Consensus View on Thibaud's Method

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I was brought up on Arban's method. Never completely mastered it (if such a thing is possible, or even relevant), but it got me well past Grade VIII standard at the time, so basically, it did its job.

    Having nothing else with me in Lagos, I've been been basing a fair bit of my practice time around Pierre Thibaud's "Methode Pour Trompettiste Avance". A lot of common ground with Arban, of course, but one or two new ideas which are unfamiliar to me, particularly regarding embouchure which I'm nervous of experimenting with.

    It's more than probable that Thibaud didn't produce his method with my particular needs in mind (50+ old fart on N+1th comeback) so I'd very much appreciate advice from someone who's a lot more familiar with theoretical developments in playing technique over the last 40 years or so than I am, as to whether, this method is likely to be useful or even counter-productive to me. Are there any pratfalls I need to be aware of/avoid completely?

    I have no particular concrete objective in mind, but if I did, it would be to make a satisfactory 2nd trumpet in a half-decent regional symphony orchestra. ie I've no interest in playing routinely outside the classical trumpet range, or having a unique individual sound!!!!! Balanced non-quirky sound from low F# to top C with full and controlled dynamic range is what I'm looking for.

    Technique-wise I have a 50-50 mouth-piece position, project up to go up, down to go down; no reversals I'm aware of and minimal adjustment to a normally horizontal instrument position (tend more to push/pull my lower jaw). Idiosyncracies are good bellows, but broken/crossed teeth around the centre of my embouchure and a tongue like one of Ghandi's flip-flops. I cut myself if I try playing a small to medium diameter mpc and feel most comfortable with a Denis Wick 1W which also gives me the symphonic style tone I want. I use a DW 3E to practice centering my notes.

    Thanks, Seth
     
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    #1 advice: Don't mess with your embouchure if its working for you. All the rest - take from Thibaud whatever you can and perhaps get a few other books sent out to you (I can let you have my second copy of Clarke's Technical Studies - just PM me your address - and a couple of other things which I've accumulated over the years).
    #2 advice: Don't take Thibaud too seriously whenever he goes off into theory... it's practice what counts!
     
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Many thanks - my French is less than perfect, as is the English translation, so the text theory is lost on me anyway!

    What's the purpose of his (and other's) emphasis on developing controlled pedal notes? It doesn't seem to be having a vast effect on my standard Bb's normal register other than being able to practise huge interval lip slurs without going too high, which I suppose might be a good thing (though I am seeing marked improvements on control of the Holton Bass!)
     
  4. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Actually, the long pedal notes help unconsciously to build up stamina, and they are a good way of training your embouchure without spending endurance points!
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Most of the famous Thibaud students also studied with someone else.

    My take is that anyone's dogma should be carefully considered but at times ignored. What works for player A may not work for player B. If the issue is pedal tones, I find that getting them in tune requires my chin muscles to be engaged in a more than normal degree, and this low impact practice seems to help the upper register.

    By all accounts, Thibaud was an effective teacher, but I find that when playing the trumpet there is some stuff that works and some don't. Not being disrespectful, but some exercises "speak" to me and bear more fruit than others.

    A goodly part of our practice time consists of butting our head agaisnt exercises. Thibaud is good to butt against, but not the only one,

    Plug away, change as needed, and have fun!
     

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