• FAQ  • Search  • Memberlist  • Usergroups   • Register   • Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

Chicago-area Teachers



 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> The Balanced Embouchure
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
fractacular
Regular Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 11
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd really like to see someone who has experience with BE. Are there any teachers or even just "experienced practitioners of BE" in the Chicago area? I'm having a ton of lip placement, air stream angle, and muscle issues and think it'd be best if I could consult somebody in person.

Thanks for any recommendations,
Marc
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Charlie Cheeseburger
Regular Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2002
Posts: 53
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Marc,

The whole point about BE is that it's the mother of all self-help books, and I think that Jeff would say that a personal consultation is unnecessary for adult students. If you follow the instructions carefully and (most importantly) try to replicate the sounds on the CD, you will make progress. Listening to those teenagers on the CD playing their socks off is certainly a humbling experience, but it certainly shows you what is possible!

I promise you that these playing 'issues' you have will gradually fade away into insignificance, as long as you approach the book with commitment and intelligence. I really can't recommend the BE method more highly.

Best wishes,

Andrew
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fractacular
Regular Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 11
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's an encouraging reply, but I'll specify my problems and see if you think a teacher might be a good idea now:

1) I'm a senior at Northwestern University getting a degree in cognitive science, trying to get accepted to music schools for horn performance. I have few qualifications and no resume, I need to play as well as possible.
2) I have terrible range and endurance problems, particularly for someone who has been playing actively 8 years.
3) Auditions are in mid-february, and while I'm not trying to push or rush, I am trying to improve as fast as possible. If I can get on the right track more quickly with a teacher, that's what I want. I know trial and error will get me there in years, but I know I can do it faster with a guide.

Now, the playing issues:
1) I have a severe problem with my top lip being over my bottom lip. My old embouchure used to be exactly what Jeff describes in the book, where eventually my bottom lip would disappear under my top lip as I got higher. More endurance and tone problems than range problems (I could play written G above high C). I changed my embouchure to look like the standard horn embouchure, no disappearing bottom lip, and now I can't play top line G and I can't get through most etudes.
2) I can do a greap picture-perfect lip clamp, but as soon as I push any air (with cheeks or lungs) my chin flattens, my top lip pops out, and I can't make a squeak. If I "do what i need to do" to create a characteristic sound squeak, the air exiting my mouth is at such a low angle that it's going directly down instead of out away from me. I've managed to play my old high G like this, but big deal, it's exactly what I was doing before that didn't work. My top lip won't stay in. Plus, I can tell I'm doing something wrong because my entire neck is tense...

All my other problems (not able to shift between normal notes and rolled-out notes) are also due to the angle of the airstream exiting my mouth, i.e. my rolled out notes have the perfect angle (and the horn is angled a bit higher than what would be parallel for a trumpet) but my middle C is pointed so low that I have to move the horn all around, and then my lip's not doing any work.

I feel like I could spend months just solving these problems, and someone with some experience in BE and brass playing could figure out what I need to do (considering my mouth configuration) in about an hour. So, any teachers within 4 hours of Chicago?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
oj
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 1696
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marc,
Chicago - Boston is a distance of 1000 miles, but if I was in your position I would ("accept" that distance and) seek out Jeanne G. Pocius.

More about the chop doctor and great lady here:

http://abel.hive.no/trumpet/jeanne/


Ole
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Charlie Cheeseburger
Regular Member


Joined: 03 Apr 2002
Posts: 53
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Marc,

Perhaps you would benefit from a teacher, after all, and Ole's suggestion is a good one. I was merely saying that you didn't need a teacher specifically for BE, however by all means get yourself a teacher, ideally one that is sympathetic to the sort of 'range of motion' exercises in BE. (If your new teacher is not broadly sympathetic to BE, then I would suggest that you have chosen the wrong teacher, but that's up to you.)

As for the playing issues, it seems to me that you took the decision to make a dramatic embouchure change. That was maybe ill-advised, especially if you have important playing commitments coming up (and it doesn't get much more important than a college audition). If you look through the pages on this forum, you will find that the consensus is that BE works better for most people as an INDIRECT system of development. So in your case I would suggest that it would mean that the only time you should consciously adopt a different embouchure is the short time each day that you are doing the roll-in and roll-out exercises, which were specifically designed to integrate seamlessly into your regular playing.

You say that you could play a high G with the old set-up, so I can't believe your old embouchure was that bad in the first place. If you do the BE exercises as directed they will gradually enhance your playing, there is no question about that, even if you never acheive a text-book Smiley embouchure!

