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Missing link to my own range issue


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Lionel
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:01 am    Post subject: Missing link to my own range issue Reply with quote

Unless it turns up as a duplicate post when I finally hit "send"? Apparently the internet gremlins have forced me to lose about three solid hours of my work writing a new topic here on Jeff's forum

Aw well.. It sure serves me right. My posts really do get too long. The disappearance of three hours work teaches me a lesson.

"Hey Lionel, don't write three hour long posts you old fool".

Disclaimer: it is not my intent to reccommend or suggest any deviations from the B/E method. Fir goidness sakes I have too much respect for another man's forum. Nor am I necessarily promoting another system such as the Stevens-Costello system as described at times in this post. At least peripheral segments are listed. Couldnt be helped. As i couldnt describe how I combined the lower lip roll out to achieve the exciting results below. And if indeed any of my comments violate tradition or rules here? Then I just request that the viewer understand that my introduction of other systems is posted the same way a sign needs a pole. That and in future posts, if any I should find no need to continue any duscussion of other systems save and except at the moderator's exception or with his approval first.

Hope that helps!

In a nutshell. Starting last Dec 15 of this recently past year I combined a lower lip roll-out to an otherwise picture perfect setting of the Stevens-Costello embouchure. I ought point out that the Stevens system is new to me. Or while I've tried it before it had failed me pretty badly.

Thus I think its important for the reader's clarity to understand that the Stevens system aka "Stevens-Costello triple C embouchure technique" is a foreign embouchure to me. So my formation of it seven weeks ago while applying a B/E lower lip roll-out to the directed embouchure make up is all brand new to me. That and nearly as foreign to my trumpet playing as a pitcher learning to throw with his opposite arm.

My only advantage over a beginning trumpet player being that I already read and know the fingerings. Okay I probably have a few more advantages such as I have fairly strong facial.muscles from years and years of both amateur and pro leading playing.

Anyway? It works!!!! I'm so freakin happy now. A huge loaf has been lifted from.my near 63 y/old head.

Assets:

Improves rapidly. Am estimating that my new embouchure learns and incorporates what I practice on it at about a 1% daily improvement. This is a huge rate of progress.

Is opening up on volume and clarity.

Registers connect well. Esp for a mere seven week old chop setting. Is still easier to play G over high C if I set for it beforehand. However when starting an arpeggio on low C I can usually get a substantial piece of the G to double C region.

Articulates well. This was a concern I had left over from a previous embouchure experiment. I predict that my newer embouchure will provide enhanced technique in other areas. Such as blowing intervals.

Great ease of playing. While some notes respond fair to poor all are improving.

Unlimited range. While getting a solid tone above double C requires much concentration at present this can be completely attributed to the brevity Ive been using the system. No one starts a radically different embouchure and puts it out on stage in just seven weeks.

Liabilities: at present all deficiencies are attributable to the short period of time Ive played the new chop setting. I anticipate absolutely no permanent major flaws in the overall technique.

Characteristics: practice sessions seem to be more fruitful when kept short but done twice daily. Late in the AM then three to six hours later play another half hour to 45 minute session.

Volume improving. Volume seems to be the only sticking point commonly noticed on the Stevens System. Having said that? I believe that the lower lip roll out is a good mitigator of these problems. So that after I complete the system? I can expect a full tone in all registers

Oh heck I was supposed to jeep this short. So? Bye for now? Questions? Anytime.
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bear30101
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:21 am    Post subject: missing link... Reply with quote

Lionel, has this roll-out of the lower lip changed you from down-stream to up-stream?
Is your Jaw more forward?
More open?
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: missing link... Reply with quote

bear30101 wrote:
Lionel, has this roll-out of the lower lip changed you from down-stream to up-stream?
Is your Jaw more forward?
More open?


You would probably call what my new setting is "upstream". However 1I've never been comfortable using that term or its opposite the "downstream". Instead I prefer "receded jaw" vs "forward jaw".

My reasoning? The jaw placement is a much trickier factor in embouchure design as opposed to how much upper and lower lip is put in the mouthpiece. Case in point,

A certain teacher claims that he plays "all the major embouchures". From Stevens on through Farkas and even Maggio. These however are very opposite type settings. What works for one does not help the other. Easier to get congress to agree.

