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Proper piccolo trumpet technique


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Jaw04
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Joined: 31 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The smaller horns just magnify the problems you experience on B flat. It's all the same concept. Being efficient, relaxed, and using good technique. Don't overblow.
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RETrumpet
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Joined: 26 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisf3000 wrote:
Most times that I've seen people approach the piccolo "wrong", it's because they try to put way too much air through it. It does not need to be played like a lead player does with a regular Bb trumpet. In fact, the best advice I can give is to use small puffs of air with a crisp articulation - blow "at" the piccolo, not "through" it, if that makes sense.


Thanks for this post. This really helped me today. I have always been told to play "through" my horns/mutes whatever... And I have definitely been muscling my picc for years and getting fatigued because of it.

When I first read this my initial thought was that blowing "at" the horn was going to cause me all kinds of problems with the backpressure. And it did... But then I thought to come at it from the other side. Blowing 4-6 inches past my bell like I do on Bb clearly doesn't work. Blowing at the cup of the mouthpiece or somewhere in the leadpipe didn't work either. But maybe something in between So I took a guess and I visualized "aiming" my air right at the rim of the bell and everything opened up for me.

I just finished an hour practice on my picc and feel like I could do another hour. The horn feels free and smooth rather than like I'm trying to push a brick wall with my lungs. And the tone is sweeter and more even - less shrill up high and no longer sounds like a duck below the staff. Still lots to work on and clean up with this new approach, but this is a big leap in the right direction for sure.

Thanks again!
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x9ret
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisf3000 wrote:
Most times that I've seen people approach the piccolo "wrong", it's because they try to put way too much air through it. It does not need to be played like a lead player does with a regular Bb trumpet. In fact, the best advice I can give is to use small puffs of air with a crisp articulation - blow "at" the piccolo, not "through" it, if that makes sense.


I agree. Also I recommend don't consciously apply vibrato. You'll probably get some natural vibrato without realising, which is all that's needed. Vibrato on it just tires you more. Having just read another thread on here about breath attacks, I recommend that approach to practice piccolo. For me at least practicing breach attacks keeps mouthpiece pressure to a minimum then just use a light tongue to clean it up.
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