when it becomes a note

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kdawg, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. kdawg

    kdawg New Friend

    Nov 19, 2003
    I'm a very patient trumpeter. Through the past year I've patiently developed my range to a solid Eb above high C. I can squeel the heck out of any note up to a double C. keyword: squeel.
    With the end of the semester approaching, my squeel won't be enough. I need to own a high G by may. (panic now!!!). actually, I'm not too worried. I've been progressing pretty solidly, but I was wondering what the thoughts of the trumpet world might be to help me. Right now, I spend time leadpipe buzzing, and playing up there a lot (still a squeel). the practice room just doesn't translate over to the bandstand the way I want it to.
    also, I when I make my attempts up high, not only doesn't the sound come out the way I want it to, but I start to shift into unconsciousness.
    It's frustrating. I have the notes. They're just not fat.
  2. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    your description says you are choking the sound off.

    Relax and open your throat and open the teeth a little too.

    Use more tongue hiss ( http://www.bbtrumpet.com/arch.html ) and arch and pull the stomach in to support the notes.

    Project the notes where they belong.
    Low G rolls out of the bell,
    Low C goes out 5 feet,
    Second line G goes out 8 feet,
    3rd space C goes out 12 feet,
    G on top of the staff goes out 20 feet,
    High C goes out 40 feet,
    G above high C goes out 80 feet.

    Relax the stomach muscles. Tension only hurts the sound. Tensing the stomach muscles does NOT create a smaller body cavity or pressurize the lungs.

    Bringing the abs in toward the spine and contracting the muscles around the girdle does create a smaller body cavity. That moves your guts and since the pelvic bones won't let them go down; they have to go up. That makes the part of your chest cavity available for your lungs smaller. And that places the air in the lungs under pressure.

    Pull the stomach in farther for each higher note.

    Work on soft playing. So soft that you almost can NOT hear it. That will help you learn to control a small lip aperture for playing high.

    Lip set point.
    Take line 1 of page 125 in the Arban. It is a C Major scale with every other note jumping down to low G.

    If you start on the Low G the middle c is hard for some players. If you set (and play) a middle c first and then start the high notes are easy.

    I make my students do a 2 octave C scale. They set and play a G on top of the staff and withOUT resetting they start the exercise.

    It is easy to compress the lips to play a half an octave higher than your set point. It is easy to learn to relax and (drop the jaw) to get to a full low g.

    The G on top of the Staff should ALWAYS be your starting point. That way you have a base from which to judge where every note is in relation to your starting aperture/tension level.
  3. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    I'd also suggest LOTS of interval lip slurs. Work on slurring up from low A/G/F# up to Eb, D and then G. When you play low you HAVE to have your throat relaxed and then by quickly slurring up to the higher notes you tend not to have the time to tense your throat up. Arbans has lots of excellent exercises for this.

    The other problem you may be having is pressing too hard on the chops with the mouthpiece. That can also choke off the notes. Practice playing in your comfortable range with as little pressure as possible.

    And last, but not least, sometimes these things take patience and practice. You might not make it by May but if you practice reguarly and intelligently you WILL make it.............


    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I remember a thoughtful tip. Increase your range by a 1/2 step a month (doesn't sound like much, does it?) and you gain an octave in a year. You have March (what is left). April and May. You may have to progress a little faster, but figure a half-step every 2 or 3 weeks. Eb to F is an important step. So is F to Gb and Gb to G.

    Seems manageable that way :D

  5. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    I used to teach a roll in embouchure to everyone now I only use 10% of the time.

    Dave the reason is most people need 6 months to 2 years BEFORE they can play a gig on it.

    A teacher who has kids as 95% of his students can get away with that

    I don't have that luxury.
    95% of my students make money playing.

    My students play gigs and need to improve and keep playing gigs.

    Changing to any rolled in embouchure is counter productve.

    There are faster ways to give a student improvements and not make them miss 1 gig or even worry about missing a gig. Or make them practice 2 embouchures for months and months.

    I gave a lesson to a player on tour last week. He played lead 7 times a week (2 shows on Sat). I added 5 notes to his range, improved his flexibility and his sound and he played his gig that night on his NEW embouchure.

    NO other system can do that.

    YES there is the 1 out of 100 that can change to a roll in embouchure and gig quickly But they are few and far between.
    You have seen all the questions those guys get on the TH.
    All those people with problems and concerns about why it isn't going well.

    Telling someone to change their embouchure is cruel. Some will become so discouraged that they quit, others will go backwards. Some will do fine.

