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Valerie
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:38 pm    Post subject: Need help. Reply with quote

I have a very bright F Horn student who can often cruise up to a high C on RO#4 which is pretty darn good for an F horn player. His tone is nice and full all the way to the A just below the C in RO#4. BUT, then .... when he's playing with his regular embouchure, his tone gets thin & peeters out around the top of the staff around F. He struggles with RI's like most students, but he can do them. He had a PTL. I don't know how to get him to apply what he's doing in RO#4 to his regular embouchure. He's been told by his other teachers that he's not supporting his high register with air. I dunno what to think. I'm really stuck on this one. Any ideas?
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Valerie Wells
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not uncommon for a student to play higher on RO#4 than in regular playing. Usually, as RO#4 gets more consistent, the regular playing is effected and catches up.

If this seems to be taking too long - many months - to happen naturally, the player can jump-start the process by simply playing higher notes in RO#4, and then apply that setup to scales or other exercises which cover the same register. In other words, you go back and forth a bit, and see if the RO feel can be maintained in regular playing.

Again, this approach all hinges on the consistency of the RO#4 higher notes.

The old "need more air support" is always used when teachers can't think of anything else to solve the issue. However, in some cases it is good advice. To know if this is the major limitation, I would have to hear the student.

Quote:
He struggles with RI's like most students


Most of my students do not struggle with RI. This could be an issue as well.

Jeff
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Valerie
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would expect better range for this young man at this point. He's been studying with me for three years. I'll try what you suggest, Jeff. Thanks.

RO is always easier for my students than RI. Maybe that's a French horn thing.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had you said that RO is generally easier than RI, I would not have commented.

My experience is that, although RO is generally easier, it's not THAT much easier than RI.

I find the same thing in my experience with French horn students. However, my sample rate is pretty low there, compared to trumpets, so it may be generally more difficult than I think.

Jeff
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Don Herman rev2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have like two or three French horn examples so take with a block of salt. My guess is the smaller mpc and thin rim makes it harder to support RI compared to the wider rim and generally larger diameter of trumpet mouthpieces. Not much mpc help and any pressure hurts. Consider trying to do RO and RI on a drinking straw. You can probably make RO work, sort of, with almost no pressure, practically free buzzing. RI, not so much...

Don't know if this is "legal" but I have had them roll way in without a mpc and sort of mosquito-buzz to get the feel, then transfer to the mpc. Sometimes they are simply using too much pressure on RI (which seems to me to be more sensitive to excess pressure than RO).

FWIWFM, YMMV, IMO/IME, my 0.000001 cents (microcent), etc. - Don
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Valerie
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, yes, Jeff. RI is always lots harder than RO for horn players. I've seen very few horn players not grasp the RO pretty quickly. And very few grasp RI quickly. I kinda assumed it was like that for trumpet, too.

Quote:
Sometimes they are simply using too much pressure on RI (which seems to me to be more sensitive to excess pressure than RO).


Exactly, Don. Excess pressure makes RI near impossible on the horn mpc. When I start them on RI, I always do the mosquito buzz. It really helps. Their first tones usually have air leaking out the sides. From that first leaky thin tone, they eventually learn to seal it and get a nice clear tone.

One problem is, they often have a mind set that high notes = pressure. That's when I try to make playing RI's a silly game, accepting any noise that comes out the bell. That has helped some of my students get over that maniac-like approach to playing notes.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Oh, yes, Jeff. RI is always lots harder than RO for horn players.


Valerie, I don't know if this is worth quibbling about, but in my experience, it is not "always lots harder" to do on horn. Maybe it is for most, and if that is true, then I am happy to get that feedback. I have experienced otherwise, however.

Then again, does this conversation include the idea of getting a fully developed RO sound? Doing RO correctly is more than just hitting a low note. Getting the focused RO sound can take as long or longer than getting a reasonable-sounding RI pitch.

Don, thanks for your feedback as well.

