Continuing on my teaching concepts to retrain instinct responses I will focus this post on gravity. Huh???? What does gravity have to do with air flow? A heck of a lot! I like to use the term gravity because I have found that students relate better to the understanding of gravity more than talking just about air flow alone. There are many ways to approach this and it's individual for each teacher/student.
If you think about how you begin a note on the trumpet, say middle g for a whole note, what happens to your air after starting the note (as described in my previous post about set up)? The support drops dramatically. The higher the note the more dramatic the drop. This is where instinct is a problem. Our subconscious focuses on starting but not on ending or as Jim Wilt of the LA Phil says "pinning the line". I like the word "energize".
Think of jumping on a trampoline. Similarly, once you bounce you float until you start to return back down. Imagine starting a note, like the impact on the trampoline and when you feel the air delivery starting to wane (happens shortly after starting, especially on long valued notes) you energize the air keeping the flow moving forward until stopping the note with the tongue acting as a shut off valve, with the end of the note being the most energized. Not with a dramatic "thud", but just to close the fast moving air. This sets your tongue up for the next note to begin without any additional change. Controversial, yes, but does it work. Charlie Schlueter always told me to imagine another note after the end as if you are handing the note off to silence.
I try my best to find the common things that all good teachers seem to focus on and find my own method of how to express the inner workings of air flow and tongue positions.
Intrigued?? Try it. Take some lessons if your in the area or via Skype.
You can access Parts I, II, and IV of this topic by tapping on the number.