Jazz Trumpet Player Rich Szabo and his Big Band

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Rips & Flares Page 2

Frequent use of the “upward glissando” was made by the trumpet soloist, Louis Armstrong and many of his imitators and admirers. It can be utilized, if there is time, by the first trumpeter who might be apprehensive of an octave skip or might think that it would add to an otherwise pedestrian arrangement. The latter motive is perilous and should never be given as an explaination to a disapproving arranger or conductor.

The “Rip” or “Flare”

As the term implies, the rip up is a rapid glissando up with all the roughness of a ripping sound. The rip touches on all the harmonics on the way up so many people do the rip up with all the valves down rapdily switching to the appropriate fingering when the target note is overtaken. Ascending through the harmonics by contracting the lips does not produce the brashness that is expected from the ornament, so most players use a sudden increase of pressure, a painful choice, or an Olympian blast of air, a more sensible approach. In the heat of battle, an apt metaphor in some trumpet sections, the player will probably use all three methods and it is not unusual for the player to hunch his shoulders, curl his toes and tighten his sphincter. If the practicer has a fairly strong embouchurem has practised the glissando and lip-trill exercises, the rip should be fairly easy.

The rip, like the upward glissando, is more than an ornament, being a boon to the uncertain player faced with a difficult interval. Push the valves down, push, blow, and let her rip, disembarking on the proper stop.

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