And yet upon watching his video showing him "demonstrate all the major embouchure systems"?

I saw little to no deviation from his main chop setting. No significant shift in jaw alignment. Nor change of horn angle.

Compare that to my own departure from my receded jaw setting. I checked my horn angle related to both the old receded jaw and my new forward jaw. Indeed the horn angle rose at least 20 degree's on my new forward jaw setting. This a huge benefit to projection too I might add. But a 20 degree rise in horn angle places a completely different and fundamentally new embouchure design in place. At present my newer horn angle rivals the condition seen in those videos of Stan Mark. He the 1970's era lead for Maynard. Stan played with his horn way up. And it feels good to finally get the bell of my horn out of the music stand. After all these years fer goodness sakes!

However in the video of this unmentioned teacher I'm just not seeing anything except very mild cosmetic changes to his regular chop setting. I have also heard a well noted professional and friend of Trumpetherald echo my observation,

"So & so isn't really playing different embouchures".

I'm not here to butcher anyone's reputation. So I won't go any further with my observation. Nor even mention who he is even privately. My feeling is that when trumpet players form a firing squad? They tend to gather in a circle. And as such I won't throw the first stone in this "glass house". Guess my point is just that the general public ought to remain vigilant. That and our teachers should be held to a high standard. At the very least they should "walk as thry talk". Like Jeff does. And they're other good teachers here too.

So? If a cat plays both Stevens and its polar opposite the Maggio? There should be a remarkably different horn angle. Otherwise the claim of multiple embouchure usage shouldnt be made. But Im certain that at least several trumpet players would disagree with me. And unless someone bugs me about this subject? That's the last that I ever want to say in dispute or correction of this person. Or anyone else.

Avoidance of the "circular firing squad effect" in other words.
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bear30101
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: missing link Reply with quote

Thanks Lionel,
What about tonguing: TOL, or KTM, or...?
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:06 pm    Post subject: Re: missing link Reply with quote

bear30101 wrote:
Thanks Lionel,
What about tonguing: TOL, or KTM, or...?


My guess is those are BE terms. First one meaning "tongue on lips". I cant remember the second.

Since long ago Ive gained much benefit from tonguing on my lips but I dont know if the way I do it is prescribed in B/E.

I tend to use shallow mouthpieces because my typical gig is on lead. The problem with shallow pieces is that they can be hard to get a full tone down in the lower register. One solution to this is to practice penetrating the lip aperture with the tongue. Particularly in the lower tegister. Another mitigating factor os to have a professional open up the mouthiece throat and backbore. A #23 throat works well for me.

But again I dont know if those thoughts in my paragraph above are part of B/E.
One thing I am certain of is that Im going through some thrilling times. My new embouchure is improving at an accelerated rate. Earlier this week I had estimated that my progress was around a 1% daily improvement. Just this afternoon however that figure seemed to double! I almost can't wait to wake up in the am and play trumpet again.

And on a personal note? I think that playing on a limited embouchure for 85-year-oldso long has caused me some depression. Eon"t go into the specifics but thats the way it looks to me. As a matter of fact this newfound good fortune has caused me a good feeling. Other than that haunting regret that I feel that if I only could have defeated my range limitation much sooner it would have opened greater opportunities.

Then again Ive also been luckier than most trumpets.
While my high range was limited i still allowed at least a high F. And many trumpets never live to develop even that note. Proving once again that "happiness is an inside job.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Lionel,

I'm glad you are finding success. You are certainly right about making progress. Progress is all that any trumpet player is looking for. But getting stuck at one level is the norm, unfortunately.

That said, I really don't know what you are doing, and if it applies to BE. Maybe you went into more detail in the deleted post?

Regarding the jaw being more forward, I do discuss it on page 144. In BE, it is variable, and not something that is critical to development for most players.

And that is also relates to my final point, which is that players go through different stages of development. I'm less concerned about notes above double C, and more concerned about helping players become more solid overall and eventually dominant up to high G. Players who are not already pretty solid, and who search for the "secret" to double C, usually fail, at least in my experience.

Enjoyed your posts!

Jeff
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:
Hey Lionel,

I'm glad you are finding success. You are certainly right about making progress. Progress is all that any trumpet player is looking for. But getting stuck at one level is the norm, unfortunately.

