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Dynamics By Airspeed



 
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pepperdean
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:39 am    Post subject: Dynamics By Airspeed Reply with quote

When I began the <> and >< studies, Carmine's direction was to increase volume by increasing airspeed and decrease volume by decreasing airspeed. Thus, the crescendo of pp-p-mp-mf-f-ff was to begin with air that was barely moving to a column of air that was going as fast as I could make it go. I found this to be very helpful because it focused on my breathing apparatus and the consequential embouchure reaction and helped avoid any "blowing harder" to play louder deficiencies. This helped avoid tonal changes at extreme volumes and kept pitch from trying to wander. I think this is a very beneficial practice concept.

Alan
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a question here?

I reply as I've had discussions about this recently.
IMO dynamics = amount/volume of air
range = air speed, support of aperture

To play the same pitch soft to loud, one must open the embouchure a little to allow more air to pass through without accelerating the air speed. My image is that of an oboe reed: if you blow more and more air through the reed, eventually the vibrations will get faster (hight notes happen) because an oboe reed's aperture can't vary - this is why oboes have a limitted dynamic range. And why sax players that want to play louder use mouthpieces that have a more open throat and larger gap between the reed and mouthpiece tip-more air can pass through without deforming the reed.

Faster air speed through the same size opening will cause more rapid vibrations=higher notes. In moving more air then adjusting the apature size you can maintain the same notes/frequencies.
This is why after a long stretch of playing loudly, you'll find you have difficulty getting soft. The reed (chops) is too far open to vibrate with less air flowing.

Practicing dynamics on a single pitch with a tuner, is teaching your chops how to adjust the aperture size to various amounts of air. Playing range exercises at the same dynamic level teaches your chops how to support varying rates of speed through the same sized opening.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Dynamics By Airspeed Reply with quote

pepperdean wrote:
... and helped avoid any "blowing harder" to play louder deficiencies. ...

----------------------------------
If the idea of 'changing the air speed' is more easily understood and accomplished, that's fine.

Maybe it works because it avoids the physical concerns of 'how to blow harder/easier' - no need to think (or adjust) about diaphragm, posture, throat, etc. - just 'change the air speed' passing thru the lips.

The 'words' that are used for instruction aren't always understood the same way by everyone!
Someone might hear 'blow harder/softer' and think in terms of the perceived pressure (or compression) inside the body, and not relate it to how much air is passing thru the lips.
Or, someone else might not be able to judge changes in the amount of air flow, but can feel a sensation of 'air speed'.

Jay
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a lesson on playing the <> exercises, CC would instruct the student to
play a note and then blow the air faster. The result would be that the note would get louder. Whatever the student did to make the air go faster, that is what he would do when practicing the <> and the >< exercises.

I wasn't aware of any student who was unable to do this or didn't know what it meant to... "blow the air faster."

The <> and >< exercises were really air speed exercises.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These types of discussions are always misleading because players do not understand the mechanics involved.

zaferis wrote:
Quote:
I reply as I've had discussions about this recently.
IMO dynamics = amount/volume of air
range = air speed, support of aperture


Not exactly.

dynamics = air power, (controlled by air pressure, and yes the air flow varies as well)

range=embouchure

We do not know, or care, what the air "speed" is. Most just use the term as a substitute for blowing effort (air pressure) or even air flow. But these are all not exactly the same thing.

Actual air speed also varies within the system depending on the location and the time in the vibrational cycle. But again you can not know nor should you care what it is.

Quote:
Faster air speed through the same size opening will cause more rapid vibrations=higher notes. In moving more air then adjusting the apature size you can maintain the same notes/frequencies.


It is a physical law that the air velocity through an aperture is proportional to the supply air pressure, not the size of the aperture. The aperture size then determine the flow once air pressure is established.

You do not have to necessarily "adjust" the embouchure for dynamics nor make any attempt to change the aperture size for dynamics. Just listen to the pitch.

Quote:
IMO dynamics = amount/volume of air

Please understand the difference between air volume and air flow.
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Last edited by kalijah on Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the OP.

wrote:
Quote:
helped avoid any "blowing harder" to play louder deficiencies


There is nothing deficient about blowing harder to crescendo. That is the way it is done.

Pay attention to sound foremost, Not air flow or air speed. These do increase as you crescendo but they are not the goal.
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:

Pay attention to sound foremost, Not air flow or air speed. These do increase as you crescendo but they are not the goal.

