HBM – Relaxation

using minimal effort is the goal of the brass player – only the effort needed should be used – this is rarely the case- it doesn’t fit the brass players personality (die trying) – personality tie in – trumpet players vs. tuba players

effort needed is very small – 10oz. of air pressure for a tuning C distributed across muscle which can generate 100-150 pounds of effort- at most 3 psi can be generated internally- the rest of the effort goes into isometric tension (breathing in while trying to exhale)

How to achieve relaxation:

  1. Breathe , blow through horn, lips around mouthpiece, lips in mouthpiece, play – “drop the air”
  2. Large quantities of air with very little pressure – Harry James and the wet Kleenex; Lillya and the match
  3. Exhale – sad vs. exasperated
  4. Light saber
  5. Think “whoo” – move hand as well
  6. Flow – river, leaf on the river
  7. Faster air
  8. Blow outside the body
  9. Blowing across the room
  10. Arrow across the page
  11. Must also be mentally relaxed
  12. Relax the stomach to relax the throat
  13. Thin air vs. thick air; “keyhole”

Tight sound on technical passages caused by:

1. Insecurity – don’t know, self-doubt

2. Breathe too small.  Technical passage:  tendency is to blow less, rather than more; the blacker, the page the more air; Lillya – we back away from fast notes as young players who are afraid; fast notes require more air, not less

Learn to do it well slowly, then gradually speed up

3. Not thinking musically – must hear pitches with good tone

4. Too tight mental and physical – Slaughter:  don’t over-estimate the difficulty, don’t underestimate ourselves; music may be ugly to look at, but that doesn’t mean it’s hard

Brass instruments “idle” at mf to f so they can balance 100 people; trumpet tone color varies from white with a hint of pink (ppp) to blood red (fff) – you can tell the dynamic level even if the playback equipment is turned down

You must use the proper sound which often requires LOUD playing – “the trumpets are never too loud, the rest of the band is too soft”