That said, I really don't know what you are doing, and if it applies to BE. Maybe you went into more detail in the deleted post?

Regarding the jaw being more forward, I do discuss it on page 144. In BE, it is variable, and not something that is critical to development for most players.

And that is also relates to my final point, which is that players go through different stages of development. I'm less concerned about notes above double C, and more concerned about helping players become more solid overall and eventually dominant up to high G. Players who are not already pretty solid, and who search for the "secret" to double C, usually fail, at least in my experience.

Enjoyed your posts!

Jeff


Your last point kinda paints my image perfectly. I have a poweful upper register although somewhat limited when around high G.

If its just for occasional use? Fine. A little work to blow it and I might need to gather up a week's worth of preparation in advance of such s gig. But Id pull it off. In fact what I used to tell my friends looking to sound like Maynard Ferguson? Is that instead they should just try and aspire to blow a decent lead like I do. A far more attainable goal.

And besides life is short. What if I did get my solud double or even triple C chops together by this coming spring. Or summer anyway.

Well what groups would hire me? Unless I started my own group I can only think of a couple local rehearsal bands I could join. And would I even enjoy plsining under someone else's direction? All good questions for me at age 63.

Had I been 43? Sure I'd probably taken the risk. Of course theres lot of bandleaders with hard personalities to get along with.

And yet las Sun was a perfect practice session. Extreme tripple notes squeaked easily. All were well connected to second line G. In fact the F above double C roared like a laser beam. And with ease.

I started thinking that maybe I'll finally have this thing doen in a couple months.

Then reality set in yesterday and I couldnt control much of anything at all. But I had to console myself wthr the knowledge that progress is not purely linier. We get peaks and valleys.

I tend to forget how hard life was on the gig.

So I stay positive. Be cause when it gets easy? Its damned easy. Like nothing. Yes im after the holy grail. No shame in tryin
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I wasn't trying to discourage you at all. As you said, you are already playing pretty solid lead, and you can likely withstand some extreme range experiments with your embouchure. At the right point in development, it is awesome that players can sometimes marshal their will and push the envelope to see what is possible.

My point was to advise readers that are not so well-developed to not go overboard in their quest for high range. In the quest for "easy" extreme high notes, it's relatively easy to get lost and discouraged.

I won't tell the horror stories, but I have some.

I agree that overall progress is never linear. Good luck in finding the grail!

Jeff
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:
Well, I wasn't trying to discourage you at all. As you said, you are already playing pretty solid lead, and you can likely withstand some extreme range experiments with your embouchure. At the right point in development, it is awesome that players can sometimes marshal their will and push the envelope to see what is possible.

My point was to advise readers that are not so well-developed to not go overboard in their quest for high range. In the quest for "easy" extreme high notes, it's relatively easy to get lost and discouraged.

I won't tell the horror stories, but I have some.

I agree that overall progress is never linear. Good luck in finding the grail!

Jeff


A very wise, poignant post. Yes in fact a set of battle hardened chops like mine are much less vulnerable to some in depth experimentation on a completely new embouchure setting.

Apologies in advance for that inintentional brag-share. Most trumpet players probably wouldnt want to fool with a new system. Not if they already had a fairly durable set of chops. Like a solid high F and occassional G or so. Caution, 2nd unintentionsl brag-share. Plus it can be damned frustrating. Even when the new system shows strong signs of really working.

In fact learning a new set of chops is highly instructive to me personally. As it is kind of like a slow trip down memory lane.

Yes at one time it really was hard to get a third space C natural to blow at a constant pitch. That and not crack on the articulation.

And at one time it was difficult for you or me to sustain a low G.

All and I mean ALL of these past challenges come back to light (haunt?) when one starts a totally different embouchure. And I'm not talking about something relatively minor. Like the mere "putting a little more red in the mouthpiece". Or something equally simple like perhaps playing less off the side of my mouth (not that such changes are necessary anyway. Am just referencing the struggle most of us can relate to).

To.me Stevens-Costello is radically different. I estimate that the angle from which the horn now comes off my mouth has changed to about 20 degrees higher. Great for projecting above the music stand lol. But holy hell its a major change. Requiring much patience and perseverance on my part. Or snyone's part.