Not so. In the Caruso approach air speed is the only goal (the physical effort involved) for <> and >< exercises and no attention whatsoever should be paid to sound quality.
Of course, when playing music you don't think of air speed when play dynamics, and getting a good sound is always the goal.
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pepperdean
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No question. I was just sharing an important mental picture for achieving excellent results. Again, this is a teaching/learning tool and is not meant to describe exactly what happens when changing dynamics.

I always felt that Carmine's philosophy was to make a demand upon the chops and allow them to determine the correct response. I've previously described this as "appropriate tension." For me at one time, playing very loud meant blowing hard, which would include the whole body. This airspeed concept helped me make a direct connection from the diaphragm and intercostals to the horn with no extraneous efforts or tension. This stabilized my tone and pitch throughout the range of volume. This also allowed the air to flow more freely to the horn, thus making playing much more efficient.

Alan
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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kalijah
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In the Caruso approach air speed is the only goal (the physical effort involved) for <> and >< exercises and no attention whatsoever should be paid to sound quality.


Yes. It is not a purely musical exercise but if it sounds good that is a plus. You should at least listen for a crescendo AND remain near the center of pitch. For these exercises perfect musical tone is not of concern.

On a crescendo, the air speed (through the aperture) likely increases and the air flow increases, but these are the result of increasing the blowing effort.

I gradually increase blowing effort to crescendo. I do feel a slight increase in the air flow as a result. I have no doubt that the average air speed through the aperture increases as well but that is not the goal either. It appears you may be attempting to define blowing effort as "airspeed"

MY main objection was the idea, by zaferis, that airspeed is somehow constant on a crescendo. That is just twisted logic in an attempt to claim that airspeed determines pitch.
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:
Quote:
In the Caruso approach air speed is the only goal (the physical effort involved) for <> and >< exercises and no attention whatsoever should be paid to sound quality.


Yes. It is not a purely musical exercise but if it sounds good that is a plus. You should at least listen for a crescendo AND remain near the center of pitch. For these exercises perfect musical tone is not of concern.

On a crescendo, the air speed (through the aperture) likely increases and the air flow increases, but these are the result of increasing the blowing effort.

I gradually increase blowing effort to crescendo. I do feel a slight increase in the air flow as a result. I have no doubt that the average air speed through the aperture increases as well but that is not the goal either. It appears you may be attempting to define blowing effort as "airspeed"

MY main objection was the idea, by zaferis, that airspeed is somehow constant on a crescendo. That is just twisted logic in an attempt to claim that airspeed determines pitch.


I agree fully with your last paragraph.

BUT, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the Caruso approach. None of the Caruso exercises are ever intended to be musical nor should musical standards in any way ever be applied as a yardstick of success in playing them. If the student willfully tries to make them so, or believes that a musical result is a sign of success, the student is only hurting himself. By applying musical standards to the CC calisthenics, a level of true calisthenic success is lost. There will very likely be much improvement made, but it won't be as much as it could have been nor will the success occur as quickly as it would have if the student had followed the CC rules more closely.

In the words of Carmine himself, the calisthenics are not music and were never intended to be music in any way whatsoever. They are pre-music: that which prepares the student to play music.

Blowing the air faster and slower is a Caruso teaching tool. It gives the student a muscular effort to apply to the horn for the purpose of changing volume. The point isn't that the speed of the air is going faster and slower through the mouthpiece (which I believe it definitely is), the point is that
the student has (in Caruso's opinion) the best muscular effort for teaching the body how to increase and decrease volume.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BUT, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the Caruso approach.


I never said that musical pleasing result is a requirement.

The keys of the exercise are timing, execution, and breathing. A comfortable and natural embouchure set-up is important as well.

My point is I am not going to be disappointed with myself or a student if the tone is pleasing as long as all of the basic tenets are achieved first.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darryl, what part of "no attention whatsoever should be paid to sound quality" did you not understand?

TrpPro and Pepperdean are both long-time Caruso students. In my experience, there is a reason that they sometimes speak in absolutes. Pure Caruso contains elements which are very much opposite to traditional training or thinking.

If you favor a different version of Caruso than what he actually taught, then fine. Maybe it makes more sense to you. But it should be made clear that it is a version, and not what Caruso specifically advocated.

I hope you don't take this the wrong way. There is still plenty of positive overlap between your stated positions on TH (such as airspeed and lip aperture) and the Caruso method in general.

Jeff
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you favor a different version of Caruso than what he actually taught, then fine. Maybe it makes more sense to you. But it should be made clear that it is a version, and not what Caruso specifically advocated.