Best wishes,

Andrew
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fractacular
Regular Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 11
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old embouchure was changed in June. And, I could play high G, but my range came at the expense of tone, endurance, and loads and loads of pressure. The way I played, anything above second-space G used a lot of pressure, and because of my setting I couldn't change between notes smoothly.

Anyway, the change I made has enabled more fluid slurs, very low-pressure setting, and a good tone, but because of the range issue (just about everything feels high) I have bad endurance problems. So I found out about BE over Christmas and ordered it to help develop the new embouchure, which (with a little balance) has a lot of potential. I am using it as an indirect system, I guess that was unclear (although I'm not sure how you could use it as a direct embouchure change...)

Hopefully, someone lurking around Chicago will see this post. Until then, any answers to the questions about my lip clamp collapsing whenever I get air through it? I have a picture of the lip clamp at http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~mdg525/IMG_3427.JPG, and a picture of post-lipclamp at http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~mdg525/IMG_3429.JPG. I look pretty funny (my nose flares out and stuff), but those should be informative.

Thanks,
Marc
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
romey1
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fractacular,

I would go take a lesson with Gail Williams - especially since you live in Evanston. She is top-notch.

romey
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gus
Veteran Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 444

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Romey,

Gail Williams? Isn't she a french horn player?

Regards.

Gus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
fractacular
Regular Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 11
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, horn teacher for a horn player.. But, being at Northwestern for 4 years (where she teaches), I have of course tried numerous times to get lessons with her. It's not going to happen. She's also a proponent of the Farkas chin and standard approaches to horn playing, and maybe I could get that to work for me but I'd really like to approach playing from the BE paradigm.

Marc
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
romey1
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fractacular
New Member

Joined: Jan 03, 2004
Posts: 4
From: Evanston, IL
Posted: 2004-01-13 18:24
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Well, that's an encouraging reply, but I'll specify my problems and see if you think a teacher might be a good idea now:

1) I'm a senior at Northwestern University getting a degree in cognitive science, trying to get accepted to music schools for horn performance.

Gus,

By horn performance, I thought he meant "french horn." ???????

so what is it fractular, are you a horn player or a trumpet player?

Whatever it is, there are MANY people in Chicago who could help you out - no need to fly to Boston.

romey
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
fractacular
Regular Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 11
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did indeed mean "french horn". You know us horn players choke over the word french when we have to specify it. So, people in chicago, any suggestions since there's so many people?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
mcamilleri
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 25 Oct 2001
Posts: 2076
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OJ is one of only a few people on this forum that plays french horn, and he also has a very good understanding of BE. Seek out and listen to his advice. He ran a thread 'BE works on all brass' a short time ago, with a lot of good discussion about french horn and BE.

My gut feeling is that since most horn players and teachers support Farkas 100%, getting a teacher that will support your BE experiment will be difficult, and most will try to sabotage your attempt, either consciously or unconsciously. Chances are very few horn teachers have even heard of BE.

Michael
_________________
Alpha Angles
Besson Loyalist
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
gus
Veteran Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 444

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry guys,

I didn't get that horn was really horn.
I tell you what I will do, I'll pick my horn (trumpet)
and I am going to play a little. LOL.

gUS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mcamilleri
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 25 Oct 2001
Posts: 2076
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marc, thanks for the pictures - saves a lot of words.

The lip clamp looks good. There might still be a little red lip tissue visible, though it is hard to see - if there is, roll in more. All muscles should go towards the center, and my interpretation is that this includes the corners. You may need to pull the corners in somewhat. However, it is easily good enough to proceed, no real need to practice it any more at this stage. You will need to do the lip clamp a few times a day until it burns to build up strength and coordination.

Your problem is not with the lip clamp, but with what happens when you blow. Basically, the next picture is a lovely example of a flat chin, Farkas embouchure. Your horn teachers would be proud! Trouble is, that is not what you want, as you well know. Jeff has a pile of suggestions in his book which you should try, which include blowing air pockets, and rolling in further. These two I think are probably the most important for you. Try working through Jeffs instructions carefully. Alternatively, what follows is my take on this procedure - maybe taking this as a fresh approach will be helpful - they are not intended to supercede Jeffs method.

I suggest that you form the lip clamp and blow big air pockets in the top and bottom lip. (I say this so often on this forum, I am sure I will get a reputation!) Don't even try to lip squeak or blow air- just hold the lip clamp fully rolled in (i.e. no red lip visible) and feel the lips inflate like a bull-frog. Your cheeks might inflate a bit also - this is OK. Blow hard enough to feel pressure in your head and maybe even some dizziness - that is how much air pressure you need for the lip squeak - a gentle puff is not enough. Don't worry if a tiny bit of air leaks out, provided you stay inflated and rolled in and pressurised. Hold and repeat until you get the feel of it. Look for big air pockets, no red lip tissue visible, and a feeling of high air pressure - check in a mirror if needed. Once you can consistently do this, proceed.

