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Standing on the cusp of a major increase in range.


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Lionel
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTJ wrote:
Lionel,

Thanks for that! I am on that very track as we speak. I have been using a Wedge MP around the size of a Bach 10.5D with a 25 throat. I recently tried a shallower Wedge MP with a double cup, but it was on a different rim. The arm size was too large so I am having Wedge make me that cup on my rim.

I loved how the shallower double cup played. It took less effort to get a big sound. However, because the rim diameter was too big I would quickly bottom out. My hope is this cup on my rim will give me the same benefits without the bottoming out. Regardless, like you mentioned, I need to get used to it and your idea of using it when tired might expedite the process.



INTJ: I am fortunate to own close to the whole flippin line of Al Cass pieces. Every one almost that I'd ever need. As such all I had to do to make the described graduated changes was to move from,
3x4 to
3x6 to
3x7

By this time I pretty much owned the TOP first tpt book but still wanted more. So in May of '15 or so I cut an even shallower piece. It only slightly helped my cut-off point but man did it ever cook! Esp with that huge #23 throat.

I practice like a fiend these days. Hoping to return to my former agility on the ax
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTJ, (that is also my M_B type)

When you said this:

INTJ wrote:


The kind of range issue you experienced for 50 years can ONLY be overcome by the kind of deliberate practice you are doing now. What likely happened is you developed a reliable G, and much more important than stretching to DHC is have endurance, style, reading skills, etc. So the focus of your deliberate practice became things other than range.


I think that you unfairly dismissed Lionel's point about changing his chop setting. I had the same issue (as do many others) but my range topped out at the D above high C.

No amount of deliberate practice on that chop setting was going to get me any significant range increase. I was stuck at this point for 45 years until I finally figured out how to set my chops in a way that enabled me to play the higher notes much more easily. And with much improved endurance.

Steve
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveDurand wrote:
INTJ, (that is also my M_B type)

When you said this:

INTJ wrote:


The kind of range issue you experienced for 50 years can ONLY be overcome by the kind of deliberate practice you are doing now. What likely happened is you developed a reliable G, and much more important than stretching to DHC is have endurance, style, reading skills, etc. So the focus of your deliberate practice became things other than range.


I think that you unfairly dismissed Lionel's point about changing his chop setting. I had the same issue (as do many others) but my range topped out at the D above high C.

No amount of deliberate practice on that chop setting was going to get me any significant range increase. I was stuck at this point for 45 years until I finally figured out how to set my chops in a way that enabled me to play the higher notes much more easily. And with much improved endurance.

Steve


Deliberate practice is not just practicing in a deliberate way. Here is an excerpt:

https://expertenough.com/1423/deliberate-practice

"How you practice matters most. To benefit from practice and reach your potential, you have to constantly challenge yourself. This doesn’t mean repeatedly doing what you already know how to do. This means understanding your weaknesses and inventing specific tasks in your practice to address those deficiencies."

Lionel changing his embochure to improve his playing well illustrates deliberate practice. Practicing a certain way that limits for decades us is not deliberate practice. It's just practice.
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. Thanks for the clarification.

Steve
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveDurand wrote:
Cool. Thanks for the clarification.

Steve


I came across this in Anders Ericsson's book "Peak." It was life changing for me. It basically showed me that while I had engaged in true deliberate practice for intonation, tone, and range during my comeback; I hadn't really done so with jazz style, reading, and improv. Guess where I was weak and guess where I was strong?
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveDurand wrote:
INTJ, (that is also my M_B type)

When you said this:

INTJ wrote:


The kind of range issue you experienced for 50 years can ONLY be overcome by the kind of deliberate practice you are doing now. What likely happened is you developed a reliable G, and much more important than stretching to DHC is have endurance, style, reading skills, etc. So the focus of your deliberate practice became things other than range.


I think that you unfairly dismissed Lionel's point about changing his chop setting. I had the same issue (as do many others) but my range topped out at the D above high C.

No amount of deliberate practice on that chop setting was going to get me any significant range increase. I was stuck at this point for 45 years until I finally figured out how to set my chops in a way that enabled me to play the higher notes much more easily. And with much improved endurance.

Steve


Agreed however INTJ has been very kind to me. I think one of my last posts rectified your observation. If his words were "unfair"? Lol then I'd hope to receive more of his criticism than what I regularly get here.

