Clyde Hunt and the "silent whistle"

Clyde Hunt has recorded a lot of trumpet books like Arban, Charlier, Concone, Hering and also H. L. Clarke's  - 24 Characteristic Studies and Technical Studies.
Recently he published HUNT PLAYS / TEACHES the Haydn Trumpet Concerto.

In the webpage:

you can read the following:

"The First Study (and the rest for that matter) are only secondarily about mastering fingering complexities.
(1) low, low mouthpiece pressure,
(2) pressurizing and "leaning" on the air when  ascending, while playing ppp, and
(3) SMOOTHLY adjusting your focus for each and every tone as it goes whizzing by."

Hunts concept the "silent whistle" is also described:

"Several people have asked for info. re. the "silent whistle", especially as it relates to the Technical Studies. Here's the objective. EVERY note we play has a best setting to insure:accuracy of pitch, purity of tone, and great resonance. Try this experiment: whistle: Middle C (Tu) - G(second line) (tah) - C2(third space) (ta) - E(4th space) (tee). Notice the movement of the tongue in order to assure an accurate, resonant tone. So often we read "play every note with the same lip setting"...this is nonsense. No two notes are best played with the same lip setting, let alone many or all. By silent whistle, I mean for you to follow the moving, melodic line so that the tongue and embouchure are placed in the best possible position, or focus, to best produce the tone in question.

Playing the trumpet accurately and with good resonance (beautiful tone) is contingent upon learning to accurately and efficiently move your "chops" to the correct focus for each individual tone! I call this the "dynamic constant-adjustment embouchure" as opposed to the "static embouchure", where the partials are selected using the forearms to vary the mouthpiece pressure."

"expanding" the exercises of  H.L. Clarke
(In an email, Hunt sent me the folowing:)

I am most imtrigued with the description of "expanding" the exercises of  H.L. Clarke and Schlossberg. For this is exactly what I have done with my recordings of the above.

I suggest the following routine for Clarke's First Study: Play the first exercise, ppp, many times (slowly at first, faster as fingering skills permit). ABSOLUTE MINIMAL Mthpc. PRESSURE. When you have developed as many repetitions as you believe to be possible, continue to develop MORE.

The point is to learn, firsthand, how vital the airstream - how effortlessly this can be done! Mr. Clarke says to "keep the lips moving". I describe that process as the "silent whistle". Essential to these exercises is the compressed airstream and
silent whistle.

When you have moved up chromatically, through exer. # 13, it is time to COMBINE Ex. #1 and #13 AS A SINGLE EXERCISE, within a single breath. Now - go back and treat (2 - 14, 3 - 15, 3 - 16, Etc.) in the same fashion.

When you are able to effortlessly play Ex.# 25, go back and combine nos. 1, 13, and 25 AS A SINGLE EXERCISE - within a single breath!! I believe this EXPANSION principle to be essential. IT IS NOT ENOUGH simply to play the exercises 8va!!

NOW, go ahead and GRADUALLY expand the combinations: (1 - 13 - 25)  (2 - 14 - 26) (3 - 15 - 27)  please notice that 26, 27, 28, etc. are NOT written out. Play them using your ordinary fingerings, so that you will "know where you are".

In my recording, I extended this FOUR way combination to exercises: #1 - #13 - #25 - #37, that is, #25 8va.

We played three versions of the First Etude - each a reflection of the principal of COMBINING octaves withing a single breath, or blow. The last version extends from F# below the staff, to C4. (An octave above "high C". Keep everything soft!!!! - later, as your growing strength allows, you can gradually "step-up" the volume to FFF if you are so inclined.

"Follow" the shape of the moving lines with the silent whistle. The "shape" of the aperture must gradually compressed as you ascend. "Squeeze" the air ever more gradually as you ascend, in order to overcome the increased resistance of the
aperture. Air - air - air - and more air (pressure). This is fundamental! The "static embouchure" (chops in your fore-arms) isn't going to "work" for these "expanded" blows.

If you are an instant gratification person, you will likely have difficulty! IMPATIENCE is truly an enemy of ambition.

Playing the trumpet is little more than singing - using the buzzing lips rather than the vocal chords.

If you can't "buzz" it, you can't play it! (You may be able to squeeze it out - careful, don't loosen your teeth.)

It takes a total dedication and determination to master this most difficult of all instruments - the Trumpet.


Clyde sent this letter to me on Fri, 22 Sep 2000

o.j. 2000