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My Reports on Kurt Thompson's 16 Wk Range & Endurance Co


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Robert P
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lambchop wrote:
Trompette111 wrote:
I never hear you play a tune? Your tone does not sound so good and I have always been told to have focus on tone more than high notes. I do like high notes too though

Yes, I'll try play some lick soon so people can here my regular tone.

I haven't seen every post in this thread. What would you say your long-term goal is?

I'd be curious to see a video of you playing a two-octave scale from G below the staff to G on top of the staff and back down single-tongued. Would that be possible?
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Robert P
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BraeGrimes wrote:
Other cons:

He's a total *****

Even more fundamental than that, is his sound in any range one you would want to emulate?

If you could wave a magic wand and have whatever range Kurt has - *but* - the catch is, for all eternity you'll sound exactly like him, would you go for that deal? I sure wouldn't.

CJceltics33 says that sound isn't even touched on in Kurt's course - imo this "philosophy" is consistent with the results Kurt gets in his own playing. Not prioritizing sound would by itself disqualify anyone from being a credible "teacher" in my view.
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:25 am    Post subject: summary Reply with quote

First I'd like to reply to the comment on the idea of not caring about sound.
I don't really see anything wrong with his "sound". I remember watching some older videos and thinking I didn't like his tone much, however I think he has improved a lot and don't see anything wrong with his tone. As for not caring about sound, I don't remember any other teacher I had work on tone or sound. Once with another teacher I was concerned, they would say it was fine and I was over-analyzing. I think Kurt has higher technical skills than 95% plus anyone on this forum and people like to attack him somewhat out of jealousy, however he has a way of making enemies out of everybody, so there is no shortage of excuses to hate him. I did find that he was always finding ways to improve himself and his courses and is genuinely helpful with his students and easy to talk to. That said, I think he also has some psychological problems.
I am now on his sh*t list for not coming through with a video of myself playing some mad high note piece to confirm his thesis that he has the holy grail of trumpet courses, so he has removed all the videos I made for him and never did the final review lesson with me.
I think his course has some merit. It is designed to be an upper register and endurance course, so it doesn't deal with some aspects of playing covered in his other courses. It does deal with sound and articulation on several of the techniques. He does borrow some techniques from other methods, but has improved on some. One example is the Stevens palming method. Kurt has you slur up from low C without resetting or pausing. That idea is repeated in the multi-octave slur scale technique and helps develop playing ability needed for performance that is reminiscent of the BE method in my opinion.
My problem in the course was that as techniques and practice time increased week by week, eventually about half way through, my lip swelling became a problem. I was prescribed a rest day once a week, but I really didn't make any progress on high notes past the middle of the course. I put the lip buzzing at the end of my routine and only did the tier 3 pedals which were not hard on the lips in order to compensate, but I did struggle at the end and didn't always get through all the techniques. I also had other time pressures arise. It could be that my problem with lip buzzing was an indicator of something. After watching some recent Charlie Porter videos, there is a clean way of lip buzzing and a rough way. The rough sounding way is hard on the lips and that is how I sounded. Maybe that is something to work on.
I do believe I have improved on Kurt's course. I'm just back from a week vacation and didn't practice, so I'll see how I do with the usual Mitchell books etc. and check my range and endurance. Most of CJceltics33 review I can confirm, although don't get the idea that the course is mostly scales. It is also pretty clear even from other teachers that to maintain high note ability requires pretty continuous practice. I plan on continuing to use some of the best of the techniques for my practice.
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spitvalve
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you feel it was worth the money. I have a problem with people who claim certain goals can be attained within a specific time frame. To say "you'll be able to play this after sixteen weeks" is a bit presumptuous. Everyone progresses at a different rate.

For example, the Claude Gordon Systematic Approach is written as a 52-week course. I found while going through it that I needed more than one week to cover each lesson thoroughly, and never got past lesson 15. Did I improve? Yes! Was I wailing dubbas? No.

