Clint Pops McLaughlin.

Trumpet Articles

My trumpet teaching, and books have been mentioned and quoted in dissertations, magazines, other books, web sites and even youtube videos.



















Tips and gratuities for trumpet help

Trumpet tipsHow to improve usable range & endurance quickly.

free lessonAIR not lips.

breath controlBreath Control, Tongue Arch & Pivot.

mouthpiecesPicture showing the difference between buzzing a low C and a high C.

buzzing and rangeBuzzing, Air and RANGE.

buzzingDo we buzz when we play? - How buzzing helps your playing.

embouchures An overview of Farkas, Maggio, Stevens, Superchops and Lip Buzzing; Trumpet embouchures.

lip compressionArch vs compression vs tension vs aperture.

Flip Oakes Wild ThingWild Thing review.

mouthpiecesMark Curry Trumpet Mouthpieces.

buying a hornWhat trumpet should I buy?

instrument design Trumpet and mouthpiece design.

mouthpiece sizesBach vs. Schilke mouthpiece sizes.

Practice schedule Practice schedule for Arban, Clarke and Schlossberg.

Playing Problem ChartPlaying Problem Chart.

braces Braces.

bad daysWhy do I have bad days?

registersNaming the C's by register.

Adam & WeastAdam & Weast test results.

Don 'Jake' Jacoby Tell me about Don 'Jake' Jacoby.

History of the TrumpetHistory of the Trumpet.


Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin

All content copyright protected from 1995 to date.


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Trumpet playing tips.

Why is there air in your sound?

This is THE easiest question to answer. No gray areas with this one.

Sound IS vibrations.
Air in the sound IS caused from too big an aperture for the note/volume we are playing.
What happens is that some of the air gets through the hole without touching any lip tissue and doesn't get put into vibration. So it sizzles right through the sound.

Air in the tone goes hand in hand with every bad thing that can happen. Not being able to play soft cleanly or at all, poor range, poor endurance, excessive mouthpiece pressure.......

All BECAUSE the aperture is too big.
Soft playing makes the aperture smaller.

Here are some causes of an airy sound:
A shallow mouthpiece causes this because you bottom out and it spreads the center of the chops.
Fatigue causes it because the chops don't stay together and they spread.
Moving the lower lip out of the mouthpiece when you breathe also causes this.

Click here for trumpet tips on breathing without changing embouchure or altering the sound.

Shows in pictures how this happens and how to fix it.
More air usage HIDES it because you are now making the air compress to get through the lips, this is why we never really hear airy tone when playing loud but often do when playing soft.

Different teachers use different things to get through this. I use several but some are easier to explain in a post than others.
Lip buzzing a few minutes a day can help focus the aperture.
Mouthpiece buzzing can also help.
Soft (at a whisper) playing will force you to work on the focus that you currently lack.
Other more physical approaches (embouchure change, lip curl...) will upset your daily playing for a while and should only be tried as a LAST resort after giving the other ideas a few months to work.

Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin

Trumpet trumpet lessons and trumpet books.

Copyright protected from 1995 to date.