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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Understanding Air Flow? in the General forums; Hi Mark: I don't know if this will help, but it is something I use in warm up and thru ...
  1. #11
    Mezzo Forte User graysono's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    Hi Mark:
    I don't know if this will help, but it is something I use in warm up and thru my entire practice session. Take Irons' (27 Groups of Exercises) Groups 6,7, and 8. These are rapid slurring exercises that will aid flexibility and, I believe, may immediately tell you when the airstream is insufficient. His instructions are interesting. You start these off playing as many repeats as you can in a single breath. With practice your speed increases and the numbers of repeats you can do rises. You are always to stop in time to play a clear ending pause note. From there, you could go to any flow exercises that you have, in which you try to extend the amount of the etude/exercise you are doing without a breath. Good luck.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    You might try playing things in a singing style. Think how a singer would sing whatever you are playing and then play it as a singer would sing it. One note leads to another and another and so on. Relax and enjoy the music.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    I always think of my tongue as a valve shutting off and opening the airway but the airstream from "down below" is always constantish, for me the breath and diaphram diafgram diaghram (dam it "gut" how do you spell that word) control volume, smoothness etc and the tongue only controls articulation. Some people come into problems when the tongue actually initiates each note, try playing long note exercise without using the tongue to initiate the sound and then feeling that smoothness in you playing

    Hope this helps
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    May a rank amateur chime in? I believe that flow is a major aspect of trpt playing and many (Clarke and others) deviced flow studies to overcome this basic obstacle to good trpt playing. I practice these studies daily (Vizzutti technical studies, Clarke technical studies, flow studies) with my ear being the determinant of what should be happening. In other words, I don't get hung up in what I'm doing physically--I concentrate on what I'm hearing. Please dismiss my comments if they don't make sense.

  5. #15
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    Quote Originally Posted by vern View Post
    In other words, I don't get hung up in what I'm doing physically--I concentrate on what I'm hearing. Please dismiss my comments if they don't make sense.
    Makes perfect sense to me. The "problem" isn't air flow, it is what comes out the bell. Address the sound and the body follows.
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  6. #16
    Mezzo Forte User Mark_Kindy's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    Quote Originally Posted by nieuwguyski View Post
    I can't answer your question as to what you should "feel," but one of my previous trumpet teachers had me mouthpiece-buzz exercises when I wasn't maintaining steady airflow.

    To expand: when he detected that I was letting the air stop when I articulated, he had me play a simple exercise by buzzing the mouthpiece. When I say "a simple exercise," I mean he would pull out an easy etude book (usually something from Getchell book one) and open it to a random page. He would give me the starting note on the piano and I had to buzz the etude on the mouthpiece, the goal being to maintain a steady buzz through each articulation. His rationale was that it takes more air to maintain a mouthpiece buzz, so any interruption in air during an articulation would result in a very noticeable interruption of buzz.

    Once I buzzed through the etude to his satisfaction he would have me play it on the trumpet, concentrating on maintaining the same feeling of constantly-moving air.
    This is what I've currently been prescribed, that's satisfying to know that it has helped you.

    Quote Originally Posted by gmonady View Post
    Putting more airflow into the mouthpiece (blow like heck) is one option, but another problem may be physicial. If you are loosing the buzz, perhaps the cup size is not maintaining a focal point on the embouchure you use when starting a buzz. Any change in position on the cup will break the seal and loss the support needed for buzzing. Have you tried this with other cup sizes.

    Remember a walruses dream is finding a tight seal.

    That's what I've felt like is happening -- that's I'm losing the buzz. I'm not sure where I would go with changing cup sizes though (you mean cup, not rim, right?) because I'm not that experienced with cup changing (other than medium to extremely shallow, done very few deep).

    Quote Originally Posted by DaTrump View Post
    I always think of it as holding something against the wall with my air, like a piece of paper. If you watched Dragon Ball Z as a kid, I could make the explanation make more sense.
    I have watched that ^.^

    Quote Originally Posted by s.coomer View Post
    You might try playing things in a singing style. Think how a singer would sing whatever you are playing and then play it as a singer would sing it. One note leads to another and another and so on. Relax and enjoy the music.
    I've found that when I can clearly hear phrasing for an etude in my head (like in the Concone etudes) I play it much more easily... so interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by vern View Post
    In other words, I don't get hung up in what I'm doing physically--I concentrate on what I'm hearing. Please dismiss my comments if they don't make sense.
    Well, I'm trying to not focus on my lips and such, and I understand what you're saying. I'm just having difficulty really hearing a difference in my playing at this point (when I do it successfully vs not) even when my teacher points it out :/

    and @ Graysono -- I've actually started doing Irons, so I'll look at that, thanks!


    Thank you ALL for great feedback! I appreciate it
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    Hey Marl, I'm glad to see you back. I think you have been given great pointers and I know with the suggested execises that you will see progress. The fact that you can hear the problem and are exploring solutions shows a humble disposition and that you are educable. these are your best attributes to gaing greater success. The only thing I can add is to relax before you practice. Take some deep sighs,(i.e. diaphragmatic deep breaths) 4-5 times. Fill your lungs to full capacity then exhale with your mouth wide open. This will give you a detox, (i.E. to get rid of CO2 and an increase O2) and promote a longer ability to sustain. I do these execises several times daily.
    Best Of Regards to you!
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  8. #18
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornyandy View Post
    I always think of my tongue as a valve shutting off and opening the airway but the airstream from "down below" is always constantish, for me the breath and diaphram diafgram diaghram (dam it "gut" how do you spell that word) control volume, smoothness etc and the tongue only controls articulation. Some people come into problems when the tongue actually initiates each note, try playing long note exercise without using the tongue to initiate the sound and then feeling that smoothness in you playing

    Hope this helps

    Diaphragm. I think that's spelled right. Whoever came up with spellings for the English language was not a nice person.


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  9. #19
    Utimate User kingtrumpet's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    Mark -- of course people love to disagree with me, BUT the air flow is consistent not only when you hear the sound coming out of the bell --- BUT ALSO when you "feel" your aperture and it's consistent buzz for all notes. YES -- the air changes for different notes, but if you "are in tune with your body, and everything that is going on with it" --- you can probably feel the air passing through your aperture. You can "feel the buzz" so to speak. And when the "buzz" in the aperture feels the same on all notes --- then , by George, I think you got it.
    know your body, feel the vibrations through the aperture --- that will help you "feel the good air, and the good support, and the consistency of it all"
    WOW -- wait to the pros -- get a hold of this one, most of them are so used to this "scenario" that they probably don't feel the air anymore. that somehow reminds me of the late great NASCAR racer - Dale Earnhart, and he used to say that winning the race in Daytona and other large racetracks was because he "could feel the air", the draft created by other cars, he felt the air, to know where to be for the best passes on the track. or so he used to say.

    Feel the air Mark -- Feel the air!!!!!
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  10. #20
    Utimate User turtlejimmy's Avatar
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    Re: Understanding Air Flow?

    The physical sensation you're looking for could be a kind of "gentle physical squeeze around the lower chest area". That's exactly how my singing coach described the feeling that goes with a small amount of compression that singers need, so that when they sing a word, threre is a little bit of air that they had been holding back. He said that, as a singer, you never want to start singing from a compression-less place. Same with trumpeting, only the air flow is even more compressed, and so the physical sensation should be easier to feel. Check it out.


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    Last edited by turtlejimmy; 08-30-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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