Body Mapping for Trumpet Players
Dr GO last edited by
My weekend contribution to trumpet pedagogy involves medical aspects of trumpet playing. I found this amazingly interesting article that provides some insight as to how to best position the body for trumpet performance, I found it fascinating that just simple aspects of playing the trumpet in the sitting vs standing position demands different roll of the placement of anatomical positions (head related to spin, arm position, leg positions, etc.. Some interesting concepts here. I would love to hear commentary as to how member agree or disagree with some of this concepts. Here is a pdf of the original article. Enjoy!
Dr GO last edited by Dr GO
An example from this reading: The use of the pinky ring. Here is the position of the author of the article on Body Mapping for Trumpet Players:
When is pinky ring use necessary?
In 2 situations is the pinky ring use necessary.
- The pinky ring support is necessary during mute changes, plunger mute passages, and fast page turns.
- Young players are often tempted to use the pinky ring because it helps them to support the trumpet, however, once supporting the trumpet with the left arm becomes a habit, using the pinky ring can be avoided. A free pinky leads to free fingers and free wrists.
When is pinky ring use not necessary?
- Outside of the above situations, placing the pinky finger in the ring should be avoided.
When the pinky finger is in the ring it encourages pulling the trumpet into the embouchure, restricts movement of the other fingers, and prohibits any rotation at the wrist.
Dale Proctor last edited by
I’m trying to break the pinky ring habit as we speak, and also paying attention to my posture and breath support while playing. As I’m getting older, I need to stop making things harder than they need to be.
Due to Dupuytrens contracture of both my pinkies I am unable to use a hook, (thanks to the Vikings settling in northern England). I ordered my Jerome Wiss 6/20 without hook.
The downside is the bell shape precludes the use of standard mutes.
GeorgeB last edited by
Starting to play again at 79 after a 50 year layoff has lots of challenges, but as we age proper posture and breathing are more important than ever. Excellent article, Doc. Learned a few new things there, too.
As for the use of the pinky ring, a great local professional trumpet player taught me most of what I know today about playing the trumpet. Too big things I learned from day one: DON'T PUFF THE CHEEKS and ONLY USE PINKY RING WHEN TURNING PAGES , USING A MUTE, ETC. I tried using the pinky ring just for fun a few times and the results were awful. My hand and fingers felt confined. I could never play that way. The only right hand finger that touches the horn is the thumb as it rests against the first valve casing. The other four fingers float above the valves.
Thanks for that interesting article, Doc.
Dr GO last edited by
J. Jericho last edited by J. Jericho
This study is a nice checklist for achieving a relaxed, comfortable, efficient way to play without unnecessary stress. Thanks for posting it! I suspect that many players automatically do most, and perhaps all, of the suggestions made in the paper, especially if they''re in tune with their own bodies. Explaining why each part of the body is optimized in selected positions is good reinforcement. The mention of a goal for how to use the embouchure and air is a nice addition, too. The suggestions for additional reading are comprehensive and very welcome!
In your subsequent post you mentioned the pinky ring. Personally, I use it by default, because I find that doing so positions my fingers for maximum mechanical advantage, and because this has the resultant benefit of introducing the minimum of side force on the valves, prolonging valve life. Other than a valve trill involving an open note and a valved note, which can involve the wrist in playing the trill faster when the pinkie ring is not used, I find no difference in speed and effort in fast passages whether the pinkie ring is used or not. Besides, not having to choose when to use the ring is one less thing to have to deal with, however small this decision may be.