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air pressure(was Bud Brisbois)



 
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ahtpt
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I am still trying to figure this out, and would appreciate any replies.

When I read/hear about guys like Brisbois, Shew, Englebright, et al, they all mention the abdominal muscles tightening as a huge role in playing the extreme ranges of the trumpet. This has always confused me, probably because no one has sufficiently explained to me how this occurs. My question continues to be: is air pressure a natural by-product of correct trumpet playing, or is it something that you have to intentionally do?

Obviously, Brisbois was doing something that wasn't happening with other "high-note" players of his time. (Or at least he was doing something at a much greater degree than the "others.") So is this thing he was doing something that one has to learn, or will it just happen as you play higher/blow harder?

Where I get confused is in the actual tightening of the ab muscles. Does one just flex their abs and start playing, or should you only flex them once you start to get above high C for example? How hard should they be flexed? Does this tension level fluctuate, or is it just "locked down" in one setting?

When I play the trumpet, I really don't focus on my abs, my corners, my tongue, etc. etc. I just try and make the best sound that I can and go from there. In the past I have tried to implement the tightened abs into my playing, but all it does is make my sound very tense and labored. It does not sound or feel good at all.

So basically I am asking if I should just trust that I am generating the proper amount of "air pressure" by playing as I always do("naturally") or if I should try to generate more than normal to play higher?

Thanks for any and all insights you guys have to offer!
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mumbles
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMHO, the tightening of the abs comes as a result of blowing with a certain amount of pressure. I tried the flexing to go higher, but alas, to no avail. I did not start to get real results until a) i firmed up my emb. and b) i let go of trying to flex and squeeze and roll and ...and...and... began to rely on how my body NATURALLY exhales air. Lay on your back and take in a deep natural breath (low breathing), fill up all the way. Next observe how you exhale, try speeding the air up by means of blowing, not flexing. Observe what muscles work. When playing, try to keep everything relaxed, using only the muscles you need to. This is a start. This may or may not take you past high C, but it will help you build a FOUNDATION on which controlling your abs and high range is based.

--C
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SchilkeB1
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

If I understand this correctly, it is not that difficult of a thing to do. When I play high, I don't use more air, but Faster air. The more air approach never worked for me, and just ended up getting me tired. What does work is blowing harder, if you will, but not with more volume. This will create an air stream that is fast and concentrated, like a laser beam, instead of all big, fat, and spread out. To blow this way, you tighten the abs. This is done exactly when you blow. It is only sustained while you are blowing air into the horn. When the note stops, you stop and rest. Then to go for the next high note, breathe in, and blow, trying to shoot your air through the horn like a laser by tightening your abs. Thinking of this analogy was very helpful for me. Remember, faster air stream that is small and compact, not more air.

As for when to use this approach, everyone has their limits. I start around A below high C, and go on from there. The higher the note, the faster the air needed.

Matt

[ This Message was edited by: SchilkeB1 on 2002-05-22 01:33 ]
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Pat
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I have come to look at this is that in playing the trumpet, especially the high range, you have to try and find, whether consciously or unconsciously (that's for the Adam and Chicago folks) the balance between air support and embouchure tension, always trying to keep things as relaxed as possible. In his ITG interview Herseth said he always tried to keep his embouchure as relaxed as he could depending upon the range of the note.

Roy Poper in his guide to Stamp says that by using good support you "purchase" the ability to keep the embouchure more relaxed; ie. the good air flow allows you keep your lips less tense and work less.

Use of the abs and (more controversially ) tongue arch does help to a degree to increase compression and speed up the air, and in turn let you keep the embouchure more relaxed and play higher ---I think with the ab flex you do have to make sure that everything above the abs remains relaxed so the air keeps flowing freely.

There also seems to be another principle at work here as suggested by Poper. From a muscular pont of view, by flexing the ab muscles you can keep your body energized so that other muscles (ie. the embouchure muscles) don't have to be kept as tense. --someone else may be able to explain the anatomical reason for this. --From my personal experience when I am going to say "pick off" a high C I just feel I don't have to use as much embouchure tension getting ready to hit the note when I have the abs flexed and I feel strong support down there.

