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Doug Elliott found the answer for me


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BeboppinFool
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:03 am    Post subject: Doug Elliott found the answer for me Reply with quote

First of all, many of you may remember that I had a bit of a public dispute with Doug Elliott several years ago about his seeming lack of adherence to the words at the portal when you go to enter the Reinhardt Forum: “Find out about the teachings of ‘Doc’ Reinhardt.”

While I still think it is important for people to have a place to go to “Find out about the teachings of ‘Doc’ Reinhardt,” I am here today to sing the praises about the diagnostic talents of Doug Elliott.

A little over a week ago I finally broke down and called Doug because I have been in a steadily descending playing spin and I suspected he would be able to figure this thing out. He was extremely gracious and forgiving (whew!).

Doug made a really good point when he told me that Doc used to size up the way you were playing when you came to see him and then give you guidance according to what he saw right then. In my case, I was playing as a IIIB and Doc gave me stuff designed to help a IIIB build an embouchure.

Doc did not try to see if I could play as any other embouchure type, which is what Doug tried with me. Sure enough, Doug ran some “tests” with me and then had me adopt a IIIA embouchure.

Now, for the first time since the summer of 2018 I feel like I’m able to play trumpet reasonably well again.

Apparently I was engaged in something Doc called “Type Switching” which he told me was the most destructive thing you could do to an embouchure.

It’s possible that since I’ve been playing tuba since July 2017 (as well as bass trumpet/valve trombone and trumpet) that it sped up the damage I was doing switching embouchure types between instruments. (I thought I was playing as IIIB on all three instruments but apparently not.)

Doug told me that I really just need to be one embouchure type regardless of the brass instrument I happen to be playing at the moment.

So for seven straight days I have been making progress in leaps and bounds playing as a IIIA on all three of these brasses.

In a nutshell, I am now shouting from the rooftops about Doug Elliott for pulling me out of the most frustrating tailspin I’ve ever endured as a trumpeter.

I highly recommend Doug Elliott if you are having playing problems that are holding you back (and I’m not talking about one’s inability to get hired for gig, although I suppose indirectly he will help with that as well). Doug took his time with me and was able to zero in on precisely what was preventing me from playing trumpet well, and I am officially singing his praises in public.

Hopefully Doug will feel welcome to post here and answer questions. Thanks so much to Doug for being such an astute Reinhardt student and keen observer of embouchures and embouchure types!
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:18 am    Post subject: Reinhardt type change and other related adjustments Reply with quote

It would be helpful if you can describe any OTHER technique differences that you employ besides the general mouthpiece placement position on your lips.
For example: possibilities such as 'aiming the air stream', tilting of the mouthpiece, differences in jaw usage, etc.

And yes, what works for you might not apply to someone else, but it would be good to elaborate on ALL of the 'embouchure usage' items that you feel have been beneficial to you.
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your kind words and for inviting me back.

I see a long list of Messages that I haven't had access to for 5 years, including some from John Wilson (jwilson46) in Montana, who died a few years ago, in case you didn't know. John had been in the Navy Band so I knew him in DC, but he had grown up in Montana and was in high school with Allen Vizzuti.

I bring up John partly because I really solidified my teaching with him. John had been diagnosed by Doc as a IIIB, and played that way most of the time, but when things were going really well by chance, he was playing IIIA. He didn't know why sometimes everything worked better. We struggled for years, figuring out how to keep him IIIA when he had such strong IIIB tendencies.

This is not an uncommon situation, I see it a lot since I'm very aware of it, and I saw Doc misdiagnose several players the same way. I don't ever want to misdiagnose a player.

Glad to be back. I really enjoy teaching by Skype and Zoom, it works quite well for me. Doc actually predicted "teaching by 2 way TV" before the internet became such a big part of our lives.
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Irving
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great going Rich! I assume that you reversed your pivot by switching from a 3B to a 3A. What else does the switch entail?
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BeboppinFool
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Reinhardt type change and other related adjustments Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
It would be helpful if you can describe any OTHER technique differences that you employ besides the general mouthpiece placement position on your lips.
For example: possibilities such as 'aiming the air stream', tilting of the mouthpiece, differences in jaw usage, etc.

