HBM – Flexibility

Flexibility- the ability to move quickly, freely, and smoothly around the instrument

The problem for many people is not the notes but getting between notes- people usually try too hard and tense too many muscles. Throat closed

Goal:  relax take a full breathe blow freely, biggest problem on trumpet, next on horn

(Tom Stein – trumpeters stiffen against the resistance)

Braces = very bad for slurs

To develop flexibility:

Relaxed air

Lillya – Slippery groove or sweet spot (baseball) = best flexibility – use pitch bends

Slur = moment of change, the time between the notes; listen to the sound between the notes (Finale & Garriton Personal Orchestra – 

  1. Blow through the slur:  keep air going; practice siren on mouthpiece – keep air going between the notes –
  2. Move fast or else you get grace notes; and the horn will fight you:  how can you play G# open?
  3. Glisses are part of classical music as well as jazz

Lip Slurs

People think they’re harder than valve slurs, but they’re actually easier – don’t have to coordinate fingers and lips

BUT, the fingers provide two advantages:  the break in the air stream; timing

Many teachers advocate Ah, Ee

Have the high note air ready on the low note; crescendo – helps slur and is more musical

Jaw must move slightly

Require full flow of air and practice

Start slowly and be sure each note sounds good; let each interval find its own tempo; then gradually speed up


Lip Slur Spring

Skipping overtones

trip to Little Rock through Caddo Valley (drink), Malvern (food), Benton (bathroom) if leave early; no stops if you leave late

Jacoby hand flip; Carmine Caruso (sax)

Can use alternate fingerings to eliminate lip slurs

Valve slurs

Move valves quickly

Arban #9 & #10

Whole-step drills require lip movement; also, valve must be all the way up or down; OR, lip trills, especially on horn

Insist students play what’s on the page:

Students who tongue slurs

Bad slurs and concerts