If I ever have the time to go through the CG method again, and take it at my pace, I'll likely be an old man by the time I finish the course (I'm already almost an old man). But many of the exercises and techniques I picked up from studying it have stayed with me and have been useful.

In my opinion there are a lot of better teachers out there who can help you progress in a logical and efficient manner. I'm sure some of the exercises he gave you may continue to provide benefits with regular practice, but it's pretty clear that the lip swelling and other issues were probably the result of being rushed through the program too quickly. Take it at your own pace and you'll probably get better results. And take Mr. Thompson with a grain--no, make that a whole shaker--of salt.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Sailors wrote:
These look like hostage videos.




I did literally laugh out loud.

To the OP: Thanks for sharing your experience Steve.
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lakejw
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:40 am    Post subject: Re: summary Reply with quote

lambchop wrote:
I think Kurt has higher technical skills than 95% plus anyone on this forum and people like to attack him somewhat out of jealousy...




I'm glad you've experienced some progress, as you say. For the money you spent on that course, you should consider some regular lessons with a reputable teacher. Somebody like Brad Goode, Bryan Davis, or one of many other frequent TH posters. You know, the "5%". Somebody who doesn't have a "sh*tlist", as you put it. You'll get a lot more for your money, and you'll have a survey of strategies and exercises from which to draw. Everyone learns to play in their own way. Sounds like you're motivated and committed to improving, so now's the time to move past KT and start putting the puzzle together for yourself.
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: summary Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm glad you've experienced some progress, as you say. For the money you spent on that course, you should consider some regular lessons with a reputable teacher. Somebody like Brad Goode, Bryan Davis, or one of many other frequent TH posters. You know, the "5%". Somebody who doesn't have a "sh*tlist", as you put it. You'll get a lot more for your money, and you'll have a survey of strategies and exercises from which to draw. Everyone learns to play in their own way. Sounds like you're motivated and committed to improving, so now's the time to move past KT and start putting the puzzle together for yourself.


Yes, good advice. I'm sure I'm on all the sucker lists there are.
I'm almost ready to switch to flute or something.
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lakejw
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: summary Reply with quote

lambchop wrote:

I'm almost ready to switch to flute or something.


Flute forums are boring
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but sometimes flutists aren't.
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:48 am    Post subject: Re: summary Reply with quote

lakejw wrote:
lambchop wrote:

I'm almost ready to switch to flute or something.


Flute forums are boring


Yeah, maybe this thread at least was somewhat entertaining.
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gabriel127
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lampchop, I applaud you for making yourself a test case and putting yourself out there for all to see and incurring the risk of being ridiculed and your playing being criticized. After all, for people who are willing to put a target on their backs, this forum is probably the grandest shooting range full of willing shooters.

It's obvious that you've been humble and candid throughout this process. I give you a lot of credit because actually, what you've done is provide a valuable service to all of the people who might be sucked in by promises of getting particular results in a relatively short period of time.

One thing you're proven is that anyone who expects to plunk down their money to someone and 16 weeks thereafter reach all of their trumpet playing goals, particularly range, they will be disappointed. As a matter of fact, I don't think that there's a teacher in the world past or present who can turn every student they encounter around and get them the kinds of results this course seems to promise in 16 weeks.

The fact is, there is no holy grail. Everyone is different physically and there is no one-size-fits-all method that works for everyone. Some people spend their entire lives trying to master the upper register and never achieve that goal, while others do. The key for those who do; however, is that they never stopped trying.

I think that everyone is their own best teacher. I believe in studying what all of the great teachers taught, trying it all and taking what works for you. You may discover some things along the way that work for you that no one ever told you, but one little thing that someone said or had you do might have been the impetus or the catalyst for setting you in the right direction.

My advice would be to just keep trying and never give up. You don't necessarily have to spend a fortune trying to take lessons from the great reputed teachers, or their descendants/disciples. You can get a hold of the material yourself, study it, assimilate it and see if you can make it work.