And yes, what works for you might not apply to someone else, but it would be good to elaborate on ALL of the 'embouchure usage' items that you feel have been beneficial to you.

Reinhardt students can well imagine the obvious differences between IIIB and IIIA. I hesitate to get specific about the suggestions Doug made to me because what works for me could very well be harmful to another player. If you feel like the amount of work you put into your horn is not yielding satisfactory results, I highly recommend contacting Doug and setting up a Skype lesson with him. His fees are quite reasonable, especially when you consider the huge advances on your instrument you’re liable to see in a relatively short time!

Irving wrote:
Great going Rich! I assume that you reversed your pivot by switching from a 3B to a 3A. What else does the switch entail?

More like “Great going, Doug!” The switch entails concentration (focus), time, effort, perseverance and patience. The process may not be so sexy, but the results so far have been extremely gratifying.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 5:42 am    Post subject: Re: Reinhardt type change and other related adjustments Reply with quote

BeboppinFool wrote:

Reinhardt students can well imagine the obvious differences between IIIB and IIIA. I hesitate to get specific about the suggestions Doug made to me because what works for me could very well be harmful to another player. ...

-------------------------------------------
Thanks for emphasizing the point of 'specific suggestions' perhaps being different even for people who use the same Reinhardt mouthpiece setting 'type'.

From the little that I've read about Reinhardt's method, it seems that his approach was (ideally) to have the student use the 'type' that was most appropriate for their physiology, and THEN provide assistance (teach, guide, coach, demonstrate, etc, - whatever worked) so the student would acquire other 'embouchure skills' that work in conjunction with the 'type' for that student.
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The 'next note' is the most important one.
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BeboppinFool
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
Thanks for emphasizing the point of 'specific suggestions' perhaps being different even for people who use the same Reinhardt mouthpiece setting 'type'.

From the little that I've read about Reinhardt's method, it seems that his approach was (ideally) to have the student use the 'type' that was most appropriate for their physiology, and THEN provide assistance (teach, guide, coach, demonstrate, etc, - whatever worked) so the student would acquire other 'embouchure skills' that work in conjunction with the 'type' for that student.

Actually, what Doc did was to assess your unique physical characteristics and then give you guidelines according to which embouchure Type (he used four types and five sub-types) he thought you fell into. We really don’t have any control over our embouchure Type, but we can nurture it by following guidelines specific to that embouchure Type. (We can also damage it if we try to play some way that’s correct for someone else but not for us.)

In my case, either I changed since June of 1978 or Doc misdiagnosed my embouchure Type. Regardless, Doug (I believe) correctly figured out my true embouchure Type and now I’m following the guidelines for a IIIA embouchure and everything is finally starting to come up roses.

Again, I wholeheartedly recommend contacting Doug for a Skype lesson if you want to see if your embouchure could benefit in leaps and bounds. The improvement I’ve experienced in this first week are as dramatic as the week following my first lesson with Doc because I was struggling back then, too!

🤓
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BeboppinFool wrote:

Actually, what Doc did was to assess your unique physical characteristics and then give you guidelines according to which embouchure Type (he used four types and five sub-types) he thought you fell into. We really don’t have any control over our embouchure Type, but we can nurture it by following guidelines specific to that embouchure Type. (We can also damage it if we try to play some way that’s correct for someone else but not for us.)
...

-------------------
Thanks for the clarification!
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going back to French horn!
Yamaha 668N, Holton DC mpc
The 'next note' is the most important one.
Lip gotta be able to vibrate!
http://users.hancock.net/jkosta/2021_Oct_5_web.jpg
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bach_again
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic news, Rich, I am really pleased for you!!

