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Establishing Credibility


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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 9:16 pm    Post subject: Establishing Credibility Reply with quote

In the 5 years that I have been on this forum, I have contributed only sporadically. Recently I have begun posting more and some conversations with other members have made me realize how little I know about their actual qualifications or abilities regarding the advice that they offer.

In that vein. I have decided to post a video of a small portion of my daily practice routing so that others can decide whether what I might have to say is of interest to them.

So, in this video I just have the first few minutes of what I do every day. I always start off with getting my chops set up for playing high.

I'd also like to point out that I was a person who had a hard limit at the D over high C for 45 years. I finally figured out how to break through that barrier when I was 57 years old.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zkMJCeudd4jl1LQ3rDdNf1sE_gF1i-M_/view?usp=sharing

Steve
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately evaluate the credibility of the knowledge someone has about trumpet based only on how well they play the instrument. Skill in playing the instrument and knowledge of the principles of gaining proficiency do not necessarily go hand in hand.

Carmine Caruso is an excellent example. Caruso was primarily a saxophone player yet he is considered one of the greatest trumpet teachers of all time.

Similarly, it's very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately evaluate the credibility of information given to you by someone based only on their education and/or on the basis of who they studied with. There are many different versions of trumpet education and pedagogy. Things are taught in different ways. Things are learned in different ways. The theories about developing proficiency vary considerably. Information based on a teacher's education, beliefs and/or theories may be valid for one student yet unsuccessful for another student.

Credibility is in the eye of the beholder and your ultimate evaluation of the credibility of things you're told about the trumpet is based largely on whether the thing in question proved successful for you.

Suppose a renowned teacher tells you that if you do a certain something you'll get a certain great result. Suppose you do the certain something but you get a poor result. That can reasonably be predicted to compromise your impression of the credibility of the teacher.

Suppose your bandmate, who is just an amateur with no formal training, tells you he tried a certain something and got a great result. Suppose you do the certain something and get an equally great result. That can reasonably be predicted to raise your impression of the credibility of your bandmate as a teacher.

We tend to start out with attaching credibility to reputation, education and playing ability but in the end we tend to base credibility primarily on our results. This is not to say that you should disregard reputation, education and playing ability. It is to say that reputation, education and playing ability are not absolute guarantees of credibility.

So, dismissing someone because of a perceived lack of credentials and/or playing ability can cause you to miss out on information that would have been valuable to you.

It's best to keep an open mind, try recommendations that make sense to you and evaluate the credibility of the recommendations on the basis of your own results.
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said Hermokiwi.
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steve0930
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve
I felt compelled to reply to you because we have the same name, age, and (before I press "submit" button)number of posts on TH. Serendipity afoot I 'm hoping. By the when when it comes to accomplishment on the trumpet our paths abruptly diverge! Thanks for the video post.

Quote:
I'd also like to point out that I was a person who had a hard limit at the D over high C for 45 years. I finally figured out how to break through that barrier when I was 57 years old.


I have been playing trumpet 4and a half years - self taught * - but after 9months with Jeff Smiley's Balanced Embouchure (BE) my playing has improved a lot. In the last 3 or 4 days I think I am starting to crack playing above the staff. (my breakthrough) I have one piece "Once Upon a time in the West" which has 20 notes of g# a or Bb above the staff. A week ago I could not play this. Yesterday I played it 10 times during the day. My learnings in the last 4 days have been
1. High notes really are NOT more difficult - just have to find the knack For example what was working yesterday was faintest suggestion of rollin on top lip and open and relaxed as possible everywhere else. I am now aware that whereas the "knack" might change daily depending on the chops, application of force/effort is never the answer.
2. "Pops" idea of repetition- eg 400x a note to own it. (yesterday I played approx 800 notes above g top of the staff)
3. When playing above the staff shutting my eyes and trying to catch the "blueprint" feel of the specific note - the shape of the space at the back of my mouth when that note is really easy & resonating. I try not to be too analytical- for example once yesterday consciously stopped myself trying to register what the tongue was doing.(I know a lot of players far better than me prefer the direct opposite of this approach re monitoring tongue position)
so two questions:
1) What am I missing out Steve / anyone else - any input much appreciated. What helped you with your personal breakthrough? Instinct tells me that "lip trills" are part of the puzzle and I am starting to have some success with them. My ultimate goal is not to pay a DHC per se (I played my first ever f above high c yesterday) but rather I feel that once I am flying above the staff all the rest is going to be a walk in the park..

