Cat Anderson Trumpet Method

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Joe N., Apr 3, 2007.

  1. B6L

    B6L New Friend

    Dec 3, 2003
    Thanks alot, that really is interesting and helpful. I will start tomorrow with the teeth closed!!!
    I bought the book about 20 years ago and have been doing the 20 min G off and on since then, this exercise has produced more results then anything else !
  2. tobys346

    tobys346 New Friend

    Nov 14, 2006

    Glad to help. One more thing though. Make sure you balance the long tones with flexibility excercises. The Colin and Smith books are excellent for this. You don't want to get too tight. Play everything soft. The more sensitive your lip tissue is to vibrate the more efficicent they are and the less effort it takes to produce a note. The tone quality also improves. The less effort it takes to make the lips vibrate the more it adds to the endurance factor. Every little bit helps in the end process. Good luck!
  3. Magnusverdixon

    Magnusverdixon Pianissimo User

    Dec 25, 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    Patrick Hessons Book is really good if you just want a solid range building book ... I have it and recommend it ... I have had (or have) Cat Andersons book; Double C In 37 Weeks; Double C In Ten Minutes -Walt Johnson; The Maggio System; Pops McGlaughlins Books ... I utilize Hessions Book and Claude Gordons Systematic Approach as it incorporates several technical studies books.
  4. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    When I am stressed and don't have a lot of time to practice I find twenty minutes of soft G long tones (about 45 seconds on and 15 off) works wonders. BTW, I did a gig with Steve Huffstetter last night, we played his charts and he sounded great. Big fun.

    Michael McLaughlin

    It generally happens that assurance keeps an even pace with ability.
    Samuel Johnson
  5. ilikethetrumpet

    ilikethetrumpet Pianissimo User

    Sep 10, 2006
    Iowa City, Iowa
    My previous teacher (and he's a great teacher) advocated and indeed truly lived by "the 20 minute G." I lived by it, truly, only twice, but it's really an eye-opening thing. It teaches you so much. You might think (like I do), "but, playing one note more or less continuously for 20 minutes would hurt!" But why hack at a triple A when you haven't mastered the arts of sitting, concentrating, holding the trumpet, playing with a comfortable embrochure, and discovering a sustainable rate of exhalation?

    The other amazing thing about the 20-minute G is what your mind has to do in order to commit to the entirety of the note. It forces you to either quit or develop numerous awarenesses. At one point, when I was starting to get bored, I mentally superimposed all sorts of imaginary subdivisions underneath my drone. To agree with MM, whereas body-building takes you to the breaking point, this is something different and most definitely "aerobic" at least in the way I was taught it and experienced it. If you commit to putting in that time, then the body will naturally be led away from painful habits: arm tension, throat tension, excessive diaphragm clenching, jaw motion, the neck jutting forward to meet the mouthpiece, odd crossings of the legs, a tendency to be too open in the chops and in need of pressure to shut it off (because at a soft dynamic, a floppy embrouchure won't speak).

    So the muscles are certainly engaged... but not in a "look what I can do" kind of way.

    I'm going to try this again. Writing a sales pitch for it reminded me how helpful it used to be in my playing.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
  6. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    This post has been very useful. I have used this method on my drive from work to home or rehearsal since the initial post. I started using it in the morning on the way to work so now I have two sessions of 20 minute buzz followed by my practice routine. I hit a G above high C unexpectedly during my practice session. I was trying the Roger Ingram method from another forum on TM.

    I have a fairly long piece of .375 ID tigon tubing attached to my mouthpiece so I can buzz as a natural trumpet would. I can choose a pitch and buzz on the road. I buzz whichever pitch requires good air support. NO chest breathing.

    Thank you for posting the information on the Cat Anderson Trumpet Method.
  7. Frippel_C

    Frippel_C New Friend

    Apr 28, 2007
    Concerning hight, what do you consider a high tone?

