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Q&A from emails I receive

gRawlin - I have a question about why my sound is clear in the staff and raspty above the staff? I really have been enjoying your videos on UTUBE

Usually a raspy sound is caused by the top lip "chasing" the air into the cup and the inner red is vibrating out and back more than up and down. This usually occurs when your teeth are closing or the bottom teeth are sliding back being and under the top teeth.

The easiest way to correct is to play second line G very softly with your teeth open and your lips gently closed and your air going out parallel to the floor (not pointed down)  Play this soft G for 20 minutes first thing in the day about 3 times a week and you will begin to train your chops to maintain this aperture even in the higher range.
My DVD shows all of this in detail:)

Hi George,
I don't know if it's valuable to you or not to hear feedback from a loyal student.  It seems like it might be.  When I have sent you specific observations/questions you have replied with some of the most perfect pieces to my trumpet-playing puzzle...and then I've seen you tweak what you share publicly a bit I think...

Here are some recent observations of mine:

When I've set to work on improving my trumpet-playing posture I learned something.   I had developed a poor posture that caused a restriction in my airway.  It probably gave me a short-term boost by speeding up the air and allowed me to play with less effort within very firm limits.  It allowed me to play pretty well to a certain range, and then I hit a brick wall until I basically overhaul this.  I'm aware of it now and can deal with it.
Your video intro to PowerPlay that you had up briefly on YouTube is great.  You played to high G with one hand, then played up to B with both hands.  You explained how you produce the sound on those two shiny spots on your lips and the only discomfort you experience at all is a tingle on the outside of your lips.  Well, I got that going pretty well to about high E.  Then it is hit or miss above that.  I thought "what am I missing?".

 I watched the video again, saw how easy it should be, and then you mentioned something about learning to control the aperture size.  That's it.  I was missing that.  I broke the high F barrier and a bit beyond last night with more control and ease than normal.  I got a taste of what is possible to continue to develop that aperture control.

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! 

Hi George,
 I can't tell you how much I appreciate your info that you are sharing, and how much it's helping me.  The most recent tip about finding the high point on your dental structure and centering the mpc there was interesting.  Honestly I have not had much time to fully wrap my head around that one yet, but I know that my lower tooth just right of center tips out quite a bit.  I had already pretty much established my mpc set centered there, subconsciously apparently.

 I experimented a bit on both sides of it and ended up making an ever-so-slight further adjustment.  The tip that I found to be just great was the one before that--the "dead face" tip.  I find that many times I warm up good and start a gig good, but tighten up my face as the gig wears on. 

Then I end up forcing the notes out a bit by grunting them out with my air to overcome my unresponsive chops.  I know you noticed that when I had an in-person lesson with you in April that I have a tendency to be pushing my notes out with force.  That's getting much better now.  I remind myself on the gig to let my face feel like it's going to slide off :^).

 ... I've been spending more time doing very high statics, and letting the statics flow into notes to get myself used to having a very short section of lip vibrate freely at very high frequencies.  I had a few double C's start to transition from squeaks to notes the past week.  I am starting to chip away at the barrier I've had to having high F and above become usable range on gigs.  I'm 50 years old now.  Better late than never!

 On Oct 8, 2009, at 1:44 AM, p uppman wrote:

Can any one tell me from experience, if removing the tuning slide brace (the only one) would help give an already fine trumpet, a little more zing?!

Or, will intonation etc.. be affected?

Thanks in advance.

The horn in question which I use every day on gigs is a Kanstul made Besson 709.

Re: Tuning Slide Brace Removal

It will add a little more spread, and not inhibit some mid-highs as a brace will, but projection into the room can suffer as well as the fact that it will allow your chops to chase the air a bit more into the cup giving the illusion of a bigger sound but opening the door to un-even pitch - generally flatter in the upper and sharper in the lower. On a Bach removing just the brace on the slide (not the crook) definitely will help all around. However when there are no braces the intensity of the sound and pitch will suffer a bit.
This is why many now prefer the Schilke with the brace. As I have done - pix on we site

The best way to test is to play in a large auditorium and listen to what returns to your ears. Un-solder the brace so you can listen with and without it.

? Can you tell me which notes I need to use slides for?

Every horn is different but I will give you a chart showing the general tuning accepted by most manufactures:

Use your triggers or hooks to bring these rouge notes into pitch. It takes quite a bit of practice, but if your ear is good it is easy. Play a drone pitch on a keyboard or device while you practice scales for perfect intonation.

On Sep 23, 2009, at 7:24 PM, Kenny wrote:


Does mouthpiece design have any influence in learning air-play?  I have several mouthpieces and I really can't tell that one makes any difference over another in the air-play way, but then again air-play is new to me so there could be advantages/disadvantages of a mouthpiece.  I will list some of the mouthpieces that I have and if one or two of them stick out as a prime candidates for air-play, please identify them for me.   

Claude Gordon Personal (Brand new by Marcinkiewicz - suppose to be the most accurate recreation of Claude's personal mouthpiece)
Monette MF II
Monette MF III
Bach 3C in Monette Style                                                                        

Marcinkiewicz Bobby Shew 1
Marcinkiewicz Bobby Shew 2
Schilke 6A4A
Schilke 12A4A
GR 64
Northern Brass 63*** (Made by GR)
Dennis Wick ?
Weril W46

they all look pretty good. Whichever rim feels the best, with a cup that sizzles a bit is best for practice. It it responds real quick you will get used to backing off and letting the horn speak in it's own clear timbre. If you play into your music stand and get a good sizzle back you will practice easier and get more done - than trying to overcome some room sounds.
good questions

My new gRawlin Tops are designed for the Air-Play User. #1,2,&3 available in our store now