Air: The real trumpet octave key

  There are 2 kinds of compression involved in trumpet playing. One is concerned with breath control. And the other has to do with the embouchure. We all know that high notes require more support (compression) than low notes. This need increases with the range. A low c needs x amount. A middle c needs 2X , high c 4X and super c needs 8X the support that low c needs to sound. Along with this added air compression is a need to increase the lip compression to fight the air stream and produce the higher notes. If we blow a fast airstream against lips set for a low c then a low c comes out. ( Most of the time Look at overblowing the octave at the bottom of this message.) There are several systems taught here. The main point being that the lips need to form a smaller […]

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Range, Buzzing, Air

I can buzz high but I can’t play high. What’s wrong? That is way too much buzzing. Most people buzz to learn a close aperture lip setting and for a little lip strength. That takes weeks not years. If you can buzz a double c then you should be able to play a triple c. There are a couple of reasons why you can’t. 1. Too muscle based. Air is the # 1 tool of a brass player. 2. Compression + compression + mouthpiece pressure = NO aperture for the air to go through. Basicly the tight muscular chops create such a small lip aperture that any other help closes and seals them. The pressure needed for a seal between the lips and the mouthpiece is not a lot but it WILL have some affect on the lips. Added to that the air column needed to play high is trying […]

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Open Airway

How can I keep my airway open? The airway must always be open both in inhaling and in playing. One problem is posture. I’ve seen many experienced players slumped over while jamming. I’ve seen them with their heads down and their arms against their ribcage. If we give this its proper importance then we see that these things WILL lead to a closed throat, shallow breaths and poor support. If the jaw is pushed forward slightly this will cause the throat to be more open than it normally is. Try it. Move the jaw forward slowly and check if you can feel your throat open up. Think of the effect that can have on your tone. The more forward jaw position will also make your lower lip take on more of the workload. This increases endurance (after you get used to it). Another key feature in maintaining an open airway […]

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