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What is the "correct" way to do the lip bends?


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thegambler
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My teacher in undergrad reccomended doing lip bends by playing the first note (lets say g) and then suddenly (as quickly as the change would be with the valve) lipping down to the f#. In addition, he suggested a crescendo into the bent note.

After reading the transcribed Hakan masterclass on the NTF, I noted that he was quite specific about NOT forcing the pitch, but using a more gentle, vocal approach.

We all know that the Stamp book is a little ambiguous at times...could someone who is more versed in the Stamp pedagogy let the rest of us know the "correct" way to perform the bends?

Thanks.
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tcutrpt
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I know, lip bends are done to strengthen the corner muscles (larger muscles on either side of the lips) and create more of a pucker/soft cushion in the center of the lips to allow a more efficient vibration. It is important to blow into the bent note as your prof instructed. The last thing you want to do is back off on volume. You want the bent notes to sound just like the note you are immitating by bending the pitch. (if you bend from G to F, the bent F should be as pure as an F fingered 1st valve). I would say a good balance of listening for the proper sound and taking note of what it feels like to do them correctly is important.

I have found that pedals tones and lip bends achieve the same thing. Lip bends seem to be the more physical of the two, however. I'm starting to notice that my corners are starting to draw in towards the center when I ascend which keeps the center more relaxed and keeps the sound much more consistent.

I hope this helps some.
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crzytptman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not familiar with the teachings of Stamp (I clicked here from the homepage). When I do pitch bends, I focus on the feel of the note bent to. In the example given of G to F, I would hold the F for feel - the smallest and most flexible apperture - and then strive to make the G (and every note) feel the same way. This gives me a lot of vibrancy in my tone, and every note sounds and feels very relaxed yet controlled.

What do you think?

Nate
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trumpetherald
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom Stevens told me that Stamp had him to the bends which are in the book really only as quarter-tones, not half-tones. They were really more of just a reminder to 'stay down while going up,' just a slight dip in the pitch, really.

I have done half-step and wider bends, but they seem to me now to be something separate from the concept Stamp had for them. Doing wider bends can help you build a bit more cushion, and perhaps even strength, but to me that's a different purpose than what Stamp had in mind for them.

TD

[ This Message was edited by: trumpetherald on 2004-02-21 13:24 ]
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thegambler
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2004 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting takes, guys...

I've always thought of lip bends as a way to "focus" your sound, just like you focus an image through a pair of binoculars.

On a pair of binoculars, if you think you are close to being in focus, it's best to move the knob, making the view a bit blurry, and then move the knob back, until the view becomes crystal clear.

When you come back to the original note from the bend, and stop at the point of least resistance, (where the instrument functions most efficiently) you are also probably playing with a more "focused" sound, and with less effort.

Of course, I'm also willing to entertain the possibility that it strengthens my corners in the process, and maybe this was Stamp's original intent.

Let me ask: when performing a bend, do you bend gradually? Or suddenly?




[ This Message was edited by: thegambler on 2004-03-05 00:28 ]
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trumpetherald
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2004 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Let me ask: when performing a bend, do you bend gradually? Or suddenly?


Hmm. I used to do them slower, when I would use them to help center the pitch, bend down and then back up somewhat slower so as to find the best resonance.

Nowadays, the bends I do are very light, usually just a quarter-tone, and I do them quickly, just a little test / reminder to stay down and keep loose in the middle. (I don't really think of those things consciously, though.)

TD

[ This Message was edited by: trumpetherald on 2004-03-05 17:03 ]
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oj
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you seen FLEXUS, the new book by Frink & McNeil?

Laurie demonstrate (on the CD) how to do the bends like Håkan Hardenberger did:

Slide or gliss down and then up. On the way up, find the place where the sound is best (center of pitch).

Hardenberger said that the way the bend exercise is described in the BIM book is wrong. You should not force the pitch down: What one must not do is to push against the tone (demonstrates bending with a ”push”) – but like this (without ”pushing”) – to let the tone “rest” and keep its freedom.

Ole
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shofar
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-02-21 13:22, trumpetherald wrote:
Tom Stevens told me that Stamp had him to the bends which are in the book really only as quarter-tones, not half-tones. They were really more of just a reminder to 'stay down while going up,' just a slight dip in the pitch, really.

<font size=-2>[ This Message was edited by: trumpetherald on 2004-02-21 13:24 ]</font>


Fortunately, I walked by his house on the way to high school and back home each day. When I studied with Jimmie, he had me bend a full half step. Just remembering some days at lessons (we sat in the kitchen, at the table) when the entire lesson was only on the mouthpiece, never got on the horn. But once we did get on the horn, bending was a full half step. Still do them to this day, both with the mouthpiece and the horn. The seem to really help center things and help lock in slots.

See ya, Rog
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trumpetherald
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When I studied with Jimmie, he had me bend a full half step...


Yeah, I know he had people do half-steps as well. I think, in fact I know, Jimmy was very flexible, adaptable, and individual in his approach to different students ...

TD

[ This Message was edited by: trumpetherald on 2004-03-08 17:06 ]
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trumpetherald
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hardenberger said that the way the bend exercise is described in the BIM book is wrong. You should not force the pitch down: What one must not do is to push against the tone (demonstrates bending with a ”push”) – but like this (without ”pushing”) – to let the tone “rest” and keep its freedom.


