Date: Thu, 05 Oct 2000 15:06:42 -0400
From: Tim Phillips <>
Subject: Re: [TPIN] Air in sound

This is probably going to be long...

Practicing pedals doesn't necessarily do anything any good, unless they are practiced with the proper things in mind. If there is air in the sound, it is air that is NOT being used to create vibration - or air that is not vibrating (however you want to look at it). There are many possible causes for air in the sound, but I want to talk about pedals...

If you approach pedals by first playing a low C and bending the pitch down to a b or bflat without depressing the valves, you should physically notice a couple of things happening. First, when you bend the note down, the lips should move forward towards the mouthpiece to manipulate the pitch. Secondly, the jaw should drop - or the gap between the teeth should widen. Now, if you will "warm up" the blowing process by trying to blow hot air into the cup, this should also facilitate the lower jaw, open teeth, and forward lips. You may also notice that the inside of the lips comes slightly out in order to keep the aperture closed so a buzz can be sustained. This may require you to place the lips on what feels like an open aperture - but in fact, it will close as the lips come forward. The buzz should then move from the front of the lips - the harder area that is constantly exposed to the open air to the softer more subtle tissues of the inside of the lips. As this move progresses, it will take less effort to start a pitch - for a variety of reasons.

First, keeping the jaw, and tongue lowered will keep a large amount of warm slow air (even though this air is NOT compressed and fast) directly behind the lips: creating a funnel (with the lips forward) so that the maximim air stream at the lips is available with less physical exertion. If the delivery system for the air is restricted, this will require more air pressure behind the stream to raise the pressure at the aperture by a large amount. If the delivery pathway is large, then it takes only a small amount of force behind the large column to create a large increase of pressure at the point of vibration. And where is air "pushed" from? Much farther down the passage. So the more open we keep this passage full of air, the more raw power we have at our disposal - with less effort.

Second, this increase in air power and the exposure of warmer, subtler tissues will allow greater response. These tissues are already "warmed up". A small amount of "horse flapping" can really get the blood flowing!

When you get the chops forward, the jaw and teeth open, then try to bend back up to the low C - using only the air and the forward motion of the chops. If you allow them to collapse back down, you will accomplish little or nothing by practicing bends or pedals.

What I am expereincing is more resonance, a greater dynamic range, more response - especially soft low response (a trumpet playling life long problem for me), and greater endurance because the effort to create vibration is physically less demanding. Some improvments were immediate, some are still developing. I just have to wait and see how it turns out.

BUT! You must have as a guide the SOUND you are producing as the key. The improvment in the low C should be immediatae if you do this correctly. It will take time to transfer this technique higher. - but it is well worth the effort. If you take this slowly, listening to every step of the way, then you can make a change for the better. Make sure you are blowing from deep in your body and not jet streaming the air by constricting the throat, closing the jaw, or raising the tongue. When you play music, none of this physical stuff comes into play - it will interfere with you ability to "tell your story" to your audience.

Eventually, you will want to acheive a pure gliss from low C to pedal and double pedal C and back up. From there you should also be able to move the gliss higher and higher to the other C's. The touch of the mouthpiece is light, because the lips forward are helping create the seal instead of the trumpet being pulled back so much.

I could go into more detail, but I don't want to create another 20+K post. I hope you can find something to use in this. If it does, could you conjure me a cool million dollars??? wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I have noticed that my sound in the lower register has been fuzzy and
> airy. I cant seem to get rid of this problem, it's plaqued me for quite
> awhile. I started having this trouble a few months ago, and I'm having a
> hard time getting rid of it. I've been playing pedal notes everyday, but it
> hasn't seemed to help much. I was wondering if anyone out there in TPIN
> world could help me out, and offer some suggestions on what to do to kick
> this airy tone.
> Thanks in advance,
> Mike Corayer

- --
Tim Phillips