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Windmills of my mind?


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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:27 am    Post subject: Windmills of my mind? Reply with quote

Came to reflect the other day about the way I produce tones and rediscovered a probably very common habit: I hear the tone inside my head prior to playing it. Seems this is a prerequisite.
Probably been doing that my whole playing life but since I re invented my embouchure – and joined the Trumpet Herald I have come to reconsider and rediscover many many ingredients in my playing. For good or bad….
I find that I have to hear the tone in the right pitch in order to play it in order so to speak.
Thinking of another tone invariably makes me mix things up. If I don´t think/imagine say a G on top of staff but am intended to play a G, and I think of say, an F instead the result is, well, disgusting.
In my view this should be a learned habit. Or??? I do not have perfect pitch, for which I am thankful, but close enough- is this an ingredient? Or?

How about you guys – is this a basic ingredient in your playing and goes without out saying/thinking/imagining) or what?
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Don Herman rev2
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relative pitch is what most of us learn and over time we can get pretty close on absolute pitch without having "perfect pitch".

Having the sound in mind (not just pitch, but the whole sound) is critical in playing, at least for me, and a tenant of the Chicago school of playing. "Hear it, play it" is worth striving for. The notes on a page are more likely to sound good coming out the bell if you are thinking about the sound of a nice full G on top of the staff than if you are thinking of a black note named G sitting at the top of the staff. And sight reading is waaay easier IME if you can "hear" the notes on the page in front of you.

Starting out, you can establish relative pitch by popping the mouthpiece lightly with your palm whilst it is in the horn. Open should sound a low C, 1-3 a low G, etc. From there you can estimate octaves and neighboring pitches as needed.

Some windmills are worth tilting at.

FWIWFM - Don
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the goal is to develop an automatic 'reflex action' (embouchure / air / pitch) that is needed to produce the note. Not to consciously depend on mentally hearing or imagining the note beforehand.

Of course the learning process will require practicing that does include 'beforehand' preparing to play the note.

Jay
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JoseLindE4
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I'm playing best, the sound in my imagination (pitch, timbre, color, articulation) is almost as intense and vivid as the sound in the room. It happens before and during notes and allows me to adjust the room sound to match my idealized sound in my imagination. It takes a ton of focus but I find it's worth it. It's certainly a practiced skill.

I've done the same thing with brass players as in the demonstration below and the results are always quite dramatic in terms of quality of sound and accuracy.


Link
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Don’s comments about relative pitch are very accurate.
Since few of us are born with “perfect pitch”, and we all have different levels of natural abilities, understanding intervals, and what they sound like (ie, a perfect fourth is a perfect fourth, generally) is really valuable especially for a brass player. It’s common sense, if I’m playing, say, third space C, the next note is top line F, knowing what a fourth sounds like makes it much more likely that I won’t frack the note.
I guess this is all pretty basic.

Brad
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"You can only play as well as you can hear"...……..Bill Adam
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muscle memory and hearing the correct note (pitch) are both needed.You have to be able to hear and feel where the note is.I know sometimes when I try a
different mouthpiece, a note isn't where I thought it be,because the feel was different.

Hope this helps,

Al
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Innella wrote:
Muscle memory and hearing the correct note (pitch) are both needed.You have to be able to hear and feel where the note is.I know sometimes when I try a
different mouthpiece, a note isn't where I thought it be,because the feel was different.

Hope this helps,

Al


How do you feel sound?
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.
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Last edited by Billy B on Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BRSpringer
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Think only what it sounds like, not what it feels like.”
Adolph Herseth, from Tim Kent’s lesson notes with Herseth
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK I get it, it"s the Harold Hill think system.You don't have to know what you're doing,just think it.
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.


May I step in?! Following our discussion - hearing/feeling/imagining the tone (and how we play it, duration, attack, warmth etc etc) in question eventually ending up as a practiced habit - it would be fair to assume that we have a multitude of feedback loops at work. They should encompass different senses, certainly muscles, tongue position, lip tension, you name them. While becoming a practiced habit I guess all this sooner or later will become more or less sub-conscious - only surfacing in times of stress, fatigue creeping up etc .
Also - changing different parameters in the equation should have effects;
Playing a new horn, as would a new mouthpiece - require new adaptions.
And a "running in" period during which we learn, more or less consciously what minute new feedback loops are at work. Playing say a high C on your new horn may require some adjustments in comparison to your old one. The tonal quality/effort etc may differ and this has to be learned! And so on.
In my opinion
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seymor B Fudd wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.


May I step in?! Following our discussion - hearing/feeling/imagining the tone (and how we play it, duration, attack, warmth etc etc) in question eventually ending up as a practiced habit - it would be fair to assume that we have a multitude of feedback loops at work. They should encompass different senses, certainly muscles, tongue position, lip tension, you name them. While becoming a practiced habit I guess all this sooner or later will become more or less sub-conscious - only surfacing in times of stress, fatigue creeping up etc .
Also - changing different parameters in the equation should have effects;
Playing a new horn, as would a new mouthpiece - require new adaptions.
And a "running in" period during which we learn, more or less consciously what minute new feedback loops are at work. Playing say a high C on your new horn may require some adjustments in comparison to your old one. The tonal quality/effort etc may differ and this has to be learned! And so on.
In my opinion


You can only focus on one thing at a time. It must be the sound. Everything else happens on a subconscious level.
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Seymor.I was always told to use all my senses,not just one and to ignore all the others.