    I see you writing about people that are playing the thrd C like its a lot and "Oo, he's playing a Bb" and so on, but here (in Sweden, I guess that most of you are american) 4th A is considered very high, but if you want to look good to the kids you almost have to play 4th C. Almost all trumpet-players I know takes like 3rd G and so and it's not very high when you compare to people over 20.

    So where do you count, because I guess it's a question of where the 1st C is. Here we go with the piano, a Bb in the first octave is a C, a Bb in the second is a 2C, and so on.
    On a Bb trumpet I must add.

    So, when is it high and when is it not?
  8. carltonsstudent

    carltonsstudent New Friend

    May 2, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    Concerning Cat Anderson's recommendation to warm up playing G in the staff for 20 minutes I would like to make a couple of comments as to why I think he recommends this. He says to play a G because it is an easy note to play. I would like to add that it is a note that you can play without holding any valves down. If you played F instead of G then you would have to hold a valve down for 20 minutes and this would be quite stressful. He also says to play the note like a "whisper", i.e. very softly. One thing I do is play this note while I am watching T.V. with other people watching T.V. with me. If it doesn't disturb anyone from hearing the T.V. then I know I'm playing pretty softly. This is a great practice if you are staying in a hotel and want to practice quietly.

    So what is to be gained from this. As Claude Gordon says, the purpose of the lips is to vibrate. And as Carlton MacBeth says, the lips should be in a closed, forward position. Also see Bob Odneal's Web Site where he recommends practicing pppp with the lips so close together that he feels that he could only pull a thread between them. Cat Anderson warns against practicing loudly and I think the reason is because this blows the aperature open which you do only when you want to play loudly in order to produce large vibrations (large amplitude) of the lips. What we seek to train our lip and facial muscles to do is play closed with a relaxed center that can blow open when we put more air through the horn and then come back into a closed position as we lighten up. We don't want the lips to blow open and stay open when we lighten up.

    Holding the G for a long time requires us to hold the lips in position for a long time which increases the strength of the facial muscles. It is similiar to a Chinese martial who will stand in the tree hugging position for an hour without moving inorder to increase the strength of his white meat (ligature) muscles.

    And then remember that pitch is all about the speed of vibration. Only closed lips that are relaxed in the center but are held very firmly in place can produce the fast vibrations which result in high notes. So if you want to play high notes then Cat Anderson has recommended a very simple exercise which trains the lips and strengthens the facial muscles correctly. And I recommend observing carefully the volume indications in things like the Clark Technical Studies and others which are almost always p or pp. Practicing them loudly is self defeating if the objective is to build strengh and train the lips to function properly.

    Take a look at the Thread in here concerning the Lesson with Patrick Hessions. Note that Patrick demonstrated playing in whisper mode. If it is good enough for Patrick, Bob Odneal, and Cat Anderson then it is probably good for the rest of us. I also recommend listening to Dave Stahl. He plays all over the horn in an effortless manner. You can hear him play a triple-G on his Video Clips and I heard him do this cold with no warm up. He also holds his horn with a very light grip. When I hold my horn the way he does his, I feel uneasy because I am afraid I will drop the horn.

    I hope this helps.

    As Carlton always said: "Breathe, relax, blow"

    Alan Craig
    Jurandr likes this.
  9. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    OK, Alan. I will try to pactice p or pp and even ppp. My neighbors will think I have quit practicing. I have plenty of time to try.
  10. Kent

    Kent New Friend

    Apr 25, 2007
    Vancouver, BC
    I am really just learning to practice intelligently with the aid of a good instructor. I have tried to not over complicate life by trying to many things too quickly but I have been using Bob Odneal's technique for the past 4 weeks in addition to my usual routine.

    Using Bob's method and minimising pressure from my left hand, I now appreciate just how much tension I can carry in my jaw, shoulders and abdomen. I have worked at relaxing these areas and focusing on "pulling that thread through my lips" and now my breathing and control is improving daily. My range and endurance are also coming along nicely but most of all, I just enjoy the horn more.

    Based on what I have heard in this post, I think my next step will be to increase the amount of soft practice, which I can do in my office or car while at work.

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