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On the benefits of doing very low pedals



 
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:55 am    Post subject: On the benefits of doing very low pedals Reply with quote

Although I´ve been in to the BE method for 2 1/2 years by now, and furthermore rather early in this discovered the benefits of doing very low pedals, not the Stampian one, but one octave lower - yesterday I got even more convinced of their usefulness.
Having practiced for some hours, then having done the Roll ins, initially beginning on G, done 3 times, then switching to high C, on the third run of this (Roll in 3) my lips stopped vibrating. Couldn´t get any decent sound out of the bell. So what to do? I did the double pedals, gently, and then carried on, carefully adjusting the pitch, down to the C below double pedal C; did this gently(having done that before just see see how deep I could come, but not like this)- tempo very slow quaver =60 and then I tried the Roll In 3, beginning at high C - and what happened? To my amazement I was able to play as if my lips were rejuvenated!
But what happened? Clearly, doing that low pedals the BE way should(?) pinpoint the possible vibrations of my upper lip (would be interesting to ascertain what part of the upper lip). And how about my bottom lip, kinda stretched out below the mpc? Should enter some relaxational state too?
And exactly what caused this rejuvenation? The relaxation in itself, the lessening of the lactid acid or what?
Anyhow in spite of already knowing the benefits this was a moment of epiphany!
ps I was tempted to post this in the Fundamentals but....
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Jon_Manness
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice. I like to sprinkle in double-pedals throughout my practice, but also during RI and TOL exercises. It "balances" me out.
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trumpetplanet
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn´t put it down to purely a relaxation thing... as Jeff points out in the book, most muscles work in opposing pairs so in order to relax one thing you have to tense another. Generally you could attribute a number of positive things to the practice of playing double pedals such as focusing the chops or helping to encourage relaxed corners (not stretched sideways)... I tend to think of playing double pedals as simply a reset exercise that helps to restore a familiar feeling in the chops. This is one thing that Jerry Callet discovered about them in the 1970s and it´s why he recommended to play them whenever you can throughout the day, or even on the bandstand, to bring everything back to homeostasis.

I´m not convinced that much further analysis is really fruitful. I don´t get into conversations about blood flow or lactic acid too often for the simple reason that I don´t know what I´m talking about in that respect. As trumpet players we are always looking for a magic pill and many people, apparently including yourself, have found this to be one.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Seymor, Jon and Rich,

I think that you all make good points, reflecting each of your experiences with BE.

Like Rich, I don't get into the lactic acid or relaxation things very much. To me, those are more of a general side-benefit which occurs when chops are moving more or less in the right direction. And in saying this, I'm basically just repeating what is on pages 60 and 61 of the book.

If you find great benefit in doing the double pedals, then it is because you need that unique muscular range of motion which it provides. Some need RO's primarily, others need RI's, and the rest of us benefit from both.

The core idea in doing these extreme range of motion exercises, of course, is to discover where you best function on the RO-RI continuum, in order to find the exercise (or combination of exercises) which generate optimum results.

For players like Jerry (Trumpet Yoga) or Lynn Nicholson, rolling out the lips (unfurling) is the key. For players like James Morrison or the late Armando Ghitalla (and his many famous students), RI is the key.

Recent feedback has led me to believe that it is time to put the BE teacher's manual back on the front burner. It will contain many unusual teaching approaches and techniques, with no attempt to be politically correct. It's probably a year away, but at least the wheels are in motion.

Jeff
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I read that to mean that a revised edition of The Balanced Embouchure is planned for the (near) future? Thanks, Jeff.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not planning a revised edition, but you never know. As it is, the knowledge in the book continues to be effective when properly applied. How the reader approaches and apprehends the knowledge - the psychology of overcoming obstacles to learning - is more the subject of the coaching book.

Jeff
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks.
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trumpetteacher1 wrote:
Hi Seymor, Jon and Rich,

I think that you all make good points, reflecting each of your experiences with BE.

Like Rich, I don't get into the lactic acid or relaxation things very much. To me, those are more of a general side-benefit which occurs when chops are moving more or less in the right direction. And in saying this, I'm basically just repeating what is on pages 60 and 61 of the book.

If you find great benefit in doing the double pedals, then it is because you need that unique muscular range of motion which it provides. Some need RO's primarily, others need RI's, and the rest of us benefit from both.

The core idea in doing these extreme range of motion exercises, of course, is to discover where you best function on the RO-RI continuum, in order to find the exercise (or combination of exercises) which generate optimum results.

For players like Jerry (Trumpet Yoga) or Lynn Nicholson, rolling out the lips (unfurling) is the key. For players like James Morrison or the late Armando Ghitalla (and his many famous students), RI is the key.

Recent feedback has led me to believe that it is time to put the BE teacher's manual back on the front burner. It will contain many unusual teaching approaches and techniques, with no attempt to be politically correct. It's probably a year away, but at least the wheels are in motion.

Jeff


Reflecting on the replies I´ve got I began to observe more closely what happened when I did those extra deep pedals:
To begin with I did not have any problems doing the double pedals - I thought - but pinpointing the lip movements I found that I did them wrongly. Also Jeff made me aware of too little upper lip and bottom lip "more under the mpc (=unfurling?); This made them both easier and more difficult - I became aware of the necessity to concentrate on strenghtening the corners. Lately progressing further down made this even more necessary. Wasn´t easy - took me a while listening carefully to the pitch (still a little fussy bottom C) - how I shaped my lips.
Came to think of a keyhole.. this awareness of the corners might be one of the benefits.
Anyhow this awareness of the corners also helped me (in a state of helping..) focus of maintaining them tight - virtually the opposite of the "smiling" embouchure instead using a "Smileying" (sorry couldn´t refrain myself).
One of my front incisors is a bit shorter than the other so I place the mpc a little bit to the right - which has resultated in some leaking on the left side - the Smileying embouchure seems to help!
Generally I´ve changed my embouchure to more upper lip - quite a difference to the old one both sound wise and endurance wise.

Maybe I´ve misunderstood it all - if so please tell me!
Ps Jon Mannes - I´ve begun to use your routine...Suits me well.
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Seymor,

Yes, it is fairly easy to "get through" the RI and RO exercises without much exaggeration of lip position. I see it all the time in players who send videos and who come in from out of town. And sometimes this weaker degree of RI or RO is helpful in the early stages, in order to give the student some early success and provide something to build on. But these exercises are called "extreme" for a reason. The point in doing them is to eventually get past your old comfort zones, and find out what is possible. With the RO exercises, it is really impossible to get that motorboat sound without sufficient unfurling of the lips. So the correct sound (very non-musical) remains a critical part of the exercise.

And yes, feeling the mouth corners move more forward and inwards is usually a plus.

It's not always easy to tell from written descriptions, but it appears that you are moving in a good direction!

Jeff
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