BREAKTHROUGH!!! (I have finally broken the embouchure code. I think.)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Pedagogy' started by Sabutin, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    First, Sam did you read the article by Moore? He refers to the fact that there are too many variables involved to make a HUMAN demonstration conclusive.

    Next, when you quoted me you left this phrase out:

    "Now, I don't think the original post WAS trying to remove the lips from the mix. He is just pointing out another interesting facet in all of this. I just bring it up here for emphasis."
    (bold added for emphasis here)
    I'm sure you just missed that.

    Also, did you read my second post?

    Next, while multiphonics makes sense to me, I'm not prepared to just accept the notion that formants are causing the presence of overtone changes exclusively. I do wonder to what extent an unconscious manipulation of lip aperture is not creeping in. I can here a slight change in the over tone structure when I mess with teh oral cavity, but I have a hard time not manipulating my lips at the same time.

    Finally, the non-linearity of a trumpet transfer funciton is inescapable. The increase in the presence of overtones changes with dynamics. However, you were saying that you didn't change dyanmaics, so that's cool.

    Read the Moore article. Is he wrong?

    Nick
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to TM, Sabutin, and no, despite what others might think, you are NOT crazy! Arthur H. Benade in his Fundementals of Musical Acoustics studied formants of singers, and my own experience has shown that paying attention to partials can affect one's sound, helping to match the sound of the principal player.

    Voodoo stuff, but real!
     
  3. thebugleboy

    thebugleboy Pianissimo User

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    Six octaves? You're out of my league. I don't mean to make light of this method, but there are so many people offering their breakthrough techniques, that I wouldn't have the time to try them all out (given the possibility of damage done by some of the methods that don't work). There is the "Tongue Level" method and many others that, it would seem, give some of the same ideas for embouchure breakthrough as offered here. I still believe that dedication, repitition, and lots of freebuzzing (or any practice that results in tone production with less pressure) is adequate. I'm sorry, but if I bought every book and used every method that promised the "secret," I'd be like the kids from my high school days who ordered EVERY "added horsepower" part from the catalogues. I told them over and over that you can't just keep bolting on power. If one continues to add 5 to 10 HP parts, theoretically he would eventually have a million HP engine. Of course there is no room or placement for all the parts, and many would be counterproductive. Most methods may be fine. I'll just dance with the one who brung me...dedication and perseverance with plenty of rest in between.
    Maybe I'm just too old fashioned. Maybe some think Herbert Clarke couldn't cut it in today's musical world. I'll just keep taking advice from my Trumpetmaster buddies while I keep working my chops the way that has worked for me so far. I doubt I'll get 6 octaves, but I don't really know where I'd use that many anyway...dog catcher? Sorry for my attitude, but I'm just an old country Indian.
     
  4. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    Not yet.

    Headed for gig mode myself.

    I can conclusively say this, Nick: When I change the formants in overtone singing I make certain movements within my resonance cavity. When I make the same movements while playing a long tone on the trombone similar formant changes occur.

    I didn't "miss" it, I simply did not see its relevance to what I was posting.

    Yup.

    Once again...when I step on the accelerator of a car, the engine goes faster. (Unless of course it is broken.) I have learned to trust that action and its result, plus I learn (and relearn) pretty much exactly how much the accelerator affects the engine speed of every car in every gear. Certainly the accelerator is not acting by itself...a magic bullet, so to speak. But that's how I make the engine change speeds, and when there is a 16 wheeler bearing down on me I most certainly am not going to stop to ponder the chain of that must/might take place in order to get my ass the hell out of the way.

    Ditto here. I have found a new way to tune up the engine of my musical car. It works better now, and I am in the process of re-learning how to drive it. When driving it, I am not going to be acting physically much different than I have been doing. It's simply going to drive better now and I will be able to brake, turn and accelerate with more precision as a result. I am still going to be working the same pedals, steering wheel and transmission in the same way as I have been doing for a long time; now I'll simply be able to squeeze through some smaller holes in traffic.

    That's the theory, anyway.

    That's my story and (so far) I'm stickin' to it.

    It's really that simple. Overcomplicate things and you will end up with Carmine Caruso's wonderful paralysis-by-analysis story.

    Like dat.

    Is "right" necessarily "not wrong?"

    Is "wrong" necessarily "not right?"

    We shall see.

    The following Zen teaching story holds a clue to this.

    There are always at least three ways to look at things. Regarding this idea I'm just coming out of the middle choice right now.

    We shall see what happens on down the road.

    Later...

    S.
     
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

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    Ok, as a very non-scientific mind, let me step out of the the theory for a second for a practical question...

    What is it you actually practice? Is it singing the note, buzzing it without changing much, and then playing it while changing as little as possible? What ranges do you use for this, how much a day, etc? If I wanted to try this, how would you suggest I go about it?

    Thanks!
    Jason.
     
  6. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    Thank you.

    Not sure how "voodoo" any of this stuff is, actually.

