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From Karl Sievers



 
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALL poor players obsess on stuff other than sound, and they never get it. If
you think trying to control your lips will make you a good player you are
dreaming. So, get with a good teacher, play sound with lots of air freely
delivered, keeping that sound intact all the way up and down, and over time
you will transcend the difficulties of range.


From Karl Sievers.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i believe what sievers is saying (and i can't speak for him, it's just what i got out of the statement) is that you must focus on the SOUND, and once you achieve a good sound all over the horn, the other difficulties will be solved along the way. at least that's what i interpreted it to mean. i certainly didn't see it as an "ignorant and single-minded" attitude.
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2004 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The air has a sense of freedom and
turbo-charged energy at the same time. The
cheek muscles "engage" as we play, and
more as we ascend, but this all becomes very
very very subtle over time and with expertise,
and the "difference" between high and low
playing becomes minimized. If you think
about it, if we have a great deal of change
between low C and high C, your potential
range is already limited. We have to minimize
the change, so our limitations get stretched
out farther.

The lips themselves just sit there. This is
something you must learn to do. Keep the
attitude of the tone "straight out" of "flat out." If
you keep the sound the same, the chops won't
move. You can't control this via the lips, it is
only controlled via the tone you get. Do Arban
page 138, #35 - 38, and keep the sound on
the same plane throughout, and you'll see
what I mean. Your chops stay parked, what
infinitesimal changes elsewhere that need to
happen happen automatically, and this is how
you construct the "correct" trumpet player.

It is crucial to realize that NONE of this works if
your head is anywhere but in the sound.

If this doesn't make sense get back to me and
I'll try again.

Karl Sievers, School of Music, University of
Oklahoma.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<ALL poor players obsess on stuff other than sound>
I would have to say that in my experience this is a true statement. This doesn't mean the inverse is true. There are many fine players who take a very physical approach to the trumpet. Making a beautifull sound is the goal we want and using goal based psychology is the best way to completely train the mind to do the task. Analysis breeds paralysis. Then again, this isn't for everybody.


Billy B
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with what billy b said. the original post said that "all poor players obsess on stuff other than sound." he didn't say "everyone who focuses on stuff other than sound is a poor player."
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MikMahler
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Joined: 10 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello everyone!
I was just wondering where the original statement came from. A lesson, an article? Just curious.

Thanks!
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


Joined: 26 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the original post came from the Bach website in the "Trumpet Corner" Karl moderates.



[ This Message was edited by: PH on 2004-02-27 13:50 ]
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Combine this with learning to
keep that sound dead even all through the
register, keep the air going, but don't treat high
notes as "special." We have to learn to hear
the sound in all registers with no baggage or
anticipation attached. Put the breath through
that, and we're there. Learn this with
methodical exercises that span the range, and
do lots of lyric playing for the ability to keep that
fine balance in place for a long time.

Karl Sievers

[ This Message was edited by: dbacon on 2004-02-26 22:15 ]
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.selmer.com/trumpet/discus/index.html



Pat's right, I read Karl's column fairly often because he has such an excellent way of putting things. I'll archive them, because the site does not seem to. Posting them here, I hope, will provide players an excellent resource.
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Grand Canyon University
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Karel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

Thanks for posting those great statements. I often read Karl's comments at "Trumpet Corner", but after a few weeks they are disappeared. Now I can read them back over and over again!

Karel.
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. The imagination is the driving force behind music making. Hearing the
desired result vividly in your imagination will activate whatever physical
activity it takes to make that sound.

2. Every day and every repetition causes a more dependable result.
Inconsistency eventually vanishes as the body makes a habit out of the most
efficient way if finds to get the imagined result.

3. Most physical problems are air problems. When the air and the imagination
are working, the embouchure, tongue, etc. can settle into balance. If the
air never flows steadily the rest of your system will also be in a constant
state of adjustment and compensation.

4. Physical and psychological tension are the trumpeter's greatest foes.

5. A trumpet player needs to be involved with every note they play in an
energetic way-both physically and mentally. It takes a lot of energy to play
well. It shouldn't take a lot of force. If it does you are fighting against
yourself and/or the instrument.

6. We don't want our body to fight the physics and acoustics of the trumpet.
Those natural laws don't change. Therefore, we have to change our approach.

7. Unnecessary tension comes when the body is working against itself.
Isometric tension is created by opposing muscle groups which are at war.

8. Start the day by playing on the leadpipe/mouthpiece combination. Use
plenty of air and try to get the most steady and resonant sound you can. On
most Bb trumpets the concert Eb is the natural resonant pitch of the
leadpipe.