Your chance of being successful if you quit is nil. If you keep trying, you'll always have a chance.

Good luck to you and kudos for your courage to chronicle your experience with this course as a testimonial (or perhaps better termed a "warning") to others.
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gabriel127 wrote:
...

I think that everyone is their own best teacher. I believe in studying what all of the great teachers taught, trying it all and taking what works for you. You may discover some things along the way that work for you that no one ever told you, but one little thing that someone said or had you do might have been the impetus or the catalyst for setting you in the right direction.

My advice would be to just keep trying and never give up. You don't necessarily have to spend a fortune trying to take lessons from the great reputed teachers, or their descendants/disciples. You can get a hold of the material yourself, study it, assimilate it and see if you can make it work.

Your chance of being successful if you quit is nil. If you keep trying, you'll always have a chance.

Good luck to you and kudos for your courage to chronicle your experience with this course as a testimonial (or perhaps better termed a "warning") to others.


Thanks a lot for the encouragement gabriel, I will keep trying. Maybe flute as a secondary . After all it was not a real loss. I did learn some stuff and got better. I have plenty of books and methods to work from. Maybe I'll post a video of that scale asked for, plus a demonstration of a 2 octave slur scale up and down in one breath with even notes of constant dynamics (no pause or resetting) from low Bb to high Bb or maybe C to C.
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Crazy Finn
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: summary Reply with quote

lambchop wrote:
First I'd like to reply to the comment on the idea of not caring about sound.
I don't really see anything wrong with his "sound". I remember watching some older videos and thinking I didn't like his tone much, however I think he has improved a lot and don't see anything wrong with his tone. As for not caring about sound, I don't remember any other teacher I had work on tone or sound.

I haven't watched all of your videos and I won't comment on Kurt's sound because I haven't looked into it for quite some time.

However, I will say - every teacher I've had since 5th grade though post-college has had things for me to work on for my sound. It's not unusual for that to be a topic with a teacher.

I haven't worked a ton on range and I've been mostly a classical/legit player for quite some time and mostly studied with similar players and teachers. However...

Sound, efficiency, relaxation, flexibility, pitch, and tone are all related. Good sound/tone can be a excellent barometer of where you are at with those other things.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to supplement that, frankly, none of my teachers spent much time on range. It was about musicality and how to develop that.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've got the time and the money, actually taking up the flute for a while might help your trumpet playing as the embouchure for flute and trumpet (if you're playing each of them correctly) are very similar.

When I first played trumpet and only had a range to high D, my embouchure was very top-lip heavy and my mouth corners used to firm up in a downward feel, kind of like a frown.

Later when I learned the flute as music ed major in college, I learned that on the flute you had to keep the line where the top lip meets the bottom lip pretty straight across, meaning not frowning, nor smiling. As you ascend into the upper register on the flute, you close the aperture from the sides as well as the top and bottom and the bottom lip (and jaw) kicks out slightly to direct the airstream higher over the head joint.

When I applied those same playing mannerisms to my trumpet embouchure, the results were astounding. I finally was on the right track. I found that the bottom lip was sharing more of the burden of pressure and the embouchure became more efficient.

So taking up the flute for a little while could possibly help you on the trumpet because it did for me.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: summary Reply with quote

lambchop wrote:
I don't remember any other teacher I had work on tone or sound.

I submit that this speaks to the shortcomings of the teachers you've had.

Quote:
people like to attack him somewhat out of jealousy, however he has a way of making enemies out of everybody

You seem to be contradicting yourself - you do understand there's a legitimate reason people find him offputting or you don't?

Quote:
I am now on his sh*t list for not coming through with a video of myself playing some mad high note piece to confirm his thesis that he has the holy grail of trumpet courses, so he has removed all the videos I made for him and never did the final review lesson with me.

