Is there an Orthodox Technique - or is this always the Wrong Question?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Seth,

    I don't understand the problem. We posted about how easy it is - heck, as far as I am concerned, an embouchure change is not even necessary.

    We need to identify the basics and then feed them to build a real foundation upon which the rest becomes much easier. We have no reason to blame Arban for improperly supervised activities.

    If you get a solid daily routine, everything gets easier.

    One thing that MANY get wrong: the Arban book is a CONSERVATORY METHOD and was not originally conceived for self help players. While it is possible to "NOT" have a teacher and it may even be better to have "NO" teacher instead of a "BAD" one, my take is that regardless of the discipline in focus: when we cannot judge the plausibility of what we do, the risks are higher. Self help trumpet means that we have a lot of bad options that we can take - and even get recommended by posters here with far more problems than you have.

    I still use the Arban book. It is not my only book, but would be if I was only allowed to take ONE to a lonely island.

    I certainly hope that this is not frustration due to the fact that the silver bullets are now viewed in their proper light.

    I am 57 and we can teach old dogs new tricks - if they are willing to listen.
     
  2. tjcombo

    tjcombo Mezzo Forte User

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    Sorry to hear of your loss Seth. Nature has this cursed way of reminding us to keep things in perspective.


    Nature abhors a vacuum. Where there are snake-oil customers, the salesmen will appear. And then one man's fraud will be another's guru.:-)

    The crazy thing about the Arban quote is that (at the current point in my journey), I'm in violent agreement with first part and have had some success getting away from and even more vehemently disagree with the second half. Six months ago however, I was moving my bottom lip up when ascending. This technique is described on the web page of a well known player and teacher (and occasional poster on TM). It worked at the time, but I've since found it better to keep my lips in much the same place. The advances made using this "Arban/unArban" mix have been very pleasing, and I've even found my own bit of special sauce around tongue level that was a mini breakthrough for me. I haven't seen references to what I "discovered" but I'm sure it's described by others and I just didn't catch on. Who knows, if I reach some of my musical goals and still think the same way in a few years I might have to write an ebook ;-)

    JMHO, ATPPIT

    just my humble opinion, at this particular point in time
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2014
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    If by this you're suggesting I don't listen, then you couldn't be further from the truth. Believe me, I value every single word.

    But on this occasion, I don't know what to make of your posting, because I'm not clear exactly what question(s) your answers relate to. You seem to be second-guessing me by some margin here. There's no hidden agenda. It's just a question.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm a big fan of pressure.
     
  5. tjcombo

    tjcombo Mezzo Forte User

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    context does it for me.
     
  6. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    (Gasp.) I'm exhausted.
     
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" was an enormous hit with my best friend on our Chem Eng course. Like Pirsig, he too rebelled against the reductionist mindset (which holds that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts) and which most non-scientists (and a lot of scientists!) believe is the scientific approach. I read it, but it really clashed with my own personal approach, which has been from the reverse perspective. To me Pirsig was attempting to split (in his various 'Qualities') an indivisible whole, and was essentially creating an alternative metaphysical version of reductionism. There are better ways to do this.

    Consider: Before you begin to play, you are just a man holding a lump of brass. When you blow, you transform into a trumpeter, the lump of brass transforms into a trumpet and an emergent phenomenon 'music' is created that interacts with it's surroundings to further transform other people into an audience, a space into a concert room and the whole into a new emergent phenomenon - a performance. When you stop playing, it's just you, a lump of brass and a few other people in a room.

    When functioning at your higher levels, you are defined by the emergent properties of the wider system, NOT your constituent atoms. Big difference.

    I won't bore you with how this approach applies to my work, but believe me, I wouldn't be half the engineer I am without it - once a system gets beyond a certain level of complexity, reductionist science just cannot step back and see the thing functioning as a dynamic, integrated package. Only little snapshots of isolated areas dislocated in time.

    When I was a student these concepts didn't even have a name but now they're spread around wikipedia under 'holism', 'systems thinking' and 'emergence'. Beats the hell out of metaphysics ;-)
     
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Doesn't it just. Much appreciated.


    What's guiding you on this journey, tj?
     
  9. tjcombo

    tjcombo Mezzo Forte User

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    Guidance is kind multi-level. First, I want to do well enough in my day job so I can afford to be a full-time musician in a few years. The musician bit means I need to develop a range of musical and performance skills. I can happily sit in with various combos and not disgrace myself, but I want to be in the drivers seat. This means more work in composition, improv and just plain networking with other musos. I've learned more about improv from my guitar teacher and breath from my singing teacher than any brass related source. A part-time college course ("performance in a group") has been very nourishing and provided a feel for where I want to go with trumpet and the gap to be covered.

    So with the trumpet side of it... I read everything I can find on the 'net and try lots of stuff. The few things that work are kept. Looking for "nuggets" in comments on TM has been invaluable. For example there were a couple of passing comments by VB about using a glissando for developing range and a comment to someone else about having too wide an aperture that were particularly pertinent at the time. I may well have taken the remarks out of context, but these were nuggets that worked for me. Hearing about the trials and triumphs of fellow comebackers has been instructive and encouraging. Initially the "comeback" title seemed a bit pretentious, but now I'm happy to be one.

    To this point, I've investigated getting a teacher but haven't done it yet. With college and singing lessons (and the day job!) I'm pushed for time and have had to let the guitar go. Next year there is a Principle Instrument subject at college and I'll probably get a teacher when I tackle that. It'll be interesting choosing a teacher whose orthodoxies line up with mine (and maybe it won't matter).
     
  10. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    When I persisited in asking my instructor all kinds of questions concerning the mechanics of playing he told me to go read "The Inner Game of Tennis" ...
    I also believe that some people just have a gift for playing more then other. Some players can accomplish progress in a couple of hours where the same skill might take another weeks of practice. So I agree that there is some validity to wanting to know the correct way to practice something, it still is an art form and results will vary.
     

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