Posture (Cornet)

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DS2014, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    Hi all,

    I have been searching through the forums a bit and can't seem to find much on posture for the cornet. I might not be using the correct term, so, maybe someone can put me right if that's the case. So, here's what I'm talking about:

    It's now the summer season, and, I reckon, therefore the best time to try and fix some niggling problems. I'm a comeback player of about 18months and still settling in and getting in shape. I have been thinking about my posture. When I play with the cornet at about 45-degrees below horizontal, I get a secure articulation (most of the time!) but begin to noticeably lose quality and security in slotting the notes as I move both down to the bottom of the range and up towards the top of my range (G-G#-A above the stave). When I lift the cornet to just about the horizontal with my eyeline, I get a much fuller, open sound across the range and am more secure in both the top and bottom range, but, funnily, seriously lose security in slotting the notes right in the middle of the stave!

    I know that everyone is completely different, but it just seems an intriguing sort of mish-mash. Of course, the answer might be to pivot the cornet as required, but I don't want to look like some sort of demented fidget sitting in the back-row, and I don't know of any quality players who pivot like a madman whilst moving around the stave.

    Any thoughts about cornet posture?
  2. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I always advise young players not to play to the mice, they don't like music! However, you are also putting a kink into your 'air pipe' which can interfere with the sound. You don't need to sit ramrod straight, or be spirit level horizontal, but you should aim for a comfortable position that keeps the air flow pure and the cornet reasonably level.
  3. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    This depends on your teeth. I have a big overbite and a short bottom jaw so I have to play at an angle.

    David Monette produces a booklet about posture for trumpet players, but I can't find it on his web site.
    My copy is currently packed away in the mdiddle of my house move.
    What he says makes a lot of sense.
    The secret seems to be keeping the whole body relaxed, and for me that means keeping my head in a natural position.

    One thing to remember is that brass band players do most of their playing sitting down so a lot of the advice given to big band lead players is invalid as they are often playing standing up...
  4. BrianT

    BrianT Member


    I tell my Training Band that I don't want them to sit curled up like prawns when they're playing ("no seafood in my band!"). Sitting up straight is better than sitting slouched. Playing with the instrument level is better than pointing at the floor. Playing with relaxed hands is better than playing with clawed hands. Each of these things improves the playing a little, and they all add up...

    These things improve your playing for free, in other words you don't have to practice for hours to get their benefit.

    I think it's important to keep thinking about why you do things the way you do. For instance, you may be holding the instrument the same way you did when you were 8, but now you have stronger/bigger hands/arms and could now do it in a way that improves your playing.
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Active Member

  6. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

  7. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    The ideal would be to play standing up, but since brass bands don't do that, the next best thing is to get your upper body the same shape as if you were standing. Which means sitting up straight.

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