2) I like the idea of a "high set up" above the staff at the start of the day - as you advocate - and 3 or 4 days a week I go for it - but what do you do when you pick up the trumpet and you can tell that the chops are not yet ready for it / that you are going to need more (in the staff) warm up than normal?

Now time to hit that submit button and break our twin state! (btw I have an identical twin who also lives in Helsinki but fortunately he does not play the trumpet!)

* "self taught" is a pointless expression these days..on TH, You Tube, BE, the teachers are legion!

stay safe - cheers Steve in Helsinki
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are folks who can give great advice, regardless of their experience. That's not the problem.

The problem comes from the folks who take REALLY BAD advice from people who are then encouraged to think they are giving really good advice, and then this encourages them to think that they are helping people, and then they keep giving more bad advice.

Also, more posts doesn't equate to gaining credibility.
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hibidogrulez
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

theslawdawg wrote:
There are folks who can give great advice, regardless of their experience. That's not the problem.

The problem comes from the folks who take REALLY BAD advice from people who are then encouraged to think they are giving really good advice, and then they think they are helping people, and then keep giving more bad advice.

Also, more posts doesn't equate to gaining credibility.

Also true. When I joined the forums at first I tried to chime in on every subject sharing my thoughts and opinions (i.e. with the best intentions) but over time I realized some (or most) of it wasn’t always well founded. Trying to restrain myself a bit more now, but there are some topics I still tend to dive into. The intentions are often good, even if the advice isn’t.

There are a lot of people more knowledgable than me here on Trumpet Herald and I try to acknowledge them when corrected or using them as a source.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theslawdawg wrote:
There are folks who can give great advice, regardless of their experience. That's not the problem.

The problem comes from the folks who take REALLY BAD advice from people who are then encouraged to think they are giving really good advice, and then this encourages them to think that they are helping people, and then they keep giving more bad advice.

Also, more posts doesn't equate to gaining credibility.

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Richard III
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here's what I just did. I just read all your posts for the last five years. I watched the video you just posted.

I am assuming others will do the same. I don't know what their conclusion will be. But what I usually do when someone posts a video is watch the video and ask myself if I want to sound like that. I figure that if I follow the advice that might be given, that sound must be the goal. There's been a bunch of gurus that after listening to them play or their students play, I found myself not interested.

Should be interesting to see where you go from here. I would suggest posting some more videos of you playing stuff in the lower range.
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HERMOKIWI,
I agree with your post wholeheartedly.
Unfortunately, not everyone thinks the same thing

I think that my luck in finding a solution to my high range issue was in having an open mind to trying any possible approach.

Steve
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve in Helsinki,

It's great that you are having success with BE. I have not used this method but from what I understand of it, it does not advocate any particular lip position but rather has you explore a range of lip motion with the goal of gradually working out the "right" setting for you. Do I have that right?
steve0930 wrote:




so two questions:
1) What am I missing out Steve / anyone else - any input much appreciated. What helped you with your personal breakthrough? Instinct tells me that "lip trills" are part of the puzzle and I am starting to have some success with them. My ultimate goal is not to pay a DHC per se (I played my first ever f above high c yesterday) but rather I feel that once I am flying above the staff all the rest is going to be a walk in the park..

2) I like the idea of a "high set up" above the staff at the start of the day - as you advocate - and 3 or 4 days a week I go for it - but what do you do when you pick up the trumpet and you can tell that the chops are not yet ready for it / that you are going to need more (in the staff) warm up than normal?


1) You seem to be making good progress right now and there is nothing obvious in what you have posted that indicates you are missing out on anything. Without seeing you play it is virtually impossible to determine if there are any issues with your embouchure.

I haven't really done any "lip trill" exercises in ages. I would not say that they were a key element in my recent development

2) If I pick up the horn and my chops aren't working right it is a sign that I have overdone things. That's the time to put the horn back in the case and take the day off. There are many players who have been ruined by overuse.

Always nice to talk to a fellow Steve.
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

theslawdawg wrote:

Also, more posts doesn't equate to gaining credibility.


I hope you don't think that I was suggesting that.

My intent was to provide more information about myself to provide more context for whatever I do post.

Steve
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III,
Wow, thanks for taking the time to do that.

I would be happy to post clips of things if people would be interested in hearing them.

Do you think that the Video forum would be the right one to use for something like that?