And your point about fixing a cut-off point is very helpful. It's true! As a cut-off point often can not be defeated purely by practice alone. And by the way,

I'd be fascinated to learn what it is that you did to fix your own former range limitation. As the infamous "High D Cut-Off Point" has long been an area of study for me. I believe that I know a good deal about it but additional information is always fascinating to me.
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lionel,

Lionel,

My point is that when we get stuck at a certain place, whether it's range, endurance, improv, reading, whatever; then we are not engaging in deliberate practice as defined by Anders Ericcson and others. It's worth reading his book "Peak" as he defines deliberate practice and shows how there is no such thing as natural talent, from Mozart to chess masters to music school students to top gun.

Deliberate practice is hard. Its not just mindlessly practicing, which is something we can all fall into. It's a very active and engaged process where we are thinking and analyzing, systematically making adjustments to our approach, and seeking feedback on our progress.

This is exactly what you have been doing as you are rebuilding your embouchure, it is yielding results, and it is an inspiration to all of us trying to improve.
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTJ wrote:
Lionel,

Lionel,

My point is that when we get stuck at a certain place, whether it's range, endurance, improv, reading, whatever; then we are not engaging in deliberate practice as defined by Anders Ericcson and others. It's worth reading his book "Peak" as he defines deliberate practice and shows how there is no such thing as natural talent, from Mozart to chess masters to music school students to top gun.

Deliberate practice is hard. Its not just mindlessly practicing, which is something we can all fall into. It's a very active and engaged process where we are thinking and analyzing, systematically making adjustments to our approach, and seeking feedback on our progress.

This is exactly what you have been doing as you are rebuilding your embouchure, it is yielding results, and it is an inspiration to all of us trying to improve.


There certainly is natural talent. My goodness Doc was playing the Carnival of Venice during his second week playing trumpet. Brisbois had a working triple C he could articulate "Ping"! In middle school. And in addition to his high notes Maynard was playing all brass and reed instruments by age twelve.

And therr most certainly are physically limited embouchures. Chop settings which preclude the production of certain high notes regardless of how much patience and perseverance is applied. Their chop settings exist like genetically stunted trees.
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"It is surprising how skilled you can become on a very limited (trumpet) embouchure and how many years you can play on that and then how difficult it is to correct that once you find that it is tremendously limited". Bill Moriarty, 2005
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I used to fall in with conventional thinking, I now completely disagree with the notion that there is any such thing as "natural ability." Whenever we look under the hood on any of these great players, we find that they spent hours and hours engaged in deliberate practice from a very early age.

I highly recommend to all the book "Peak" by Anders Ericsson. He lays it out very well.
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lionel,
If you go back up to the 6th post in this thread I recounted my experience in getting to where I am.

So, if you have any particular questions for me after reading that, let me know.

Steve
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveDurand wrote:
Lionel,
If you go back up to the 6th post in this thread I recounted my experience in getting to where I am.

So, if you have any particular questions for me after reading that, let me know.

Steve



Okay gotcha. Yes I really liked that post. Thank you Steve. Second time Ive read it.

Your experience with Stevens-Costello is not so strange. I've known or known of perhaps a half dozen cats who really liked it above the staff. Yet below that? Not so much. My original mentor back in roughly 1974 was having a helluva time getting down to Low C. However last time I spoke with him he had finally conquered that matter.

Then there's an undocumented story I've heard saying that Wayne Bergeron also had trouble really nailing a Low C his first couple years. Wayne fits my description of a perfect, natural at Stevens system. As did Brisbois but so far as I know Bud never had a hiccup with his chops. Except according to Seeley Music after he started fooling around with pedal tones.

Just as an aside, pedal tones were considered anathema by Roy Stevens. But strangely enough? They may be one of the missing elements to my own interpretation of Stevens.

I use the word "interpretation" because I had to tweek one of the elements in forming the embouchure. This was the one thing that I simply had to do that actually "turned one of the last screws" and helped me pull off Stevens. You should know in advance however that until I found this key? I was an absolute utter FAILURE with the Stevens System aka "Stevens-Costello Triple C Embouchure Technique. I failed with it for at least 40 years.

I guess you could call me determined. Or persistent. There is of course "Knowledge Learned in Failure". So i will fast forward to what I did. But first you should note that I wasn't alone with my failure on Stevens. Many cats couldnt pull it off. Of course those who could are utter monsters.

