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SC - It Ain't Just For High Notes!



 
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tptguy
Jerome Callet Forum Moderator


Joined: 11 Nov 2001
Posts: 3351
Location: Philadelphia, Pa

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2003 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Author SC
Don Herman
'Chicago School' Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 1749
From: Monument, CO, USA
Posted: 2002-05-03 01:59
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For the record, and for what it's worth coming from me (an admitted -- gasp! -- non-SC player) I have to throw this out. I have direct personal experience with several SC players, including a cousin-in-law who's a rep, and I gotta' address the High Note Thing (HNT) which keeps coming up in relation to SC.

SC, like any efficient embouchure and/or playing method, will make playing in all registers easier, and opens up the high register. I suspect the high-note stuff happens at shows and such because (a) so many fellow players judge us on our high range (IMHonestO, most audiences do NOT!), and (b) those who've gotten over the initial bumps find it so easy to play high using SC (compared to their previous method) that they just gotta' do it!

The players who've I've met personally -- which only includes one TH member, so far as I know, and it ain't who you think -- have a simply incredible of amount of material from Mr. Callet to work on. Arbans, St. Jacome, classical, jazz, etudes, you name it, and they are working on it. Mr. Callet's emphasis, once the basics are established (and even before) appears to me (looking from the outside as it were), to be heavily oriented toward sound and technical ability, not high notes. Notice I did not say "just high notes" -- I mean high notes, period! Any classical or jazz teacher would do well to assign the breadth and depth of material Mr. Callet assigns his students. Like any top-notch teacher, or least every one I've taken more than a passing glance at, he seeks to provide a balanced routine covering virtually every aspect of mastering the horn.

This is based upon a small sample size, and is just my opinion, but I suspect the majority have had the same experience. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, and flames are welcome -- it's freezing outside, with fresh snow on the ground!

FWIW - Don (on a quest to establish the Chicago in us all!)
_________________
Don Herman/Monument, CO
"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music." - Aldous Huxley

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Lee Adams
Superchops Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov 07, 2001
Posts: 281
From: Atlanta, Ga
Posted: 2002-05-03 13:27
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Don

Thanks for this excellent post, except for your invitation for flames! What are you trying to do to me? Maybe you have not been a moderator long enough

Any how what Don says is very accurate in that Mr Callet does try to lead folks thru a balanced practice and development routine.

Another issue which really needs to be stated is that SC in itself is an embouchure system (including emphasis on forward tonguing) and it is NOT a written out systematic method book which covers a complete conservatory method like the Arbans but only a presentation of the SC concepts for the student to apply to his own embouchure.
The SC book NEVER emphasizes the upper register before building a solid low and middle register first.
After that is accomplished the upper register becomes a much more easily developed by product of the efficient embouchure that has been developed, with very little mouthpiece pressure needed in any register.
Don is right that once the player gets a handle on an efficient embouchure like SC then it's hard to resist the temptation of screaming, or taking things up, etc.
I suppose trumpet players who struggled for a good range and endurance who later find it seem to get alot of personal fulfillment from using their high chops. Because they remember how impossible it once seemed to play with great range and endurance.

As always AAtozhvac@cs.com 706-347-2429

Lee Adams

[ This Message was edited by: Lee Adams on 2002-05-03 13:29 ]

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TheDubbaDubbaD
Regular Member

Joined: May 08, 2002
Posts: 36 Posted: 2002-05-11 09:23
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That is true. The good methods incorporate every aspect of playing.

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Nicholas Dyson
Heavyweight Member

Joined: Nov 28, 2001
Posts: 913
From: Seattle, Washington
Posted: 2002-06-27 17:49
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Thank you for your articulate posts.

Here's a question, and PLEASE take it like I genuinely want to know....

Don - without knowing what the Chicago School is about from my kneecap, it sounds to me like even though you don't use the SC system, you are a great proponent of it. So, with that said, why don't you? Do SC and the Chicago School differ so greatly?

Again, uninformed, but genuinely interested...
_________________
Nicholas Dyson
Seattle, Washington

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Don Herman
'Chicago School' Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 1749
From: Monument, CO, USA
Posted: 2002-06-27 19:58
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On 2002-06-27 17:49, Nicholas Dyson wrote at least partly:

Don - without knowing what the Chicago School is about from my kneecap, it sounds to me like even though you don't use the SC system, you are a great proponent of it. So, with that said, why don't you? Do SC and the Chicago School differ so greatly?

