micro and macro elements of the form and knowing our position within the texture. In Bach’s 3rd Suite in D the trumpets rise up out of the texture and the first trumpet lands on a high D. (Du-wah-du-wah-du-wah Teeh!) It is fun to make violists jump in their chairs, and again the conductor can’t really complain—at worst they will wag the “no-no” finger and concentrate on the real mistakes.

    In other words, there is no true “classical” attack; any more than there is a “jazz” attack. Articulation serves to help paint the story.

    Have fun!
  7. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Well, but there are clean attacks and sloppy attacks, etc. The OP is trying to "improve my note commencemnt [sic] when playing "Classical" ( for lack of a better term). What I am trying not to do is sneak into the note."

    coolerdave, I had a teacher from Jr HS into college who had studied with Vincent Cichowicz during my teacher's Master's studies at Northwestern, and most of my teacher's exercises came from Cichowicz. One fundamental exercise my teacher gave for developing accurate, precise tonguing might help your particular problem, is to take Arban's page 116 or 117 and huff each note vs. tongueing it. Don't play each note in time, but rather play each note as if it were a short quarter note with a quarter-note rest in between. Before you play the note, make sure that you focus and set for it.

    So it's huff! (quarter rest) huff! (quarter rest)/huff! (quarter rest) huff! (quarter rest)/etc.

    Later, when you've got that under control, you can play the same exercise a little faster, but this time alternate huffing and then tonqueing the same note.
    So it's huff! (quarter rest) tah (quarter rest)/huff! (quarter rest) tah (quarter rest)/etc.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  8. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    I'm going to say go back to basics. Keep your lips supple and slightly tongue as you have been. Have you ever heard of the warm up where you blow until a sound comes out? For the sake of this post I'll assume you don't, not saying anything mean but it'll save a post or two. First note of the day, put your horn to mouth and make a crude embouchure. Blow air as continually as possible, without trying to buzz, until a sound comes out. You will know when the note is about to come, the lips just get that feeling. Remember that feeling and do it again as a start. And remember, staccato and legato have the same attack, tongue doesn't define articulation, air does.
    coolerdave likes this.
  9. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    VB ... understood .. and a good point ... my attempt to get a clear description. If I see the woodwind players jump I will assume I put enough jiuce into the attack.
    I will put some time in these exercises and let you know how things are going in a few weeks ( being optimistic)
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I teach air first, then add the tongue. Not lightly, not hammered, but ON TIME and not IN PLACE OF THE AIR. This is part of my Circle of Breath. Inhale, exhale - inhale play with no tongue. I do not like the description "Breath Attack". For the type of playing that I do, I do need additional "pressure" by conquering the breathing process. Once we have clean starts without the tongue, we add as much tongue as musically necessary, exactly at the point where we switch from suck to blow.

    I HATE LEGATO TONGUING when we are trying to learn how to learn the basics of articulation. The dullness camouflages where the real strike point was. It also camouflages if we are using the tongue to jump start each note because our lips are not pliable enough and too little air is in motion.

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