I have had occasional type switching issues from my IIIB to a IIIA owing from a long lasting register break around low Bb. If I get sloppy in my playing/routine (such as reduced face time from moving house) this can be exasorbated. I am more and more getting the "feel" for my placement/pivot/track, and putting more of Doc's words (regarding the IIIB) into affect (don't fall in love with your sound, condescend to descend, stay with the jaw etc...) - in essence solidifying my IIIB fundamentals, and I feel like I am moving forward again and establishing better and better my memory of the "feel" of playing better. Through some very slow slurring recently, I have started to get control over my tendency to drop my lower jaw too far... and as Doc would say - judge it by the sound - things are more resonant and less spread/dull. Anyway, inspired to share my own experiences, as type switching time and again crossed my path and it has only been advantageous to remove it entirely.

Best,
Mike
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deesson
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BeboppinFool wrote:
JayKosta wrote:
Thanks for emphasizing the point of 'specific suggestions' perhaps being different even for people who use the same Reinhardt mouthpiece setting 'type'.

From the little that I've read about Reinhardt's method, it seems that his approach was (ideally) to have the student use the 'type' that was most appropriate for their physiology, and THEN provide assistance (teach, guide, coach, demonstrate, etc, - whatever worked) so the student would acquire other 'embouchure skills' that work in conjunction with the 'type' for that student.

Actually, what Doc did was to assess your unique physical characteristics and then give you guidelines according to which embouchure Type (he used four types and five sub-types) he thought you fell into. We really don’t have any control over our embouchure Type, but we can nurture it by following guidelines specific to that embouchure Type. (We can also damage it if we try to play some way that’s correct for someone else but not for us.)

In my case, either I changed since June of 1978 or Doc misdiagnosed my embouchure Type. Regardless, Doug (I believe) correctly figured out my true embouchure Type and now I’m following the guidelines for a IIIA embouchure and everything is finally starting to come up roses.

Again, I wholeheartedly recommend contacting Doug for a Skype lesson if you want to see if your embouchure could benefit in leaps and bounds. The improvement I’ve experienced in this first week are as dramatic as the week following my first lesson with Doc because I was struggling back then, too!


Rich, I'm glad your problem is being worked out. A few months a go I saw a picture of you playing bass trumpet and thought your placement looked lower than a III. And I asked myself, Could you play trumpet as a downstream and the a trombone as an upstream? Anyway, these posts answered that.

But I don't understand about being misdiagnosed. Doc gave us a pivot test to see if pushing up or pulling down worked best. How can that go wrong? If you were really a IIIA, wouldn't you still have to push up even though your placement was too low? Or was your mouthpiece placement always the problem?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deesson wrote:
Rich, I'm glad your problem is being worked out. A few months a go I saw a picture of you playing bass trumpet and thought your placement looked lower than a III. And I asked myself, Could you play trumpet as a downstream and the a trombone as an upstream? Anyway, these posts answered that.

But I don't understand about being misdiagnosed. Doc gave us a pivot test to see if pushing up or pulling down worked best. How can that go wrong? If you were really a IIIA, wouldn't you still have to push up even though your placement was too low? Or was your mouthpiece placement always the problem?

Unfortunately I do not still have my cassette tape from my Orientation & Analysis Period with Doc. I do remember him slamming his fist on his desk a lot and telling me, "No! No!" I probably gave him fits as messed up as my chops were and likely didn't understand most of what he was trying to get me to do. Otherwise, I really don't know what to say about all that.

I did use a very low placement on trumpet and on trombone, but tuba doesn't really allow for that and I'm thinking it's possible that tuba jarred my chops into functioning more as a IIIA. So that combined with continuing trumpet and bass trumpet as a IIIB was a perfect recipe for destroying my embouchure via type-switching.

I have never claimed to be a genius . . . in fact, my track record would indicate that most of the time I'm a big dummy. For me to speculate any further would probably be useless at this point, but to seize on the solution Doug found for me is already paying off mightily.

I can't say enough good things about Doug's ability to diagnose my embouchure and prescribe a practice regimen to pull me out of the horrible playing spin I was unable to get out of on my own. Thanks again, Doug!
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deesson
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BeboppinFool Wrote:

"Doc did not try to see if I could play as any other embouchure type, which is what Doug tried with me. Sure enough, Doug ran some “tests” with me and then had me adopt a IIIA embouchure."

