Weekly Trumpet Tips 4/17/12

The Shadow

Welcome to Weekly Trumpet Tips:

Please always feel free to respond / comment on any of the tips listed in these weekly posts. Your input may help clarify details for someone else!

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Here Are your Weekly Tips:

Tip #1 – Split Notes (Inspired by Martin Sanders)

Split notes are something we’ve all had to contend with at one time or another in our performance / practice.  I’ve found that when I split notes, it’s typically caused by tiring chops and my futile attempt to maintain control.  I have found (for myself) that by trying to keep the aperture small and focussed without tensing things, I split or crack less notes.

There have been times that my chops were really dry and unresponsive as well… this too can cause split or cracked notes.  Again, I believe that by trying to keep things flexible (inside the cup), your ratio of split notes will dramatically decrease.

Tip #2 – Flugel Doubling (Inspired by Richard)

To be a working trumpet player in nearly any capacity, we have all been faced with playing flugelhorn.  There are a few MAJOR things that I have learned about doubling on a flugel so that I create that lush beautiful sound that they are known for, but yet not cause issues for when you have to switch back to trumpet.

The first HUGE mistake that I made was attempting to play flugelhorn the same way that I play trumpet.  Basically being the bull in the proverbial China shop!  Even with the deep “V” style cup, this will cause your sound to have less of a lush characteristic and start to give you pitch issues.  There’s not much worse than an out of tune flugelhorn!  When I play flugel, I again use a small aperture setting, and try to really “listen” to my tone color… being cautious to not over blow the horn.  I also tend to set the tuning a little sharp as it tends to do a lot more sitting and will most likely be cold with little time to warm the horn back up.  Again, using your ears to really  listen to pitch will help this.

The second huge mistake that I made was playing a different size diameter cup than what I do on the trumpet.  This would cause fatigue problems (especially if I had to spend extended time on the flugel).  I have since matched my diameter sizes exactly.

Disclaimer:  There ARE those players that can play different size diameter cups and be just fine… I happen to have learned that I am NOT one of those guys.

Thanks so much for following the tips… as stated above, if there’s something you’d like addressed via the tips, please write in!

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire
1694-1778, Writer and Philosopher

Have a GREAT week!