Steve
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steve0930
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve

Thanks for the reply. I would say you have a perfect understanding of Balanced Embouchure.. with the addition of 3 words.

Quote:
It's great that you are having success with BE. I have not used this method but from what I understand of it, it does not advocate any particular lip position but rather has you explore an exaggerated range of lip motion with the goal of the lips gradually working out the "right" setting for you. Do I have that right?


Quote:
chops aren't working right it is a sign that I have overdone things. That's the time to put the horn back in the case and take the day off


I started the trumpet 45 years too late so I decided I don't have time for days off! These last two weeks I have been using a home made Digeridoo..(4cmsx100cms) with and without a mouthpiece and I have by hook or by crook turned unresponsive chops around - (using some of the BE roll out lip motions) - but this is still work in progress - so far not tried a Digeridoo warm down in the evening..

Its great that we have seasoned pros like you who know their stuff being active on the forum. Hermokiwi also never fails to deliver. (In Finnish Hermot = Nerves. Kivi = stone so his name conjures up an image of "Nerves of Stone" for me. (not to be confused with boxer Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran)

Thanks for the encouragement - Keep on posting please Sir.

stay safe Steve in Helsinki

PS

You wrote "I think that my luck in finding a solution to my high range issue was in having an open mind to trying any possible approach."

Luck has been researched (Richard Wiseman) and lucky people like yourself Steve with an open mind, do 4 things:
1. Know lots of people
2 Expect to be lucky
3 Turn bad news into good
4 Listen to instinct
We Trumpet players need to be lucky!
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theslawdawg
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteveDurand wrote:
theslawdawg wrote:

Also, more posts doesn't equate to gaining credibility.


I hope you don't think that I was suggesting that.

My intent was to provide more information about myself to provide more context for whatever I do post.

Steve


Steve, not at all. Thanks for your stuff!
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TrpPro
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote=]
We Trumpet players need to be lucky![/quote]
Famous quote,

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."
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trumpetteacher1
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BE is not only about the lips. The tongue, air and sound plays a role in the balance equation as well.

But Steve Durand, I think that your general understanding is close enough. There is an emphasis on lip position, because it seems to me that hardly anyone knows how to teach it in a way that avoids "paralysis."

Anyone interested in specifics can always ask questions on the BE forum.

Hermokiwi, a very clear and succinct post. I have written similar information on my website.

Jeff
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Jaw04
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My honest impression:
That was an interesting warm-up. I know people say today's squeaks are tomorrows high notes. Do you then make them real notes later in the day? The low Cs were the only notes that had what I would call a real sound and they were pretty fuzzy.

That's just my impression not trying to be a jerk. I think finding your sound is the most important thing. Squeaks will not get a player any gigs or credibility.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I listened to the video again and those are definitely real notes and not "squeaks." The OP is demonstrating good progress in the ability to produce high notes.

I think the better question is how these high notes carry over to playing within the context of music. It's one thing to be able to play high notes as exercises outside the context of music. It's another thing to be able to play the correct high note when that note is required in a performance. That being said, the ability to play the correct high note in a performance starts with the ability to play the note as an exercise. So the OP is certainly on that path.

The challenge in terms of credibility is to be able to explain to a student how these high notes happen, to clearly and specifically explain the technique in a way the student can understand and apply and achieve success. That's a big challenge especially where the high register is concerned because the high register seems to be a series of advances rather than one giant leap.

So, things that will work in the future if enough underlying progress is first made don't work immediately. That can lead a student to erroneously believe that information, which is actually good information, lacks credibility.
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SteveDurand
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaw04,
Thanks very much for the feedback. I want honesty.

I think you had to be there.

These are real notes. I've played plenty of squeaks and this isn't them. Admittedly not trying to play loud because it's just part of my warmup.

I think the issue is with the microphone in my cell phone. It just compresses everything so much that you can't discern any differences in volume.

I'll have to figure out how to connect a decent mic to capture true sound quality and volume.

Steve
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steve0930
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello High Flyers

Jolly good post from you Hermokiwi:

Quote:
The OP is demonstrating good progress in the ability to produce high notes.


Positive and encouraging and also analytical and relevant to all of us. A reminder to me of the worthiness of this site because of the contrasting opinions and discussion it promotes. And I'm starting to see why Steve is indeed lucky (turning bad news into good news)

stay-safe - steve in Helsinki
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