Fortunately for your sake Jeff my first attempt to post today got erased. It was way too long. Granted there's more stuff I wanted to discuss and lay out here. Such as the borderline arrogance of the Stevens system advocates who insist that they are,

"Playing correctly".

Wow. I mean compared to.me? Sure. They kick my butt. At least compared to my original embouchure. And it isnt too shabby either.

However I would be less critical of their insistence that they "play correctly" if indeed the system did work for me. That and without the modification to the system. Which I've apparently succeeded (finally!) to be on my way with.

Perhaps however the modification I made is a major missing link? Like all potentially good ideas I like to promote my own ones first. Human nature being what it is. However this link actually come from B/E. If anyone wants my take on why this is so? Have at it ask away.

I think others have spoken of this too. What I did in a nutshell was by rolling out my lower lip (combined with throwing my jaw out as per Stevens) was to lengthen the channel the airstream travels under my upper lip. Again ,others have mentioned this. Its not new. But by creating a longer channel across the embouchure the upper lip becomes more inclined to allow extremely high notes. Or like this,

Lets say that for some reason you were trying to light a match by rubbing it across the typical striking surface on the back of the matchbook. However lets also say that instead of sliding the match down the length of the surface that you didnt know any better. So you ran the match across the pad at a right angle. Across the very short width instead of the length?

It would be harder to do wouldnt it? Sure you could learn to do it. But the strike would need to be perfect. At just the right pressure with very accurate and rapid speed. This is kind of anslogous to my existing chops. Sure, high F, sounds good! But it almost kills me to go higher. And there's not much margin for error.

Its not a perfect analogy. And at first glance may appear almost silly. However after I began popping some freaking enormously loud and extremely high ones? Like a near deafening F above double C? With squeaks to close to triple C? No i mean Quadruple C! No kidding... Yes, then the analogy makes sense.

But, like yourself I urge caution. If indeed a major embouchure change works for a trumpet? Especially a younger player? Its definitely not a speedy change. The kid may need every ounce of patience and perseverance he can muster. It aint fer sissies as Bobby Bare said about growing old.

So I hope this post expresses a kind caution to those would be experimenters. As I think Jeff concurs. That the bird in the hand is worth two embouchures in the bush. Unless the experimenter is easily predisposed to the change? And/or has tons of patience? Along with an equally studious and analytical mind?

Its probably best for them to keep the set of chops they're accustomed to. And I sure as heck hope and pray that no one here thinks I'm promoting some "get high notes fast" scam. For one I don't think that many of us are prone to develop high note chops overnight. Some seem to do this. And I heard tell of a few greats who started out with fantastic high notes.

But I'm not one of them and certainly dont wish to sell anything or promote my ideology as perfect or great. I am not a teacher. But do wish to help. As the amoint of strugging Ive done? Since I first started back in 1964? I just would like to see people avoid some of that.

If anything? Today I feel almost in a sense of denial. Like survivor's guilt. Negative thinking creeps in. Such as,

"This simply can't work" but then after the warm up heck YES! It is working. I would feel the same way ulon winning the lottery. "Naw! It can't be". But I swear it is happening.

I suppose a whole book ought to be written about the mental aspects associated with learning the advanced technique of the trumpet. But thats another topic for another day.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post!

All and I mean ALL of these past challenges come back to light (haunt?) when one starts a totally different embouchure.

Yup. All of a sudden we are uncertain, and little kids again. If you stray too far from home, it takes huge mental toughness to deal with this uncertainty.

What I did in a nutshell was by rolling out my lower lip (combined with throwing my jaw out as per Stevens) was to lengthen the channel the airstream travels under my upper lip.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but what you are describing is, in essence, RO #4. Many (most?) players have discovered that RO #4 unlocks the upper register to some degree. In RO #4, your jaw typically starts much more forward than normal (double pedals), and the lower lip is pointed and rolled out. And the idea is to keep as much of this setup as is reasonably possible while ascending. For many players - Dave Perrico in Las Vegas comes to mind - this exercise was all they really needed to start seeing astounding progress.

I suppose a whole book ought to be written about the mental aspects associated with learning the advanced technique of the trumpet. But thats another topic for another day.

