1991 King Silver Flair
1953 Olds Super (LA)
1979 King KG1055T (pre UMI) Silver Flair
1940? Olds Ambassador (LA) tenor trombone
I'm not responsible for offending people -- people are responsible for themselves taking offense at me
I can play a pedal tone c. The secret to full, fat, warm low notes is simply using very low mouthpiece pressure, full deep breaths, an open throat (see videos on lifting the soft palate), and air support. Low notes are impossible with high mouthpiece pressure, which I'm sure you've discovered. It's quite simple really. For example, playing a g major scale 2 octaves- I start with very little pressure, and as I peak, I add a tiny bit of pressure to get the high last 2 or 3 notes out, then back off the pressure again descending. Pressure can be your friend if used correctly- (try for least amount of pressure possible in all situations, but no doubt in an increase in pressure helps for high notes) but pressure simply cuts off the potential for low notes to even come out. Also try relaxing your embouchure as well as low pressure on the mouthpiece. You still want to keep your corners firm, but not tight, but try relaxing slightly with your embouchure. Let it become a bit sloppy. Low notes are supposed to feel very comfortable. So make a very comfy embouchure and see if that works.
Best thing - get yourself a TEACHER.
I have had "issues" in the past with low notes as well. The Claude Gordon practice method with pedal tones has been amazing for me in this area. The first thing I play when I take my horn out of the case is long tones, from low C down to #F, then on down to pedal C and lower if possible. This requires a lot of control, air, and buzzing of the lips. This exercise has succeeded in "resetting" my embouchure, helping me with my breath control, and with my tone in the high register! Using the syllable "ahh" as you player lower notes helps as well, paying close attention to the placement of the back of the tongue. Although my upper register has not increased as of yet, these exercises has helped with my comfort level in the range I do have. Hope this information helps and good luck.
"If you're going to mess up, let everyone hear it" - Dean Cassels (my high school band director)
S E Shires BLW Bb
King Silverflair - 1990
Yamaha Xeno 8335G
ACB Doublers Flugelhorn
Curry 1.5C Flugelhorn Mouthpiece
GR 67M2 Trumpet Mouthpiece
Everything that's already been said above, plus :-
Ease the mouthpiece pressure off, and while blowing at the same time roll the centre of the lips forward (almost like a kiss (wait for the puns))and form an "O" with the air passsing through. this will train you to form the lower register without re-setting your embouchure completely as you change from high to low register.
Let us know how you get on with the various suggestions.
Last edited by X3Lb; 01-02-2013 at 02:09 PM.
Schilke X3L Beryllium,
Selmer K Mod 24B Lwt,
King Siver Flair/2000T KMI (Sherry Huntley Engraved),
King Silver Flair 1055T,
Schilke C5L C/Bb (B3L),
Schilke E3L Eb/D,
Schilke P5-4 Piccolo - 50th Ann Edn.,
Scherzer 8111 Gold Brass Piccolo,
Yamaha Custom 9830 Piccolo,
Couesnon Paris Monopole Conservatoire 3 valve Long Bell Piccolo,
Couesnon Paris Monopole Conservatoire Flugel,
Keavy Vanryne Natural/Baroque (4 hole) Trumpet + 4 crooks
A change to a smaller mouthpiece didn't accompany the focus on upper register playing, did it? That can really mess up low note playing, too. But...I agree with what most have said in that beating your embouchure up trying to stretch your upper range will usually decrease your lower range.
Devote 1 hr a day to practice. After 15 mins, rest for 7 or 10 min. Do that 4 times. Hour is up. That hour will give you 30 mins+- of face time.
Practice Clarke's 1st Technical Study, page 1 each day. Might take 10 mins +-. Play softly and relaxed.
That leaves you 3 blocks of practice time: 1) Band literature, 2) Arban's tonguing exercises, finally 3) etude/solo pieces.
Whole thing takes 1 hr, with you resting somewhere between 15 and 30 mins during equal intervals.
If you've not tackled Clarke 1, I bet you'll like it. Easy to play slowly and softly. Easy to make rapid progress. And is a challenge to work it up to a smooth, musical lightening speed.
If you be a go getter, you can install 2 practice sessions or 1.5 sessions a day: 1 prior and 1 after school.
Warning: play rest play rest works.
Play, play, play, play until air is the only thing that can be produced is worse than bad.
It causes us to take backward steps instead of moving forward in a methodical manner.
Last edited by Ed Lee; 01-02-2013 at 01:25 PM.
The 6th graders I'm presently tutoring are on a regimen of 20 minutes "lip time" (as I call it) playing, followed by 20 minutes rest during which time I discuss what were doing and/or demonstrate, and conclude their hour with 20 more minutes of "lip time". True as we move from exercise to exercise they sneak in small additional rest periods.
Last edited by Ed Lee; 01-02-2013 at 02:04 PM.
Wild Thing Bb
Wild Thing Flugel
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