Spinning Air and the Low C Video

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Shown below are images captured from the low C video. This series of stills illustrates a single sequence of lip movement within a larger 2-3 second cycle.

The images to really focus are labeled sequentially as x, y and z.

(The breath.)
(The note attack.)
x - the top lip stretches outward in response to the vibrating air column.
y - after it reaches its maximum elasticity, the lip tilts upward and spreads outward in a radial pattern, exposing a small amount of the inner lip in the process.
z - the radial expansion flattens and contracts; the lip snaps back onto the teeth and air column.

This sequence cycles in a loop for the duration of the note:

  • the lip stretching forward in a peak,
  • tilting upward and radiating outwards,
  • then flattening out completely.

Spinning the air

Compare the pulsing, cyclical motion of this sequence to the vibrating air column it produces. There is a deep connection worth looking at.

I have had a few teachers talk about spinning the air as you play, and this is a concept that I have passed on to students.

All one needs to do is draw a few lines and the vibrating air column indeed starts to look like a spinning DNA helix.

In a deeper sense the vibrating air column is akin to your musical DNA. One wonders too that if like thumbprints and snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.

This aside, the final point to make is that the vibrating air column is an elemental energy source. Its flow gives your music its personality, life and vitality.

It is the conduit and carrier of your imagination; its quality and efficiency are something to be thinking about when problems arise or improvements are sought.

This is one very good reason why mouthpiece buzzing and long tones for example, are so tremendously beneficial. They focus the attention on the quality, efficiency and flow of the vibrating air column.

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