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Batman
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Joined: 24 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Citizens,
I think most will agree that a student desires to progress in his music career. For a trumpet player one would like to improve in sound, and range. The Claude Gordon approach it seems is similar to others where I have posed this question but I feel all should have a shot at it. Gordon says "don't mess with the lips." Practice the material, play with good sound, and take the deepest breath possible and all other things like range and endurance will fall into place. What happens when the teacher is faced with situation where this does not work?
Let's say a young player walks into your class and wants to be in your band. He plays with a great tone but his range is poor. He improves in sound and technique over the year, works hard over the summer and returns to school and your band with great sound, even his atriculation has improved. He still has not improved his range enough to play a more physically demanding part. He is a great sport and plays the 3rd part another year. Over the summer he takes private lessons, even takes a yoga class to learn the proper way to take a full breath. As has already been decided to progress in the upper register one should use alot of air which the student is doing. The kid comes back as a senior and wnats to play the 1st part, he has the technical ability but not the range or endurance, you also notice that he plays everything FF as he is concentrating on using alot of air. He doesn't mind sitting 3rd or 4th chair behind under classmen, he just wants to play 1st part thinking it may help him when he goes to college to get a degree in music. What do you tell this guy? Do you tell him to practice more, put him back on the 3rd part his senior year and tell him that writing music can be a rewarding as playing it, or tell him to take everything he can't play down an octave? As a result of his failure he changes his major and puts his horn away until he meets some players at a jam session. He starts hanging out and playing some. One night the lead player happens to notice how poorly his embouchure is formed and gives him some advice on how to correct it. 1 year later the guy who played the 3rd part in your band has greatly improved his range and you run into him on a gig, he's playing lead. You notice he keeps looking at you and at the end of the night comes up to you and asks "don't I know you from somewhere?" Seriously, what do you tell him?

/\0/
Batman
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pair of kings
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2002 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^o^, Let's turn the question back at you. Say this is a real situation where this student is a sophomore in HS. In an attempt to improve his playing, he practices diligently 2 hours per day. someone has promised an embouchure fix but he is left with noone to guide him in his quest to learn the secrets of success.
Could be a good oppurtunity for you do a good deed and help someone who is looking for some real answers to real issues. Why don't you skip to the part where you tell us, how does one develop bat chops?
Now if anyone really wants to answer - go ahead - and sorry for the interruption
PCK
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EBjazz
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2002 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<you also notice that he plays everything FF as he is concentrating on using alot of air>

I not sure who "I" am, but if I was his private teacher, I'd change this as it's wrong.
Claude made me practice in a whisper. 8 to 10 hours a day.
If there is a problem with the embouchure, then I would address that. Then it's just practice and lots of it. So if you're looking for a quick fix and great range with no musicality, you've come to the wrong place.
There's more to trumpet then range. Be a musician first and a trumpet player second, that way when you do develop the range, you'll know what to do with it.
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Last edited by EBjazz on Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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William Bentley
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Joined: 15 Jan 2002
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Location: Nashville Tenn

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2002 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-05-17 15:30, EBjazz wrote:
<you also notice that he plays everything FF as he is concentrating on using alot of air>

I not sure who "I" am, but if I was his private teacher, I'd change this as it's wrong.
Claude made me practice in a whisper. 8 to 10 hours a day.
If there is a problem with the embouchure, then I would address that. Then it's just practice and lots of it. I know that this goes against what the Gods of SuperChops say and of course one lesson with Callet or his video is worth 50 lessons with Claude.
So if you're looking for a quick fix and great range with no musicality, you've come to the wrong place.
There's more to trumpet then range. Be a musician first and a trumpet player second, that way when you do develop the range, you'll know what to do with it.



Batman
It looks like you have asked your question in a hostile forum.
I have never seen anyone including the SC folks say that one lesson with Callet or his video is worth more than 50 lessons with Claude Gordon. It's simply not on record anywhere to be found. The hostility is amazing.
I will be praying for ebjazz for deliverence from his anger problem. I was taught the Gordon way for many years and I was stuck in a situation like the player in Batman's post. My senior year in high school I gave up on the Gordon approach. I studied with Andy Hagin who led me the Caruso way and that fixed the limitations of my Gordon pucker embouchure. After a good bit of improvement with Caruso. I started the SC journey which is an extension of the basic Caruso concepts. I started working on bunching my chin more and reducing corner tension and my endurance and range and sound continued to improve while applying SC to the Caruso foundation.
I was in the same boat as the poor guy Batman describes. Embouchure help is what I needed and most likely would be the case with most of those in the same condition.