9. After you have set up the air flow and warmed up the embouchure (without
creating undue embouchure tension), transfer that approach to the trumpet.

10. Start with long tones or slowly moving flow studies with smaller
intervals. Every single thing you play all day is a tone study!

11. Establish a relaxed but energized airflow and a rich, resonant tone on
every note from the very first note.

12. Start in the middle register and gradually expand up and down
alternating higher/lower/higher/lower, etc.

13. Carry the beauty of sound and the free flow of energized breath into all
the other contexts: expand register, expand dynamics, go through all the
various articulations, lyrical playing, etc.

14. At all times remember to imagine a beautiful sound. Keep your attention
on that sound. Keep your energy up but never tense. Move that energized air
through your sound. Stay calm and mentally focused...never anxious.

15. Never get angry with yourself and never try to go so fast that anxiety
is created. If you do those things you are actually practicing being anxious
and upset when playing. Of course that is how you will feel emotionally when
you play if that is how you have practiced. Relax. It is supposed to be fun.
We don't work music. We play music.


PAT HARBISON


[ This Message was edited by: dbacon on 2004-02-27 22:25 ]
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MikMahler
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, that's good stuff.....
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

Actually, that last one is mine from some post that is buried deep in the bowels of this forum.

Pat
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2004 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DUDE! I knew it had to be good stuff!!!

Well, that tells you how organized my computer files are......
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scarface
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"ALL poor players obsess on stuff other than sound, and they never get it. If
you think trying to control your lips will make you a good player you are
dreaming."

That's like saying ALL university trumpet teachers speak in generalizations and absolutes. They don't all do that, and it's a darn good thing, considering how many different players they will see in their studios.

There are times when a teacher can help a student connect some defiency in their sound to a physical inefficiency- like excessive jaw movement while slurring or tonguing- with the aid of a mirror. A good teacher will try to elicit the desired improvement without the aid of a mirror, but in some cases it can help the student to see a physical ineffeciency in action, minimize it, and hear the effect it has on their sound. The teacher's job is to help them get it, even when focusing on sound hasn't done the trick. Afterall, we're not all born with the same ears, sound concept, or learning ability.

No disrespect to Dr. Sievers, who made some excellent points, but there are no absolutes in the trumpet world: some poor players eventually get it.
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senea
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that a poor player can grow out of micro-management - I did.

I think Karl Sievers believes that too...but only when they start thinking about music and not muscles.

senea
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orchestraltrpt
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whew- great stuff guys. Thanks a lot! I'm was/am a poor learner/just didn't get it/etc student. It's hard to concentrate and try to make music when you can't even get a solid pitch to come out of the bell! I can speak from experience.
I came from a technique-focused teacher in my undergrad who put the technical jabber on me pretty thick. I started working with several Adam teachers later after him (esp. Joe Phelps at App State), and now I feel like my mind is clear.

One of Phelps' biggest things that hit me is that he said you don't "blow hard through the trumpet." You just take a big breath and sing "Ahhh" in your mouth. He said when we sing, we aren't blowing wildly from our mouth- and trumpet isn't any different. You still have to take a deep breath, but no violent actions are needed.

I think some of us are initially taught to think about technique, or what the lips are doing. Perhaps that's good right at the very beginning. But too much can make you end up in a mess like me! Yuck!


Scott
MM Student East Carolina Univ.
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no doubt that in the world of trumpet playing, you have to have decent high chops (at least a solid D or so). However, a player with high chops and poor tone, no musicality, can't read, etc., is about as useful as a screen door in a submarine. Of course the ideal is having it all... which brings me to THE point. You will do the best you can do by going at everything on the horn via producing a fabulous tone all the time. And YES, high range can be learned. Anyone who went to college with me will remember me as a good player, good reader, yada yada, but no chops. I now have a pretty good double C, very good endurance, have performed the Brandenburg Concerto several times, etc. Of course I owe this to Mr. Adam (as do literally 100's of other successful trumpet players), and lots of practicing, but it is all learned. The fact that I have a good sound and am a good phraser and good reader have enabled me to enjoy a good career, so no matter what, do NOT lose sight of those qualities. Your high chops will come.

Karl Sievers, School of Music, University of Oklahoma.
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GL, of course your embouchure has to be decently close to OK... beyond that, the key to high chops is 1st and foremost establishing a good sound, period. Once that is automatic and reliable, keep "that" sound all the time, and methodically work up and down the range, keeping the sound riding on the breath the whole time. You can bet that you let your sound change as you anticipate the "difficulty" of high notes... that will put a wrench in the process every time.

Karl Sievers, School of Music, University of Oklahoma.
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PH
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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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