The next stage is to allow air to leak out without losing the roll-in or air pockets. Don't be concerned about making a squeak, just let some air out wherever it will go - if it comes out of the centre, great, if not, play around until you get enough control to bring most or all of it near the center. The most important thing is that you do not lose the roll-in and air pockets and high air pressure. Basically, it should look and feel EXACTLY like what you were doing in the previous stage, except air is hissing out. Once you can get the air hissing out with full roll-in (no red lip visible), air pockets intact, and high air pressure, then you WILL be able to get a lip squeak soon, guaranteed.

The squeak emerges from a small area - this is your target. Initially, you may get a squeak in one area, with some air leaking from other areas. This is OK. Refine it until all you get is a squeak from one small area near the center, with no leakage elsewhere. Once you do that, go onto Roll-in #1.

There will be a temptation for you when trying to squeak to roll the lips out, and perhaps to stretch the lips in a smile, or to reduce the air pressure, as these are your normal habits. This is not the right direction to go. Keep the lips inflated and rolled in, and the air pressure high.

Please keep us informed of your progress - we are genuinely interested and want to be helpful.

Hope this helps
Michael
_________________
Alpha Angles
Besson Loyalist
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
oj
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 1696
Location: Norway

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marc,

Sorry I missed that you are a horn player. Great!

The influence from Farkas is very strong and he was playing in Chicago, but Dale Clevenger also played with CSO. He is described as a more pramatic guy - "use what ever work". There must be players who follow him in the Chicago area.

I looked at the images. Perhaps you could try to use more air pockets. Michael also gave you very good advice in his last post.

Why do you need a high G?
With a solid high C you can play most of the horn litterature (all horn concertos by Mozart, Haydn, Strauss, etc.)

When you get Roll-In "rolling" and work dilligently with Roll-Out #4 you will develop a great range and endurance. After all Roll-Out #4 is in a way "from" the french horn (or waldhorn as they say in Germany). It uses the so-called "Einsetzen". Jerome Callet "discovered" it in 1970 and developed his "Trumpet Yoga" based on that. Jeff used this idea (from Trumpet Yoga) - Roll-Out #4 is really a synthesis of that.

On the Bb-horn side, I start on pedal C (= double pedal C on trumpet). I do it very rolled out. You can of course play this note with a more normal setting, but then you are not using the ideas from B.E.

Ole

P.S.
I had lesssons with a pro horn player (she is in the "Farkas camp" btw.) - she could not play to high G, but I would rather have her great sound on high C than my squeeky high G. So far I have not seen any music for horn with that note.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
fractacular
Regular Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 11
Location: Evanston, IL

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, thanks Michael for the really really really helpful post. I've actually been practically meditating on all the troubleshooting and advice in Jeff's book for the last few days, but this step-by-step is a little more clear to the uninitiated! Thanks!

I don't need a high G (although, OJ, one work I can cite off the top of my head is Evening Voluntaries, by William Kraft, and I should also note that Haydn's Symphony 51 slow mvt. requires a solo high F); in fact I could play most solo literature with a C or D. But, right now I would give my left.. i dunno, my left whatever-isn't-needed-to-play-horn just to get a stable A or Bb below high C. I don't need or even want extreme range, I want a relaxed, fluid embouchure that allows endurance and tone in all registers.

My roll-outs, by the way, are fine (and I am using something similar but more extreme than Einsetzen, it looks just like Jeff's pictures) and I'm doing them on the F side (I can get down to a weak double-pedal Ab now!) and Bb side so I can do the whole series more stably (RO #3 & 4 are real hard on the F side)

Thanks all, I'll practice a lot and see how those suggestions go..
Marc


[ This Message was edited by: fractacular on 2004-01-14 18:22 ]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
mcamilleri
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 25 Oct 2001
Posts: 2076
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Marc. It is really easy to get hung up on too many details - paralysis by analysis. I suggest you stay away from the troubleshooting section at the back of the book for the moment, and try to forget what you have read there - it is too easy to fixate on one or two pieces of troubleshooting advice that may not actually be relevant to your problems. At your stage of BE you should stick with the instructions in the main sections, and re-read them every week or so to refresh and improve your concept of what you are trying to do, as well as listen carefully to the CD.

Practice BE frequently for short periods, maybe stop doing the roll-outs for a little while, and please keep us posted with more photos in a few days.
_________________
Alpha Angles
Besson Loyalist
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> The Balanced Embouchure All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group