Jerome Callet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dr G, May 26, 2004.

  1. WaxHaX0rS

    WaxHaX0rS New Friend

    Nov 16, 2003
    You make a big assumption when you say that all those people want is to scream all day. Why do you say that? Nobody ever said that except for you. So you're saying that anybody who isn't able to play from double pedal C to triple C the very first time they touch the trumpet is basically screwed? God forbid that you would ever try to improve your range, why.. that would make you unmusical!
    You say the DHC is easy? Well, not for some people. You can be as musical as you want, but if you are not physically able to even play the notes, then you are still going to sound terrible. That is the order: Learn how to just play the friggin' notes --------> play them musically. It makes no sense the other way around.
  2. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.

    Hi Patrick,

    Gotta do this in a couple of posts due to time constraints today.

    First, it's not productive to study pictures of players because you can't see the speed of the air, the tongue position, playing pressure, throat position, jaw position etc. I believe there are nine or so items in eveyone's playing package that all work in co-ordination and balance with each other. Speed of the air, throat position, tongue position, playing pressure, jaw position, head position, bell angle, mouthpiece placement, teeth position. Most of that you can't see from visually studying a player. You can't see the intake of the air, you can't see the support of the air.
    All of the above is like being a good cook, these are the ingredients. It takes knowing the right amount with each to get the desired result.

    When you look at a picture what you see is not what you get. Everybody's set up and playing package is unique to that player. Looking at a picture does not tell you what the sound is, or what they feel. I've sat next to some exceptional trumpet players that play so great by using set ups that should not work at all! It's really more a matter of each of us finding the balance that allows us to play the most efficiently, getting the max from the minimum. If the lips are just touching (not pressed together) and vibrate with the least effort you find you can use much less pressure. When they vibrate that easy, you don't have to use as much air, and you play louder because more lip vibrating gives you much more signal. Much more efficient way to play.

    It's dangerous to study pictures of players because that can lead you to false assumtions.

    Jaw position for example. Some great players play with a big sound and their jaws closed. Others same sound, jaws much more open.

    In your area there are some great chops teachers you might want to look into. Dave Sheets is a fine player and teacher, Doug Elliott as well. In N.Y. of course is Laurie Frink, an exceptional player and teacher.

    But as before, if you like Jerry's approach go for it!

    Let me come back about musicianship/chops which have to go hand in hand. Nothing worse than a one sided player either way.
  3. Bruce Lee

    Bruce Lee Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    Dr. G,

    In answer to your question, by all means, explore Jerry Callet's method! Go in with an open mind, and use what you feel works best. I have benefitted from Jerry's methodology, and use elements that I have gleaned from his clinics, and literature, in teaching my own students... IF I feel that they will also benefit from it.

    Despite opinions regarding Jerry's personality, no one can deny the fact that he has made contributions to the field of trumpet embouchure. In fact, he has been a pioneer in the field of embouchure study. He has also designed some very fine trumpets, and mouthpieces, over the years.

    If all Jerry Callet was ever about was high notes, I wouldn't have considered using any of the techniques that he recommends.

    My classical sound concept was developed from listening to players like Maurice André, Roger Voisin, Armanda Ghitalla, Bud Herseth, Bernie Adelstein, Mel Broiles, William Vacchiano, Allen Vizzutti, and Vince DiMartino... just to name a very few of the guys that I respect the most in the trumpet world. Also, popular trumpet players that I really appreciate, and try to emulate, are Doc Severinsen, Maynard Ferguson, Clark Terry, Bill Chase, Lou Soloff, Herb Alpert, Al Hirt, and many, many more. I'm sure that I've taken a little from everyone, and made my own sound.

    As far as embouchures are concerned, the more efficient they are, the more they have in common. To me, that's the mechanical side of playing... the use of proper technique. Embouchure goes hand in hand with sound concept. We all are going to produce a sound that is inherent to our own individual "fingerprint", as it were, according to the physical traits that we possess. However, we need to have the proper "tools", aside from our trumpets, and mouthpieces, with which to accomplish our musical goals.

    The choice is yours, of course, as to whether you use the technique of a particular school or pedagogy, or not. And, it is also your choice whether to pass the knowledge that you've gained on to others. Education is about gathering knowledge, and using it to the best of our ability. If we are receptive to the ideas of others, we will continue to grow, and learn. I think that it's also important to mention that something that may not work for you, may work perfectly for a student. Everyone learns differently, and we are all perpetual students of the trumpet.

    Best always,
  4. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Patrick=When I made the comment that the two biggest limiting factors for trumpet players were range and endurance, I meant the two biggest limiting "chops" factors. Of course you have to be able to play musically, but I guarantee that if you walk into the studio for a session and you chop out before the session is out, or if you can't play the line because the line extends past your usable range, then you probably won't be working as a session musician for very long, regardless of how musical you can play.