Hmmm... Where to start? Please note that my post was during a time when SC was being portrayed, unfairly I thought, as a "high-note" method. As I know, either personally or through the Internet and/or recordings, several SC players who are monster players over all their range, I felt obliged to cast a dissenting opinion from an acknowledged non-SC person just to bolster Lee and the others who've worked so very hard at helping so very many. I'm not a "great proponent" per se, any more than any other school of thought, as I believe there is much more common ground than dissent among various teachers and methods. I believe it is a good system which has helped many struggling players, as have several other methods. Comes down to what "clicks" for the student, which is frequently dictated by how dedicated the student is and how much time the student has, availability of teachers, etc.

Lee, much of the rest may not be SC appropriate and is quite long -- please let me know if you want me to delete or edit this post and I shall do so, perhaps moving it to the Chicago Forum. I'd like to keep the info, especially as I will likely need to edit it later for spelling, clarity, et. al. so please give me a chance to copy it over before it goes away!

For info on the Chicago School, go to he Chicago Forum on this very site for a good overview and intro. Bascially, the approach is to guide development using sound, and to disengage the brain from trying to think about all (or, most of) the physical aspects during your playing. The good Chicago teachers, like any others, do understand the physical side, and my personal (albeit limited) experience has shown me that there's a place for analysis in the Chicago style. It gets used only when really needed, and physical changes are likely to be guided by sound (music, song) rather than more directly. For example, I might ask a student to try a certain chop position, and then strive for a particular sound, working so that the physical becomes subconscious as quickly as possible. That is, give the student a model of sound which forces a particular physical response, altering it to get the desired result (physical <in the student> for the teacher, sound <of the teacher> for the student). By all accounts, Bill Adams was a master at this. Trying to consciously manipulate the embouchure is difficult at best, both for the student trying to understand exactly what to do, and for the teacher trying to figure out what the heck the student is doing. N.B. I said "difficult" not "impossible".

Is this in conflict with SC? Or, for that matter, any other method or system of study? I tend to think not, thus my "a little Chicago in us all" comments (hi Lee! ). Some aspects of some methods conflict with some parts of the Chicago approach. I'll just give two examples in passing: SC requires careful and thorough thought about the embouchure and may require specific equipment to help progress; Caruso asks that you ignore the sound entirely during the exercises. (FWIW, my teacher, a Jacobs student, also had a lesson with Caruso some time ago.) Both these methods, and all others, aim to get the student to be able to play music. As Jacobs has said (and I'll paraphrase, not having the reference handy): do what you want in the practice room, but the performance is all music -- nothing but song in mind then. No conflict in the long run! The Chicago School focuses on a way to think about sound and music when playing, and in my opinion can (and should) be applied to every system. It is not an embouchure method, it's a way of thinking about our playing.

Mr. Callet aims for a particular sound, so in that sense he overlaps the Chicago school. My teacher helps me analyze (though he doesn't like it) certain embouchure aspects and relates them to my pverall physical approach; once anayzed, he quickly moves to apply it through thinking about the music, not the chops. Song and Wind, that's the Chicago School -- song in your mind, wind (air in motion) to make it happen.

As for SC, I have the book, and the tape, and have read through them. I play regularly (every Sunday) and while my advancement may be slower due to limited practice time, I've not done too badly. I have applied some of the SC principles, but not all the major ones, and am a bit afraid of tackling it without a local teacher to help me through the rough spots. This is partly fear, and partly knowing myself -- I'm an engineer, analog IC designer, and live for analysis. Leading to paralysis, of course, especially with a totally new way of playing! Also, I tried a bit of the basics and I'm no Tom Turner -- it'll take a while to work it out and regain respectable playing ability, I think (ignorance speaks -- beware!), and so haven't taken the plunge. Honestly, it comes down to fear of losing what I've got for too long, when what I've got is OK and my progress has been decent going the way I am.

I could probably make this same argument, or a similar one, in every "chop-based" method. Reinhardt aimed for good sound; Maggio; Hunt; etc. -- the goal's the same for us all: to play with the best sound possible!

