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Walter Smith Studies in Systematic Approach



 
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Blue Devil
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm getting ready to move on to Lesson 13 in the SA book in a couple of days, and I had a question about Part III of this lesson. This is the first lesson that has you do exercises out of the Walter M. Smith "Lip Flexibility On the Trumpet" book.

All of the flexibility exercises in the first part of this book have you play the exercise starting on "open", and then repeat the exercise again for each of the remaining seven valve combinations, ending with one last time on open again. So you play each exercise a total of eight times (I'm sure we've all seen exercises in various method books like this).

In his instructions for Lesson 13, Claude assigns exercises 1 and 2, and says to "play these many times very evenly". What is the best way to interpret this statement? For exercise 1, say, should you repeat the open valve combination "many times" before moving onto the second valve combination, and repeat that many times before moving onto first valve, etc., or should you go through all of exercise 1, going through all of the seven valve combinations, 1 at a time, and repeat the exercise as a whole many times? Of course all is this is with rest in between each.

I hope this makes sense, since I'm really tired while I'm typing this!

Mike Trzesniak
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Emb_Enh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...I'm getting really tired thinking about all that blowing...

Roddy o-iii<O
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EBjazz
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2002 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd start with 5x on each fingering. Do each exercise tongued through all the fingerings and then slured.
Also start with #2. Claude never had me do #1. I'd say just do one a week, #2, 3 and 4.
When you get to 5 just play it once- no repeat.
Do it tongued and slured, though.

Eb
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trjeam
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Joined: 06 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2002 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm on lesson 16 and claude has me doing 1,2,3,4 twice each and work allot on number 5 on the smith book.

I must say that the exercises have helped me allot. But they aren't very useful unless you do them with the dynamics that smith has written in.
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John Mohan
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Location: Chicago, Illinois

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2002 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there Blue Devil!

By the way, is your Trumpet Herald Username due to your playing in and/or liking the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corp? I assume so – I remember back when I was in High School, they were a very popular and well-known group.

Now, on to your question: Eric’s answer made sense, but one thing that you should consider is that perhaps Eric was at a different stage of development than you are at. The reason I say this is that like Eric, Claude Gordon didn’t have me start on the first Exercise in the book – actually, he had me start on the Exercise Three in the book (I just got my old book out and I see that that is where his “Watch the Tongue” and “Big Breath Chest Up” stamps begin, and also that is where the Exercise numbers are kind of half-circled (more like a “C-Shape”) in pencil the way I’m sure Eric and many others remember the way that Claude used to do. Wow, what a run-on sentence that was! Anyway, I had been studying with Claude for more than a year before I went through the Smith book with him. I had already gone through the “27 Groups of Exercises” by Earl Irons book, so I was at a higher level of development than someone starting Smith as their first flexibility book while in the “Systematic Approach” development routine. So for me (and perhaps for Eric) it made sense to skip the first more basic Exercise(s) in the book.

Although Claude assigned the Smith book as the first Flexibility exercises when he wrote Systematic Approach back in the early ‘60’s, he later started using the Irons book first and would have his students go through Smith (and Colin) later in their development. Now, this is not to say that your using Smith now is not a good idea – it is a good idea! Just don’t overdo it. If I were you, I would start right on Exercise 1 in the book. I would play it slowly and only one time each – just the way it’s written. And then rest as long as you played before going to the next one. Later, when you have developed the ability to do these easily and almost automatically – that is the time to add speed and repetitions. For now, just do the exercises at a slow relaxed pace, and notice the movement of your tongue as you rise up and then down through the pitches. It’s easier to notice and learn the way the tongue moves if you aren’t playing too fast.

I hope this helps you.

Sincerely,

John Mohan
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Blue Devil
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2002 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everybody for all of the tips and advice. I think this forum (and the whole Trumpet Herald site) is an unbelievable resource. To be able to communicate with others who are either playing through the same methods as you are or who have studied many years with the person who developed the method in the first place is extremely valuable.

John - by the way, you're absolutely correct. My username comes from being a fan of the Blue Devils drum corps since the mid-'80s.

Mike Trzesniak
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