Unless the average trumpet player has observed a good Stevens system pro? He really doesnt know how cool they are. They can be flippin monsters. See "Roy Roman".

I'm also told that Roy Stevens himself was beyond belief. He was quoted as having a range that

"varied between Quad to Quintiple C". Roy continued: "Depending upon the shape I'm in".

You might note that notes only slightly higher than that exceed 20 thousand hertz and as such are probably inaudible to most humans.

So what did I do? Well tonight I lied. As I'm gonna finish writing it tomorrow. But here's part of it.

I reasoned that I wasn't able to make Stevens embouchure work because when I pushed my jaw forward I disturbed the way my lower lip interfaces with my upper. What this mean??? It means in my former receded jaw embouchure (before my injury and busted incisor!) That the natural position and suppleness of my lower lip did interact very nicely with my upper lip. In turn I had a very nice G above high C. Higher notes than most my peers. That and I eventually developed a big sound and a high G that would absolutely knock yer socks off.

Although nothing higher than a G. Not without damaging myself. Now why couldnt I get same results with forward jaw Stevens? Because like I mentioned the mere forward movement of my jaw destroyed the supple and longer contact that my lower lip had with the upper!

Upper lip vibrates!
Lower lip controls and assists. In fact the lower lip does this in a way I can't quite put in words. I know the reason but can't explain it well. Fortunately this isnt necessary. As I do know how to "re-route" my lower lip now. Thus I can pull off Stevens. And in turn I do have notes well above Double C and climbing. I even had these tones a year ago which is standard operating procedure for learning Stevens. You don't want to procede with the system unless you're already at least squeaking some savage high notes. Otherwise why bother making the embouchure change? Plenty of 3rd and 4th trumpets out there in the world right? Who needs more mediocrity?

Now I have left out one thing. What was the trick that I pulled off with my lower lip? What did I do to tweak the system and get my upper lip to respond like Stevens said it should? I will answer tomorrow. Am just curious to see if anyone else figures out the trick. Also Ive got lotsa typos to fix in this draft and I'm scared witless that my computer will crash before I post...

PS:

A. hint: I did something odd with my lower lip. Upon configuring it this way? i could immediately play a few notes over High C.

B. In 1997 I almost had to quit playing. As I had a painful neckpuff and had to cure it. Which I did.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTJ wrote:
... I now completely disagree with the notion that there is any such thing as "natural ability." ...

---------------------------------
Very true that the 'ability' is not there naturally, but some people are more physically and mentally disposed to develop the ability.

It's a mistake to insist that everyone can learn or develop 'any skill they choose' - we all have limitations.

Jay
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
INTJ wrote:
... I now completely disagree with the notion that there is any such thing as "natural ability." ...

---------------------------------
Very true that the 'ability' is not there naturally, but some people are more physically and mentally disposed to develop the ability.

It's a mistake to insist that everyone can learn or develop 'any skill they choose' - we all have limitations.

Jay


Read Ericcsons book and you might think otherwise. When we accept the conventional wisdom that some have more natural ability than others, we limit ourselves, provide an excuse for our own lack of skill, and dismiss the effort of the highly skilled. The reason that I am not as skilled as Wayne Bergeron is because I have spent nowhere near as much time in deliberate practice as he.

There are no limits as to the amount of skill we can gain. There is no age limit either. The limits are how much time we put into deliberate practice.
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Last edited by INTJ on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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bike&ed
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTJ wrote:
JayKosta wrote:
INTJ wrote:
... I now completely disagree with the notion that there is any such thing as "natural ability." ...

---------------------------------
Very true that the 'ability' is not there naturally, but some people are more physically and mentally disposed to develop the ability.

It's a mistake to insist that everyone can learn or develop 'any skill they choose' - we all have limitations.

Jay


Read Ericcsons book and you might think otherwise. When we accept the conventional wisdom that some have more natural ability than others, we limit ourselves, provide an excuse for our own lack of skill, and dismiss the effort of the highly skilled. The reason that I am not as skilled as Wayne Bergeron is because I have spent nowhere near as much time in deliberate practice as he.

There are no limits as to the amount of skill we can gain. There is no age limit either. The limits are how much time we put into deliberate practice.