    In point of fact, I am not at all sure how "voodoo" even voodoo really is. I am involved heavily in latin music, and many of my favorite musicians and closest friends are (and were) involved in the Cuban/Puerto Rican/Nuyorican form of what is popularly called "voodoo" (From the New Oreans/Haitian "Voudon".), Santeria. They are not dumb or gullible folks. Not a bit of it.

    Partials? They are as real as this table on which I am typing. And yes, you are right. They flat out work.

    Thanks...

    S.
     
  7. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    Your choice, of course.

    But...some of those horsepower add-ons actually work, and work well. It's up to each of us how much we want to try, how much we want to risk.

    I'll tell you this much...as a teacher, I hold to the part of the Hippocratic oath that tells doctors "First, do no harm." (Primum non nocere) Bet on it.

    And...I throughly test out all of my medicines on myself before daring to prescribe them to others.

    Bet on that as well.

    Good luck...

    S.
     
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Ok, again, interesting. I'm not disputing the gas on the accelerator thing at all. I'm just sorting out how the engine and the accelerator WORKS.

    By analogy, I'm not disputing that your method works. Read my posts. I never did. I'm just curious as to how it is working.

    VGB, thanks for pointing out he Benade reference. Again, I am curious and puzzled by how the coupling works here. Then again, I don't completely understand the whole flow control valve thing here, either or why the air flow through the oral cavity should have the impact it appears to. It could be formants coupling with the lips, but I'm not convinced yet that that is the mechanishm by which this works. I'm try to square it with the physics (as per Dr. Moore article). I need to find those missing artricles. VGB, can you cite the Benade references, please? I'd love to read them.

    I don't see this as overcomplcating anything at all. It is just a puzzlement. Again, I'm not saying it doesn't work. I'm just trying to sort out WHY.

    On another note, there are many fine method books and methods out there. Apparently we can soon exepct one from one you. That's great. I have the firm belief that everyone who writes a method book or an embouchure method does so with a sense of sincerity about helping other players improve and that the writer is, to the best of his/her ability trying to clearly explain what works for them. I also believe that there is NO ONE method book that can possibly speak to every single player out there. This adds to the importance of your writing a book! Your ideas may very well touch on some folks who have just been flat out stuck.

    In that context, I see great value in ALL method books! Who in their right mind would write a turmpet method book to become rich? How many of us are there! :-) In any case, I don't believe there is a bad method out there; just different.

    Nick
     
  9. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    Well Jason...first of all "what I really practice" took about 265 pages to describe in my latest book, so i can't lay it all out for you here.

    Secondly, I practice about 6 hours/day (including rest time) every day that i am not involved in playing fairly strenuous music.

    Third? An important part of my regimen is the use of aleatoric (chance) procedures to dictate most of the parameters of what I practice on any given day, so there's another few thousand pages if I went whole hog plus postage.

    and...

    Fourth, the way that I am practicing this idea is piggy-backed on my own previously assembled approaches, so if you don't know them then I can't really describe it to you in any kind of useful or accurate manner.

    Long story short? Sure. I'll give it a try.

    One of the things that I do for a living is put together what I call "drive-by teaching tours" around my many travels as a musician, plus the majority of people who come to me for lessons in New York City are pros or advanced students who are just in NYC for a short time. In light of those conditions I have learned to ...once again..."piggy-back" a great deal of what I teach onto the previously learned approaches of the players who I am about to teach.

    So before I go any further...how do you practice?

    What do you practice and how do you go about it? Tell me that in some appreciable amount of detail and maybe I'll be able to give you a useful answer about how to include this idea in your approach.

    Get back to me. I am working most of this weekend and have some dumb-dumb chore paperwork to do plus I'm leaving for France next week, but eventually I will get around to answering you.

    Later...

    S.
     
  10. thebugleboy

    thebugleboy Pianissimo User

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    Deep South
    Some bolt-ons work, yes. Some though are based on ideas that sound great but don't really give any added benefit (like tablets for your fuel tank so you can run on water...many bought them). My point with horsepower (and methods) is this: YOU CAN'T USE THEM ALL...at least not at the same time. By the time I have tried everybody's tried and true method, I'm too old to appreciate the benefit of the good ones. No judgment on your method, but is your reason for being here to sell us books? It appeared so to me.
    Again, no judgment on your method or the quality of your book, but if you're selling, just make an offer outright. Maybe I'm out of line, but I'd rather hear from the members who are here to share information and enjoy fellowship. I realize that we barter and sell our instruments some, but there are special areas on the forum for that. When I ask advice, I'd rather have it come from someone like Rowuk (or other...sorry, just grabbed one out of the hat) who will give me the benefit of what has worked for him without needing to plug his product. I won't ask the Bach plant manager, or any other brand maker, "Who makes the best trumpet?" I'll bet my peashooter he'll say, "We do!"
    If I've stepped out of bounds, then please moderator, accept my apology, and I will take correction. I read the forum and often don't have to ask a question or offer answers. Everything seems to get covered so well. I just thought I'd be my annoying self and speak my mind this time. Maybe I'll become a ploitician. I should last about 5 minutes being straight forward. LOL (maybe)
     

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