WB

[ This Message was edited by: William Bentley on 2002-05-18 21:44 ]
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Big Jake
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Posts: 47

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2002 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-05-16 21:40, pair of kings wrote:
^o^, Let's turn the question back at you. Say this is a real situation where this student is a sophomore in HS. In an attempt to improve his playing, he practices diligently 2 hours per day. someone has promised an embouchure fix but he is left with noone to guide him in his quest to learn the secrets of success.
Could be a good oppurtunity for you do a good deed and help someone who is looking for some real answers to real issues. Why don't you skip to the part where you tell us, how does one develop bat chops?
Now if anyone really wants to answer - go ahead - and sorry for the interruption
PCK



Such hostility! The condition that Batman presents is more trumpeters than we might want to admit. I was certainly a player in such a delima. Pops Mc Laughlin helped me more than the Gordon stuff. Pops is a good embouchure teacher, I have done well with the Superchop materials,and Mark Van Cleve,and Bill Carmichael video, lots of good chop help is out there.

Jake

[ This Message was edited by: Big Jake on 2002-05-18 22:03 ]
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Batman
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2002 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Citizens,
I have posted in other dedicated forums on this site and in each have asked the same question. You don't seem to understand that this problem is common with many players, I hope that players coming to you for lessons don't meet the with same attitude I am finding in this forum. I am finding out that what I have heard is true, that the Gordon method does not work for all players and the very people that could have changed my mind have missed an opportunity to do so. Instead of posting solutions for this player the people that post here showed an ugly side of themselves. I can only guess that no one knows what to do. On another note I visited Eb's web site and would like to say he sounded flat in the upper register on at least one of the clips. That's normally what happens when the chops are blowing out and the player starts using arm pressure, thats how the player I described ended up. Thanks for all the information.

/\0/
Batman
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Barrett
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2002 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Batman,
I hope you haven't become too disgusted with this topic and get a a chance to read this.

This may sound a bit out of the box but try bumping this kid up to 1st chair for at least a week. Personally I have been thrown into situations that at first were out of my league but then the brain took over and I played up to par or better. Basically all that he may need is a good kick in the ass........meaning: here is the big part kid, now do the job.

Just my opinion..............Great post
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_Don Herman
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Joined: 11 Nov 2001
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2002 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Mohan should be here. Wonder how the auditions are going?

FWIW, and assuming the player needs to change his embouchure, here's some interesting notes from Claude Gordon's Brass Playing is No Harder Than Deep Breathing text (any emphasis is straight from the book, not me):

"The position of the mouthpiece on the lips is very important. It should be placed where it will produce the best vibration, not where it necessarily feels most comfortable."

"I have changed my embouchure (mouthpiece placement) many times during my playing career."

"Many are afraid to change an embouchure. However, if it is incorrect, it should be changed."

"Have you ever seen an unnatural lip? Of course not. We all have a natural lip. The main thing is to LET IT WORK CORRECTLY not: TRY TO MAKE IT WORK CORRECTLY."

"Remember, the lips do not play the horn, so once your embouchure is set, FORGET THE LIP. If you leave the lip alone, with proper practice, it will take care of itself!."

Hi, Don again... Be careful reading too much into this, as it is (obviously) taken out of context. I believe that, like so many other great teachers, Claude would work with a student to fix an embouchure (or any other) problem. And, like some other great (can you say "Chicago"? ) teachers, he would try to distract the student from the physical aspect and focus on sound, or something else, instead, rather than trying to consciously control the muscles. He approaches breathing (the "chest high" thing) essentially the same way -- exercises off the horn to train the body and instill the habit, sound on the horn to reinforce its proper application.

Disclaimer: while I have read and used some of C.G.'s material, I am not a student of his. I have stated strictly quotes from his text plus my own belief which could certainly be in error. Here's my last bit of flame bait: I think that if a student doesn't advance after diligently trying, it is just as much the fault of the teacher. A lot of teachers out there (primarily younger ones, I'd hope) have insufficient expereince in not only fixing problems, but in recognizing that there is a problem and what the problem is. My biggest fear is starting to teach again is not that I won't have the "tools" to help somebody, but that I won't recognize their problem. A recognized lack of knowledge I can deal with by asking for help, or sending the student to somebody else; unknown ignorance will hurt me and the student (especially the student!) far more.

Sorry for the long rambling post... - Don
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-05-21 10:17, Don Herman wrote:
John Mohan should be here. Wonder how the auditions are going?

FWIW, and assuming the player needs to change his embouchure, here's some interesting notes from Claude Gordon's Brass Playing is No Harder Than Deep Breathing text (any emphasis is straight from the book, not me):

"The position of the mouthpiece on the lips is very important. It should be placed where it will produce the best vibration, not where it necessarily feels most comfortable."

"I have changed my embouchure (mouthpiece placement) many times during my playing career."

"Many are afraid to change an embouchure. However, if it is incorrect, it should be changed."

"Have you ever seen an unnatural lip? Of course not. We all have a natural lip. The main thing is to LET IT WORK CORRECTLY not: TRY TO MAKE IT WORK CORRECTLY."

