Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

Daniel Louis Duncan, Trumpet

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Instinct Response part deux

I will address many instinct response issues ongoing.  Next, let's talk about multi-tasking.  It's a BIG asset for musicians.  Whether you are a natural or not there are things you can do to improve your abilities in this arena.
Assigning the task of rhythm solely (pun intended!) to the foot is vital for the trumpeter for two reasons.  Tapping your foot rhythmically and coordinatingyour release of the tongue together calms the instinct responses and allows the brain to focus better on other tasks.  What does that mean?  I'll do my best to explain because we will get into territory that is somewhat unexplainable to the sceptic because it is not tangible to the efact seeker.
Tap your foot to a consistent rhythm of about quarter equals 80.  Make sure you keep your heel locked to the floor and only move the first 1/4th to 1/2 of your upper foot.  The problem I find with most is the emphasis is too much on hanging the foot up in mid air too plong before coming down.  Think of delaying the movement of the foot up so you have to rush to get it down on time to the beat. This is "he be je be wise" a big deal!  You'll see me use that word a lot, so get used to it:-)  When you have a good grasp on this when you play, you will notice it has an impact on your focus of moving the air forward (every little thing makes a difference).
Now, once you feel you have mastered a good tap, take a deep breath and set up air compression.  What do I mean by that?  This is controversial stuff, so just please try it for a while and see if things help you.  I believe that the tongue acts like a valve releasing air much like an air compressor.  For an example, blow up a balloon to it's capacity, hold the opening closed, then release small amounts of air.  You should get a steady high pitched note.  stop, then release again.  Same note.  A compressor works the same way.  Fast moving air that is stopped and released once you hold down the valve.
Now, with the trumpet and your new mastery of foot tapping, count 4 beats inhaling deeply and fast on beats 2 and 3 using an "Oh" syllable (it may be a lot more air intake than your used to).  On beat 4 you will set up your compression with the tongue forward acting like a gate with the tip forward thinking of pronouncing the letter D (this should put the tongue in the right position).  Now comes the dicey part!  The right compression comes from a balance of the tongue pressing against the bottom back of the top teeth, not pushing too hard with the volume of air you just inhaled, and keeping the throat relaxed.
The foot and the tongue should acted to total solidarity at this point starting and ending (yes ending) together.  Once you have release the fast moving air with the tongue moving back only enough to let air through.  This is VITAL because our tongue naturally lies back too far for proper air control.  Then make sure the middle of the tongue drops down tip staying as forward as possible.  Say the word "dHOT" over and over again.  If the air pressure stays fast you should notice the pitch from beginning to end is consistent.  I would suggest trying this just on middle g starting with half notes, then quarters, then eighths.  While this is extremely difficult to verbalize on paper I hope this will give you some idea of how the air and tongue can work together to give you dramatic results.
More later.....

I use Richard Shuebruk Graded Lip and Tongue Trainers for Brass Instruments published by Carl Fischer "Tongue Training Grade 1" page 2 and 3 for working on this method.  If you read the top paragraph on page 2 he explains the same process as "like spitting a seed from the tip of the tongue".

Find Parts I,  III,  and IV  of this topic by tapping on the number.
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