Breath support for trumpet

All registers are not the same. They respond differently to breath support and require different treatment to speak well. It isn’t as much breath support as the CHANGE in breath support that helps us to play. Low notes respond better with no support and high notes need a lot. It is a sliding scale between these extremes. I have nothing against the wedge except that it takes a long time to learn. So I teach the support that the wedge was based on. Relax the stomach muscles. Tensing the stomach muscles does NOT create a smaller body cavity or pressurize the lungs to any great extent. 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 […]

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Breathing for trumpet playing

I have noticed that many people pull their lips apart or out of the mouthpiece when breathing for trumpet playing. This pulls the lower lip slightly out of the mouthpiece and for some it looks like this. The lower lip can not go back to its normal playing position. So it tries to continue playing by rolling the soft inside tissue into the hole that was made during the breath. That not only looks vastly different from this normal shot but also affects tone, range, endurance. Make sure you are NOT destroying your embouchure when breathing for trumpet playing. Some will take their first breath and then set so they are doing greatbut then when they breathe the embouchure changes. Here is one reason why that happens.The mouthpiece takes up about half of our overall lip length. When we try to corner breathe through both sides we stretch the lipsinto […]

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Adam & Weast test results

Experiments can be setup to prove something, to disprove something or to find out something.A trumpet professor at Indiana U, Bill Adam, did some experiments a few years ago with an air gun. He stretched a piece of leather and secured it very tightly over the mouthpiece of a trumpet. He then poked a tiny hole in the center which serves as the aperture. Then he used a compressor which blows highly accelerated air across the hole in the leather. He said it produced an extremely loud and high note, much like an air horn. He concluded that the sound produced by a trumpet is the result of sympathetic vibrations that are setup in the tubing. The more the air is accelerated the easier it should be to produce high notes. Mr. Adam did a great deal for trumpet playing but he was not using good scientific principles. Mr. Adam […]

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Breath Control, Tongue Arch & Pivot

This will pertain to breathing and maintaining an open airway. I will start out with a concept that several may disagree with. All I ask is that you consider what I’m telling you. The diaphragm is called an involuntary muscle. It works without us thinking about it . It works when we are asleep. It can help us sneeze or cough. We can however, exert some control over it. We CAN hold our breath , take a breath when we want, take a short gasp or a long deep breath. This indicates a measure of control. In as much as trumpet playing IS AIR and breath control then working on this major source of our breath is vital. There are several Yoga exercises that are excellent as is timed breathing while walking or jogging. The airway must always be open both in inhaling and in playing. One problem is posture. […]

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Embouchure / buzzing

Don’t most of you guys tweak your embouchures to get those notes? I don’t want to do that. I just want to blow and push the valves. I’m not exactly sure what is meant by tweaking to get notes. If you are playing a g to play a f you only have to push a valve. (NOT) The pressing the valve idea works on a very basic level. We strive to make every note match in sound quality and to be in tune. THIS REQUIRES TWEAKING EVERY NOTE. Some of these are done with the chops, some with the air, some with the tongue level and some using all three. But every note is tweaked. If you mean some kind of embouchure shift. Then I can tell you that I don’t shift my embouchure. It is the same from one end to the other. Most people who play with a […]

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Resistance in horns

Is there a tactic for these high note artists? Like a common resistance source? NO. There MUST be resistance somewhere in the system inorder for the notes to come out. However; there are several different ways to do that. The biggest problem I see everyday is that so many people mismatch their embouchure/mouthpiece/trumpet. They may even take a lesson here and there. But they jump from one end of the spectrum to the other. I get email from people who studied a closed aperture embouchure and try to use what they heard at a Shew clinic. Or some who study an open aperture embouchure and try something that Callet says. Again these people are mismatching techniques that CAN’T work together. If you are determined to be an open aperture player you need to work that approach and no other. If you opt for a closed setting don’t ask spread aperture […]

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