Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2008 09:22:23 -0400
From: Glenn Bengry <>
Subject: RE: [TPIN] Teaching advice needed please


The straw trick is similar to this basic tone production method which can me used by beginners all the way to pros.  I suppose if its good enough for Mendez  It's good enough for me. This is part of a post that comes up if you google my name in the TPIN archives  called Relaxation/strenghth/caruso/20 min g/ 1 min g

It is very helpful for those of us who press too hard, have our lips too far apart, have limited range, are getting a grunty sound.    If you can produce a sound this way you will be more likely to do so with a relaxed air flow, lips together without being too tense (tight), and a nice easy pleasant characteristic trumpet sound. Here is a portion of it:

Mendez approach
Based on some things I learned from Mendez' good friend and section mate at the Fox Theater here in Detroit, Emil Gowatch (who was the one who plucked Mendez out of the factory and got him in at the Fox. Thank you, Emil.), and also gleaned from Mendez approach (Gowatch and Mendez went around the country seeking out the great players for help with their problems. Schlossberg, Earnest Peachin.....) then I added my own stuff, I offer the following:

Blow gently through the mouthpiece, lips in a general mmmmmmm position but very loose, mouthpiece very lightly touching the lips(barely) NO SOUND YET, all you impatient trumpeters, WAIT. You don't want to get a sound until you've blown in this fashion probably between 10-20 times give or take a little. (Mendez says to blow 2-3 minutes just air) You want the air to FLOW THROUGH the mouthpiece as easily as any exhalation Repeat this step with a VERY SMALL increase in air speed. Hold the lips together a LITTLE more firmly. Each time, you will be a little faster and firmer. the lips will gradually begin to gently "grip" the mouthpiece with somewhat equal contact around the whole circle of the mouthpiece. the mouthpiece does NOT hold the lips in place (our biggest hurdle perhaps). The mouthpiece "catches" the vibrations. So the chops come TO the mouthpiece, not the mouthpiece TO the chops(and usually too much against the chops. The trumpet beast makes us press too hard The horn is only a resonator and amplifier essentially. It amplifies what it catches from the lips.At some point as you make these tiny tiny adjustments the speed and firmness will be at the point where a vibration will spontaneously happen. It may only be a short vibration which will disappear right away. You are now extremely close to a balance/efficient point. Now speed up your air a little more and you will likely get a longer buzz(its tempting to abandon your perfect spot and immediately go back to the "old way". Resist if you can. Once you  get here, you are real close to YOUR magic spot. You should now be real close to being able to maintain this easy, flowing, light pressure sound as a long tone. See if you can maintain the balance between air speed, embouchure firmness and mouthpiece contact/pressure. This is the basis for your own tone production balance (you have to find that spot every day).