WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Challenging question on Shape Reply To: Challenging question on Shape


Excellent, Miguel.

There was mention on another thread about whistling. Greg provided some explanation on how that relates to playing. I believe he indicated it wasnt a direct parallel, but there are some commonalities.

I too have always whistled easily and have used that to think about playing. I like your points above. Less is more with most things, I believe, with playing trumpet. Its important to not over think what the aperture corners are doing or need to do to change pitch.

If we dont change shape or reduce the aperture at all and just blow more air, it will just get louder.

There are times when it feels as though I’m not changing the shape of the aperture and just thinking higher and the upper notes speak, but the movement is subtle and the most efficient is the least movement necessary.

When I ascend and reduce the aperture by tightening the corners inward horizontally from the sides (not clamping top to bottom), my lips do push against /into the mouthpiece in a forward motion. The jaw lowers a bit as well which helps make room a bit / allows for an opening wide enough to maximize resonance / volume of the higher notes and helps keep the aperture centered on the mp/air column I think.

Some describe the aperture corners as the ligature on a reed–we need tension at the outside of the lips to seal the mouthpiece, the rest of the lips need to be relaxed and in the air column to vibrate as freely (quickly) as possible.

I used to thin out my lips and clamp them down, tightening them to try to secure a note. That can work a bit in the lower and middle registers, but your lips will only vibrate so fast that way. So just because youre getting a vibration, doesnt necessarily mean youre not clamping.

One thing I used to do a lot in the beginning, was to release passive air into the horn then pull the horn off the MP as I played to see if there was an active buzz. No buzz with passively released air can be an indication that youre not clamping, and vice versa.

I think Greg recommends seeing at what point things cutoff for us and working there–thats the point that we are tensing too much, etc.

Keeping the tongue tip behind the lower teeth is referred to by some as “anchor tonguing” or modified KMT and has been employed by some of the greatest players in the world, including Greg Spence and Herbert L. Clarke.

My $.02 FWIW.

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