Lastly, to answer your question, Pops McGlaughlin, in his book says that most people don't need to use the ab flex until they get to G above the staff. I am sure its an individual thing. I would imagine that most players use more the higher they go so they can increase compression.
I also find it helpful to use some ab flex for big intervals even below the G. David Baldwin says he uses more air the bigger the interval so the lips can work less. I find the ab flex (and tounge arch ) helps to increase the air and its speed quickly.
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Emb_Enh
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Bud Brisbois' own words from a clinic he was giving....

"Now first of all, taking a good breath, not what we call a Superman type breath or a He-man type breath, but a good strong fill this area of your body type breath, not to the point where your straining everything, but a good one. Taking it in through the mouth and filling this cavity in here. Now there are different books out calling it by technical terms, but I call it the diaphragm, which is not supposedly the correct term, but I call it the diaphragm, not a breath like Superman, this type thing up here (high chest), because that does nothing, you can't support, you can't build, you can't put any concentration on the air if you just take it up here. You fill this area in here and you fill it ALL. You don't fill just half of it but you fill it all, but you don't take the type of breath where your really straining. But a good one, and through developing you develop this area in through here. So we take our air and put it here. With this type of a breath, then we put support or what I call compression on the air, we put pressure on the air once we get it down here. Now, the pressure that I put on whether it be in the low register or the high register, we take a breath we put pressure on the air and then we attack the note. But we have set up everything here first before we attack the note. So we take our breath, (plays strong middle C), I put a certain amount of compression for the middle C. As I go lower, maybe a little less compression, as I go higher I use more compression on this area. If I hit a high C I will have air compression and I will explain that in just a minute. (plays strong high C). Now that is a high C and you don't see all kinds of strain or anything, but there is more compression or more strain or more concentration on the air down here, to hit that note. Now to get this sensation for what I call the compression on the air, it's a gripping of the air from all sides, it isn't pushing out, pulling in, it's a sensation, a feeling of taking the air and setting it with everything we have around here. Now it sounds like I'm squeezing and I'll tell you about that later too. It's not a constricting of anything in here, but it's a feeling of putting pressure on the air down here, pushing it from all sides, from the bottom up, from the top down, from the front in, from the back, so it's all concentrated, so your putting pressure on it from all sides. So the higher you go, the more of this pressure you put on the air. The only way that I can explain this sensation is that if someone were to come up to you and you were just standing there relaxed and all of a sudden they double up and are going to let you have one, right in the stomach your going to go (breathes in and tightens) place tension, but it isn't a tension of pushing out and pulling in, it's a tension that happens everywhere around the air to prepare for that blow, so your feeling the sensation of gripping all around here and that is the sensation you get when you grip this air. Now the higher you play, the more of this gripping of this air that you get or that you put on the air so that the air has more compression, if you have a can of compressed liquid of whatever you have and you feel this ssssss if there's more pressure, pounds per square inch, that ssssss is going to have more intensity. That is the same intensity that you are going to have as you go higher, you put more of this compression on the air. You grip the air with the muscles that you have. Now it takes time to develop these muscles, it doesn't happen as I say overnight. But this is the compression of the air. You take the proper air and you put the compression on it. As you're in the low register, you still put compression on it but as you go higher, you put more of this compression. So we start in the middle register ...(plays strong middle G, G, a little more compression and a B, B, a little more compression and a D, D, a little more and a G, double G) now that's a high G, now most of you, to hit that high G if you were ever going to hit one, which is a good 5th above a high C which is probably a high note for most of you, you'd be pulling in with this arm, about as hard as you possibly could, tensing up here, not taking in any air, not supporting from here, and we get (plays a squeezed high C) or something like that. The mouth squeezed and nothing happened, but if we take a good breath, support it and put compression on it, the proper compression for that note. (strong high C) we have a note that projects, we have it all from down here, and good solid corners and we project the note, we can do just about anything we want to on it, we can put vibrato on it, we can fill it up, we can play it soft, we can play it loud, (plays high C, C with vibrato, G, double G and tongues 8th notes) it's all from down here, everything we do is from down here, the compression. As we go lower we relax the compression, but we don't relax, we still have tension, we just decrease the tension as they say, not relax it. As we go higher we put more of this compression or tension on the air. Like gripping it.

the rest of the article is at Kev Seeley's brilliant site!!

http://www.seeleymusic.com/brisbois/index.htm

ENJOY!!
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2002 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Un-opposed support. As the abs lift the air up and out, the inhale muscles don't contract. The muscles that inhale only activate on the inhale, and the exhale muscles only activate on the exhale. No isometric tension with muscle fighting muscle. Good golf swing, no tension, just co-ordination. Blow out the candle, and move it farther away the higher you play. High notes are not high, just farther away. The support from the air column against the lips is what is important. Constant flow of energy through the embouchure gives you freedom and relaxation, flexibility, power, gigs, better life style.......got carried away there, sorry....