Jeff
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Don Herman rev2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FWIWFM, "walking in" the mpc to the chops whilst doing the RI buzz seems to help give them the idea of how it works. In my (very limited) experience, once they figure out how to sustain the buzz and do the RI exercises, some of the concept carries over to the RO exercises as well.

I also agree very much with Jeff (natch) about getting that focused, rich and powerful RO sound vs. just some flappy sound that doesn't seem (IMO/IME) to really help develop their embouchure.

Jeff, thanks, always nervous about posting "out of forum".
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AndrewS
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I am not a teacher so I can relate to my personal experience and some observations. So here is my 2 cents.
I've been with BE for more than 10 years and getting better and better like prescribed in the book.
I also have a PTL.
What I noticed is that people with PTL rarely play on the dead center of the lips since the "tip" of the PTL does exactly that: closes the aperture.
And it closes it even more when we roll in.
This is why we play on the right or left side of the tip (of the upper lip).

Here is when things start to get more interesting.
Those left and right sides are not equal.
They have different:
a) aperture
b) roll in
c) agility

I've been playing on the right side of the tip for more than 10 years and was always struggling with high notes. Things started to change for me quite recently when I consciously switched to the left side (which took me about 2 months to adjust). But man, the range started to open up for me!

What I am trying to say is that sometimes it's worth experimenting with placing mp to the different side of the tip and see if things change.

From your description, Valerie, I can see that the problem could be exactly that. Not enough aperture when going higher since the tip closes it off.
Why it doesn't happen with RO#4? Probably because the lips in general are more rolled out and the tip gets out of the way easier.

What I found as well is that the side with bigger aperture and more roll in - wins. If you find that side, then yes, to get higher you just add more air

To back up my idea a bit, I'd like to take late Maynard Ferguson as an example. You can easily spot that he has a PTL and plays well on one side from the tip. Also the side he plays on is more rolled in. The other side looks like almost rolled out.

So people with PTL have one more variable - which side of the tip to play on. And what's more is the side you played most of your career may feel comfortable, but it could be more beneficial to switch sides.
Hope there is some sense in what I am talking about
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andrew,

I mostly agree with your points.

Quote:
Those left and right sides are not equal.


Very true! We are designed to be symmetrical, but personalities tend to be undeveloped and polarized, resulting in hemispheric dominance patterns. Right brained dominant people tend to play on the left side, and vice-versa. Over the years, I've gotten to the point where I can predict, based on personality traits, which side a person will favor.

As for Maynard, I don't know about a PTL. He certainly was rolled in more on the right side. However, he seemed right brain dominant, so he may have been an exception to the R/L rule.

Jeff
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AndrewS
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Jeff, for the positive feedback!

I agree, that Maynard's PTL is arguable, on some videos he seems to have it, on others it's almost negligible. But the fact is that he played on the right rolled in side while his left side was markedly more rolled out.
Only after I switched to the left side, I started to notice that my left side was always more rolled in then the right. Also my aperture is bigger on the left side which makes lower range more resonant and upper range more free blowing. When I used to play on the right side I had problems with my neck muscles when I went higher (to make that air pass though a non-existent aperture).

I've heard about the L/R hemisphere theory in relation to left/right hand, but never thought it was applicable to the embouchure, your observation is very interesting. I guess it must be right, since you have an extensive statistical data to back it up.

Andrew
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I guess it must be right, since you have an extensive statistical data to back it up.


That may be putting it a little strongly. I believe my observation to be correct based on my teaching experience over several decades, and in the context of the brain studies I have pursued for nearly as long.

Proving this statistically would require several layers of data, starting with a demonstration that our hemispheres are in fact asymmetric, and how that idea in general relates to cognitive functioning.

Not quite ready to tackle that today.

Jeff
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AndrewS
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That may be putting it a little strongly.


I know and beg your pardon.
It's just me being over-exited from reestablishing my connection with my right hemisphere.
So I was speaking not in scientific terms, but in holistic terms

Andrew
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