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"don't drop the jaw" - L Frink ?



 
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kgsmith1
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:25 pm    Post subject: "don't drop the jaw" - L Frink ? Reply with quote

Did Laurie Frink emphasize not dropping the jaw when descending? (For instance, as on p.75 of this pdf, or p.66 as numbered internally: https://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2397&context=oa_dissertations)

If so, does anyone know what motion she would have suggested instead of dropping the jaw, with the jaw or otherwise? (e.g., one could move the jaw forwards or backwards without dropping or raising the jaw.)

Not sure if the context really matters but I've been playing most if not all the suggested daily exercises in Flexus for a few months now, after having previously slowly introduced the basics in the book over a couple years of less regular practicing. I've also borrowed a bit from the "integrated warmup". No serious playing commitments to worry about so I'm just taking my time getting some basics ironed out this winter and working on improvising a bit.

Patiently working through Flexus seems to be increasing the ease of my playing so I'm aware the most helpful advice here may be to get off the internet and keep practicing. On the other hand I can tell there's a bit of an adjustment happening in my playing, so if there's something I can positively focus on maintaining instead of just avoiding particular motions, it might help to have a cue to keep in mind while playing the drills.
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PH
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not think this is the kind of thing Caruso would have said, normally. I knew Laurie and played several gigs with her, but did not study with her. It would be great if someone could reply who actually studied with Laurie.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there any reliable info about how low is being discussed?
The wording in the paper says -

"Frink wrote notes such as “maintain pressure going into the low register” and “don’t drop the jaw” next to this exercise" .

And the wording of 'going into the low register' raises the question of what Frink recommended to do when actually IN the low(est) register.

I'd be very careful of attempting to assign too much precision to the details of Frink's complete actual teaching based solely on that paper. The in person methods (and unrecorded words) used by Frink for other students might have been much different than for the author of the paper.

Jay
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gdong
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for re-igniting the thread!

As far as jaw movement (and by extension any movement on purpose) I think is something Laurie would avoid mentioning it. I remember having a conversation with her about what the tongue does in the mouth through the registers (I had just met with Jerry Callet RIP) and she used the whistling analogy. She had me whistle from low to high and observe what was happening. She said "if your aperture is good (which it must be in order to whistle) then everything else will fall into balance.

The jaw DOES move as we play, as does everything else in our body. The goal is balance across moving parts and we get that through synchronization and timing.

I used to pull the horn away from my face when I went down low, she caught that right away!
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kgsmith1
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the responses - sounds like this is a bit of a coincidence where I may or may not have been working through similar issues to a student she taught.

I'm not sure if any particular change I've made recently is enabling the minimized jaw movement, or if it's the whole system working better and the old jaw habits now just interfere. The current goal is to stick to the newer, more efficient way and get the muscle memory to be more consistent - the new way of playing is easier but it's not second nature yet. I'm missing more notes than I would like, but it's rarely a feeling of being tired or not having control - more usually it's just that I'm either reverting to old habits, or forgetting that the new way is less work.
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience studying with CC, in this regard, is the following.

In my lessons with CC, he never used the word "Don't" when instructing me how to practice his exercises other than to say "Don't think" when it was in regard to any questions I had that related to physical efforts, e.g., what to do with the corners, the tongue, the aperture, the abdomen, and many more. Everything was always positive. There were no "wrong" ways to do something when following the Four Rules. CC always told you how to do something and not how not to do something. It was always "Do this".."Do that"... and not "Don't do this... or that".

As lessons and years went on, many things he would originally say would become the opposite of what he had said earlier. I would bring this to his attention and he would just smile and say that it was his goal in many cases to turn a "Yes" into a "No" without ever having to say 'No." But by that time because of my development, the original question had become irrelevant. And he had been able to guide me to this place without ever being negative and me thinking that everything I was doing was exactly right.

So in this light, and since Frink was such a disciple of Caruso, my guess would be that Laurie's "Don't" was not something she used very often.

So the answer to the question of whether or not to drop the jaw would be, "Don't think about it." Carmine would also often just say... "Do it."
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pepperdean
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reminded of the Peanuts cartoon situated just behind where students sat in CC's studio. Schroeder is happily playing the piano when Charlie Brown walks up and says, 'did you ever notice how funny your tongue feels in your mouth?' Charlie then walks away, leaving Schroeder with a distressed look on his face.

Maybe, we shouldn't be worried about this. Just play the exercises.

Now, I can only think of two things that CC said that could be related. First, he talked about how you should play up the scale and play down the scale. He talked about problems arising from playing step-by-step, up the scale and just letting go to descend. I use the analogy of climbing a ladder in my teaching. We don't want to get to the top and just let go to get back down.

Secondly, when Carmine had me playing etudes from the clarinet books, he would have me construct an exercise using passages that included notes above high C with an interval of an octave or more. He would have me play the high note and change to the lower note 'without moving anything.' I would then add a note on either side of the interval and repeat the procedure.

This seems to contradict the advice about dropping the jaw but it could have been an instruction that was specific to what I was doing at the time.

Alan
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gstump
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cause & Effect. Don't be concerned about the effect. If your jaw drops when you descend it is an effect. The cause: descending down to lower notes.

When Carmine told me about cause and effect it was like a ton of weighs off my shoulders. But you gotta believe!!
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