Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Location: Avon, CT
|Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:46 pm Post subject: Notes On Stamp
|I have been encouraged to put these notes on line by janet842 (who has written marvelous articles in this forum entitled "Dissecting Stamp") I hope my notes help people who are interested in using the Stamp method correctly. I highly suggest the "Dissecting Stamp" articles for a more comprehensive insight on his exercises.
Why Warm Up?
Good question. Physiologically, there is really no good reason to warm up your lips. Athletes spend time, before strenuous exercise, stretching to warm muscle tissue. Pre-warmed muscles are not as easily strained or injured when pushed to the limit. When we wake in the morning we have all experienced muscle and joint stiffness that usually goes away as we use and warm our bodies. When we stretch or “warm up”, we are actually getting blood to flow to our muscles, warming them so they can move smoothly and easily without injury. But the muscles in the lips are always “warmed up”. There is constant blood flow to your lips; so technically, these muscles
don’t have to be warmed up.
Furthermore, almost any professional will tell you that he can usually play the trumpet adequately after minute or two of buzzing or easy playing on the instrument. So why spend thirty minutes or more on an elaborate warm up routine? Because one of the hardest things to do on a brass instrument is to produce a full, even and centered sound over the entire range of the instrument. In order to do this on a consistent basis, one must spend time on the fundamentals of tone production, which is what a warm up really amounts to.
Stamp’s ideas about mouthpiece buzzing, pedal tones, air and chop position have helped innumerable trumpeters over the years. While there are many fine methods available for warm up/maintenance purposes, many have achieved excellent results with his proven exercises.
Mouthpiece Warm Up (Bottom - Page 3)
1) Hold the mouthpiece with the thumb and first two fingers of your left hand a quarter of an inch from the small end, to minimize pressure. Keep your hand relaxed and grip the mouthpiece lightly.
2) Play these studies with a piano or tuner. Make sure that your pitch is accurate.
3) Take a big breath for each exercise. Make sure that you breathing is full and relaxed. Inhale on the syllable “HOE” which will drop your jaw and reduce throat resistance.
4) Buzz at a full dynamic, try to get as full and centered a sound on the mouthpiece as you can. Minimize any shake or waver in the sound by concentrating on keeping the corners of you lips firm and down.
5) Move smoothly from pitch to pitch. Do not “jab” at the notes. Buzz freely; do not worry about keeping a strict or steady tempo.
6) As you move into the lower register pivot the mouthpiece slightly up (at the small end) so that you can move your jaw forward and get more lower lip into the mouthpiece. Lead with your lower lip.
7) As you ascend into the upper register you will need to use more mouthpiece pressure, but try to keep this to a minimum.
8) After you have finished the mouthpiece warm up rest for five or ten minutes before picking up the trumpet.
Trumpet Warm Up (#3 - Page 5)
1) As with the mouthpiece exercises, it is extremely important that you breathe correctly. Take a big breath for each exercise. Make sure that your breathing is full and relaxed. Inhale on the syllable “HOE” which will drop your jaw and reduce throat resistance. You may want to inhale in time, over three or four beats, to insure a big breath and a solid initial attack.
2) Start each exercise with a clear, hard attack; think “TOE”. Once you have attacked the note do not change or add to that note. Do not let the tone “flower” or “bloom”. Have the sound start immediately; as if that pitch has been sounding steadily all along, and someone has suddenly and immediately opened the door to a soundproofed room.
3) Play the exercises at a healthy, full, forte dynamic. Try to produce a big, beautiful and centered sound. Do not let the sound spread or be dull, pull it together and focus it. Feel that the sound is vibrant and resonant and that the horn is actively vibrating in your hand.
4) Concentrate on the primary notes in the exercise (for the first line: C, G, & C.) Do not move your lips for the upper neighbor notes (D and A). Push the valves down and let the notes naturally “pop” out. Think about the very ends of the notes, just before they move to the upper neighbor’s. There should be no indication at the end of any note that the next note is going up or down. In general minimize the movement of your chops and let your air and the valves do the work.
5) Keep your air stream steady or steadily increasing. To avoid “drop outs” in the sound, play with the feeling of a constant, almost imperceptible crescendo throughout.
6) Play with as little mouthpiece pressure as possible. Keep your left hand relaxed and your right little finger out of the hook. It does take some pressure to play the trumpet properly (I don’t believe in “no pressure” systems) but, for the best results, keep pressure and tension to a minimum.
7) As you descend into the pedal register pivot the trumpet slightly up so that you can move your jaw forward and get more lower lip into the mouthpiece. Lead with your lower lip. Hold onto the pedal tones; try to minimize any shake or waver in the sound by concentrating on steady air and keeping the corners of you lips firm and down.
8) Do not be in a rush to do these exercises. Be sure to rest frequently. Play the studies freely and concentrate on getting a centered sound on each note, in all registers. Feel that the air is flowing through the valve changes and that you are moving smoothly and immediately from note to note. As you ascend from the pedal register take extra time so that the pitches come out freely and easily. Do not rush to the high notes or pinch them, they should naturally come from your low and middle registers.