The bottom line is that Chicago concepts can be applied to SC or any other method, just as SC can be utilized to play any style of music.

Hopefully this helps. My brain hurts from all the typing, and I need to go practice Sunday's offertory!

Toodles - Don
_________________
Don Herman/Monument, CO
"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music." - Aldous Huxley

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Nicholas Dyson
Heavyweight Member

Joined: Nov 28, 2001
Posts: 913
From: Seattle, Washington
Posted: 2002-06-27 20:52
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Thank you Don! It sounds like the two of us are peas in a pod. I just got through writing another post about how I believe that MOST, (not all) of the schools of thought are out there because different people learn different ways, so each school of thought is basically just different 'verbage' or 'mindage' to the same end.

My prof in Uni was a student of Chicowicz (sp?) after having his chops mistaken for a raquet ball in a particularly heated match. (The 'socially lubricated' version of the story was a mite more entertaining, and believable!!!) Anyway, I have definately experienced the 'Chicago' vibe from that (and continue to teach from it) , just never tried to attach a name to the school of thought. After all, I just like to play trumpet....

Thanks again to Don, for a very informative post, and all you fabulous SuperChoppers for putting up with all this Chicago talk, especially without gettin a slice o' the deepdish!
_________________
Nicholas Dyson
Seattle, Washington

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Lee Adams
Superchops Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov 07, 2001
Posts: 281
From: Atlanta, Ga
Posted: 2002-06-28 00:42
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Don and Nick

No problem dudes! Superchoppers can handle wind lots of wind! (Hi Don ) We even do the sound thing too LOL LOL
Of course for the sake of embouchure types and methods most of the SC'ers will never go back to the smile stretch, even pucker embouchures, because most SC'ers already been there and done that.
Could SC be just a better more efficient usage of the embouchure compared with some of the other chop formations?
Sometimes the guys who dedicate themselves to SC are the ones who crashed and burned with everything else and had nothing left to lose. That was the case with me and many others. So some uniqueness belongs to SC as a specific embouchure type with many positive attributes.
Some already proficient players like Tom Turner adapted fairly easily to SC without significant lose of playing ability.



As always AAtozhvac@cs.com 706-347-2429

Lee Adams

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tptguy
Heavyweight Member

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 556
From: Philadelphia, Pa
Posted: 2002-06-28 01:12
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Lee, Wonderfully put, as always. Been there, done that, never goin' back! If a good sound (centered with focus, brilliance and excellent intonation throughout the range) happens without intentional effort to direct and control the chops that's luck, great luck. There is no reason to fight that. Then again, very few players, amateur or professional, get that kind of sound throughout their range every day on all material. That's why a more concentrated study of the embouchure is such a good thing for nearly everyone. At any rate, that's what my ears tell me. Best always, Kyle

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tom turner
Heavyweight Member

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 1629
From: Georgia, USA
Posted: 2002-06-28 08:05
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Amen brothers!

Been there,

Done that (for the first 40 years),

Ain't goin' back!

Warmest regards,

Tom Turner

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Don Herman
'Chicago School' Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 1749
From: Monument, CO, USA
Posted: 2002-06-28 14:48
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Thanks, guys. I didn't feel too good about my post when I left last night, but didn't have time to clean it up. Reckoned I'd just delete it and fix it up later over in my own little Forum . Reading it today, and figuring everybody's done seen it, might as well leave it -- typos and all.

Now, I do want to clear up a potential misunderstanding. While I believe that most "methods" are more alike than not, there are some significant differences, especially (or, specifically) in setting up the embouchure. As an example, Maggio, Stevens-Costello, and SC advocate pretty different embouchures (about as far apart as I can recall off hand), and so, at least initially, there'll be a lot differences in mechanics. Ultimately, once the embouchure is set, I think all methods degenerate... hmmm.. poor word... let's try "change their focus to" -- sound production, as in making it as musical as possible. That is, at least on the physical side, it's more than verbiage which is different. Once the physical has been handled, sound becomes the focus of every method I’ve glanced at (“studied” is too strong for most of them).

Finally, one last “Chicago moment” – Nick, I’m interested in hearing stories from Cichowicz students, or students of students – anything to help bring another Chicago legend to life. I started a thread over in the Chicago Forum a while ago, and I’d love to have you (or your former prof) contribute. FWIW.