Al
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.


That’s valid, I do pay attention to how it feels.
I don’t think there are any absolutes here.

Brad
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad361 wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.


That’s valid, I do pay attention to how it feels.
I don’t think there are any absolutes here.

Brad


Whatever works for you
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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
Brad361 wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.


That’s valid, I do pay attention to how it feels.
I don’t think there are any absolutes here.

Brad


Whatever works for you


Maybe the following example shows some ingredients at work: Beginning seventies in a swingband, we were about to play an arrangement on Don´t get ´round much anymore. Trombone section began with some interval down ("do daaa"), I think a fifth, to G - then the trumpets were supposed to step in, me on top B C C# D ("dododoodot"). But this time the bone guys raised to an A! What happened? I used the usual valve combination beginning on 2 and so on. But to my utter amazement (and big disappointment in the bone section) what came out was C# D D# E!
I felt very weird feeling my fingers pressing down - expecting to hear the corresponding notes but my"system" made me stay in tune - well the rest of the band soon jumping in wasn´t that deligthed
So my ears over-rode my eyes, and directed my chops ! Quite involountarily - no conscious thought involved.
At the time I had been playing about 14 years, almost 50 years before my first formal lessons. Clearly my sense of pitch made my day at this particular occasion. Also three powerful trombones laying down such an explicit "playground" helped. And of course, in this register it´s fairly easy to play "all sorts" of notes on whatever valve combination. But I´ll never forget the odd feeling.
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Getzen Custom Series Schilke 143D3/ DW Ultra 1,5 C
Getzen 300 series
Yamaha YCRD2330II
Getzen Eterna Eb /M V 1 1/2 C/Schilke 14B
Trumpets:
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King Super 20 Symphony DB (1970)
Selmer Eb/D trumpet (1973) Selmer 2 D
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seymor B Fudd wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Brad361 wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.


That’s valid, I do pay attention to how it feels.
I don’t think there are any absolutes here.

Brad


Whatever works for you


It would be beneficial to you to read the Bill Adam thread.

Maybe the following example shows some ingredients at work: Beginning seventies in a swingband, we were about to play an arrangement on Don´t get ´round much anymore. Trombone section began with some interval down ("do daaa"), I think a fifth, to G - then the trumpets were supposed to step in, me on top B C C# D ("dododoodot"). But this time the bone guys raised to an A! What happened? I used the usual valve combination beginning on 2 and so on. But to my utter amazement (and big disappointment in the bone section) what came out was C# D D# E!
I felt very weird feeling my fingers pressing down - expecting to hear the corresponding notes but my"system" made me stay in tune - well the rest of the band soon jumping in wasn´t that deligthed
So my ears over-rode my eyes, and directed my chops ! Quite involountarily - no conscious thought involved.
At the time I had been playing about 14 years, almost 50 years before my first formal lessons. Clearly my sense of pitch made my day at this particular occasion. Also three powerful trombones laying down such an explicit "playground" helped. And of course, in this register it´s fairly easy to play "all sorts" of notes on whatever valve combination. But I´ll never forget the odd feeling.

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Seymor B Fudd
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
Seymor B Fudd wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Brad361 wrote:
Billy B wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
You don't feel sound, but you do feel how much effort it takes to play a C in the staff as opposed to a C or G above the staff. I did say it takes hearing the note and feeling the note (muscle memory). So Billy, tell me how can you play a note without knowing how it feels on your embouchure? I say it takes both,not only one.


I never pay attention to how it feels.


That’s valid, I do pay attention to how it feels.
I don’t think there are any absolutes here.

Brad


Whatever works for you


It would be beneficial to you to read the Bill Adam thread.

Maybe the following example shows some ingredients at work: Beginning seventies in a swingband, we were about to play an arrangement on Don´t get ´round much anymore. Trombone section began with some interval down ("do daaa"), I think a fifth, to G - then the trumpets were supposed to step in, me on top B C C# D ("dododoodot"). But this time the bone guys raised to an A! What happened? I used the usual valve combination beginning on 2 and so on. But to my utter amazement (and big disappointment in the bone section) what came out was C# D D# E!
I felt very weird feeling my fingers pressing down - expecting to hear the corresponding notes but my"system" made me stay in tune - well the rest of the band soon jumping in wasn´t that deligthed
So my ears over-rode my eyes, and directed my chops ! Quite involountarily - no conscious thought involved.
At the time I had been playing about 14 years, almost 50 years before my first formal lessons. Clearly my sense of pitch made my day at this particular occasion. Also three powerful trombones laying down such an explicit "playground" helped. And of course, in this register it´s fairly easy to play "all sorts" of notes on whatever valve combination. But I´ll never forget the odd feeling.


Anything particular you have in mind?
_________________
Cornets:
Getzen Custom Series Schilke 143D3/ DW Ultra 1,5 C
Getzen 300 series
Yamaha YCRD2330II
Getzen Eterna Eb /M V 1 1/2 C/Schilke 14B
Trumpets:
Yamaha 6335 RC Schilke 14B
King Super 20 Symphony DB (1970)
Selmer Eb/D trumpet (1973) Selmer 2 D
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