Agreed. A lot of my work, especially with adult students, is in helping them to get past mental limitations and remove old baggage that they have been carrying around for years. The physical stuff is often easy by comparison.

Jeff
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:
Good post!

All and I mean ALL of these past challenges come back to light (haunt?) when one starts a totally different embouchure.

Yup. All of a sudden we are uncertain, and little kids again. If you stray too far from home, it takes huge mental toughness to deal with this uncertainty.

What I did in a nutshell was by rolling out my lower lip (combined with throwing my jaw out as per Stevens) was to lengthen the channel the airstream travels under my upper lip.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but what you are describing is, in essence, RO #4. Many (most?) players have discovered that RO #4 unlocks the upper register to some degree. In RO #4, your jaw typically starts much more forward than normal (double pedals), and the lower lip is pointed and rolled out. And the idea is to keep as much of this setup as is reasonably possible while ascending. For many players - Dave Perrico in Las Vegas comes to mind - this exercise was all they really needed to start seeing astounding progress.

I suppose a whole book ought to be written about the mental aspects associated with learning the advanced technique of the trumpet. But thats another topic for another day.

Agreed. A lot of my work, especially with adult students, is in helping them to get past mental limitations and remove old baggage that they have been carrying around for years. The physical stuff is often easy by comparison.

Jeff



Wish that I could just put a "like" here Jeff. As both my prior posts were too long. By my own admission. Perhaps the stress of switching chop settings is helped by my writing about it. There's no real stress actually. Not like,

"I'm gonna lose my gig if I dont get my chops together by next Thursday". But rather my own natural tendency to reheat old "tragedies". Such as the methods which I had tried before but not achieved my expectations on.

In this case today however it is different. I feel a little like the way Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary must have felt the day in May when they crossed over the "Hillary Step" and trotted those last few steps to the top of the world.

Okay I'm not "that good" yet. However the progress I see is stunning. Cant be dismissed even with my own generous capacity to think negatively lol... A mere month ago it was tricky to sustain certain notes. G top of the staff for instance. Initially 2 months ago it might have taken twenty to thirty seconds to get the note to start sounding close to professional. And in the process the note might break then re-appear several times before it sustained adequately. But in each of the following days practice it took less and less time to initiate the note. Until today I'm pretty confident and can generally attack it at will.

For this and similar reasons I'm no longer stressing that negative but probably necessary inner critic asking,

"Is this really gonna work"?

Because my answer is an emphatic yes. Thank goodness. The advantage I have over say a high school or college kid is threefold,

1. Ive long since developed at least respectable lead chops before. Hardly world class scream chair technique. Not like Biviano. (I just love listening to both hom and Nicholson on Maynard's band back in the day). So learning to put together good register is not like learning Latin.

2. I know how to practice. This is a real advantage over the younger players. That and it includes when to pull the mouthpiece out and call it a day. I practice somewhat short but multiple sessions daily. So as to avoid burnout and that "On again, Off again" rollercoaster of bad and good days.

3. Am more patient than I was as a young man. Part of this means that I've also avoided creating unreasonable expectations for my playing. I set out in December of 2017 just to be able to sustain and articulate any note from low C to close to double C. That and hoped my tone quality would improve. I have been complimented a number of times on the tone which my original embouchure produces. To me this is more flattering than getting a pat on the back for blowing high notes.

Patience was missing from my life when I was twenty. My chops constantly went from one condition of burnout to the next. One.

Jeff, you've been kind in your replies and I want to thank you again for allowing me space. I'm probably done with venting this matter. Praise the lord huh?
While its still a work in progress I don't feel like I need to be nursed along anymore. Not since the past couple of weeks. My internal critic is silent now. Until he figures some new way of telling me "your playing stinks Lionel, clean it up".
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:

What I did in a nutshell was by rolling out my lower lip (combined with throwing my jaw out as per Stevens) was to lengthen the channel the airstream travels under my upper lip.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but what you are describing is, in essence, RO #4. Many (most?) players have discovered that RO #4 unlocks the upper register to some degree. In RO #4, your jaw typically starts much more forward than normal (double pedals), and the lower lip is pointed and rolled out. And the idea is to keep as much of this setup as is reasonably possible while ascending. For many players - Dave Perrico in Las Vegas comes to mind - this exercise was all they really needed to start seeing astounding progress.


