Trumpet/going from D to C


I'm finding a tension primarily when I am playing the notes D to C (middle C).  This happens mostly when I am tonguing, though it happens less when I am slurring.  I try to lessen this "tension"  (I compare it to radio static or interference) by loosening my lip and by practicing long tones or intervals (C to D, D to C).  I often get this "static" when I play down the scale.  What do I need to be doing? I'm working for clear tones, ascending and descending the scale.

Thanks, Joel


It sounds like you have isolated the issue. That's good. As I stated earlier, without actually seeing you play and hearing what you are hearing I would have no idea. What I can say is that 80-90% of the time most tonal issues can be solved with more air. Not louder playing, but a more relaxed and open flow of air.
I will also say that since this issue seems to be related to two notes, the horn COULD be an issue. I don't know what horn you are playing on but some horns have quirks that can develop over time and sometimes...based on the manufacturer...those issues can be "built in".
I'm proud of you for staying with it. Keep it up.


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Gene Ramsay


PLEASE read my instructions to you as a questioner about horns and value, etc. Most of those answers can be found at

I feel confident to answer all questions regarding trumpet and brass performing, practice techniques, and equipment inquiries. We never stop being "students" in music as we strive to grow technically and musically over our lifetime. Music is something that truly individualizes people and I would treat every question based on the individual asking the question.


I have been performing on trumpet for over 30 years. I have taught privately for over 20 years and in the public schools for 5 years. I have taught and performed in drum and bugle corps, bands, ensembles, and solo.

Bugles Across America
International Trumpet Guild
VHHS Alumni Band
University of Montevallo Music Alumni
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Drum Corps World

Bachelor's Degree from the University of Montevallo in Music Education.
Over 20 years of private instruction (various individuals).
5 years of instructing and performing in drum and bugle corps.

Awards and Honors
Alabama Assistant State Director for Bugles Across America - 2009-2010
Alabama State Director for Bugles Across America - 2010-Present
University of Montevallo Student MENC President - 1991-1992
Principal Trumpet - University of Montevallo - 1990-1992
Nuncie Leberte Music Scholarship - 1987-1988

Past/Present Clients
Vestavia Hills High School
University of Montevallo
Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps
CorpsVets Drum and Bugle Corps

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