I fully understand that the execution of the exercises should be done with whatever tonal quality exists in the player. And no expectation in regard to that.

I studied the method under Andy Hagan. He was extremely detailed and precise but he also had a gorgeous sound when he demonstrated the exercises. I guess I wasn't supposed to notice that.

Again, I'm not going to scold myself if the tone is good. Neither will I if it is not good. It is impossible not to notice. It is possible not to require it or expect it.

So rather than "no attention whatsoever should be paid to sound quality" , I would say "have no expectation of sound quality".
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that Caruso did not "demonstrate" the exercises, but rather told the student to focus on the sensation of blowing faster air. That way he completely removed the tone evaluation component.

Of course, Pepperdean and TrpPro can correct me if I'm wrong.

There are times in teaching where I purposely do not demonstrate an exercise, as I want the student to be more focused on the primal physical sensation.

Jeff
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Caruso <> >< exercises is there ANY sound production quality that would be unacceptable as long as the loudness changes as expected?

Should the student have any desire or intent to keep the sound quality that occurs at the initial attack (regardless of whether good or bad)? And should the student even attempt to produce a decent sound quality, or a particular pitch/note at the very beginning?

Jay
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
In the Caruso <> >< exercises is there ANY sound production quality that would be unacceptable as long as the loudness changes as expected?

Should the student have any desire or intent to keep the sound quality that occurs at the initial attack (regardless of whether good or bad)? And should the student even attempt to produce a decent sound quality, or a particular pitch/note at the very beginning?

Jay


In a word, no. As a matter of fact, as I get into the middle of some of these exercises I find that I try to accelerate the air and the dynamics do not change because the muscles are not yet conditioned to respond to that level of demand, so even audible dynamic change isn't mandatory...only the procedure. The calisthenics are designed to coordinate and train the muscles. Carmine often said that no one had a bad sound. They simply had the sound they had at their present skill level. As the muscles were trained through calisthenic practice (and musical demands during the rest of the playing day) the sound would become more refined.

And I find that Caruso (and Adam for that matter) used descriptions and visualizations that were not necessarily what was actually was happening, but elicited the proper response activity from the player. I don't know if he actually thought air speed controlled volume, but that drew the response from students that he sought.

Most players actually can't tell what their body is actually doing based on feel. That is why mechanical teaching of muscle manipulations have such a poor track record as pedagogy.
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pepperdean
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Giving a nod to Jeff, Carmine said practicing his exercises would lead toward better "balance" of the chops. As they became better balanced the player would have increased range, better tone, attacks, etc. The "method" of calisthenics was to step-by-step make demands upon the system and to elicit a reflexive response. He used the example of a young child reaching out to touch a flame. The child would have no preconception of heat but would learn quickly and reflexively to pull away from the flame. Just like programming a computer, Carmine's students would achieve by making the physical effort and allowing the body to adapt, building in learned responses to every type technical demand. Musical goals were never sought, but they were achieved.

In the competitive world of NY brass teachers, Carmine was very critical of teachers who demonstrated the results they wanted, leaving the student to figure out how to get there. As an alternative, Carmine gave you the work. The musical results just happened along.

Alan
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good back and forth. Hoping it will help students reading it. trumpetteacher1 is correct in his assumptions about Caruso.

Caruso's words regarding the execution of the <> and >< was to "play with abandon." If the player starts with a good tone on the <> exercise, then he is probably not starting soft enough. It is likely that as the air is blown faster a clearer tone will emerge but when the count gets to F and especially FF, and assuming the player is playing with abandon, the sound will necessarily become raucous and ragged from over blowing. This is desirable. Caruso would say that the good sounds come from the bad ones. By over blowing, and under blowing, the student has gone beyond his physical ability to control the sound and likely the pitch also. In time, by practicing <> in this very
regimented way, the student will start to be able to control the extremely soft notes and the over blown raucous notes more and more and hence will have improved his physical dynamic ability for playing music. How far a student wishes to go with these exercises is his call. These can be some of the more physically demanding of the calisthenics.
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:

And should the student even attempt to produce a decent sound quality, or a particular pitch/note at the very beginning?

Jay

The student should attempt to buzz his lips when playing Caruso. I asked him once what I was supposed to do with my lips and he said, "Do this." And he buzzed his lips (a great buzz by the way).

For me, the best way to get a good free buzz is to play E/Eb on the leadpipe, then slowly drop the pitch an octave and then slowly remove the mpc from the lips. For me, the lips continue with a great free buzz.
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