The trumpet is popular for its intense brassy sound. Although there are three separate valves on a trumpet, much of its sound is attributed to lip tension. Using the trumpet correctly does demand strong, well-disciplined lip area. Lip vibrations can seem very complicated at first, but once mastered, they do become 2nd nature.
To play the trumpet, you must pucker your lips in a way that is very equivalent to a puckered kiss. Press your lips to the trumpet mouth piece and "smile" a little. If you blow, creating a vibrating, buzzing, sound with your lips, then the air pressure in your mouth area will push your lips a little bit open. The air flowing through the trumpet produces a sound. The greater the lip tension, the greater the frequency and pitch you will generate. Moving your lips up and down while blowing into the trumpet will create various harmonious notes as well.
When practicing the trumpet, a player should begin by performing through some scales. This will assist improve the players lip area and also help with fingering memorization. After that, the player should move his or her lips up and down to work on strength. Once a player has strong lips, he or she can mix various lip placements along with different valve combinations to create beautiful music. These combinations put together are key to the conventional sound of the trumpet.
Many songs can be performed without even switching any valve combinations, or making use of any valves at all. For instance, "TAPS," that is often played at military funerals or on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, can be played without ever pressing down a single valve. The entire tune is played in the "open" position.
Likewise, nearly every other song or note that is played is done so with at the very least a few valves pressed down. Switching from one note to the other is done by simply moving your lips and pushing various combos of valves. Every individual note has its own preset combination of valves and lip position. In addition to producing different notes, a player's lip area and breath can also be used to play notes even louder or gentler. These crescendos and decrescendos are a vital part of orchestral and marching band pieces. Similarly, if a player moves his or her tongue whilst playing, a distinctive sound is produced.
Generally there are many things needed to be a good trumpet player. Practice is just one of those. Gift is another. Understanding the complexities of playing a musical instrument, any musical instrument, but in this case the trumpet, is one thing that takes time, persistence, work and heart. But perhaps even more, in order to produce a perfect sound from a trumpet, powerful lips are a must.
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