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BE nicely summarized?



 
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tjilp
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Joined: 09 Feb 2016
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:28 am    Post subject: BE nicely summarized? Reply with quote

A few days ago I posted a comment on a weblog that had a critical review of the BE book. (The comment is still under moderation)

I think BE is still quite underestimated and misunderstood, and deserves serious consideration and validation from trumpet pedagogues, as a valid road to a solid embouchure. And so I tried to clarify in my comment what BE is about. I was quite satisfied with my own summary and that's why I would like to share it here. Critical comments welcome, of course!

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This is just my view after 14 months of practicing. Only since the last few months, I have a BE teacher I wish Id done that earlier, because the exercises are much more powerful and extreme than the way I did them.

BE decomposes the complex embouchure movement into two muscle groups, that can be separately trained: the Roll Out exercises for the inner mouth funnel (mouthcorners, cheeks) and the Roll In exercises for the outer circular muscles (the lips). For both: completely forget about your regular embouchure settings. Just try to produce the sound conform the instructions.

Furthermore, BE offers two (series of) exercises to balance/coordinate these complementary muscle groups, namely the Advanced (Snapping) Slurs, and Tongue-On-Lips. By the way, both muscle groups (RO and RI) are equally needed in all registers, low and high. But they must be used in coordination, hence the name Balanced Embouchure.

All these are just exercises for strengthening the muscle groups and their coordination. It is a common misconception that you should apply these extreme lip settings directly to your actual embouchure!

If you have serious defects in your embouchure (as I did), than the risk of (intensively) doing BE exercises will be that e.g. your range could be temporarily reduced, or that your lip/mp orientation gets disturbed. Actually you are partly rebuilding your embouchure, discarding what you were doing wrong. This can take a few months (of embarrassment). The long-term reward is that the road to further development of embouchure and range will be opened.
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Trumpetguy74
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you recommend it for someone who just wants to increase range?
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tjilp
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very good question ...!

It was my primary goal to extend my high register when I started with BE, about a year ago. At that time, I could play high E's in a bigband setting, but I felt that that would remain my limit forever, because I was too much forcing. So I sought a more fundamental change to play the high register with more ease.

With BE I have rebuild my embouchure, and range. At this moment I can sometimes hardly play a high D in the bigband, and it has been much worse lately.

On the other hand my muscular strength increased so much that -in the practice situation- I can now play high notes, up to high A and even above, rather easily and repeatedly, without any squeezing. The frustration for now is that I can't apply this in the bigband setting - yet! But at least I'm now able to really practice that high range without destroying my lips.

I used to have frequently lip blisters, especially after practicing high notes, but nowadays that threat is totally gone.

So: BE is not an easy road to increase your range. It isn't even an easy road to trumpet playing (there is none). May be it isn't even a complete method to trumpet playing, and almost certainly not a do-it-yourself method - contradictory to what sometimes is suggested. You should find yourself a good teacher, as with any other method.

I think BE is a good, rational, approach to build or correct your embouchure. But apparently it also leads frequently to misconceptions and misunderstandings. So it all depends on what you - as an intelligent person - do with it. It is not a religion or a goal in itself, you're totally free to experiment. To do the exercises the right way though, you need a teacher. At least I did.
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trumpetteacher1
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Joined: 11 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For most players who look to BE for help, increasing range is a major desire.

In my own teaching experience, improvement in range is the norm.

Check out the testimonials for more information. And please be aware that only one or two of those players in the testimonials took a lesson with me personally. The rest either figured it out from reading the book, or received only email or phone support.

http://www.trumpetteacher.net/testimonials.html

Jeff
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Don Herman rev2
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Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trumpetguy74 wrote:
Would you recommend it for someone who just wants to increase range?


Of course. Especially since, as you develop with BE, you'll discover there's a whole lot more than range, and BE helps with that as well.
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Seymor B Fudd
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Joined: 17 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don Herman rev2 wrote:
Trumpetguy74 wrote:
Would you recommend it for someone who just wants to increase range?


Of course. Especially since, as you develop with BE, you'll discover there's a whole lot more than range, and BE helps with that as well.




+1! Indeed! Having played since 1959 my lips have never been in better shape than now - 1 Year and 7 months into BE. The usable range has been widened although still having trouble above D. But lately getting more promising. The other day I started using the pencil in mouth exercise (in a careful way) which seems to, in combination with roll ins to help me not reverting to the smile embouchure I believe is my weak point.
Also getting advice from mr Smiley has been very helpful. Although I'm a truly do it yourself man its better to get someone elses views!
So as the foundation of a good high register is a good lower one the answer to the question is yes. I never ever had these balanced chops! Still developing (becoming 75 'round christmas). My goal is a steady F above high C and its under way, no doubt.
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tjilp
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very slowly the BE pieces begin to fall into place, for me. What an ingenious analysis of trumpet embouchure!

My basic lip setup is becoming (some degree of) roll-in for all registers => RI exercises
The more roll-in you can start with, the easier it is to reach into the high register.

The roll-out muscles make for the airtight seal from inside mouthcorners and underlip => RO exercises

Then tongue level comes into play to help form the pitch => Slurs
This tongue level movement is a forward/backward one, rather than up/down.

And finally, articulation is made with the tongue, of course. Again, I'm using a forward/backward movement (supported by the airstream) rather than up/down => TOL
In the same spirit, I'm doing Ds and Ks. It is important to maintain the roll-in feel.

My upper register seems unleashed and getting stronger everyday, just because I can practice now without forcing. Playing up to A3 for now. Still a long way to go, eg. learning to use tongue in those regions.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the update and the good words, tjilp!

It sounds like you are moving more or less in the right direction, and making progress. Progress is the real goal. It is the one thing that keeps players happy and encouraged, whatever their current level of development.

Jeff
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