Trumpet playing and lip skills

Trumpeting lip skills

Yale trombone professor John Swallow noted that brass techniques expanded rapidly in the 20th century due to the innovations of jazz players. Contemporary music for the trumpet makes wide uses of extended trumpet techniques.

Lip skills required are:
  • Flutter tonguing – Roll tip of tongue to make a growling tone, as in the ‘R’ in Spanish. Tongue 100% responsible for this sound.
  • Growling – clinching the back of throat to obstruct air flow – not to be confused with flutter tonguing.
  • Double tonguing: The player articulates using the syllables ta-ka ta-ka ta-ka
  • Triple tonguing: The same as double tonguing, but with the syllables ta-ta-ka ta-ta-ka ta-ta-ka.
  • Doodle tongue: The trumpeter tongues so lightly that the articulation is almost indistinguishable.
  • Split tones: Trumpeters can produce more than one tone simultaneously by vibrating the two lips at different speeds. The interval produced is usually an octave or a fifth.
  • Lip Trill or Shake: By rapidly varying lip tension, but not changing the depressed valves, the pitch varies quickly between adjacent harmonics. These are usually done, and more straight-forward to execute, in the upper register.
  • Glissando: A change in lip tension to slide between notes. Modern repertoire makes extensive use of this technique.
  • Pedal tone: Composers have written for two and a half octaves below the low F#, which is at the bottom of the standard range. Extreme low pedals are produced by slipping the lower lip out of the mouthpiece.
  • Noises: By hissing, clicking, or breathing through the instrument, the trumpet can be made to resonate in ways that do not sound at all like a trumpet. Noises sound a 1/2 step higher than they are notated, and often require amplification to be heard.
  • Experts on ankyglossia

    Most of what I learnt about tongue tie, I got from Brian Palmer and Carmen Fernando. Mothers were the one who informed me that a short tongue can give you very sore and/or bleeding nipples, which no amount of repositioning will fix. Looking at the tongue gives you a few clues, conducting an intra-oral suck assessment enables realistic evaluation of tongue function during the SSB cycle.

    Brian Palmer is a dentist with an interest in sleep apnoea and breastfeeding. He stated at an ABA conference in Hobart, that ‘muscles win over bones every time’. We need babies to use the right muscles for sucking,.

    They should need the ones for biting till they are about 5 months old and interested in solid food.

    Carmen Fernando published a report of her study on some 220 children with tongue tie. One case study was about: A mild tongue tie which proved to be significant – a five year old boy who had 6 months of unsuccessful, speech therapy before someone noticed that he had an uncorrected tongue. Once corrected, his behavioural problems resolved and his speech improved. Her book is called: Tongue tie – from confusion to clarity.

    The Canadian Paediatric Society published a statement on tongue tie, to say that if it creates a functional problem, then it is a problem and correction considered. Paediatrics & Child Health 2002; 7(4), 269-70. Reference No. CP02-02 Index of position statements from the Community Paediatrics Committee Community Paediatrics Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS).

    The Hazelbaker score is useful for diagnosing tongue tie but not as accurate as the sensory nerves of the human nipple. It is not really evidence based practise for a medical practitioner to say he ‘doesn’t believe in tongue tie’ or to look at it on day 1-3 and say ‘That’s shouldn’t be a problem!’. He needs to follow up that advice at 5 years and see if he was right. If it isn’t right – the mother’s nipples will soon let her know!