Dave Bacon
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Rod Haney
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for posting the link. I didn’t know it existed, anymore tidbits on Bud. He was the first hi note guy I had ever heard via the Jetsons. I was in my first or second year playing and just couldn’t believe what I heard and that this guy was playing over an octave or two higher than I could. And when he played high it just sounded sooo cool🤯 what he could do was the one thing I could not see how to get close to. The few I did know that could hi to dbl range couldn’t explain it in a way I could pick up on, probably me. But I’ve never heard anyone thru a mike that could touch him. He still stands above anyone to for hi range work. Mopinion only!
Rod
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe this is Bud.


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Rod Haney
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds like he’s playing picc and the jetzons a Bb??.
Rod
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rod Haney wrote:
That sounds like he’s playing picc and the jetzons a Bb??.
Rod


The key to understanding why it must be Bud are the shakes that start occurring just after 1:07 and continue on throughout the piece. Only Bud could pull off a Jazz trill that cool. His tone recorded very well too.

My immediate thought was that the recording engineer had tamed down Bud's tone. That he'd taken out some of the higher frequency vibrations to make it more like ''airport music''. In fact, if we ignore the whole screech trumpet part it's really just a pretty dull recording.

This here is the real Bud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZZfGhySg8I
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JVL
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2021 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello
the best would be to have a zoom lesson with Bobby, contact him via his website
best
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Lionel
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahtpt wrote:

Obviously, Brisbois was doing something that wasn't happening with other "high-note" players of his time. (Or at least he was doing something at a much greater degree than the "others.") So is this thing he was doing something that one has to learn, or will it just happen as you play higher/blow harder?

Thanks for any and all insights you guys have to offer!


You're certainly right about Brisbois. He WAS doing something different than most other trumpet players. According to Bobby Shew, Bud Brisbois was ''Doing a Costello thing''. That's an exact quote from the Seeley Music website. What Shew was describing is the ''Stevens-Costello Triple C Embouchure System''.

The reason he left out Roy Stevens's name is that Shew is an oldtimer. Costello started his embouchure system way back in the 1930s and in NYC. Roy Stevens bought out Costello's business soon after the old man died in the 1950s. But back to Bud...

I don't think that Bud actually studied the Stevens-Costello system, although he may have. There just doesn't seem to be any evidence to describe how he learned. Most of his friends and classmates from back in the day describe Bud as a self-taught trumpet player. Thus I assume that Brisbois was just a natural fit for the Stevens system.

We've seen other cats play trumpet like this too. Speaking of ''cats''? Cat Anderson almost definitely played according to the rules of Stevens Costello. Whether he realized it or not. Another good candidate for the system would be Jon Faddis. Basically anyone you observe playing notes significantly above Double C and which are executed with flawless precision and great ease?

That is probably a Stevens-Costello cat. Again, whether they realize it or not. Another indicator is the slightly upward tilt of the horn angle. Although this is not an absolute indication. There are exceptions and I know of at least one.

In my opinion, whenever you hear of an outstanding high note player who is promoting the various breathing approaches? You're probably dealing with a natural player. Or someone who naturally plays according to the principles found in Stevens-Costello. And as such?

They really can't teach you much about playing high notes. I won't name names here but the fact remains that many of the principles that define who can and who can't play well into the upper register are spelled out in the book written by Roy Stevens. The second edition was published posthumously in 2005 or so. I highly recommend this book.

How am I doing with following the Stevens method? I am coming along pretty well. It has been a year and a half since I made the change Although the strict embouchure change has reduced my technical ability in the short term. That said? I am basically kind of a beginner, turned intermediate trumpet player now. My chops need time adjusting to all playing conditions. However, at least in practice I no longer have any cut-off tones. I made the change for two reasons,

1. One, back in August of 2018 I was suffering from a mouth injury that absolutely ruined my former way of playing the trumpet. And,

2. Two, After fifty-four years of being stuck at just the G/High C I finally wanted to get rid of that nuisance cut-off point. So in NOv of 2019 I began the Stevens System in earnest.

That's all for now!
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