All this introspection stuff (magnifying glass) has me facing three interlinked issues all at once:
1. I have a very longstanding problem of ALWAYS holding my tongue arched high – even when playing lower notes. This leaves little to no room to be able to arch higher (for high range notes). How do I quit doing this?
2. K-modified tonguing is what I’ve done for a very long time. (I’m guessing this may have come about – in part – due to my high tongue arch position.) Changing to something that actually helps me keep a lower/more relaxed tongue position would be helpful.
3. On top of all this is, I’m changing my embouchure to the milk spout.
Put all this together and it’s nothing short of ugly. Any and all ideas would be immensely appreciated! Especially regarding #1 and #2. (But please, have mercy any don’t send ideas/suggestions that read like a doctoral thesis. I have ADHD and really long responses will have me screaming while bashing my head against the wall!)
This is Hajo,
maybe your tongue is to stiff 🤔
Do you know flutter tongue?( see my post)
If yes you can loose your tongue more and more with that.
There is a second exercises I know specially for the tongue.
It is called Belcanto. It is a tongue exercises without trumpet.
If you like I can explain 😉
Hopefully that can help you
Tongue isn’t stiff. I can flutter tongue and do any other type of articulations as well. I think I have watched every video by Greg on articulation and did the whole “Ruby Fundamentals – The Alphabet” as it’s a very good diagnostic tool. Thanks for the suggestion though, Hajo.
Sorry to hear of your struggles. I too am working to change embouchure settings to a more Windworks “Milkspout” setting. After a lesson with Greg, he noticed my jaw was closing and this was causing me trouble with lower note sound and resonance. I am currently working to engrain a lower more open jaw into my Windworks process practice but am still a “work in progress” and have a distance to go yet.
That being said I am wondering if a focus on a jaw down/open teeth position would open up your oral cavity to allow more room to lower your tongue arch. I do not use KMT tonguing but tried to emulate it and found a lower jaw did free up my tongue to drop more easily from an arched setting.
Just a thought and a suggestion.
Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress.
Hi, Pat. It sounds like there are some similarities between us, but for me it’s higher notes where I experience the most problems keeping jaw down and teeth apart. I’m having no success getting away from decades of too high tongue arch and that arch always combined with closing up space between teeth. Add to that the embouchure change and I can’t figure out which way to go. Lower the jaw, quit with the tongue arch, change the embouchure and maybe change my style of tonguing all at once? That’s actually four things, each one affecting the other three. Yeah, I’ve clearly been working too hard at trumpet playing for a very long time. This is definitely confusing.
I am so sorry that you have that problems although you work so hard on your trumpet.
May that suggestion can help you.
I learned to play with milk spout( embouchure 2.0). But when you hold the bell of your trumpet as high as you do without milk spout ( 1.0 embouchure) I made the experience that to much pressure on the upper lip close your embouchure to much.
Please try to experience with the angle of your trumpet. Bell high, bell lower.
It changed at lot in my sound and my made my playing more efficient.
Maybe it helps you?
Best regards and good luck
Many years ago, when I was preparing for a symphony career, along came pieces like Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade with it’s very fast double and triple tonguing speeds. To get there, I altered my tonguing style to high and forward. and that position stuck with me for all of my playing.
Tongue arch as high as I was doing it isn’t too harmful when most classical music barely gets you to high C above the staff. But, higher notes had me forcing air past my too high tongue (Valsalva Maneuver).
Then, last year, I got Embouchure Focal Dystonia and my playing fell completely apart. My normal playing range to Eb above the staff – gone. Issues I had never known before arose. Most annoying was constantly hearing throat tension noises and feeling that vibration even when playing below the staff. Flexibility was shot and my range maxed out at top line F with a Dystonia-caused tight tremor – sounds like a nervous shake.
Greg Spence and Windworks methods to the rescue – and his infamous magnifying glass thing. Trying to figure out 3-4 issues recently (and all at once) wasn’t working for me, so I decided to started experimenting with tonguing styles.
From an online search, a website said the lowest tongue position is to say “too” (two). “Too” also conveniently sets up the milk spout embouchure while also dropping the jaw position. I feel like I hit the jackpot! Throat tension sounds stopped, the milk spout has became easier to set, and my range is going up. Also less Dystonia tremor. Jackpot!
I still have a very long way to go with passive vs active and learning shape for every note, but what a relief it is to finally experience a big step forward! I think I’ll go back to Largo now to start laying in a new playing foundation.
Glad to hear of your breakthrough, Janet. Sounds like the lower jaw setting may work for you after all. Interesting how the word “too”, which Greg demonstrates constantly without aids, plus with visualizer and mouthpiece, may be the key for you.
Good luck and please keep us posted on your progress.