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
    question: okay I can see the circle of breath on the first note ... but how about let's say a series of quarter notes or even half notes ... do you stop the air flow and then start the note with air flow? Or is it don't pass Go until you can commence the note cleanly?
    On the legatto tonguing, I try to do it without increasing the air flow... basically a sustained note being interupted ... which I have found really difficult... so even that is not helpful?
    codyb226 likes this.
  2. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    awareness update ... today during practice I noticed how much lag there was between my air into the horn and the note commencing. So I made a concerted effort to have the note start when the air hit the horn. I think I have been playing a little lazy ... of course I am not there yet but working on it. After I noticed that delay then I started seeing this pop up in my etudes on interval jumps ... Very beneficial stuff here.
    thanks again... more updates to follow
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I used to play with and arrange for a professional quintet in Southern Germany. I wrote all the cool stuff for second trumpet, and happily handed the first part to the other trumpeter (heh-heh-heh). Anyway, I ended up writing a part for myself (a sequence in a Bach fugue) that entailed thirteen or so seconds playing 16th notes without a place to breathe. Oops, but can be done.

    The trick is to keep the air moving, and interupt the airflow with the tongue for articulation. A phrase with over sixty notes has only one starting note, as does a phrase with three notes. Air is the glue that keeps phrases together.
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    First longtones no tongue. Then add the tongue at the apex between in- and exhale to "articulate" the note, then use that same amount of tongue to decisively slice the longtone into pieces - being careful that the tongue adds no extra "explosion" each time. I prefer to go slowly as we then get an "AHA!" effect that gives us the confidence to move on.

    This a rough base for "connected playing" which we need to practice until it becomes second nature. Once the beginning/end of each note functions, then we can focus on sound quality, then shorter note values. The impostant part of this approach is knowing that the resonance of the instrument, the standing wave creeates the sound - not the "quantity" of air. We learn to support the trumpets own resonance - first with longer notes where it is easier, later , when we get the "feel" for shorter note values. Many hammer out staccato notes because their lips are not supple enough to get the resonance of the horn going for the short note values. The (too) heavy tonguing limits speed and sound quality.
  5. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I have a harder time than I would like with switching back and forth with different styles of attacks. I can work work on one style and get it working nicely but have a hard time moving back to the other at will. Any ideas on how to get better at switching back and forth? I play different styles of music with different groups and settings. I need to be able to play any style at will. I feel like I have the different styles in my bag of tricks but have a hard time fishing out the right one at times. Sorry to butt in on this topic, but it seems related in a way.
  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I am glad you mentioned the resonance part. I felt aware , for lack of a better word, of efficient use of the air to start the horn resonating. I think working on the soft playing got me in the ballpark but it also made my poor note commencement pretty obvious.
    That's a great description of the tonguing issue ... will try not to rush ahead until I feel I have a good handle on the long tones.
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    coolerdave, I think I'm about to say something very similar to what Rowuk is saying just in a different way. I think we are all in agreement that the air starts the sound not the tongue.But what we want is when the air hits the lips they vibrate fully at that instance. That you get a solid sound right away. No sliding into the note or air before sound or sputters. For a solid sound to happen from the moment the air hits the lips it has to be up to speed. Full support is necessary.

    How to achieve this? We breathe in and release the air just like in normal everyday breathing. Sound simple, easy right. But something happens when people put a horn to their lips. They hesitate when realising, they think about it too much. They sneak up on the note with the air. Well it's all about the timing of breathing in and blowing. First step: breathing in and blowing/releasing the air is ONE MOTION. Not two motions. I won't go into why this works. Just know that it works EVERYTIME. Done right you will get a sound as soon as the air hits the lips. When you can do it right you have to drill this until it becomes second nature.

    caution, you don't want to blow hard to start the sound. You want the lips to vibrate with the smallest amount of air. You have to learn to let the air go without holding back, trying to be careful with the start of the note. No hesitation but release the air freely with abandon.

    Now I've only been talking about the note/ entrance after a breath. I teach my students what i call the fundamental tonguing. To play a series of notes connected with a clear taa attack. No space or waver in the sound between notes. You blow through to the next note. But no legato, with a clear taa attack. If you can do this then all other types of tonguing are easy.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
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