I have a brother who sometimes plays trombone club gigs. He tells me the last part of the third 45 minute set is often pretty dicey as far as endurance is concerned.
I’m about to recommend a Windworks trial to him, but wondered the low brass versions of the exercises (like in the Largo stage) carry on through the entire program or, if not, at least through the entire foundation part.
G’Day Greg, every exercise is in treble and bass clef. There are plenty of lower brass players here as the concepts are universal. I look forward to seeing you two argue here on the forum haha.
Hey trombone or bass trombone players, anybody got advice about finding shape in the lower vental and pedal range? Does anybody find the extra resistance that results from engaging the valves to be an issue?
Hey e.heidenheim, I am a bass trombonist. Am I correct in assuming when you say “the vental range” you mean the low range below the bass clef staff with one or both triggers/valves deployed? If so I believe you have to keep the corners of your embouchure firm, this can be counterintuitive as you will probably feel you need to totally relax everything…I feel that the muscles of my embouchure are working harder when I play a low note with one or two valves to counteract the extra back pressure and extra airflow needed to play these notes, more air is needed as you go lower…I find it helps to imagine the lower muscles at the side of my embouchure pushing towards the centre of the embouchure ..in other words, aperture is a bit bigger but the muscles at the side of the embouchure must still be engaged…and Greg’s rule of not pinching the lips together becomes very important down here because the note will not speak at all otherwise, you must keep your jaw open. It is also very important to use the body’s concert Hall as Greg would say, everything in your body below the embouchure must feel relaxed and open. It is tempting to try to force the notes out when you play through the F valve down low and this is exaggerated playing through two valves but you must resist this urge…don’t fight the resistance with tension anywhere apart from the corners of your embouchure.
Hi Andrew, thank you for your reply; it is very helpful. Yes by Vental I mean the low trigger range. I am a bass trombonist too and I’ve always felt that I am working too hard in this range. After eight months of working patiently through the Largo to moderato stage I find that I am finally able to consistently produce sympathetic oscillation on the mouthpiece and lead pipe. I look in the mirror when I play and I finally see the classic look of a successful brass embouchure. It is not something that I am trying to force or manipulate to appear, it simply appears as a byproduct of Greg’s approach. What this has taught me is that my instinct about how the embouchure and oral cavity function in this range was wrong. I think I had this mental picture of a much looser embouchure and an oral cavity that was far too large inside. I love Greg’s mma ah oo because it really shares with all of us how a successful player feels when they play. I understood intellectually that things need to be relaxed and open inside so that the air can make it to the lips but I now realize that I was manipulating and overdoing this way too much, almost like yawning with my lips closed. Your reply is exactly what I needed to hear!