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Basic Principles-Pat's Take


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PH
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 4:04 pm    Post subject: Basic Principles-Pat's Take Reply with quote

Hi,

I posted these 15 principles in the middle of an old thread and several people suggested that I split them out to keep them from getting buried. Note that these are my own takes on things and not Mr. Adam's. However, I think they do a lot to explain our approach to playing and practicing. Remember, this isn't a method per se. Mr. Adam's teaching is about getting in a room one on one with Mr. Adam himself!

Some guiding principles behind the Adam routine:

1. The imagination is the driving force behind music making. Hearing the desired result vividly in your imagination will activate whatever physical activity it takes to make that sound.

2. Every day and every repetition causes a more dependable result. Inconsistency eventually vanishes as the body makes a habit out of the most efficient way it finds to get the imagined result.

3. Most physical problems are air problems. When the air and the imagination are working, the embouchure, tongue, etc. can settle into balance. If the air never flows steadily the rest of your system will also be in a constant state of adjustment and compensation.

4. Physical and psychological tension are the trumpeter's greatest foes.

5. A trumpet player needs to be involved with every note they play in an energetic way-both physically and mentally. It takes a lot of energy to play well. It shouldn't take a lot of force. If it does you are fighting against yourself and/or the instrument.

6. We don't want our body to fight the physics and acoustics of the trumpet. Those natural laws don't change. Therefore, we have to change our approach.

7. Unnecessary tension comes when the body is working against itself. Isometric tension is created by opposing muscle groups which are at war.

8. Start the day by playing on the leadpipe/mouthpiece combination. Use plenty of air and try to get the most steady and resonant sound you can. On most Bb trumpets the concert Eb is the natural resonant pitch of the leadpipe.

9. After you have set up the air flow and warmed up the embouchure (without creating undue embouchure tension), transfer that approach to the trumpet.

10. Start with long tones or slowly moving flow studies with smaller intervals. Every single thing you play all day is a tone study!

11. Establish a relaxed but energized airflow and a rich, resonant tone on every note from the very first note.

12. Start in the middle register and gradually expand up and down alternating higher/lower/higher/lower, etc.

13. Carry the beauty of sound and the free flow of energized breath into all the other contexts: expand register, expand dynamics, go through all the various articulations, lyrical playing, etc.

14. At all times remember to imagine a beautiful sound. Keep your attention on that sound. Keep your energy up but never tense. Move that energized air through your sound. Stay calm and mentally focused...never anxious.

15. Never get angry with yourself and never try to go so fast that anxiety is created. If you do those things you are actually practicing being anxious and upset when playing. Of course that is how you will feel emotionally when you play if that is how you have practiced. Relax. It is supposed to be fun. We don't work music. We play music.
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have these copied and on my studio wall.

Exceptional.


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Babb9520
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Babb9520 on Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:19 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Nonsense Eliminator
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, Pat.

One of the misconceptions I often see on TH is that many people seem to focus on more concrete manifestations of Mr. Adam's approach. They tend to latch on to playing the leadpipe, or "Adam Routine", and think that if they're doing those things, they're somehow "doing the Adam thing". I think it's impossible to stress how much more important how you approach your playing is than what you play. Certainly, "the" routine (although of course there is no single routine) is a great tool for learning to apply the concepts Pat listed above; but it is just a tool, and there is nothing magical about playing those notes, or about blowing into a leadpipe.
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oj
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat,

I have been reading some of the books that Adam has on "his list". Right now I'm reading the Psyco-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. Based on what Maltz says (in for instance chapter 3), this sentence come in a much more interesting light:

The imagination is the driving force behind music making

Even if the book is from the early 1960 it is well worth to read. Also the little book As a Man Thinketh (from 1903) is a short, but good read.

Btw, I have it online here: http://abel.hive.no/trumpet/james_allen/

(18 pages if printed)

Ole
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PH
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check this site out: http://www.psycho-cybernetics.com/
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oj
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm.....

Pat, I have to tell you that (in my opinion) Maltz's writing style is simple and direct, no "whistles and bells", etc. But this website and this guy... well...he gives me kind of an opposite feeling.

Anyhow, the main thing is to get the Maltz book and read it.

Ole

P.S.
Perhaps we could have a new tread about the book Adam recommend? http://roth-music.com/Bill-Adam/readings/
(I have now read all of them and they are all great, IMO)
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OJ,

You have a great website! I love the interview with Kristian Steenstrup. I am ordering her book right away. Her words are very much in line with Bill Adam's.
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oj
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Bill it is a great book and as you say it goes hand in hand with Adam's ideas (and of course Arnold Jacobs).

Btw, Kristian is a male name. (Kristine is a female)

Ole
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops! I knew that. Really, I did.
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trumpetchops
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the purpose of playing on just the lead pipe and mouthpiece?
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PH
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The short answer is that it is a way to get the breath flowing and to get the embouchure warmed up and find its position without the added resistance of the rest of the horn & without the tendency we all have to harshly judge the first trumpet notes of the day. It is just a way to get the breath moving and the sound going.

Also, the mouthpiece/leadpipe combination is acoustically more similar to playing the trumpet than simply buzzing the mouthpiece. There is a venturi effect. The notes want to center at specific places on the pipe. There is adequate energy reflected from the end of the tube to set up the standing wave. etc.

In a nutshell, it is a great low stress and low tension way to get everything set up for the day or for a playing session. It isn't something most people need to spend a lot of time with...a minute or two of this first thing in the day and after a long break is probably plenty.
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Trumpet Monkey
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks PH for that great list. I studied with a Bill Adam student (Joe Phelps) while getting my undergrad and I think you've hit the nail on the head. It really helps to hear these things from a different perspective so keep 'em coming everyone. Guess I really need to get up to Bloomington for a lesson with Mr. Adam.
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beartrumpet74
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: Coming back to Louisville Reply with quote

Pat
wanted to drop you a line and tell you I am coming back to Louisville. Been in L.A. for a while and got to play with a lot of people out here. Hope to see you at Jamey's Camp this summer. I think I will working it along with you. Want to get with you on some of the Bill Adams stuff. A lot of the cats out here are into that... and of coures they wail!
peace dude
Matt Lawson
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PH
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt-

I'm looking forward to hanging out and working alongside you again at Aebersold Workshops this summer. I'll show you the Adam routine if you'll get your butt up and over to school before we have to start teaching!

Pat
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lh
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pat,

Any chance that you'll be in London early enough this summer to show some of us the Adam approach as well?

Dave
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6pk
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it all apart from one small thing:

"PrincipAL" means you're a person employed in a position of authority

"PrincipLE" is what you're talking about, "principle's of playing"

Sorry to be so picky lol, Its just I've read lots of resume's recently and its amazing how many people write "PrincipLE Trumpet", my instant reaction is, well i'm pleased you have strong principle's but what experience hae you got.

I'm going to get abused now,,I know,,sorry sorry.

Jon
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PrincipAL? What? Where?

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PH
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moderators wrote:
PrincipAL? What? Where?



No, it's the hall monitor!!
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PH
Bill Adam/Carmine Caruso Forum Moderator


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

6pk wrote:
..."PrincipAL" means you're a person employed in a position of authority

"PrincipLE" is what you're talking about, "principle's of playing"...Sorry to be so picky lol, Its just I've read lots of resume's recently and its amazing how many people write "PrincipLE Trumpet", my instant reaction is, well i'm pleased you have strong principle's but ...


You are correct. Now, did someone edit my original post, or was I also correct? I can't recall! It certainly is correct now.

Of course, while we're being picky, I detect a couple of errant apostrophes (apostrophae?) in your post, 6pk!
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