Alison Balsom makes it look effortless, how does she do it?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by turtlejimmy, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    A puffing cheeks problem caused me recently to study my face while playing (in a mirror) to fix it. It was a shock to see all the stress and strain ... just doing long tones and simple scales! Relaxing it (the face) as much as I could made it easier.

    It caused me to think of the YouTube videos of Alison Balsom. She has the most relaxed face I've ever seen (playing the trumpet) while she achieves that big grand concert sound she's famous for. She looks very, very relaxed while she's playing, and it's tough material!

    How on earth does she do it?

    The Turtle
     
  2. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Hey Turtle - I don't think it applies to Alison, but YOU can get that look with Botox ROFL.

    No! No! No! - I'm having fun at Turtle's expense, not having a shot at Alison's appearance - settle you lot.
     
  3. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

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    She's very efficient.
    She uses her air and the supporting muscles of the face
    rather than the muscles within the red of the lips to produce the notes.
    Take a look at Sergei Nakariakov and Tine Thing Helseth,
    their embrouchures look and indeed are very relaxed as well.

    Another idea is that all three of these people have naturally
    taut skin and muscles. Not to mention Tine and Alisom use a
    generous dab of makeup.
     
  4. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    Raphael Mendez, " Playing the trumpet requires no more effort than ordinary conversation".

    It is a pity we were not taught this from the beginning, it would save a lot of effort unlearning years of bad habits.

    Regards, Stuart. (72 and starting to get it together)
     
  5. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    I had a Band teacher in HS who had these puffy cheeks just naturally, that was one of the reasons I didn't stay with it, now I know you don't have to puff your cheeks. I just think of Miles Davis, I think of my cheeks being like his. (Although I guess puffing works OK for Dizzy Gillispie)
     
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Stuart,

    Yes! I also heard this quote from Rafael and it caught my ear. My singing coach told me that one of the goals of the program he teaches (Vocal Ease) is for singing to be no more effort than talking. Even volume, when the vocal cords are buzzing in the sort of sweet spot that allows them to vibrate most freely, is effortless (when it's all working right).

    And thanks Ted :shhh: but it wasn't the look I wanted, it was the sound. Just not sure why the face has to look like this guy :)woop:) instead of this guy (:cool:) to get the big sound I want.

    Turtle
     
  7. jimbo2348

    jimbo2348 New Friend

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    Speaking of relaxed--when Alison Balsom played a late summer concert here (Medford, OR) a couple of years ago, her dress popped open in the back during the Haydn Concerto. She calmly held the dress together with her left hand and finished the 3rd movement in fine style with her right.
    Jim
     
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Yes, It's a well known problem with that piece - it's part of the reason that I don't play it - the other part is that I would need to wear a dress - as if THAT'S going to happen (not with my legs, not today, not ever), and the answers I would get to the question, "Does my Bum look big in this?" don't bear thinking about.
     
  9. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

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    Also: two words dude - razor stubble ROFL
     
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Well ............ I've never actually shaved my legs. :oops:
     

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