    I used to do the same thing you suggest but I NEVER will again. And frankly since I gave up the rolled in approach I'm 10 times better taecher and player.
  6. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    Your post makes a big assumption.

    That everyone who tries BE will start the same place YOU did.

    This is not the case.

    I wish there was an EASY way to change embouchures but there isn't.

    At least not one that is ONLY exercises and allows you to.....

    It just doesn't happen that way Dave.

    There are more people that struggle with it than there are who fly through it.

    Just curious how many people have you taken through an embouchure change?


    You find that thngs that work for 1 person don't work for others. And Yes to tell them that it is always easy is Cruel.

    They feel like failures when it isn't as easy as you told them it was.

    Your FIRST response is change your embouchure.

    That should be the LAST response.

    Teaching them to use ab support or a good tongue arch takes 10 minutes.

    So does your embouchure change take 10 minutes?

    Good breath support NEVER makes someone sound bad even 1 day.

    An embouchure change does. Even yours.

    I don't have anything against BE or SC or XYZ just against an embouchure change BEFORE other things are done.

    So very VEry VERY many times it isn't needed.

    This advice is like a doctor saying you have a headache then lets cut a nerve in you spine to relieve the pain.
    BTW a doctor said that to me last year and she was serious.

    I had my neck adjusted and the headaches went away.

    But she would have gladly done the surgery.

    IT would have been as useless as most embouchure changes.
  7. kdawg

    kdawg New Friend

    Nov 19, 2003
    pops - i've been expiramenting with the "hiss" and I can't quite get it to feel like i'm hissing. I've seen the pic on your website, but what else can i do?

    also, could someone describe the "rolled-in" embechure? what other method is it close to (if any). do both the top and bottom lips roll in? I'm pivot system trained, soon to be starting bill adam, is reinhardt a "rolled-in?"
    thanks for all the help guys!
  8. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    Well maybe I'm wrong but to me telling someone to play with rolled in lips when they haven't played that way before IS an embouchure change.

    Telling them to play softly is adjusting the aperture with NO embouchure change but telling them to roll in-out-sideways-upside down.... is a change.

    Anyway someone who can already squeel double c doesn't need to roll in any more. Nothing about the first post suggests a need to change the embouchure.

    He needs to work on airspeed and or letting the air out.

    There are a few things you could try.

    First whistle an arpeggio 3rd space c to double high C (or wherever it stops) and feel how far the tongue moves. Some of us need to move the tongue twice as far as we are used to.

    To go to the hiss whistle the arpeggio (no horn) and at the end try to say sisssssss and keep the air and hissing sound going.

    After this feels ok then try to play the arpeggio that way.

    Now blow out some air and pull your stomach in fast. Feel the air speed up and get stronger. Do this until it feels ok.

    Next play this arpeggio (Hiss) and pull the stomach in on the problem note. Pull in fast like you are starting the note with the stomach NOT the tongue.

    This should have the note shoot out of the horn.

    You will NOT always play with this OVER blowing approach but this will help you get used to better support.

    Your goal is to let the notes float out on the air stream.
    The higher you play the farther the air stream is projected.
  9. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Within BE "Roll-In" is an excercise, as is Roll-Out. There are also slurs with "pop" and "hiss", etc. These are excercises, not embouchures. Sorry for any confusion.

  10. Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    This is an excerpt taken from Jim Donaldson's "Schilke Loyalist" pages. The following words are those of Renold Schilke.:

    I find the above to be in total conflict with the scenario presented earlier in this thread:

    Also, previously stated:

    Hhmmmmm.... when I do that, it allows my lips the ability to "move in the right direction" to reach the "balance point" necessary to play the upper register notes. That would also be "embouchure" related. The way I see it, good information is good information... no matter where it comes from, whether it is from:

    My perception about the above is that "the teacher who has kids as 95% of his students" has students that just might be able to "make money playing", because they had a good solid fundamentals based upon universally applicable principles of playing a musical instrument.

    An efficient embouchure is dependent upon many different things. One of the things that Jeff Smiley consistently says is this:

    That is just a very brief excerpt from the "Balanced Embouchure" book. Rest assured, other elements of playing, such as breathing, etc., are all a part of what is presented.

    Also True, this statement... there is a lot of discussion about BE on the TH. That forum exists because there was a demand for it.

    Why should the "kids" have all of the fun? :D

    We are all "perpetual students of the trumpet", and we should always strive to improve. There's nothing wrong with offering great advice, like what is contained in all of the previous posts. Bill Adams uses a statement that goes something like this: "Blowing out someone else's candle to make yours shine more brightly does you no good." .... Words to live by!

    Best always,

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