Now theee


-Umm, the FIRST note Wayne ever played on a trumpet was a double high C...
-My 5'1/2" wife keeps telling she can play in the NBA (NOT the WBNA) with enough practice...
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INTJ
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bike&ed wrote:
INTJ wrote:
JayKosta wrote:
INTJ wrote:
... I now completely disagree with the notion that there is any such thing as "natural ability." ...

---------------------------------
Very true that the 'ability' is not there naturally, but some people are more physically and mentally disposed to develop the ability.

It's a mistake to insist that everyone can learn or develop 'any skill they choose' - we all have limitations.

Jay


Read Ericcsons book and you might think otherwise. When we accept the conventional wisdom that some have more natural ability than others, we limit ourselves, provide an excuse for our own lack of skill, and dismiss the effort of the highly skilled. The reason that I am not as skilled as Wayne Bergeron is because I have spent nowhere near as much time in deliberate practice as he.

There are no limits as to the amount of skill we can gain. There is no age limit either. The limits are how much time we put into deliberate practice.

Now theee


-Umm, the FIRST note Wayne ever played on a trumpet was a double high C...
-My 5'1/2" wife keeps telling she can play in the NBA (NOT the WBNA) with enough practice...


Sounds like an urban legend to me but regardless, it is irrelevant. Lots of people can squeak high notes, very few can play lead with the correct style, power, and endurance the Wayne does. The difference is thousands of hours if deliberate practice.

We all need to quit making excuses. We are the kind of player we are because of how much deliberate practice we do and have done. If you need an example, see what Lionel has been doing for the last couple of years.
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bike&ed
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not remotely an urban legend, WB talks about it, and I've heard the same story from multiple people I've worked with who heard it from Wayne directly, at his home. Of course he didn't have great sound or technique at first, and of course it took him thousands of hours of practice to become a great player. However, just like Shaquille O'Neal not needing to practice extra to be 7'1" naturally, WB didn't need to practice extra to reach the extreme upper register. Kobe Bryant has discussed this topic of natural vs acquired skill somewhat extensively, indicating that a 'less tall' person like himself (i.e. less naturally gifted) requires exponentially more hours of practice to equal (and yes, sometimes even surpass) those with far greater natural potential. Just keeping things honest here. Like INTJ, if I want to perform in the extreme upper register, I have to practice it extensively. Like it or not, there are absolutely a very small subset of people who can simply play loud dubbas and trippas without knowing why or how...but they can genuinely do it. I've taught and played with several as well.

https://www.chopsaver.com/blog/wayne-bergeron-interview-part-4/
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bike&ed wrote:
Not remotely an urban legend, WB talks about it, and I've heard the same story from multiple people I've worked with who heard it from Wayne directly, at his home. Of course he didn't have great sound or technique at first, and of course it took him thousands of hours of practice to become a great player. However, just like Shaquille O'Neal not needing to practice extra to be 7'1" naturally, WB didn't need to practice extra to reach the extreme upper register. Kobe Bryant has discussed this topic of natural vs acquired skill somewhat extensively, indicating that a 'less tall' person like himself (i.e. less naturally gifted) requires exponentially more hours of practice to equal (and yes, sometimes even surpass) those with far greater natural potential. Just keeping things honest here. Like INTJ, if I want to perform in the extreme upper register, I have to practice it extensively. Like it or not, there are absolutely a very small subset of people who can simply play loud dubbas and trippas without knowing why or how...but they can genuinely do it. I've taught and played with several as well.

https://www.chopsaver.com/blog/wayne-bergeron-interview-part-4/


So physics would tell us that there must be some characteristics in their physiology which permits these stunning high notes. The question I once had was,

"What are that physical characteristic(s) that allows these extremely high notes? A question that soon led to another. Such as,
"How can I duplicate the same characteristics in my own playing?

