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tclement
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2004 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just beginning to study and practice the BE exercises. I plan to schedule a lesson with Jeff soon. However, I want to make sure I'm starting off correctly (before I'm able to meet with Jeff). If you have a chance, please look at a few pictures I took of myself doing the lip clamp. I've also included a sound file of me producing a squeak.

Your comments are appreciated.

Here is the link to my pictures: http://home.austin.rr.com/clement/be/
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atom_anderson
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2004 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I start off with the lip clamp, it sounds more like a high pitch squeak than a buzz. When I was first starting, a squeak came out much easier if I rolled in the lips, but started with a hiss, so the lips weren't pressed together very hard.

-Atom
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best way to start BE would be to read and understand the book.

I've looked at your pictures and I've listened to your sound file. The last picture, is that only the lip clamp or what it looks like during your squeak? As far as I can judge from this picture, it looks like you could roll in a bit more. Try to hide the red of your lips. I also wondered if your lip pops out when you start to blow? It looks a bit like that. The squeak sounds more like a lipbuzz to me, too low. It sounds as if you are blowing your lips apart. I guess you use a high quantity of air instead of highly compressed air? When I do the squeak, it's relatively loud, but little air actually comes out through the lips. Rolling in the lips further till the red disappears will compress the air enough to get you a high squeak, as long as you allow your lips to stay rolled in. You keep your lips in, the compressed air will make the squeak for you.

As to starting off, the lesson plans at the back of the book may be a good guide to get started and give you an idea of how to structure your practise. It might be worth to consider starting with the roll in and waiting with the roll out a while, untill you are getting more confident with the roll in. A bit of experimentation on your side should tell you which way to go.

Hope this helps.

Ko
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oj
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tim!

I agree with Ko,

More air-sound or air-hiss (too much like a lip buzz now). I see that you have some air pockets behind you lower lip. That is ok in the beginning.

I have found two exercise (by Jeanne Pocius) very helpful for making (first) a good roll-out and then a roll-in/lip clamp:

1. Purse your lips as far forward as possible, and hold until you feel a burn in the muscles. Try to hold the pursing for 30 seconds or longer. Repeat several times, and follow with loose horseflaps (gentle, slow buzzes) to keep from becoming stiff.

2. Roll the lips against each other (make the red disappear), but ALSO purse at the same time (it IS possible -- try it in front of a mirror). Same length of time and repeats, and relaxation afterwards....

When you have established the roll-in (from ex. 2), you blow air. Try to get air-hiss, no buzzing sound.

The good thing with these two isometric exercises, IMO, is that you don't smile when doing roll-in. You establish (and develop) the roll-in feel that Jeff talks about in Roll-Out No. 4.

Good luck!

Ole


[ This Message was edited by: oj on 2004-01-02 07:22 ]
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ole,

I'd like to make a comment on the Pocius excersises you mentioned. Bert mentioned these isometrics to me quite a while ago as well (I believe through a link on your nice website!) and I didn't really feel they helped me at that particular time. Of course it's clear that Pocius is aware of the fact that a bigger range of motion is helpful in the development in one's embouchure, so there is a similarity between her teachings and BE, but the isometrics didn't help me to improve the feel during my actual playing. They are done off the instrument and I found it hard to make the two come together. I think they can be valuable indeed if for example you don't have a lot of time to practise and you still want to excersise your muscles, but I much prefer to experience both a sound and feel when I am working on expanding my range of motion. That gives me much more to hold on to. More feedback to let me know if I am on the right track or not.

<<<2. Roll the lips against each other (make the red disappear), but ALSO purse at the same time (it IS possible -- try it in front of a mirror). Same length of time and repeats, and relaxation afterwards.... >>>

This one appeared in posts on this forum before, mentioned by yourself and Bert. I posted my experiences there as well, so I won't repeat it here. However, your last remark made me think a bit more and I feel I have to add something.

<<<The good thing with these two isometric exercises, IMO, is that you don't smile when doing roll-in.>>>

Perhaps a strange question, but what is wrong with a smile during the roll in? Just smiling stretches the lips and the corners. I think we can all agree on it that simply a smile embouchure is not the road to succes. When rolling in the lips, the lips move in and towards the mouthpiece. In my case, I find it very helpful to smile a little (!). When I do this, it's true that my corners move a bit upwards, but my lips in the centre find it easier to resist the air and stay rolled in. It feels as if I can push them together, on top of eachother. Without the smile, I don't have succes with the roll in. I can get pitches, but not a brighter sound or better control at all. Afterall, the roll in should make it easier to play higher, not harder, right? On the other hand, I felt I should experiment a bit before posting. I've tried a few days to use the roll in position you get when using the 2nd isometric you gave, so with more forward corners, more pucker. It felt horrible. After these attempts, today I tried to add the smile again, and it worked as before. I am aware that this is just my experience, but I thought I should mention it before someone would rule out a bit of a smile. It might help you as well as it helps me.