"Remember, the lips do not play the horn, so once your embouchure is set, FORGET THE LIP. If you leave the lip alone, with proper practice, it will take care of itself!."

Hi, Don again... Be careful reading too much into this, as it is (obviously) taken out of context. I believe that, like so many other great teachers, Claude would work with a student to fix an embouchure (or any other) problem. And, like some other great (can you say "Chicago"? ) teachers, he would try to distract the student from the physical aspect and focus on sound, or something else, instead, rather than trying to consciously control the muscles. He approaches breathing (the "chest high" thing) essentially the same way -- exercises off the horn to train the body and instill the habit, sound on the horn to reinforce its proper application.

Disclaimer: while I have read and used some of C.G.'s material, I am not a student of his. I have stated strictly quotes from his text plus my own belief which could certainly be in error. Here's my last bit of flame bait: I think that if a student doesn't advance after diligently trying, it is just as much the fault of the teacher. A lot of teachers out there (primarily younger ones, I'd hope) have insufficient expereince in not only fixing problems, but in recognizing that there is a problem and what the problem is. My biggest fear is starting to teach again is not that I won't have the "tools" to help somebody, but that I won't recognize their problem. A recognized lack of knowledge I can deal with by asking for help, or sending the student to somebody else; unknown ignorance will hurt me and the student (especially the student!) far more.

Sorry for the long rambling post... - Don




Well, here I am! I quoted your whole answer Don, because it is a GOOD one.

To the original poster (Batman) I'd say there were several clues in your theoretical "problem student". The fact that everything he/she played was at an FF volume indicates the use of lots of air-power, but without much air-control. It sounds like the student never has mastered the proper way to arch the tongue when ascending. And if the embouchure was wrong, then it needed to be corrected "back then". If this student had studied with Claude or with any competent student of Claude's, it would have been corrected.

Problems in interpreting what Claude wrote and said arise when general statements that Claude said are followed to extreme levels and especially when only certain things he said and taught are quoted with the exclusion of others. Claude said what he said about "leaving the lips alone" in response to the fact that the vast majority of players THINK their problems are with their lips and embouchure, yet the fact is, that the vast majority of players' problems are with their use and control of AIR. But this doesn't mean that there are no bad embouchures out there. There are, and in those rare cases, they need to be corrected.

The first thing Claude did with me at my first lesson was to look at my embouchure while I played. When it was clearly okay, we moved on to all the other stuff.

As for the Radio Symphony Audition, the original 20 that were invited has been narrowed down to a field of three. And I'm not one of them.

In retrospect, I had too much on my plate in the months before the audition. Playing two musicals full time in two cities and trying to learn more than 20 of the hardest Orchestral Excerpts on the German Rotary trumpets (Bb and C) that I just bought, proved too much. I did not play well at all by the audition day. And in hindsight, though part of the problem was that I over-did it, another problem I think was that in trying to woodshed all the Excerpts and the two solos (Haydn and Honneger both on the German Rotary trumpets), I laid off my Irons, Clarkes and Systematic Approach too much. Oh well, live and learn.

I'll post the full excerpt list later.

One last thing: People out there, please don't misinterpret Eric's humor concerning comments he makes (such as one SC lesson being worth 50 CG lessons). To the person who wrote that they would pray for Eric's attitude to improve, I suggest that while he's at it, he should pray for a sense of humor for himself! Cynical humor can be funny! But perhaps not as funny as I sounded on the Haydn a few weeks ago...

(That was self-deprecating humor, by the way - probably the best kind).

All for now,

John Mohan
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2002 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2002-05-18 21:28, William Bentley wrote:
I was taught the Gordon way for many years and I was stuck in a situation like the player in Batman's post. My senior year in high school I gave up on the Gordon approach. WB


Hi William,

Who was your teacher when you were studying the "Gordon way"?

Curiously,

John Mohan
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Batman
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Citizen John,
I am just about out of range so I wasn't able to completely recieve your last transmission. Whatever you posted I am sure was not in the same negative vein as your associates. If I get back your way soon I will revisit your forum. Right now I am on my way home to play a performance of "Bats". The opening is in Batburg and I don't want to be late for my 1st gig back home. Maybe one day you will be able to come back to the states and play for an extended engagement.

/\0/
Batman
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_Don Herman
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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2002 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words John! As for your audition, well, maybe next time...

An interesting note, just to keep this quasi on topic... My current teacher, a Chicago guy through and through, did exactly the same thing -- first looked at my chops to ensure I wasn't doing something totally stupid (with my embouchure! ), then proceeded to move on. Best I recall, Jim Donaldson did the same. Great minds -- and teachers! -- just might think alike!

Best wishes - Don
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"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music." - Aldous Huxley
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