Why do partials give me so much trouble?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hornlife98, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Hornlife98

    Hornlife98 Pianissimo User

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    Most days, I don't have a problem slurring my chromatic scale from low F Sharp to High C.
    If you ask me to slur from C-G-C-E-G (Low C to G Above The Staff) it is laborious for me and it sounds laborious, too. Sometimes, I feel like I am inefficiently slamming a big wall of air into this tiny hole in the mouthpiece when I slur up partials.

    I don't understand.
     
  2. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

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    Can you explain a little more what's actually happening? Like what does it sound like, what does it feel like
     
  3. Hornlife98

    Hornlife98 Pianissimo User

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    When slurring from E in the staff to G above the staff (all open), the E will sharpen, sound airy, and it will be a long time before I actually slot the G. I can chromatically slur E-G in my sleep.

    Is this normal?
    How do I fix it?
     
  4. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

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    sounds like an air suppport problem. make sure youre really blowing into the notes. sit up straight, think about your air stream
     
  5. Hornlife98

    Hornlife98 Pianissimo User

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    Explain air support in your words please.
     
  6. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

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    Hmmm...you should probably ask someone a little more qualified, but to me air support is the relationship between the amount and speed of your air. You need a large amount of air and it needs to be going at a fast enough speed for you to make a good quality sound. This includes making sure you're sitting up straight, and that you take a deep breath that comes from the bottom of your lungs. Your shoulders shouldn't move. A good exercise for this is to see if you can hold a piece of paper on the wall with nothing but your air.
     
  7. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

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    Sounds like you need to practice Bai Lin.
     
  8. Tjnaples

    Tjnaples Piano User

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    It could be many many things. Here's my 2 cents:

    1. The mental challenge, the more you stress over it while playing the more tight you'll tend to play. Not helpful.
    2. The combination of which direction air goes into the mouthpiece (down for higher), tongue use, and steady air.

    Lessons young padiwan! I "self taught" myself for too long and developed really bad habits. The less bad habits you learn now the less you'll have to reprogram later as we never "unlearn" something.

    Hope this helps.

    TJ
     
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I use the Vulgano RAY OF POWER and magic bubbles.

    The finicky thing about air is that, yeah, we must learn the mechanics but then forget about them, because under the stress of performance, as tension sets in, our bodies will lie to us, and it will feel like we're moving huge amounts of air, breathing deeply and supporting when in fact, we are not!

    For this reason, I rely on some Vulgano Voodoo and the RAY OF POWER. It involves the Root Chakra, which is located directly at the base of the spine, also known as the coccyx. The Chakras have their own mystic qualities, I guess. I don't know for sure, but they do seem to be located in parts of the body where bunches of nerves meet. (The Vulgano version is situated half way between the places we do our number one and number two in the restroom.)

    In practice and in theory, imagine (and feel) a ray of some sort (red is the most common mystic color associated with the root chakra) shooting down into the ground while playing. For high notes, imagine (and feel) a more intense ray. If we practice this sitting in a chair, we can notice all kinds of muscles come into play, which happen to be the same muscles used to "support" the air stream. By taking attention off of the mechanics and experiencing the mysterious, magical and not yet patented RAY OF POWER we can avoid some of the tension involved in "trying hard."

    Nothing mysterious and magical here really, but the RAY OF POWER does permit me to play with a relaxed but working body.

    As for lip slurs and throat tension, forget the idea of "making" the tongue arch and try "magic bubbles."

    When we play a note, the air column inside the instrument has defined and mathematically predictable areas of high pressure and no pressure. In physics these are known as nodes and anti-nodes. The higher the tone, the more of these nodes inside the instrument. With a horn of sufficient light weight, we can play a long tone we can gently run a finger around the leadpipe and/or bell and feel some of the vibrations. Change to a different harmonic and that place will move.

    Now for the esoteric part. Playing a long tone, we can shift our awareness to inside the trumpet, and imagine/feel a point of resistance somewhere inside the horn. I call these "magic bubbles." To slur up, we can "blow" this magic bubble further away, backing off will allow the magic bubble to return to its place closer to the mouthpiece.

    Our body will memorize the feel of these notes and nodes much more quickly than the cognitive control of several variables can. Remember that the embouchure is (or should be, in the Zen Vulgano philosophy)formed in part by the note that it is playing.

    Experiment a bit, and have fun!
     
  10. musicman1951

    musicman1951 New Friend

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    It sounds like you might need more lip slur work. They're really more like tongue level exercises, but we call them lip slurs. The answer is not to blow a gigantic wave of air at the interval and hope you can pop up to the next partial, you need to increase the speed of the air - hence the lifting tongue.

    Whistle from a low note to a high note and feel what your tongue is doing. High notes on the trumpet actually use less air, but faster air. I suggest practicing going between sets of two partials and then trying the whole chord.
     

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