Weekly Trumpet Tips 9/27/11

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 – Air Usage & Efficiency

Our instrument of choice demands a lot of energy.  If we fail to put the necessary energy into the instrument, other energy sources will be utilized and drained!

What I mean by this is very simply that if we don’t use our air we are left to use our lips to produce sound, change in register, volume, and even our flexibility.  Think of it like this… you have a main battery cell that lasts for hours, and you have a secondary – much smaller battery that wears down in minutes when a full load is put on it.

Proper breathing and pushing air with your body is the larger main battery… the lips can be considered the smaller battery.

I had written about this a few weeks ago, but have since been utterly surprised (yet again) as to the problems that develop from a lack of air usage.  The most dramatic of the problems include fatigue, range compromise, tone problems, flexibility, and poor tuning.  There are far more problems, but these seem to be the most common and most detrimental to actual playing.

Whether you’re playing 1 note, or a 16 bar passage – ALWAYS take a full breath.  This does NOT mean to gasp in air into your chest.  This DOES mean to allow your stomach to push out so that you can get air as low into your lungs as possible.  Breathe comfortably… now for the most important part past the breathing.  Try to keep your lips out of the equation.  Set a small aperture and keep the lips from tensing and loosening as much as possible.  To ascend – always remember that this requires faster air – not more… by keeping the compression level up, you’ll ascend much more easily.

Tip #2 – Low Energy = Off night!

Alright – now that we’ve discussed the air issue above, it’s important to realize that when you start playing properly on a regular basis (using your air in the right manner) it’s taxing on your whole body.  No no – this is a GREAT thing!  Because your body will far outlast your lip muscles any day!

Plenty of liquids (water), plenty of rest, and physical exercise along with a healthy diet works well for me…

When you’re exhausted physically it’s tough to play the right way…


All The Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas Layin’ In The Sun,
Talkin’ ‘Bout The Things They Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda Done…

But All Those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas All Ran Away,
And Hid From One Little Did.

Shel Silverstein
1930-1999, Poet, Singer-Songwriter, Cartoonist and Author

Have a GREAT week!