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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:49 pm    Post subject: irons Reply with quote

there is no lack of good method and literature out there and not to minimize the accomplishments of many music authors. for me the irons material is in a class of its own.
it happens to be what i need most after a year long layoff. sign me up for 'the muscular embouchure'. our quest always flirts with power and high notes, and that is the way it should be. suppleness and endurance are however what make someone a genuine trumpet player. the glory and the flash are all well and good, after you have established that you are able to play a good bit, and you don't own the instrument because it's an interesting plumbing job, but to play the dickens out of it. this is the point in playing- it is for me- where you start to win the struggle.
irons does indeed deliver on the muscular embouchure. it is deviously more, it's about breath control and long tones. it's also the back door to the high register. if you hammer away ad infinitum on your last proficient half step the door opens wide to the next half step.
well i just wanted to say how much fun i am having with the material and how much it has been doing for my playing. this particular tome has made a man out of me.
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Arjuna
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: irons Reply with quote

I agree the Irons book is a class all it's own. It is easy to understand and very well written on how to correctly develop excellent flexibility.




chuck in ny wrote:
there is no lack of good method and literature out there and not to minimize the accomplishments of many music authors. for me the irons material is in a class of its own.
it happens to be what i need most after a year long layoff. sign me up for 'the muscular embouchure'. our quest always flirts with power and high notes, and that is the way it should be. suppleness and endurance are however what make someone a genuine trumpet player. the glory and the flash are all well and good, after you have established that you are able to play a good bit, and you don't own the instrument because it's an interesting plumbing job, but to play the dickens out of it. this is the point in playing- it is for me- where you start to win the struggle.
irons does indeed deliver on the muscular embouchure. it is deviously more, it's about breath control and long tones. it's also the back door to the high register. if you hammer away ad infinitum on your last proficient half step the door opens wide to the next half step.
well i just wanted to say how much fun i am having with the material and how much it has been doing for my playing. this particular tome has made a man out of me.
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JLoyalist
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great book. I use it everyday.
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the results you are experiencing with the Irons book. Great stuff.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I studied for many years with someone who always included Irons in his lesson plan. I told a friend that my teacher plays the entire Irons book daily. The friend was so impressed that he set out to play the entire book in a single sitting. Yeah,...the next day he couldn't play a note.

I'm a fan, but like anything, you need to work up to it.

Also, FWIW, I like to supplement Irons with Bai Lin. Bai Lin is similar but offers variations that skip over notes in the harmonic series and I find that this helps me significantly.
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andybharms
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irons belongs on everybody's radar, if not every day.

There are some great alternatives, as well. I like Bai Lin because it often makes use of the thirds. I also use Colin Lip Flexibilities because they are intuitively paced for younger students.
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Irons is a good collection of exercises--not just lip slurs, but also long tones and articulation exercises.

My favorite lip slur exercises have been Arban and Bai-Lin. Arban helps build and maintain strength, while Bai-Lin combines flexibility with a flow studies approach that emphasizes good sound. There's something about Bai-Lin, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but it somehow rejuvenates my chops and makes them feel great.

I've also been working out of Hickman's Beyond the C book. This includes 16 different approaches to developing strength and range. Some of them are based upon lip slurs, including a flow study approach (like Bai-Lin) and oscillation (like Arban). Others are based on chromatic scales, finger-flexibility patterns, fast harp-like glissandos, and articulation patterns. Lots of good stuff.

My new favorite lip slur exercises are in the Franquin method. They start much easier than most of the other methods and progress very slowly, with an emphasis on smooth transitions. The intervals become wider, to work on avoiding hitting the in-between partials. Eventually they include rapid oscillation, like Arban, and extremely wide intervals, like the Schlossberg Daily Technical and the Colin advanced lip flexibilities books. Lots of approaches for players at different levels.
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irons stays in my regular rotation of Lip Flex/Tonguing Books. The multiple tonguing exercises are among the best ever written.
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks charles, stdenis, et al, i have bai lin on order. hopefully it can be used in the same session with irons. it could wind up alternating with irons.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstdenis wrote:
There's something about Bai-Lin, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but it somehow rejuvenates my chops and makes them feel great.

I've noticed the same thing. Now I can overdo both Irons or Bai Lin if I'm not reasonable in what I'm trying to do. But somehow Irons is more likely to leave be feeling a bit more beat up, by comparison.

Just as an aside, I was reminded that my teacher noted that I should play some of the more advanced Bai Lin exercises tongued before doing them slurred. This seems to be helping me get further with less fatigue.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested in getting one, a heads up. The flexibility book I found on Amazon had its text in German, not English.

(However, I ordered one in English directly from Balquhidder Music Just be sure to check the language first.)
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cheiden wrote:
dstdenis wrote:
There's something about Bai-Lin, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but it somehow rejuvenates my chops and makes them feel great.

I've noticed the same thing. Now I can overdo both Irons or Bai Lin if I'm not reasonable in what I'm trying to do. But somehow Irons is more likely to leave be feeling a bit more beat up, by comparison.

Just as an aside, I was reminded that my teacher noted that I should play some of the more advanced Bai Lin exercises tongued before doing them slurred. This seems to be helping me get further with less fatigue.



taking the beating is the point with irons. it's up to the player to regulate the dose of work. you have to give yourself what you can handle and then stop. i can't fault the approach. we become brass players in this same way giving ourselves some more, and more again.
if the bai lin material winds up a gentler way, that's really going to be something.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chuck in ny wrote:
taking the beating is the point with irons. it's up to the player to regulate the dose of work. you have to give yourself what you can handle and then stop. i can't fault the approach. we become brass players in this same way giving ourselves some more, and more again.
if the bai lin material winds up a gentler way, that's really going to be something.