Obviously one of them was the forward jaw setting butt a could more hit me later too.
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"It is surprising how skilled you can become on a very limited (trumpet) embouchure and how many years you can play on that and then how difficult it is to correct that once you find that it is tremendously limited". Bill Moriarty, 2005
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bike&ed
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lionel wrote:
bike&ed wrote:
Not remotely an urban legend, WB talks about it, and I've heard the same story from multiple people I've worked with who heard it from Wayne directly, at his home. Of course he didn't have great sound or technique at first, and of course it took him thousands of hours of practice to become a great player. However, just like Shaquille O'Neal not needing to practice extra to be 7'1" naturally, WB didn't need to practice extra to reach the extreme upper register. Kobe Bryant has discussed this topic of natural vs acquired skill somewhat extensively, indicating that a 'less tall' person like himself (i.e. less naturally gifted) requires exponentially more hours of practice to equal (and yes, sometimes even surpass) those with far greater natural potential. Just keeping things honest here. Like INTJ, if I want to perform in the extreme upper register, I have to practice it extensively. Like it or not, there are absolutely a very small subset of people who can simply play loud dubbas and trippas without knowing why or how...but they can genuinely do it. I've taught and played with several as well.

https://www.chopsaver.com/blog/wayne-bergeron-interview-part-4/


So physics would tell us that there must be some characteristics in their physiology which permits these stunning high notes. The question I once had was,

"What are that physical characteristic(s) that allows these extremely high notes? A question that soon led to another. Such as,
"How can I duplicate the same characteristics in my own playing?

Obviously one of them was the forward jaw setting butt a could more hit me later too.


For sure, ‘the rest of us’ can learn the extreme registers too, it just takes us however much extra time/learning/breakthroughs/etc. to do it. Look at guys like Trent Austin, Jerry Callet, Charlie Porter, and many others, they own the extreme registers but had no natural knack for it. Apologies if I came across as a ‘Debbie downer’ earlier, really we’re all basically making the same point.


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Lionel
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debbie? I never knew her. Last name "Downer" too huh? Hope she
s not selling drugs...

Since no one asked? Will answer anyway. What I did after pushing my jaw forward was to roll out my lower lip until the bottom of the mouthpiece actually rests upon my lower lip. Basically if I were to open my mouth wide the horn wouldn't roll off my face. As the mouthpiece would still be supported by my lower lip. Hanging there kinda like a smoker's cigarette.

This act is extremely important for me. As it fine tweeks/tunes my chops so that they can finally take advantage of all the principles in Stevens-Costello Triple C system. This is no small achievement. As I've been searching for this "key" for over 50 years. Continued details provided upon request. This post had gotten bloody huge so will delete those parts but happily provide to any friendly, polite soul what the Hell else it was that I did in addition to the pooched out lower lip. This post is long enuf as it is...

I had a great breakthrough tonight. Is wasn't all whistles and bells and double Cs. Not hardly. Instead my middle register really came alive. I found a more efficient way to work my lips. It feels like when I lower the horn angle just a hair? My tone gets 400% more solid. Remember! I have comparatively recently started placing my horn angle much higher than before. In fact if you've ever seen how Stan Mark sets his horn? Yeah THAT high. I'm still placing it at an angle much higher than my former embouchure used to set. However its just a smidgen lower starting this past evening. Maybe only one degree (1°} lower yet this made sn incredible improvement. That and one which couldn't have come at a better time. As I'd been stuck in a nasty rut of overtrained chops for perhaps the whole month of this past August. I was really bummed out. Here I'd been improving by leaps and bounds. Even pulled out my Soprano E flat trumpet and did my tricky Memorial Day Concert. A fairly high register thing albeit with some help from my buddy Tom.

That month of August was just the utter worst period of my life from behind the horn. For a couple weeks there I could not even get above the staff. But during the past weekend I finally pulled out of it some. Not all the way out of my "pit" but enough to gather up my pride and move on. Then tonite something just "clicked" halfway through the rehearsal. It was a fantastic change for the better.

The odd thing here is that when I started this topic I truly believed that my chops really were on the cusp of a great revelation. Well? Tonight I definitely had that revelation. Now originally I thought my discovery would be some kind of major increase in dexterity and power in the extreme upper register. Instead however?

It was that my middle and lower registers would solidify! In it's own way this development ia even more welcome than the other. Because I still can play high notes on my new chop setting. However my real problem was that this new embouchure hadn't jelled yet. It had yet to feel like the natural process that my former embouchure had long since been. But starting this past evening, or technically yesterday something just "busted open". My tone has grown. Not hitting clams so much nor worried about them. And I've got power and SOUND. It's starting to feel like my old self once again. After a long time coming. Thank goodness.
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bike&ed
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great to hear about your new breakthrough INTJ, very cool!
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