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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) Puffing cheeks in pedal register
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trb420
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« on: Jun 29, 2017, 09:25PM »

This post is inspired by the current thread regarding puffing cheeks while playing. I have no issue with this in any of my range, but I initially learned to play pedal notes by puffing my cheeks out, which I believe was in order to loosen my lips enough to produce the necessary vibrations. I can now access my pedal range without puffing my cheeks, but, as it was never solid to begin with, the benefits of either method to my sound are questionable. Do you guys have any input on whether it's pedagogically acceptable to puff your cheeks in the pedal register? Or, should I actively focus on not doing it?
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svenlarsson

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 30, 2017, 01:37AM »

I recommend practis playing the conta range with a stable and good sound, a lot!
The low range takes a lot of practising time.
Many of the best basstrombonists in the world do play pedals with puffed cheeks, check on youtube.
The puffed cheeks are not the problem. The control from the corners of the aperture are often the real issue. For many the corner control feels most on the lower lip.

I do play pedals with puffed or "unpuffed" cheeks as it goes.
Hint: maybe you should practice cirkular breathing?
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Kanstul 1662. Bach 45B. Kanstul 1555. Besson Euphonium. Kanstul 66-S Tuba. Sackbuts in F/E/Eb Bb/A
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kbiggs

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« Reply #2 on: Jun 30, 2017, 05:52AM »

If you can produce a reliable, stable and consistent sound at different dynamics by puffing your cheeks, then do that. If you can produce a reliable, stable and consistent sound at different dynamics by not puffing your cheeks, then do that.

Hint: long tones are your friend. Not just sustained tones at different dynamics, but also crescendos and diminuendos. So long as you can produce reliable, stable and consistent sounds, then it doesn't really matter if your cheeks puff out.
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Kenneth Biggs
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Matt K

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« Reply #3 on: Jun 30, 2017, 07:02AM »

Some people, I'm one of them, have had success learning that register by bringing their higher register down.  This depends on your specific embouchure, but what Doug had me do was play high and work down into that set without letting the rim off my face at all.  It was a little frustrating but I have much more control over the F side and the pedal register.  Prior to that I also did a sort of 'puffing' for lack of a better term.  I never had a great degree of control over it though - my dynamic range was 'off or on' as the typical joke about bass trombonists goes.

That said, on my tenor piece I can really only go down to a pedal Gb without radically altering my embouchure. I've literally never had a piece on tenor that called for even a low Gb so I stopped trying to go lower on something of that size.

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svenlarsson

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« Reply #4 on: Jun 30, 2017, 09:22AM »

trbn 420, how long have you been playing? What kind of ensemble playing do you do? What instrument do you play? Small tenor, medium tenor, large bore, basstrombone?
Mouthpiece?
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Kanstul 1662. Bach 45B. Kanstul 1555. Besson Euphonium. Kanstul 66-S Tuba. Sackbuts in F/E/Eb Bb/A
And several horns I should sell.
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