Hi Jeff,

In the book, there is no instruction with regards to jaw position for RO (nor for RI, except for a suggestion in the trouble shooting section), so I was a bit surprised to read in your reply here that the jaw typically starts out much more forward than normal for the double pedals, and that the idea is to keep as much of this setup (including a more forward jaw) as is reasonably possible while ascending.

To me, when doing the exercises, starting out from a more normal or natural jaw position seems to make more sense. I often see students move their jaw forward quite a bit, both on RO and RI, when they first attempt the exercises. Perhaps because the required lipposition is more extreme than what they are used to and they don't know yet how to get the lips to move far enough, so they revert to altering jawposition instead. But when you allow the jaw to remain in a more relaxed, normal/neutral/natural position (simply dropping the jaw a bit rather than pushing it forward as well), the focus is more on actual lip movement, which is one of the main points in doing the exercises.

I understand jaw position to be a variable, but perhaps you could comment on this?

Ko
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ko,

Always good to hear from you!

In the book, there is no instruction with regards to jaw position for RO (nor for RI, except for a suggestion in the trouble shooting section), so I was a bit surprised to read in your reply here that the jaw typically starts out much more forward than normal for the double pedals, and that the idea is to keep as much of this setup (including a more forward jaw) as is reasonably possible while ascending.

Surprised? I'm surprised that you are surprised. Yes, there is no specific jaw instruction, as jaw position is a variable. But there are instructions about the tilting the horn up on the double pedals. For many players, moving the jaw forward either accompanies or facilitates this tilt. If you actively shut this movement down with students, you may be interfering with a process necessary for their overall development.

To me, when doing the exercises, starting out from a more normal or natural jaw position seems to make more sense.

And why should that make more sense? What are you basing this on? In my experience, there is nothing "natural" about how the embouchure moves during trumpet playing. While some players "fall in" to a setup that works well for the upper register, the majority do not. Everyone else has to do something which, at least initially, is foreign and unnatural to their normal experience.

I often see students move their jaw forward quite a bit, both on RO and RI, when they first attempt the exercises. Perhaps because the required lipposition is more extreme than what they are used to and they don't know yet how to get the lips to move far enough, so they revert to altering jawposition instead.

Well, this is your interpretation of how the exercises need to be approached. However, nowhere in the book will you find such a conclusion. I never tell a student to not use their jaw in a forward position for any exercises. When students are attempting a setup which is foreign, I give them as much leeway as possible to discover their own (often unique) solution.

But when you allow the jaw to remain in a more relaxed, normal/neutral/natural position (simply dropping the jaw a bit rather than pushing it forward as well), the focus is more on actual lip movement, which is one of the main points in doing the exercises.

What you are saying sounds "kind of" logical, but I think it is overly specific. You are attempting to isolate lip movement from jaw movement, when the two should be working together. In other words, in the process of emphasizing the lips, don't actively deemphasize the jaw. Instead, emphasize the lips and let the jaw do what the jaw does.

It's kind of like telling a student to keep their tongue flat all the time, and never permit an arch, so the lips can become stronger. While it is true that too much emphasis on tongue arch can lead to weak lips, it is not a good idea to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The point is to find a balance. Jaw movement and tongue arch are both part of that balance.

Hope this makes things more clear!

Jeff
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your response. Very insightful and helpful. Much appreciated!

Ko
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Bert
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice and cosy to chime in with 'ye ole' crowde'

I have had some questions about jaw position as well. Also some people end up with an aching jaw in both RO and RI.

The only thing I tell them that the jaw shouldn't ache, if so then they are doing something wrong. For the rest I never gave it a second thought to be honest.

When people have a stubborn ache in their jaw, I sometimes test if they are able to move their jaw while playing, both up and down and sideways. Most people can do that easily, but sometimes they cannot do it, and those are the people that get into trouble. They use their jaw as a crutch to hold onto, and I think they shouldn't. I always advise them to start 'chewing' notes. Just try to move the jaw while playing. It can affect the sound, but that is not the point. In the end it will break this bad habit.

Cheerio!
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting point, Bert.

I haven't run into the aching jaw situation, but your solution sounds reasonable!

