WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks The Physics of "you don't need to blow harder" Reply To: The Physics of "you don't need to blow harder"


I have a sensation at times of achieving a pitch, then opening up the aperture a bit and releasing more air through and achieving more resonance. Actually it may not even be increase in air as much as opening the aperture and the resonance increases as I’m not kicking the air or “blowing” when it happens, the air is relatively constant (I believe, if I recall correctly).

But my understanding is that increasing the volume of air will do one of 2 things:

1. It will increase the dynamic volume of the note (i.e. PPP to FFF, etc.)

2. The pitch will go up to a higher harmonic

I believe the difference is the amount of resistance in the embouchure (i.e. tightness in the aperture corners).

Recently, I felt like I kind of had an epiphany / “Coffee Moment” when struggling with my consistency above the staff–sometimes I would have a rich, resonant, full tone up there and other times it would be airy and thin.

I realized my air was not as good as it should have been. And while we shouldn’t overblow and give the instrument more air than it needs for a given dynamic/duration, we need quality air to support the embouchure and obtain/maintain a good balance between the air and aperture corner tension.

I was thinking of things two-dimensionally, forgetting the fact that the dynamic volume was a very important factor. It must be possible to play with resonance at soft dynamics and loud dynamics. We shouldn’t / couldn’t sacrifice the quality of tone just because we’re playing softly or high.

When giving more air support, I guess not volume per se, I was able to increase the resonance and maintain better consistency and resonance of tone above the staff. And it felt optimally efficient as well, like i was supporting my embouchure.

Anyway, if I understand you correctly–you are saying that Shape is the same regardless of the volume or pressure of air for any given pitch. In other words, we don’t need to tighten the aperture more if less air is flowing through the aperture. I was thinking that we could open the aperture more for a given pitch if more air was flowing through–that we were maintaining a balance between Air and Shape, so if we gave more Air then we needed less tension in the Shape.

I understand that less air is required the higher we ascend and that the whole premise of WindWorks is that Shape determines pitch, not air. But isn’t it a relationship between Air and Shape–a balance?

I’m probably over thinking this but want to make sure I understand it. I’ve had good sensations / success lately, but the more I understand what’s going on precisly the more likely I’ll be able to continue moving forward.



Recent replies