Hmm that's interesting - I know I always make sure to keep the breath support when moving down, but I don't make a crescendo. There's a tendency, when doing bends at first, to relax the air when moving down ... hmm [quick pause to check on horn] when I bend down, most of the adjustment seems to be jaw and internal, but breath is constant, gets the best freedom that way, I think.

Off to practice ...

TD
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Jerry Freedman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2004-03-08 02:21, oj wrote:
Have you seen FLEXUS, the new book by Frink & McNeil?

Laurie demonstrate (on the CD) how to do the bends like Håkan Hardenberger did:

Slide or gliss down and then up. On the way up, find the place where the sound is best (center of pitch).

Hardenberger said that the way the bend exercise is described in the BIM book is wrong. You should not force the pitch down: What one must not do is to push against the tone (demonstrates bending with a ”push”) – but like this (without ”pushing”) – to let the tone “rest” and keep its freedom.

Ole


I really don't understand what this Hardenberger quote says. Its a little too metaphoric and I can't make anything of it. Could you please explain this
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Mzony
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that in my own studies I was encouraged to maintain as much of my embochure (tounge, jaw, lips, etc.) as possible and to make the bend with the air...and to make the bent note as resonant as possible.
I also remember being told to not back away from the air as I bent the notes. Just thought I would share.

Zony
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trumpetherald
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What one must not do is to push against the tone (demonstrates bending with a ”push”) – but like this (without ”pushing”) – to let the tone “rest” and keep its freedom.


Ask Ole for more, but I suspect that some of it means that you don't muscle the air or embouchure when bending down in such a way that the tone is hardened or tightened, but rather that the sound must be kept open and the air stream well-supported and still relaxed.

TD
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always imitated a slow trombone glissando, half-step and back to a better sound.

Also two half steps, G-F# (open)-F (open)-F# (open)-G. Then with second valve etc.

Do from third space C, then E and G, high C, whatever.

Rinse, floss.

Corrects any spread embouchure problems, lips get closer together naturally.

Oh yeah, finger along on the lead pipe as if you were fingering the correct combinations. Stimulus/response.
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Pat
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like I remember that when you are doing the bends at the beginning of the day as per Hardenberger, to get the lips and air in sync, he suggested that you not use the tongue to begin the note. Is that right?
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NYCTPT
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I learned to do bends from Mike Sachs. He suggested doing them slowly at first (like a glissando), but to eventually work them to the point where it was like changing the note with the valve. The thing I think is important to remember when doing these excercises is to remain as supple and relaxed with your air and embouchure as possible. As Mzony said, keep things in place (sorry for the bad paraphrase). Work at changing the note more with your mind/imagination than with some physical contortion.
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Atomlinson
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat: Yes, just a "poo" attack.

If you read the article "Stamp: "Symphony No.1" at O.J.'s site, HH explains what he means:

"What one must not do is to push against the tone (demonstrates bending with a "push") - but like this (without "pushing") - to let the tone "rest" and keep its freedom."

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU BEND?

"What happens is, that you make a small vocalising (sings halftone interval O-AA-O) - just a small change in the throat. You make no extra push with the air. If you start to push the air, you introduce a fight against the trumpet instead of letting the trumpet "walk" with you and let your mind control the trumpet. I used to tell a little metaphor: When I was a little kid we had a very big dog, a St. Bernhard, and when we were out for a walk, he was out walking me. In my relation to the trumpet I try to be different: I decide over the trumpet and not vice versa."

"Many do not succeed when they try these bends. The tone does not change - it is still a G or F regardless of what they do (HH makes "locked throat sound" with his voice). This is a sign of stiffness. You have to solve that problem first."

This may or may not be the same as what Stamp taught, but it certainly works pretty well for HH.

Andrew Tomlinson

[ This Message was edited by: Atomlinson on 2004-03-09 02:03 ]
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trumpetherald
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I learned to do bends from Mike Sachs. He suggested doing them slowly at first (like a glissando), but to eventually work them to the point where it was like changing the note with the valve.


Stevens said the same thing to me. The bends should be like a valve pressing down.

This is distinctly different from how some players with whose teaching I'm familiar, and who have more of a 'Chicago' approach, teach the bends. In their case, it's a full half-step, with a gliss, not a faster, lighter bend like Stamp (as I learned it).

Quote:
This may or may not be the same as what Stamp taught, but it certainly works pretty well for HH.


Håkan's approach is not exactly as Stamp taught, or at least, not exactly as things are described in the BIM book. He's developed things to suit his playing over the (nearly) 30 years since he studied with Stamp.

TD
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Martijn Zijlmans
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's just the breath which has got to do all the work. Lip bends (G-F#) are excellent to get your muscles relaxed. Also it is good for the embouchure. my teacher can play an octave C2 - C3 without using ventils :S.
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oj
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martijn Zijlmans,

What your teacher showed you is not bending, it is what someone call "false scale". It is rather different from the gentle bend that Håkan and other uses. After a few "scales" you will be very stiff.

Jim Thompson also uses the bending (with gliss) and he stressed the importance of finding the center of the pitch. When you find that, your playing gets more effective.

From all I've heard about Jimmy Stamp - he was very into intonation. "Think down, when going up", etc. was mental games to address this. Bending was also part of this "menu".

But did Stamp ever use "false scales" ?

Ole


[ This Message was edited by: oj on 2004-03-12 03:18 ]
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