Does this strike you as professional behavior?

People talk crap about him because he gives them just cause to do so. Are you aware of some of the nonsense he's gotten involved in? If he were a fantastic player who chronically behaved like a d*ick, I imagine people would regularly add a caveat something along the lines of "but he can really play".

I'm not aware of people who have added that caveat. He can play high and loud due primarily the physical tools he was born with. I haven't heard anything to suggest he has a high degree of technical facility.

Ask yourself - who's hired him for his playing ability?

I've seen some videos of him playing some of the more accessible Maynard charts with some band I gather he put together. I doubt very much he'd play "Maynard Ferguson". Or Walt Johnson's ride on "Birth Of The Blues" with Lionel Hampton, or various other iconic high-note examples.

He posted himself playing parts of Doc's rendition of MacArthur Park...sort of. Have you heard Doc play it? Have you heard Kurt's version? If you found Kurt's version to be impressive after hearing Doc do it, well.... what can I say.

You might find the following interesting reading.

https://joeytartell.com/2014/12/02/an-open-letter-to-internet-stupidity/
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:24 am    Post subject: embouchure tweak Reply with quote

gabriel127 wrote:
... I learned that on the flute you had to keep the line where the top lip meets the bottom lip pretty straight across, meaning not frowning, nor smiling. As you ascend into the upper register on the flute, you close the aperture from the sides as well as the top and bottom and the bottom lip (and jaw) kicks out slightly to direct the airstream higher over the head joint.

When I applied those same playing mannerisms to my trumpet embouchure, the results were astounding. I finally was on the right track. I found that the bottom lip was sharing more of the burden of pressure and the embouchure became more efficient. ...

-------------------------------------
I don't recall any other mentioning of the 'straight across' lip position for trumpet.

I'm interested in learning if other players or teachers use that technique and description. I'll try it myself.

Jay
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lambchop
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:00 am    Post subject: Re: summary Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
lambchop wrote:
I don't remember any other teacher I had work on tone or sound.

I submit that this speaks to the shortcomings of the teachers you've had.

I tend to agree with you and I looked into the Spence and Pop's materials on efficiency and practiced long tones with that in mind before the KT course. I think it did help me. It could be I'm still deficient in that area so maybe I'll post those scales you were looking to see.

Quote:
people like to attack him somewhat out of jealousy, however he has a way of making enemies out of everybody

You seem to be contradicting yourself - you do understand there's a legitimate reason people find him offputting or you don't?
...

People talk crap about him because he gives them just cause to do so. Are you aware of some of the nonsense he's gotten involved in? If he were a fantastic player who chronically behaved like a d*ick, I imagine people would regularly add a caveat something along the lines of "but he can really play".

I'm not aware of people who have added that caveat. He can play high and loud due primarily the physical tools he was born with. I haven't heard anything to suggest he has a high degree of technical facility.

Ask yourself - who's hired him for his playing ability?


I think people like to attack him and can always find a reason to say he can't play, especially if they have to compare him with Doc to find an example. I know he has behaved poorly but don't know all the past offences, which I think stem from his problems. I can say for sure that he doesn't just play high and loud based on skills he was born with. He practiced an awful lot on various methods CG, Arban, Clark,Stevens, and completed the full Cat Anderson method. He can play all the Clark and Arban etudes by memory at full speed, can do Colin lip trills up to the extreme upper register, can glissando 4 octaves from pedals into the upper registers and back, can cleanly attack a given individual high notes and K tongue them. He isn't a professional and hasn't played many gigs I don't think, but is a teacher. He taught band in schools for a long time and then did some other things with real estate and stock market to make money, but has had some rough times. I don't think you have to be a professional to teach and I think some of the best professionals can't always teach.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gabriel127 wrote:
Lampchop, I applaud you for making yourself a test case and putting yourself out there for all to see and incurring the risk of being ridiculed and your playing being criticized.


I'll second this one!!
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