The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

May 03, 2007


The trumpet that Robert Bachner lent me is, at this stage, emitting two sounds when I blow into it. I'm convinced it was designed to emit more than two sounds, especially as Robert, when blowing into it himself, produced what seemed to be a myriad of sounds, but in my present stage of not yet having started to take trumpet lessons and therefore not practising because (for lack of lessons) I do not yet know what exactly to practise, all I get out of it is two sounds.

And assorted noises, but I guess these do not qualify as music. Nor do my two sounds I guess, but they somehw seem closer to the concept of music. After all, given the required dexterity, by pressing the valves two sounds can be multiplied into several.

What really matters for trumpet playing though is strong lips. It's quite amazing how many muscles are involved in moving your lips (assuming this wikipedia article is correct), and it seems that for playing a brass instrument, all of them must be well trained and strong.

Now all I need to find is a fitness club where they have adapted these machines that you normally use to strengthen your biceps so that you can work on your zygomaticus major instead. I'm sure that once I'm able to lift a 16-ton weight with my levator labii superioris alaeque nasi I will also be a virtuoso trumpet player.

Probably with a rather disturbing expression on my face, but I guess that's the price you have to pay.

Posted by Horst on May 3, 2007 08:34 AM to my so-called life | Tell-a-friend
dieter said on May 4, 2007 11:39 AM:

When you are able to lift a 16 ton weight with any of your labial muscles, you should not even think of trying to play trumpet. Tuba will be the least...

But if you really consider professional training a speech therapist might be of help. I am quite happy with the one who treated my son. No, he is not going to play the trumpet...

Ah, Horst! You keep amazing me. Which instrument is going to be next?

Jann said on May 4, 2007 03:10 PM:

I think if you start trumpet lessons and practise, those required lip muscles should strengthen quickly as the muscle development curve is a steep one.

Robert Bachner said on May 8, 2007 12:15 AM:

Well, "strong" lips is maybe not the best expression here. Sure, the muscles have to be developed through regular practicing. But brass playing should be quite "easy" in the end. If not, maybe there is something wrong which could be eventually corrected quite easily.

When playing a brass instrument, you blow the air through the lips (which makes the lips vibrate at a certain frequency) - with the muscles around the lips one can control the opening of the lips, which gives the pitch of the desired note. Similar to the aperture of a photo camera. So, it is more about coordination of the muscles and also about reducing unnecessary movements.

laura g brown said on June 12, 2007 07:31 AM:

You haven't posted since May 3.

dieter said on June 12, 2007 08:41 AM:

@laura, Quite obviously so.
Horst, your fans are getting restless again...

Jann said on June 13, 2007 02:37 AM:

Actually, this lack of posts makes me more sad than restless...

dieter said on June 13, 2007 10:00 AM:

Sad or restless is mostly a function of your state of mind. Actually, when I wrote restless, I was thinking of Gary Larson...


Horst said on June 16, 2007 06:54 PM:

A combination of being out of inspiration and then out of the country... sorry about that.

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