Arnold Jacobs

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Veldkamp, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    Hi Manny, your avatar shows Arnold Jacobs. I've read and watched a lot of stuff concerning him lately so my obvious question is : have you played with him or took lessons with him? Or can you share other things you learned from him. I became a big fan of his teaching after reading his book and watched the videos on his website.

    He and Bill Adam tought me a lot about trumpetplaying. Not that I changed anything. But I understand more what I'm doing when I'm playing the trumpet.
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Erik,

    Welcome back, it's been a long time since you have posted.

    Yes, I studied with Arnold and have posted pretty extensively about my work with him to the point where everybody's sick of it! Try the search feature and see what you come up with. If you find not enough, I can write a little about it.

    By the way, your website is fabulous and I encourage everyone to check it out.

    ML
     
  3. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

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    Never!
     
  4. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    the wedge

    I think I was abroad when you were writing about AJ. I did a search, but didn't search enough probably.

    A have a few questions though :

    Can you tell anything about tongue arching. It's clear to me that by thinking about vowels the tongue works at his best for tongueing. I didn't get it if you or AJ uses the tongue for coloring the sound of a note after the attack. Or is the tong out of the way of the airstream after the attack. (I guess that's what I'm doing).

    A second questions is about the "wedge" (Bobby Shew) or the way leadplayers are breathing. Did Jacobs say anything about that?

    Btw. thanks for your kind words about my website.
     
  5. ROGERIO

    ROGERIO Mezzo Forte User

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    Sep 30, 2004
    PHOENIX, AZ
    Agreed Manny... you let us worry your back on those that may complain... :twisted:

    Keep the stories and advise coming on ALL your experiences.

    We treasure them! Specially on Jacobs. :-)
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Re: the wedge

    Erik,

    What I got from AJ about tongue arching is that what happened physically (the movement of the tongue) was never a conscious thing. I believed that even before I started studying with him. He confirmed my thought that you think of all your articulations with the same vowel and allow the subtle changes that are necessary for each portion of the tessitura to happen naturally. So, yes, the tongue changes but with a focus from the ear of the trumpeter. When I play the Bach Brandenburg there's no change in approach from me than when I play Mahler 5th EXCEPT for the character of the music.

    He never mentioned it to me because I never asked, so, I must plead ignorance to Bobby's method. I didn't know he breathed differently. Would you be so kind as to maybe write us a little about it if you have a moment?

    You're welcome... I encourage all to check it out!

    ML
     
  7. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2004
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    Re: the wedge

    Bobby changed his breathing after he became the leadplayer of Buddy Rich's band and got in serious trouble with his chops (to much arm pressure). He first went to Maynard and he gave him a book about Yoga breathing. But he couldn't make the link to trumpetplaying so he asked Bud Brisbois, he played in Stan Kenton's band after Maynard had left. A real high blower.

    Bud explaned him that saw his lungs as a balloon filled with air and to get more air pressure, you have to use the muscles around the lungs to push the air out.

    Bobby developed this in what he calls "the wedge" (or Yoga complete breath). It's based on yoga breathing but yoga is to relax and stimulate the organs, but we want to use it to get more air compression in the lungs which leads to more air pressure to the lips. It's devided a 4 or 6 steps.

    1. Small intake of air, slight outward extension of abdomen in area of navel. Chest stationary, diaphragm inverts downward
    2. large intake of air, abdomen pulled inward horizontally towards spine to create "wedge" position
    3. large intake of air, lift shoulders upwards towards ears, maintain wedge position
    4. isometric grip of abdomen in navel area as if resisting a punch in the abs. Maintain wedge position
    5. lower shoulders to desired playing position. Maintain wedge position
    6. blow air as if spitting rice or blowing out a candle. Maintain grip, adjusting tension as you change registers. Maintain wedge position

    This is 1 movement.

    What I understand of AJ is that he said that the diaphragm does 50% of breathing in and out. The chest does the rest. But the difference with Bobby's method is that you make a wall (wedge or grip) during inhaling to make more pressure. You don't need this breathing for tuba playing or for most trumpet playing. It's only for players with strong chops who can resist that kind of air pressure like leadplayers (Maynard, Roger Ingram, Bobby, etc.). It gives a strong projected sound if you do it right.

    Because AJ was so interested in breathing, maybe he had researched this breathing method. I know he said a lot about the song part and that the body follows your sound. But this wedge thing is not common breathing but very effective if you do it right. So I was interested if he made some comments about this. But it seems not to be the case.
     
  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Thanks so much for the time to write that, Erik. I can safely say that AJ wouldn't have agreed with it and here's why:

    He took his approach to breathing as applied to wind playing from what happens naturally during the inhale/exhale process. That is, you inhale and relax the belly so that when the diaphragm contracts the belly distends outward in a natural way. The chest expands because the lungs are filling with air. So, the lungs expand and the abdomen "enlarges" because your guts and everything in the abdominal area have to go somewhere to make room for the expanding lungs.

    On the exhale, he liked for us to "pull in" the belly at the moment of articulation and to continue to pull in for the length of the note or passage. It's what I call "having the navel touch the spine". This is what support is: movement not stiffness, the inward movement of the belly as we exhale.

    Now, Bobby happens to play the hell out of the trumpet, so, he approaches breathing in a way that has worked beautifuly for him throughout his career. Would he breathe the same way if he had my job? I don't know. I can say I would breathe the same as I presently do and I can say that I helped a lead player once who was having concerns about his playing with the method I described and I have helped symphonic players with the identical problem. The results were immediate. Each player adapted this basic breathing to the character of music they played, what was in his head. I also found that players that were changing from standard equipment to Monette stuff benefitted greatly when they had trouble acclimating. What their bodies were screaming for was gentle, efficient support and this seemed to do the trick every time.

    It's a pity AJ isn't with us anymore. I miss him and Mr. Vacchiano.

    ML
     
  9. Clarence

    Clarence Mezzo Forte User

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    Yea u kow we love ya manny, dont be tripping! :D
    hey anybody speak jive.
     
  10. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

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    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    I can't tell for Bobby, but probably he would have played the same as he always did before he had to play lead all the time. I don't think he's using it when he's playing flugelhorn or jazzsolos in his combo, but I don't now for shure. For me it's just an extra tool. Most of the time I breath natural but if I need extra support I use something like the wedge (I don't use my shoulders for extra support).

    Now that it's easy for me to use it, I don't think about it anymore. If I want a projected sound, my body responds with something like the wedge and more puckered embouchure. But you have to learn it if you want to use it. It took me a month or so to learn it.

    I did a experiment in september. I didn't play lead for a month and started practicing classical stuff. My embouchure changed completely without thinking about it. I was just focussing on the music and the sound. I practiced a lot of dubble and triple tongueing, something we don't need that often in big band music. I was a nice experience, but it cost me some time to play my leadparts comfortable again!

    I showed me that the body adapts naturally to the "song".
     

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