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Trumpets?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Sonorous, Oct 27, 2004.


  1. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    How do trumpet players play all the notes? I know there are little button type things that they press down, but aren't there just three on most of them? That would only leave 8 possible combinations. So what else do they do?

    Is it a voice thing?
     
  2. It's mostly in the mouth.
     
  3. spyingcracker

    spyingcracker

    May 27, 2004
    I used to play trumpet in band, and when I chose it, I thought it would be easy for the same thing you're thinking. Man, was I wrong! You're right, there are only a few combinations, but to reach higher and lower notes, you have to use the muscles in your lips to vary their vibration, which changes notes beyond the range of using the keys alone. Hitting those high notes really takes some skill.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Lip pressure and airstream control. It's actually not all that different from singing.
     
  5. 5stringDNA

    5stringDNA

    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    haha.. not all that different from singing if you forget about how sore your lips get after a good practice ;). In reality you only use about 5 of the key combination regularly. As said, it is all in teh lips. The more you blow and the tighter the lips, the higher the the note.(man did that sound wrong) It requires some real acrobatics.
    I played trumpet for about 4 years, just plain got sick of it. I hated all the blowing garbage.
     
  6. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi.

    You know how to play harmonics on your bass' open strings, right? It's the same principle. Naturally, the trumpet can give the harmonics based on Bb (C for the trumpeter). Without pressing any valve and loosening your lips the most you can, you get the lowest Bb in that position (like playing an open string). Tight your lips a bit more (valves keep the same) and get the next harmonic. Tight a little more... and so forth.

    The valves act as if you were playing false harmonics in your bass. I don't know the valve combinations of a trumpet, but I'll try to explain it with the slide trombone, which works the same: With the slide closed, you get the Bb harmonics progression with every tightening of your lips: Bb, F, Bb, D, F, Ab, Bb, C... When you put the slide in the next position, the same relationship is transposed one semitone lower: A, E, A, C#, E, G, A, B... and so forth until you reach the last position: 7th, the slide all the way out. So the lowest note you can get in a trombone is an E: Being the closed slide the first position with a Bb as the base note, move down six positions (semitones) more and you get an E.

    There are eight possible positions in the trumpet (including the no-valves one) and they work the same, but again, I don't know the combinations. Playing high pitched notes in a brass instrument is a very demanding task because you must tight your lips so much in order to get a thin air column that vibrates at a high pitch. Although I don't play any wind instrument I love brass, specially the darkest ones: Trombone, French Horn (The most difficult instrument to play along with the oboe according to the Guinness Records book) and Tuba, but I think they're very, very demanding instruments in terms of endurance.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Good post dude. I never knew that, very interesting.
     
  8. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    +1

    trumpet is my main axe
     
  9. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I get tons of tones with my butt trumpet and it doesn't even have any buttons at all.

    brad cook
     
  10. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    as long as you use the correct fingering and pucker up just right

    ;)
     
  11. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Hey, thanks for all the excellent replies guys. Especially Alvaro, that helped a lot.
     
  12. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    what's wrong with mine and brad's? didn't it help at all?

    ;)
     
  13. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Ah yes, they provided comic relief which is also very important.

    I've even got a new sig.
     
  14. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    dam texans
     
  15. I played all through high school and still mess around on my ole silver every now and then. It works just like those before me said. I remember being first trumpet for most of my high school years, having to play the highest notes, working my mouth muscles to the limit. Id come home after practice with "broken" lips. But i do enjoy the instrument.
     
  16. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Hey now...ain't no fingering goin' on back there!

    brad cook
     
  17. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Hmmm...I bet them trumpeters are good kissers. Strong lips, and whatnot.


    But yeah, I have total respect for anyone who can play brass well. It's so much more difficult than bass, as are woodwinds. Woodwinds are just ridiculous. All those frickin' keys.
     
  18. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Does that mean you have total respect for janitors and valets as well?

    brad cook
     
  19. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Intensely. How the hell do you remember what goes where?
     
  20. And I play all three of those. Of those, French Horn is the hardest because its just so freak'n screwed up. It probably didn't helped that I played a single shot horn. Tuba comes in second among those because it takes A LOT of air to play Tuba.