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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Body alignment, neck tension, etc. in the General forums; I made a recent "discovery" about my playing. I video taped myself playing to send a clip to Jason at ...
  1. #1
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Northern Virginia

    Body alignment, neck tension, etc.

    I made a recent "discovery" about my playing. I video taped myself playing to send a clip to Jason at Monette so that he could be as informed as possible about how I play in advising me on equipment choices. As soon as I viewed the video, I could see that I raised my head as I played up to high C (really, anywhere above the top of the staff). I noticed that this also correlated with a loss of resonance in my sound and a tightening feel that I could see in the video.

    Well, Jason noticed the same thing and suggested that I tuck my chin more as I ascend and also referred me to the Monette Prana acclimation stuff on Monette's website. I've read all this stuff before, but somehow was too dumb to really study my own playing and apply it. Now that I've been working at keeping everything aligned, it's made a huge difference in my tone, articulation clarity and upper register. I now realize that much of the resistance I was feeling as I ascended to the upper register was just overcoming the tension I was creating by raising the bell and tilting my head backward. By focusing on the angle of my head, neck, shoulders, hips, etc. and letting the bell fall whereever, it's made a huge improvement. The improvement is even more pronounced on the higher trumpets.

    Sometimes we miss the obvious. I'm trying to hook up with Adam Rapa and Charlie Schlueter next month for some lessons and I'm going to ask them to focus on body use, breathing, efficiency, etc. over all else. I think that's really the key to unlocking a lot of potential in my playing that I've been missing for years.

  2. #2
    Utimate User tedh1951's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    Re: Body alignment, neck tension, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by RichJ View Post
    I made a recent "discovery" .....
    Serendipitous Rich - you MIGHT have been able to fix it all by changing your mouthpiece or even buying an expensive trumpet.
    Last edited by tedh1951; 07-19-2010 at 05:54 AM.

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  3. #3
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia

    Re: Body alignment, neck tension, etc.

    What you have found is the basis of the Alexander tecnique that focuses on alignment and relaxation, I had a session with an Alexander teacher many years ago and found it very helpfull, I should have another.

    Regards, Stuart.

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