Jens' Yamaha trumpet rant

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetjens, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

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    I love my Yamaha, YTR 6335 MV, the Mike Vax model. As for mouthpiece sizes, well, while at Eastman Byron Stripling (who played lead on a 1C) told me my Schilke 14A4C was too small and I should play something bigger. (He is the chairman of the Big Lip Committee) I asked Barbara Butler about this. Do you like your mouthpiece, she asked. Yes. Do you like the sound you get. Again I said yes. Do you feel it plays in tune, are you comfortable? Again I said yes. Well, she said, tell Byron to go F*&k himself. The point being what is right for one person isn't necessarily right for another. In what I do I am above the staff a lot, and a large mouthpiece would kill me.

    Michael McLaughlin

    Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.
    Ambrose Bierce
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Jens recommendation is if you go to a smaller rim size, get a deeper cup. I only add to that, don't go smaller UNLESS you have a reasonably developed routine. I believe getting a big fat sound and keeping your consistency from a smaller rim size needs more advanced chops.
    Going from a 1C to a 7C will seldom give the player aural satisfaction!
     
  3. trumpetjens

    trumpetjens Pianissimo User

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    To continue my previous thoughts about aperture (OK, so I didn't actually have any thoughts but at the privacy of one's computer we are all kings and queens), what I think really helps make the Yamaha tick in particular is the premium placed on a focused embouchure. Actually, that applies to all trumpets but this thread started off as a Yamaha rant and so it must continue until there is nothing more to be said...that should be 2010 when I read that the internet will be full!

    I just saw the Jim Manley youtube clip of the 'trumpet hang' he was having. Man I love this Manley fellow whom I have not yet met...that's Lindemann and Manley...a lot of man love there! He is right on the money with his concepts which are explained with such enthusiasm. There is always a simple answer to all trumpet problems...applying them with diligence, care and a positive attitude (most of all) is the real secret to success. Him speaking about the Darth Vader breath just about killed me...that's exactly what I say...Jim stole it from me...he owes me money...I have bought the web domain 'www.darthvaderbreath.com'. That is an excellent way of describing the feeling that one should have in the upper body and throat especially during exhalation.

    Back to the aperture...OK, let's just say it, the man I love (Jim Manley) has got a pretty freaky high range...oh yes, and he can play anything else on the trumpet too...I hate him, but I love him, I'm so confused about my feelings! He also speaks about a focused aperture and very little air especially in the extreme high range. Another man I love, Chris Jaudes, also speaks of the same things...he is from St. Louis too. I think the military was doing a signicifant amout of helium testing there in the sixties and the gas just kind of hung around in that giant arch and affected people. Chris talks about minimal (almost zero) air going through the horn in the extreme upper register. Remember, any note on the trumpet is created by amplified vibrations...the higher the note, the greater number of beats per second required...like revving up a car engine. Chris creates his freaky turbulence by keeping a focused aperture and raising the back of the tongue to get a very cool whistling sound which, when done correctly, should feel like no almost zero air is hitting your hand...oh yes, Chris can also play anything else and not just the money notes (PS, remember what Doc Severinsen says, "I don't like playing in the high register, I like playing in the cash register!).

    Simple test for understanding and embracing resistance on a horn. Take your mouthpiece and create an embouchure with an open aperture but just blow air through it instead of actually making a buzzing noise then attach it back to the lead pipe (while still blowing...not hard either, as though there was a small candle) and you should get a trumpet note everytime. The resistance of the horn naturally allows vibration (and thus sound) to be created. Take that to the next logical conclusion and you will see that resistance is your friend. Now that little embouchure experiment is also an example of an aperture that is far too open to be of any practical use above G on the top of the treble clef stave.

    Focusing the aperture is the ticket to success and for classically oriented players (not just those jazzers for whom I fall so easily), one of the easiest ways to do that is by focusing the rim size of the mouthpiece (did I just say smaller) and backing off on the air. There was an interesting point made on this thread by someone saying that 'amateur enthusiasts' who simply don't have as much time to practise will find a bigger mouthpiece more forgiving and even immediately gratifying in some ways and there is an element of truth to that but that doesn't change the ultimate goal. Focus the aperture whether that is through an intelligently considered rim size for all-round playing or swelling (insert humorous big mouthpiece laughter here :lol: ), breath openly but back off on the air and don't play like a meathead...if you do then you deserve the scorn of others. Plus, you will never learn to be tender and fall in love with the men of St. Louis like I have!!!

    Jens Lindemann
    Jens Lindemann's Web Quarters
    BrassFire with Jens Lindemann
    PS If you actually tried going to the website site www.darthvaderbreath.com you need a therapist...fortunately, I know many!!!
     
  4. Miyot

    Miyot Pianissimo User

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    That took quite a bit of reading. I don't think I'll change my rim size. But the words, Focus, Centered, and such does make me want to practice. I think I'll take my Schilke B1, and work my ass off.
     