Thanks to all! I’ll leave the SC Forum alone for a while now and lurk - Don
_________________
Don Herman/Monument, CO
"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music." - Aldous Huxley

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tptguy
Heavyweight Member

Joined: Nov 12, 2001
Posts: 556
From: Philadelphia, Pa
Posted: 2002-06-28 19:46
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<<<While I believe that most "methods" are more alike than not>>>

Because SC uses the tongue, face, lips, and air in ways that I've never seen any other system promote, I have to say that it's more different than alike. Just my spin.

<<<... let's try "change their focus to" -- sound production, as in making it as musical as possible. >>>

A major problem with many of the systems is exactly that word "musical". It is open to so many interpretations that I've found it nearly useless. But, I have found countless well intentioned players and teachers who play poorly but hide behind the term thinking they are going in a good direction. I think SC is a great step forward because it precisely defines the sound to be sought: focused with excellent center, brilliance, and precise intonation throughout the ENTIRE range. This sound is also often misconstrued, but a well trained ear can pick it out in a heartbeat. At least that's what my ears tell me. Best always, Kyle

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Lee Adams
Superchops Forum Moderator

Joined: Nov 07, 2001
Posts: 281
From: Atlanta, Ga
Posted: 2002-06-29 23:09
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Kyle

Well said and I might add that in regards to "trumpet sound" there is so much verbiage and opinions nowdays that perhaps a line needs to be drawn in categorizing trumpet sound.

Initially trumpets were by design made to sound brighter than cornets. Band and orchestra scores were written for the unique sound colors offered by each.
Have you ever noticed the big band and early 20th century trumpets were mostly small and medium bore horns, narrow bell flares which projected well and by todays standards are considered as pea shooters with their focused sounds.
Not until the 50's did the ML, L, bores and broader trumpet sound notions started to grow.

Unique in the big band era was players like Harry James. He had a very large sound but it was the classic bright trumpet sound.
I have always complimented players who have a fat and bright sound. That is considered by most as a better and more musical sounding than a thin, strained,tight,bright sound. Yes the embouchure type can influence the type and quality of sound significantly. Coming from all three embouchure styles I know this as fact.
You simply can't mentaly transfer a pretty open and full sound through a smile, stretch embouchure. When I tried this approach I had to pre set my lips in an even more open position which dead locked me even quicker and reduced my range of motion in my embouchure.
If you start out with a set up that is limited in its range of motion then there is little hope in significantly altering the sound with it.

Don failed to mention the Caruso embouchure set up in his previous post. And that is truly much closer to SC in the initial set up of lips and tongue than the other embouchure methods.

A great trend has moved toward a broader and darker sound for some folks to consider it as musical. Falling somewhere between a flugel and Alto horn. This is quite a shift and I understand what Kyle means that not everyone can appreciate a focused, controled,bright trumpet sound.
SC does lend to to a more concentrated sound because there is less passive air bypassing thru the chops with an SC type embouchure. When compared to smile, or pucker.
The concentrated vibrations from an SC embouchure can be darkened with deeper cups, and horns lending to a darker sound etc. But it is quite unfair to proclaim the bright, concentrated classic trumpet sound as non musical as I have witnessed some conductors and players to proclaim.

As always AAtozhvac@cs.com 706-347-2429

Lee Adams


[ This Message was edited by: Lee Adams on 2002-06-29 23:43 ]

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William Bentley
Regular Member

Joined: Jan 16, 2002
Posts: 42
From: Nashville Tenn
Posted: 2002-07-02 12:22
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Lee
I think that Jeff Smiley mentions things like range of motion as well. Could you and Jeff give a little more explanation about this and how to accomplish the best range of motion?

Regards
WB


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Buzz
Heavyweight Member

Joined: May 05, 2002
Posts: 768
From: McDonough, GA
Posted: 2002-07-02 19:15
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[quote]
On 2002-05-03 13:27, Lee Adams wrote:
Don


I suppose trumpet players who struggled for a good range and endurance who later find it seem to get alot of personal fulfillment from using their high chops. Because they remember how impossible it once seemed to play with great range and endurance.

Lee Adams

Lee... You have just described me. Can't wait until after the 4th.
Meg
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