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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by zorrosg, Feb 16, 2011.
isn't this last weeks discussion?
To those of you reading this thread, go check out the thread "Are our days numbered?" The lip vibration theory goes out the window if you watch the robot in the video, that is to say if you still feel the robotic trumpet playing is not a sham.
Actually, the Toyota robot is proof of the lip vibration fact. The vibration of the lips gets a standing wave resonance set up in the horn, the THAT is what produces the tone. Just like less advanced human players, the skill is not in power, rather in fine motor control. Exactly there is where the robot is lacking.
Buzzing on the mouthpiece can build power but never fine motor control. That is why we need the trumpet to learn how to play the trumpet. Barring a medical issue, anyone can buzz enough to get sound out of the trumpet. The rest is how much the player cares to achieve more. There is a cost of business, and that is higher than the sax.
I looked at that video closely. Where is the vibration? Is the plastic vibrating, then if so, how can the seal remain tight. This is why I am skeptical of the video and wonder if it may be a sham.
Here is where I disagree. There are 3 groups of muscle involved with lip function each with 3 to 6 sets of muscle within the groups. We gain control over all of these muscles by directing fine tone to these muscle units.
I recommend using a towel NOT to gain power, but to gain fine motor control. By playing into the towel (playing not buzzing, try it, you'll see what I mean) and matching exact tonality to the note you are trying to play (play an actual tune into the towel) you will gain fine control.
I have had 4 years of medical school training, 4 years of residency training, 20 years of working with patients to study, understand and put into practice the basic and essential physiology of muscle training. You can finely train any muscle, even smooth muscle that will lower blood pressure, once you achieve control.
I submit for you to proove to youself, that buzzing the mouthpiece into a towel to play notes in tune will develop fine motor control over power.
The Toyota embouchure was explained in an article many years ago. I believe they change the density of the "lips" by increasing the pressure of the gel in them. The higher the density, the higher the pitch. This is similar to pressing the lips against one another
As far as the motor control in the towel, I submit the following:
when we play a trumpet, our lips become part of the whole system from lungs to bell and even a bit of the room. The fine motor activity is in response to THAT COMPLETE SYSTEM. When I blow into a towel, I have no reactance/impedance from the horn, no slots based on the acoustical length, bore taper. We also have no synchronicity between what our face does and what the valves do, we have no feedback from the horn that tells us how close we are (intonation, projection, tone, expressive parameters like vibrato). I could go on for a couple of pages of everything that is missing - including the angle at which the mouthpiece is on the face when buzzing as compared to the horn.
Fact is, you cannot train fine motor activity as it applies to the trumpet without the trumpet. As there is no reactive component when you are playing that far below the resonant frequency (of a short mouthpiece shank), you are practically buzzing into free air. There is no real benefit except raw strength - which is only a very small part of playing.
We are not amplifying the buzz of our lips. We train them to be responsive to the acoustical activity in the horn. That cannot happen with the mouthpiece by itself.
You need a degree in fluid dynamics to fully grasp what is happening in the horn/player system, a degree in psychology to understand how the player talks himself into believing whatever, a degree in acoustics to figure out why any of this works and perhaps a bit of medicine when we get into trouble. I have another thread here at TM on the types of muscles (fast twitch) used with the aerobic/anaerobic parameters. When we start to get into how we develop habits, we discover that even switching mouthpieces on the horn can change the whole picture - this is seldom true when we buzz without the horn where almost any mouthpiece will do.
I have been buzzing for many years and can say that there were stretches of time where I was driving 90,000 KM a year and I stopped buzzing only with the mouthpiece into a handkerchief exactly because of the problems that it caused. I attached a 2 meter garden hose with a bell and played the invention natural trumpet with GREAT benefits. No more drooling on my suit, better fine motor control due to the notes being closer to one another and THAT helped my conventional playing in ways that I never thought of before. I was able to reproduce this at will as my driving distances needed 3-6 hours. Plenty of time to prove a point.
Nope, the non-resonant towel is no substitute - even for a short period of time. It is however, better than nothing at all.
How do I tell my stroke rehab patient that worked on performance machines in the physical therapist's office that helped coordinate and train new muscle groups to once again be able to turn a steering wheel, that because he did not do this in the actual car that he will not be able to drive again? Especially now that since he has completed physical therapy he is actually driving his car quit well.
How do I tell the football player that he cannot go back to defending the offensive line on natural turf, even though we rehabbed his sprained muscle with isometric and range of motion exercises rather than use the actual turf on which he plays, that he cannot go back to the field again? He is back by the way and performing admirably.
How do I break it to the patient I had use tension/relaxation exercises and concentration exercise that resulted in stress reduction and smooth muscle relaxation that lowered his blood pressure by 20 systolic pressure levels, that because we did not exercise his blood vessels directly that this pressure reduction will not benefit them?
Did you even begin to try the towel exercise as I recommended? If you did, then you would need to wait a couple weeks to a month to truly appreciate and understand these results. Until then, you have no idea as to what these exercises are capable of doing so please do give this a try.
So no I cannot believe your reply because I have solid evidence to the contrary. Of course you will not develop your muscle toning the same as if you just try this on the trumpet itself. In rehabilitation, we need to go beyond this exercise. We have to achieve greater control. I hope you finally come to this realization, because until you do, with the advice you are giving above, you will be holding people back.
To quote from rowuk: "I stopped buzzing only with the mouthpiece into a handkerchief exactly because of the problems that it caused."
The key is not to overblow. Do this comfortably and not for more than 20-30 minutes. In another post I stated pain (strain) is our friend. When you feel this, stop, which I assume you would feel if try this during driving distances of 3-6 hours. Then start up again in 24 hours. If you do continue to play through the strain, you absolutely will cause damage.
LOL, drool on the suit! Been there, done that. Now I like the idea of the natural garden hose trumpet. Got any build specs? I'm game.
As far as my term amplifying, it was a poor choice of words. That was how it was always explained to me, I guess because it was "simple" to explain it to a child that way. I will work on my terminology. Old habits die hard.
Also if you use a towel, drooling will not be a problem. The towel will hold moisture for a few practice sessions. As I am sure most of us will realize, washing the towel on a regular basis will prevent the critter problem we discussed in other threads concerning how often (and how) we should clean the trumpet.
Towels are also much easier to implement. No building specs, albeit a white towel or color fast towel is advised to prevent running of colors.