"In my case, either I changed since June of 1978 or Doc misdiagnosed my embouchure Type. Regardless, Doug (I believe) correctly figured out my true embouchure Type and now I’m following the guidelines for a IIIA embouchure and everything is finally starting to come up roses."

"I can't say enough good things about Doug's ability to diagnose my embouchure and prescribe a practice regimen to pull me out of the horrible playing spin I was unable to get out of on my own. Thanks again, Doug!"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rich,
Can you give us some details on how Doug figured out your true type and the "tests" he used? That sounds really important.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug Elliott wrote:

"I bring up John partly because I really solidified my teaching with him. John had been diagnosed by Doc as a IIIB, and played that way most of the time, but when things were going really well by chance, he was playing IIIA. He didn't know why sometimes everything worked better. We struggled for years, figuring out how to keep him IIIA when he had such strong IIIB tendencies."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doug,
When a player unknowingly switches from a IIIB to a IIIA, does he also unknowingly change pivot class?
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Mike Sailors
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea man.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Doug's teaching is the bee's knees. I've been catching lessons with him since 1997, I think, but had resisted doing video lessons until about a year ago. They've been going very well, so I'm trying to schedule them on a more regular basis. Doug went to Reinhardt about once a month for 10 years, I believe.

Rich, it takes a lot for an experienced player/teacher to admit having some troubles. More so to publicly acknowledge that you're getting help from someone you had past disagreements with. I'm happy that you reinstated Doug's posting privileges and am also happy that you're getting your type switching sorted out.

Dave
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm getting the impression that it would be much wiser to begin learning the Reinhardt method with a highly qualified teacher and in person. Is that correct?
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deesson wrote:
Doug Elliott wrote:

"I bring up John partly because I really solidified my teaching with him. John had been diagnosed by Doc as a IIIB, and played that way most of the time, but when things were going really well by chance, he was playing IIIA. He didn't know why sometimes everything worked better. We struggled for years, figuring out how to keep him IIIA when he had such strong IIIB tendencies."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Doug,
When a player unknowingly switches from a IIIB to a IIIA, does he also unknowingly change pivot class?


Yes, by definition that's the major difference between IIIA and IIIB. There are details that encourage staying one or the other. Those details become more important if your "natural" mechanics are ambiguous.

A player whose face functions best as a IIIA can actually play as a IIIB, and some do quite well, but it's destructive.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
I'm getting the impression that it would be much wiser to begin learning the Reinhardt method with a highly qualified teacher and in person. Is that correct?


100%, at least in terms of "with a highly qualified teacher".
I had a skype lesson with Rich some years ago and it was a HUGE help to me.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:

I'm getting the impression that it would be much wiser to begin learning the Reinhardt method with a highly qualified teacher and in person. Is that correct?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, you need to be tested for your type, pivot direction and jaw movement. You will get a pivot deviation chart. This will help enable you to feel and visualize what is happening inside, under and around the mouthpiece rim as the jaw protrudes and recedes.

p.s. can someone explain how to reply with the quote in a box. I'm a big dummy too.
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kehaulani wrote:
Yes, you need to be tested for your type, pivot direction and jaw movement. You will get a pivot deviation chart. This will help enable you to feel and visualize what is happening inside, under and around the mouthpiece rim as the jaw protrudes and recedes.

You have described exactly how Reinhardt did it.
Just to be clear, at this point about 35 years after I studied with him, I do things differently, and I know it's more effective. This is how I got in trouble with Rich 5 years ago.....
We need to face the fact that Reinhardt had a bad reputation among many brass players, and it was for a reason - the Pivot System was just too much information, and confusing. I saw far too many players misunderstand, misquote, or blow it off because they just didn't get it at all. I have basically boiled it down to the important stuff that is easy to understand and implement.

Regarding quotes:
In the upper right corner of a post there's a blue box for "quote"
You can also start with quote in brackets [ ] and end with /quote in brackets [ ].

It won't let me show the ful example because it converts it to a quote box
Type it like this: [quote]
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