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

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

  1. thebugleboy

    thebugleboy Pianissimo User

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    I have an idea. Why not build good practice habits that carry on into performing? Why not build the embouchure and technique and excersize our minds and bodies to a trained condition where we can just be comfortable in what we can perform...and then do it as well as possible? Why not learn to be comfortable enough with ourselves to realize we will never be perfect, and when imperfections show up we won't dwell on them, but continue enjoying that which we do well? A brain is capable of one thought at a time. Multitasking requires rapid alternating of thought initiation. Mind 2 may be swinging away having a lovely time...til he hits a clinker...then mind 1 jumps in with an "I told you so. Do it this way."
    Enough talking, just DO IT.
     
  2. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    No, that is not what I am saying. That would be a very complicated process, and by the time it was finished the moment in which the note(s) are/were required would be long gone. All of us who have progressed past the beginner level have a better, more streamlined preparation process than that that, one that results in a "good" setup for the coming notes . I am just trying to make our preparation process even more streamlined, even more efficient. If in the practice room one learns how to tune the body up in a very finely nuanced manner...tune it up to play the instrument in a given set of ranges, tune it up so that the lips and air cavity are in the best possible positions to resinate with the instrument...then on the job everything works with no thought whatsoever being given to the "how" part of playing, and making music with no physical distractiions becomes the sole goal.

    That's the idea, anyway.

    The "crack" comes in having internalized while practicing using a very specific, objective process how to set oneself up in the best possible manner to play a desired series of notes. It comes in taking the guesswork, the wiggle room out of preparing the soft machine to play at its highest potential as part of a system that includes the horn.

    It is producing fine results for me, and I have been a good, working professional brass player at a high level of NYC freelancing for about 40 years.

    It that's not a "crack" then I do not know what is.

    Later...

    S.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi Nick,
    Thanks for the two links. I found them very educational.
    Markie
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  4. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    Markie...

    Thanks.

    I'm workin' on it...

    Sam
     
  5. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    A question for all of you tech heads out there.

    Two questions, really.

    1-How much do you think that it would cost for me to make a well produced 20 or 30 minute-long DVD...and by well produced I mean with very high quality sound and with at least line-level visual and packaging values...that demonstrates this technique? Including say several hundred copies for starters. I do not favor a do-it-yourself effort here; I want it to sound great and look at least passable.

    2-Any recommendations on who might be able to do this kind of work at this level at a reasonable price? In NYC preferably, but if I could save an appreciable amount of money I would be happy to travel to do it and I know how expensive stuff like this can get in the Apple.

    Get back to me, please. I have already started writing a short book on the idea, but I think that an included DVD is a necessity if only to show people how to produce the overtones with their voices and then couple them efficiently on the horn.

    Thanks...

    Sam
     
  6. thebugleboy

    thebugleboy Pianissimo User

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    Julliard will have plenty of film students eager to tackle ANY project.
     
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi Sabutin,
    If it were me I'd spend the money and get Karen Greene in Atlanta to guide you through the work. She's a real pro at audio (Grammy winner)and a hell of a musician too.
     
  8. Sabutin

    Sabutin Pianissimo User

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    Hmmm...I may be going to Atlanta in late September. Thanks. Got any contact info for her?

    Sam
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Here we go again, sorry, I think that we are comparing apples and oranges.
    Playing the trumpet is a complete system from the diaphragm to the room that we blow into. Let's not use overtones and partials interchangeably, they may be mathematically related, but express completely different things.

    Partials are the notes that we play and are called such because they represent the division of the air column in the horn. Simplified, the fundemental is one wavelength in the horn (pedal C), the first partial is 2 wavelengths in the air column (low C), the third is 3 wave lengths (G), the fourth is 4 wave lengths (3rd space C), the fifth partial is 5 wavelengths in the horn (4th space E), The 6th partial is an octave higher than the 3rd and so on. The impedance (resistance) of a trumpet varies dramatically over all of these notes - that requires a strategy for changing pitch.

    Overtones are a series of vibrations accompanying the note that we are playing. They determine the color of the sound. They are primarily infuenced by the volume of air in the horn, the efficiency of the complete system and the material and bracing of the bell. More efficient systems are more brilliant.

    I don't buy the formant explanation. I believe that high chops with the trumpet are achieved by reaching an equilibrium in pressure behind and in front of the lips. This explains how a shallow mouthpiece and proper breath support can aid high notes - increased air pressure in the cup balanced with equal pressure from the breathing apparatus "stiffens" the lips mechanically and they then resonate at a higher frequency. Changing the oral cavity by moving the tongue merely introduces more turbulence before the air passes through the lips. That turbulence causes an additional inefficiency in the vibrating lips. Tongue low= more turbulence=less efficiency=lower notes. Tongue high=less turbulence=higher efficiency=higher notes. Getting the same "stiffness" with deeper mouthpieces demands more muscle. There is ALWAYS a great deal of turbulence due to the air having to pass across the relatively sharp edged teeth.

    Killer high chops are not universally possible with magic method X and never will be. The physical and emotional makeup of each player varies as does their true dedication. Those factors play the greatest role in being successful at anything. Working players have a great advantage, they have a stable base over a long time. Even questionable techniques (Cat Anderson comes to mind) don't hurt their playing. When something dramatic happens for a working player, the last thing I look at are the chops. Many years of playing builds habits that simply do not go away quickly. Those "dramatic" unlocking of the "code" have NOTHING to do with method X. They have to do with other influences in the players life that do not have the "strong habit" that first needs to be broken. I mostly find the differences in the emotional make up that leads to the swing up and down. The double C high today can be your train wreck tomorrow.

    Reliable high chops means HABITS. HABITS are developed by THOUSANDS of repetitions of the stuff that is good for us. Vowels are no shortcut.

    Nice try.
     
  10. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    Well said.
     

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