  5. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi Jens,

    Very nice points. I've taken them to heart, and for me, range problems are more in the mold of pinching (raising my chin while ascending) and rolling in my lower lip which combines to cut off the air against the upper teeth. The higher notes speak, though, on my Yamaha (a Shew model) and when I'm making the proper adjustments (allowing the air to flow), things sound big and fat up there, but it takes time... more time than Jim Manley aludes to ("it's like nothing" I believe he says in reference to his method) in his the oft mentioned video and I'm making progress on the issue of efficiency having spent years blowing Schilke 15B's into .468 MF Horns and warming up for it by blowing into air mattresses and playing 1C's in outdoor concerts (I was misled in my youth).

    I will say, however, that the air has to flow unrestricted by teeth, lip, dental floss, chewing gum... well, you get the idea. As Mendez said, it's about "breath control." And he used as much air as one needs "in a conversation."

    Love your work, BTW, and your comments are more than sensible. Thank you for sharing.

    Ed Mann
    MySpace.com - Ed - 50 - Male - LA, California - www.myspace.com/jazzlips
     
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Awwww, gee, that takes all the fun out! How do you expect us to test new horns?

    When I was in Germany I would reference some players with the term "Fleischkopf" (well, not some, more like many) and nobody seemed to get it.
     
  7. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

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    Mr. Lindemann, you make some outstanding points, and not only that, but this has been one of the most entertaining threads I think I've ever seen on here. I may fail my fluids test later today, but at least I've learned something today.
     
  8. derekkress

    derekkress Pianissimo User

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    Thanks Jens! Remember us Jocelyn Couture and me. We both studied with Rheal Matthieu who was one of Claude Gordon`s students. Rheal summed all of this up this way ``Always remember the feel , never go past the feel``Which translates to a very focused and smaller aperture with a very controlled air flow(almost nothing) in the cash register.The higher you go the higher the tongue.When one achieves this feel it is very empowering. Aside from the whole approach and method we went thru with Rheal the exercises which helped me the most to attain the feel were and are still The Clarke Studies. We try to play them as softly as possible just feeling the notes, the only twist is that we work on them an extra octave!A point I want to stress also is upper body strength.In order to keep all of this under control upper body fitness does wonders.Jocelyn does tons of pushups, weights etc... to this day, I on the other hand just have ``naturally``broad German shoulders and good arms from emptying Canadian water at locally owned watering holes.There are no shortcuts but hangin` with accomplished cash register players helps when you can absorb some of that knowledge and experience!Work hard folks. I`m sure there will be more interesting things to be said in this thread!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2007
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    there is soooo much good information here ! I would like to put the "resistance" issue in perspective.

    If we apply standard horn theory, the highest efficiency DOES create the greatest resistance (actually impedance) at the motor (our lips in the case of the trumpet). The problem with accepting this as a design goal, is that the human species has to breathe at specific intervals to keep from suffocating or hyperventilating. This means that we have to find a way of expelling enough (but not too much) air in a given time to make room for fresh air. This is where players used to "free blowing" instruments have trouble with setups that have more resistance, regardless of the efficiency.

    The second issue is the more efficient the horn, the less the player can "influence" the sound production. This happens because the resistance that we "feel" is in fact the increased resonance of the horn and in a very efficient state, the motor (our lips) is only involved in getting the vibration started in the horn - the instrument would take care of the rest in this case. This is also true when designing horn loudspeakers and often corresponds to high end audiophiles complaining about a "horn sound" (resonances in the speaker).

    One thing is very clear to me, as the trumpet develops and becomes more in tune and efficient, we will be forced to make choices in the type of sound that we want. A certain amount of tonal flexibility will decrease with every "technical improvement". Schilke learned this in the 1970s. He built trumpets with the best intonation and blow, but the sound was not generally accepted. Yamahas Xeno is another fine example of an almost technically perfect instrument with a controversial sound. Monette would also fit in this description of efficiency with a unique sound.

    The inverse is not necessarily true. A free blowing horn is not necessarily "inefficient" or able to produce more "colors" but with correct design, the potential would be there.

    As far as a mass migration to smaller mouthpieces goes, we must simply accept the fact that most people that play trumpet, do not practice very much (band teachers speak up, how many of the kids that play really spend quality time practicing - the same goes for many community wind bands). Companies that offer equipment that lets this type of player function reasonably will succeed - that is where the money is - trumpets under $800 new! The larger, less efficient mouthpiece will continue to help those underpracticed perform at an acceptable level. The goal in this case is not theoretical, but practical.

    Jens makes a very strong arguement for players to stop wasting energy. There are many levels at which we can improve ourselves. Being musical and not a meathead is most important to the audience (except maybe at trumpet festivals....). Reducing the amount of effort needed to get the job done is of premiere importance to players that are having trouble getting through gigs. Moving to smaller more "efficient" equipment could be the solution for many willing to give it a fair chance.
     
  10. MrClean

    MrClean Piano User

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    I don't know - I've ridden the "Meat Head Expre$$" this far. Why get off now? :lol:
     

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