I have a friend that studied with my same teacher and I recall him telling me that it took him many years before he truly felt that Irons went from being a grind to really feeling empowering, or rejuvenating like dstdenis says.

FWFW I knew another player that could really nail the lead book in the local community college big band. When his chops would feel stiff he'd toss in a tight cup and just wail on the Irons exercises all way up into the stratosphere. He did it for relaxation and it always left the rest of the section in awe.
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ljazztrm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I studied for many years with someone who always included Irons in his lesson plan. I told a friend that my teacher plays the entire Irons book daily. The friend was so impressed that he set out to play the entire book in a single sitting. Yeah,...the next day he couldn't play a note.

I'm a fan, but like anything, you need to work up to it.


There was some crazy guy on the TH awhile back (I think he got banned) who was saying something like, 'Oh, you can't go wrong with Irons.' And so I says to the guy, I says, 'Man, there was this cat Cheiden who's friend..etc., etc.' And I wound up making the excellent point that you can go wrong with Irons! I guess I told him

I've been working with Lynn Nicholson's concepts. All about relaxation - I'm focused on tongue and airstream and relaxed chops. I also noticed that doing too many lip slurs..such as going from Irons to Bai Lin to Ackley, etc.. starts to tire the chops - which is exactly what I'm trying to get away from. If my chops start feeling it, I realize I am getting away from 'tongue and air'. I started doing a routine I came up with implementing Lynn's concepts mixed with MF's lip trill exercises that were written in an old NYBC booklet from the 70's. (Does anyone have this book and can they scan it in to the TH?) And I find the key with this routine is to do it every other day because this keeps the chops from getting too involved - keeps the focus more on the tongue and air for me.

I start with pg.15 ex.9 of the Smith Flexibilities and go to ex.19 on pg.19 (ex.18 + 19 sound so much like what MF did on a lot of tunes, I wonder if he used these as well). Then I go to pg.8 of Ernest Williams 'High Tones' book (the lip trills). Then I end up on the very last exercise of James Ackley's lip flexibility book - which is another lip trill exercise.
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chuck in ny
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lex

that was delightfully over my head. my approach to playing is <not> to need the enormous capacity of meeting commercial demands.
i would like to beat my way to a G over high C in a typical anglo saxon manner, not use the upper register in playing otherwise, and work on general relaxation with pops' guidance, getting some respectable endurance for fun home playing.
i can only imagine what you guys go through. you will never get credit for the subtlety and athleticism of the ordeal.
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For years I worked on Irons, Colin, and other flexibility studies. At a certain point, I unintentionally phased them out in favor of other types of work. The closest thing to these types of drills became wide arpeggios at a leisurely tempo covering the entire range of the horn (think something like the Boyd Hood mouthpiece drills). I did nothing covering all seven bugle positions and certainly nothing moving quickly like that.

I noticed this a couple of years ago and figured this must be a problem (even though I had continued to progress without them), so I worked them back into my routine. I worked on them for a while, got better at those particular exercises, but didn't really run into any music that wasn't better addressed using my other drills. Over time, they again phased themselves out of my practice without consequence.

I could see specific instances where I'd break out the Irons - if I were working on some cornet literature that's full of those kinds of slurs, but there isn't a ton of literature that calls for anything like that.

At this point in my life for me there doesn't seem to be much a pedagogical purpose to these kinds of drills and there isn't a ton of directly practical application that isn't better addressed through other means. Lips trills and shakes seem to work well enough for me by just practicing music.

My trumpet teacher in college advocated against practicing slurs that had you playing the Bb above the staff as open. His reasoning was that more often than not, you were practicing a mistake. He was the most accurate and correct player I've ever heard. At the time, I kind of laughed to myself at his reasoning and continued to practice all of those drills. These days, I tend to find myself agreeing with him.

All that to say, I'm pushing a decade with almost no traditional lip slur practice and things haven't fallen apart yet. Knowing how our trumpet lives evolve, I'm sure there will come a day where Irons is my holy grail, but it hasn't happened yet.

If something works, do it, but don't be afraid to ask why you're doing something. We all have limited practice time - even Mendez did. Part of the game of practice is using your limited time efficiently, so make sure everything has a purpose (I'm aware of the stated purpose of things like Irons, but for me for this decade, it doesn't seem to apply).
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VetPsychWars
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the Bai Lin book as well. Change them up!

Tom
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm kind of surprised no one has mentioned the Scott Belk book. It's super fun and it'll twist your ears a bit.

As for the Irons, I love the excercises but I don't care much for the writing or the approach. Anytime I start thinking about my tongue, my tone suffers. I find the book much more beneficial if I think about my tone and try to hear the note pop into place. I also feel many players are too forceful with flexibility studies, trying to power their way through the overtone series. This is one thing Earl is very clear on. The tone should be clear and the intervals should be easy and accurate before proceeding onward. But the best part is "longtones before breakfast". Those are words to live by, for sure.
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Bill Ortiz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using a portion of Colin most days for a long time, but recently picked up an Irons book and am looking forward to integrating it into my daily practice. For the people that are using it currently-I'm wondering how much of the book/or minutes do you use each practice day?
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to do groups 5-7 and it took me 15 minutes yesterday. I like to do it just after I warm up to help my ear lock into the partials.
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