<<<You establish (and develop) the roll-in feel that Jeff talks about in Roll-Out No. 4.>>>

I think there is a difference between doing the roll in and the feeling on the higher tones of roll out 4. With roll out 4, you start with rolled out lips, puckered. That's the basis. With roll in, however, not everyone will start with that amount of pucker. Both have more cusion, but I think in a different way. Roll out mainly gives you cushion because of the rolling out of the lips and the corners moving forward. With the roll in, I feel that the cushion is mainly formed from the inward movement of the lips. So, the point I wanted to make here is in short that the integrated roll out feel on the higher notes of roll out 4 doesn't have to be the same setup as you use for the roll in excersises. We have to keep in mind that the roll out/in positions are the opposite ends of the range of motion.

Ko
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oj
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ko,

I like this! Good to have different views on a topic and getting a good discussion.

First, the exercises presented was isometric exercises. It is something you can do to keep fit, when you can not practice on your horn. Practice on the horn (when you can) is of course always the best.

So to your question:
Perhaps a strange question, but what is wrong with a smile during the roll in?

It can develop a smiling embouchouchure. When I was young and was told I had a smiling embouchure (by the principal in Oslo Phil. btw.), I also realised that my buzzing was a "smiling buzz". What I did was to roll in my lips with a smile and produce high pitch buzzing sounds.

To cure this, the principal had me buzz low pitches with a puckered setting. This cured my smiling problems. Then I got into the "Farkas setting" and had a long period (like Bert) with that, but that's another story

Ko, if you make a "Dizzy face" (with great air pockets) and roll in from that position, you get a roll-in that is close to the one you get from Pocious exercise No. 2. I agree that it can be difficult to get a squeek sound from this setting, but as it was difficult for me to lip buzz like the principal showed me at first, I eventually learned it. I can make air-hiss from the rolled-in purse and I feel that this is the right (unlocked corners, forward position) rolled in setting. When you do Roll-Out #4 and try to keep the roll-out feel when ascending this is what help (me at least) to produce strong high notes. I have a cushion (or meet) behind the mpc.

When I posted to this tread, I was in fact thinking about my own bad smiling experience. Not that the photos of Tim suggest that he is near that.

Ole
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mcamilleri
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2004 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to have a lesson with Jeff soon, why not just chill out and forget BE until he shows you how to get started? Far better off, I think, for Jeff to set you straight in the first instance.

BE patient!

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[ This Message was edited by: mcamilleri on 2004-01-04 14:12 ]
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ole!

I agree with you on the isometrics.

Interesting story about your smiling embouchure! Were those high pitch buzzing sounds similar to the squeak? If so, I would like to ask for an experiment, hehe. Do you still remember how exactly you did that? Rolling in your lips with the smile? If you can still make it work like that, I would be interested in how your results would be if you used that setting for your roll in excersises for a few days.

It seems that a lot of us share the same story. I've studied the flat chin for four years as well. Then I read a lot of books, including those of Pops and a lot that Rune told me about. I didn't know Jeff's book then, but I put my money on learning how to lipbuzz to solve my problems. I changed teachers to do so, and although my teacher could easily buzz a high C and above, after a year of hard work I still couldn't do it right. Still can't, by the way. At some point I could lipbuzz high and low, but with a flat chin. If I would transfer that to my trumpet it didn't work. It didn't link up. Then I also tried mouthpiece buzzing, but as soon as I could make things work on the mouthpiece, it didn't work on trumpet and if I got the trumpet back a little, the mouthpiecebuzz was gone again. I know that's probably strange, but it really went like that. Not much from the bag of tricks worked for me, so I'm glad I found this book! Still a long way to go though.

By the way, the teacher that I mentioned above is Beatrijs Korevaar. (If you are looking, I am waving my hand to say hi!) I want to give her a lot of credit, as she has an open mind to trumpetteaching and playing. When I brought the BE book to her lesson, she liked it at once and ordered one herself. She is one of the rare conservatory teachers that actually tells her students about the book and lets them read it if they are interested in it. They do exist like that! Several students at school now have the book.