As for the ye olde crowd comment, yeah, this forum used to be pretty active. I still log in every day. But several years ago, I stopped actively advising new BE users to come here. There is simply too much contradictory information on the internet, even in this forum. Plus, my feeling was that a lot of players who posted in the BE forum were not very serious about their development. Very few actually contacted me personally for advice, and instead seemed to believe that magical breakthroughs would occur from simply reading and posting here.

In my experience, BE really is magical. But to experience that magic, you sometimes need a firm hand steering you in the right direction. I give very different - more specific - advice when working with a person one-on-one, than I do when posting here.

Still, good to hear from y'all!

Jeff
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:
Interesting point, Bert.

I haven't run into the aching jaw situation, but your solution sounds reasonable!

As for the ye olde crowd comment, yeah, this forum used to be pretty active. I still log in every day. But several years ago, I stopped actively advising new BE users to come here. There is simply too much contradictory information on the internet, even in this forum. Plus, my feeling was that a lot of players who posted in the BE forum were not very serious about their development. Very few actually contacted me personally for advice, and instead seemed to believe that magical breakthroughs would occur from simply reading and posting here.

In my experience, BE really is magical. But to experience that magic, you sometimes need a firm hand steering you in the right direction. I give very different - more specific - advice when working with a person one-on-one, than I do when posting here.

Still, good to hear from y'all!

Jeff


One new perception after switching to a rolled out lower lip position is the care I must take to keep my embouchure in a "just so" position. Let me elaborate,

Mr former or existing embouchure plays with a fairly low horn angle. While I've seen others blow even lower I am atill among the lower pack. I'd say on average I'm setting the mouthpiece so that the horn comes off a perpendicular to my face of about "4:00" to maybe "4:30" or so on a clockface. A little higher, maybe 3:30 in the very lowest of notes. Perhaps closer to 4:30 or almost 5:00 in the extreme upper register. The angular motion of my horn relative to my face is just a natural movement. I really don't think about it. Also the position of my lips inside the mouthpiece is such that the air gets released deep into the mouthpiece. That and I seem to enjoy a fair bit of lattitude where my lips rest inside and on the mouthpiece. While I can't deviate significantly from the setting I'm well used to I can still put my lips in slightly different configurations without paying a cost in either sound production or endurance.

Not so on my new setting! Granted since it is a radical departure from how I've previously played and that the muscles I'm now using are weak from being new? Well it's probably to be expected that I might need to adhere to a strict positioning of my embouchure. In other words what I've described as a "Just So" positioning. And... And I might add that my main concern about sustaining a tone well and with good quality requires the exact opposite of my former lip positioning. Instead of releasing the air deep into the mouthpiece well or "cup"? It must be released almost a little inside my mouth. Not deep inside the cup of the piece. In fact I think I'm releasing the air about dead even with the rim of the piece. And to reiterate the air must be released at this critical spot. Neither forward or behind.

This "Just So" positioning reminds me of my early attempts to strike a horsehair bow across an old violin. The one I won from my buddy in a card game. If it weren't for those four Jacks? I might never have tried the violin. Ever. But one thing peculiar to striking a tone on the violin is that the bow must also rest and stroke the string(s) at a similar "just so" positioning.To my dismay it is not so essy to get a good tone on a violin. I now have great respect for violinists today. All due to this experience.

My question to Jeff is that, in light of my need to keep my chops in such an exacting position, "Just So". Neither too much inside my mouth and most definitely never beyond a certain threshold inside the mouthpiece. Question,

Does the required, exacting balance I seek relate in part to your choice of the term "Balanced Embouchure" for your system?

Granted there are other factors I must maintain while playing and improving my new embouchure. Several things which I wont describe now in the interest of clarity. However just so long as I maintain these various controls the production of high notes is remarkably easy. That and they connect easily to all registers. Just tonight I played a series of octave intervals and 2 to 3 octave arpeggios going up to double C. And with staggering ease. My endurance is much limited but this is to be expected in a new embouchure. Heck a month ago it took me ten to fifteen minutes just to get a G top of the staff to resonate.

That's All Folks!
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the required, exacting balance I seek relate in part to your choice of the term "Balanced Embouchure" for your system?

Of course.

The difference between your approach, and the approach advocated by the BE book, is the degree of extremes.