Ko
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oj
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcamilleri,
If your advice was about say "Trumpet Secrets" (Callets new book), I would agree, but not with B.E.
Why?
Well, B.E. is a "self help" system. I think Tim is on the track and even if a lesson with Jeff will correct some details, he will be more prepared if he really work hard by himself on B.E. and then get a lesson.

Ko,
I will try to do a "smiling roll-in" making a high pitch buzz and then put the horn on the lips. But, if I cannot do it straight away, I'll leave it to that.

As for lip buzzing, I think it can be a tool for some. I also know people who are good players (like Olaf in Norway - a B.E. man) that cannot lip buzz. So what? Just forget it - no big deal.

I follow you on the mpc buzzing thing. It works great for some (like Håkan Hardenberger and James Thompson) - but for others it is difficult. If - just forget it.

Great to hear about open minded teachers. Give her my regards!

Ole
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Bruce Lee
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that "free-buzzing" tends to cause us to manipulate the facial muscles into an non-BE type embouchure. Also, it is my feeling that mouthpiece buzzing is not as efficient, for similar reasons... inefficiency. When we use only the mouthpiece, we tend to move it into an embouchure position that may be entirely different from what we use when our trumpet is up to our chops.

A little "horse-flapping", and a few short buzzes on the mouthpiece probably won't hurt, however something like the "Adam leadpipe exercises" will be much more conducive to producing good results for warm-ups.

The "lip clamp" is a great off-horn, isometric type exercise. The Lip Clamp Squeak exercises are also helpful. The double pedals are extremely useful in helping to develop focus, and they WILL transfer into your normal playing register, as Jeff points out in the BE book.

Hope this helps!

Best always,
Bruce
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HJ
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I saw my name mentioned a few times, so maybe I need to jump in .

To Ko and Ole: I use the isometrics when away from the horn for some time. In the summer holidays last year this worked great, the first week after my holidays everything was pretty much in condition, my first trial tone was a high G, haha. Couldn't play for five weeks after that....no, just joking, that was another holiday before my BE-days, gigigi). I use the lip clamp as the main exercise, and sometimes I add one of these exercises, when I am dozing off in the car on the way to a gig. Gets me going again.
I do not think you really need to do them, but they can be helpful. Ko does not like them, that's fine, Ole likes them, that's fine, I like them too, that's great for me.

About this smile: When I look at the pictures in the book there are a few smiling more then others. As long as it is between those outers I think either way will be OK. For the record: I pucker a bit like Ole suggests, but I did not really think about this when I started BE.

Buzzing mpc OR lip never did anything for me. I know a lot of people who cannot live without it, I am not one of them. The only free buzz I do is the spitbuzz from Callet.

To Tim: blow up everything and roll-in your lips completely. You look like you want to control it too much. Let go. It has to sound like a balloon where you let the air PEEEEEEEEP out. That's the sound. It does not feel like a normal buzz, nor does it sound that way. At first the air may leak from the sides, but your lips will eventually correct this themselves as they grow stronger. Just have the courage to let go of your secure embouchure setting completely. Blow up!!!

Bert
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tclement
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2004 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for the very helpful replies.

I've begun to work on rolling in more and I have begun to produce a weak but much higher-pitched buzz.

Jeff emailed me an mp3 file of a hiss and squeak also.

My new sqeak is about same pitch as the recording, but is much softer in volume.

Tim
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oj
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ko,
Last evening I tried roll-in with a wide smile. I could produce the squeek sound at a high pitch, but a much wider area of the lips took part in the vibration. When putting the horn on I got a sound, but it felt very strange and I don't want to do it. For those teaching it can be a good thing - just to know how it feels.

If B.E. only had this part (half part ot the "balance") I'm afraid some people could develop a smiling embouchure. But luckily when you do the other part (roll-out), you counteract this tendency.

It is not possible to smile and play double pedals

Tim,
Good to hear that you are devoping your roll-in ability. When you have these high pitch squeeks, notice how easy it is to produce a high note on the trumpet!

Ole
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for trying and sharing, Ole!

A wide area of lip to produce the squeak is probably not what we would be looking for, as we are trying to 'downsize'. When I do the squeak, I can't even see the part of my lip that vibrates. It's so small, that I can only tell where it is by the feeling of it.

Ko
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