You are traveling down a very narrow pathway. In my experience, the narrower the path, the lower the degree of success over a wide student population. In my teaching, BE actually increases the degree of success for all players.

In going down your path, there are an infinite number of possible outcomes, but four common ones come to mind.

1. You will eventually stabilize the setup and be successful.
2. You will not ever stabilize the setup, and always struggle with it to some degree.
3. You will not stabilize the setup, but experimenting with it will somehow improve your regular setup. (I know that it seems unlikely given the difference between the two setups, but I have seen it happen)
4. You will get totally lost and take up piano.

Given your experience, I think that #4 is unlikely. The other 3 are still on the table.

Again, good luck!

Jeff
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:
Does the required, exacting balance I seek relate in part to your choice of the term "Balanced Embouchure" for your system?

Of course.

The difference between your approach, and the approach advocated by the BE book, is the degree of extremes.

You are traveling down a very narrow pathway. In my experience, the narrower the path, the lower the degree of success over a wide student population. In my teaching, BE actually increases the degree of success for all players.

In going down your path, there are an infinite number of possible outcomes, but four common ones come to mind.

1. You will eventually stabilize the setup and be successful.
2. You will not ever stabilize the setup, and always struggle with it to some degree.
3. You will not stabilize the setup, but experimenting with it will somehow improve your regular setup. (I know that it seems unlikely given the difference between the two setups, but I have seen it happen)
4. You will get totally lost and take up piano.

Given your experience, I think that #4 is unlikely. The other 3 are still on the table.

Again, good luck!

Jeff


Not a bad assessment. Only four choices? And fairly accurate to my early days trying to convert to Stevens-Costello. I really couldn't fit it. At least not as described in the system. And as a person who once did try and get this square peg into the round hole? I can concur with your caution about embouchure changes.

In this case however? Not to worry. It is just showing too many signs of rapid growth. About 1% per day progress. That and the various red flags of failed embouchure development just aren't there. And I oughta know what these are. Having failed absolutely in at least one Stevens system incarination. These kinds of red flags are,

Inabiity or great difficulty to articulate,
Limited volume
Poor connection between registers
Painfully slow progress.

Sound like I've done this kind of thing before lol? (: (:
Actually there may be other characteristics of a poor embouchure choice. These however are the ones most intimate to me from past failed ventures. However as General Patton once said,

"Success is not how far you rise to the top but how high you bounce after hitting bottom".

After I get this system to mellow out just a bit more? I may just test it out on some music majors up at State. You know those non-brass musicians who end up taking Trumpet Techniques in their sophomore year class of Music Ed. majors. Back in my own college days I had pretty good luck working with some really hard cases. A couple of woodwind players who prior to working with me couldn't get a note out of the horn.

At the time and just for kicks I set both of them up with a Costello setting. Something that as described in Stevens-Costello didn't work for myself at all "square pegs-round hole" and all that. Yet by some stretch of good fortune? Both kids finally got some decent tones out of my suggestions. Neither became screech trumpet players but they did at least receive passing grades in the class. They were after all good sax players. Not trumpets .Their results however were better than I got taking Flute Techniques.

But as for what I'm doing? My God It's happening!! "Sacre Bleu"!!! I know it's working if only because I'm really REALLY enjoying practicing the horn NOW. Likef or the first time since 1972.

The stymie I had wouldn't be considered a significant limitation by most trumpet players. Not since the great majority of trumpets can't blow a high F at good volume. Not even if their life depended upon it. But I had all of that. Up to high G anyway. And yet it was driving me crazy without my really being aware of it. As I played musically if not exactly stunningly well. "Just a good lead player" is how I'd describe myself.

But it was making me depressed Jeff. A kind of "the blues" which slowly creeped up on me over the years.

Not anymore however. Am playing with a renewed vigor I never expected to even get back again. And I appreciate you allowing me a but of lattitude relating my experiences Jeff. Best regards,
Lionel
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are welcome to post here anytime, Lionel. I appreciate your perspective and passion.

Not a bad assessment. Only four choices?

Ahh, I think you missed the sentence previous to that.

I find it handy to reduce complex things down to a set of four, ala Carl Jung and his quaternity concept. His most well-known example of this are his four personality types, but there are many others.

Jeff
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