    Chops have to come first. This isn't to say being musical is a side issue because it's not. It too is very important, but if musicianship was all that is needed, we can take any good singer and put them behind the horn because they ARE musical after all, right? However, they don't have chops. Without chops, you cannot play musically.


    Hi Patrick,

    Studio work requires a player that first of all is musically intuitive so, without much explanation at the run down, he's ready to interpret what's in front of him. Without considerable musical backround most guys fall down here. It's just expected that a pro comes in with all the technique needed to play the part. Sound, full control of articulation, pitch, blend and balance, READING, and reading with the edit mode on, anticipating what's coming up, complete dynamic control, shape the notes any way the conductor/composer wants, of course endless endurance and ease of tone production so it sounds easy. A player needs total control of his instrument. In L.A. there are lot's of guys that can knock out high notes all night but get no real work. I asked George Graham about one player I knew that has played Lead with Maynard but could not break into the studio's. He told me it was because he was not a complete player. He said the town was full of high note guys but they could not cut it in the studio. Wayne Bergeron is a great example of this. He could allways blow down walls with his incredible high register, but until he spent some considerable time with Boyd Hood (L.A. Phil) he was an incomplete player. Now he's the guy! George studied with everybody but got the most from Irving Bush. Rick Baptist studied very young from players in the S. F. Symphony and got his legit chops there. Bob and Chuck Findley from Bernard Adelstein etc. So my point is you need both, great technical skill and great musicianship in all styles.

    I think chops are actually easier to come by than great muscianship, but that's just my opinion.
  5. Dr G

    Dr G Pianissimo User

    Nov 9, 2003
    Thank all of you for the information you have provided on this forum thread. While I may not agree with some [or even all] of you, I do appreciate your responses. Like most of you, my relationship with a trumpet has been an “off again, on again†relationship over a period of some years. I have observed the continuing development of trumpets to a level of precision that is truly amazing. There are horns available with a range of possible performance levels that is staggering. The thought that I can also contact directly a manufacturer of mouthpieces and acquire a mouthpiece by request [notwithstanding the fact that what I request is not what I really “needâ€] seems almost miraculous.

    Tragically, this availability of equipment is sometimes beyond me. It has taken some time and a lot of effort to realize that, notwithstanding the equipment, the true limitation on my ability to play well [as opposed to “make noise†or otherwise irritate my neighbors] is all me. It is not that I do not have the music “in my head†– I have that. The problem is getting it into and out of the horn. Practice as I might, I still lack [by a long, long way] the right to advertise myself as a professional. Not that I haven’t made a dime here or there, but that if I did not have a “day job†I would have starved to death some time ago.

    I have realized that there is a “better way†to play a trumpet which is, to date, not fully known to me. Being somewhat theoretically inclined I have tried to understand, in terms of mathematics and physics what is going on as it relates to the trumpet. This has been one of the most enlightening activities with which I have ever been involved, notwithstanding the fact that I have spent more of my life involved in formal education than is prudent.

    The Greeks were right to include music in the quadrivium of the seven muses. It is a subject to which there is more than meets the eye. However, my skill level is somewhere between “sooth the savage beast†and “drive someone crazy.â€

    I am at this point, convinced that there truly is a “more efficient†way to play the trumpet. I am also convinced that few, if any of us, know what it is in its entirety.

    Thank all of you, especially those of you have taken time to explain to me in this thread publicly [as well as those of you who have privately spent your time to help educate me in the nuances of the trumpet] for your efforts.

    I too have as “idols†a number of well know trumpet players such as Cat Anderson, Doc Severinson, Clark Terry, Herb Albert, Ronald Romm, Timofei Dockschitzer, and many others. You just have to be there to realize how good they really are.

    There is a “touch†these folks have [as do many of you] that I do not now and never will have, but you all have helped me to understand a little better what I need to do and where I need to go to get it done.

    I figure that Jerry can either show me something I do not know or point me in a direction I would not otherwise have gone nor would have explored. What more can one ask of another? Besides, he makes one great horn [an accomplishment not equaled or surpassed by many others]. Had I heard of him earlier, I might be playing one.

    I think the most helpful and understandable to me is Bruce’s statement:

    “As far as embouchures are concerned, the more efficient they are, the more they have in common. To me, that's the mechanical side of playing... the use of proper technique. Embouchure goes hand in hand with sound concept. We all are going to produce a sound that is inherent to our own individual "fingerprint", as it were, according to the physical traits that we possess. However, we need to have the proper "tools", aside from our trumpets, and mouthpieces, with which to accomlish our musical goals.â€

    Thank you all.

    Dr G
  6. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Sounds great Dr. G! Let us know how you progress. Best of luck to you!!
  7. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Hi Dr. G,

    I played for 40 years before hearing of Jerry Callet and Superchops.

    I didn't need either to major in music in college . . . neither to become a solo trumpet in one of the Army bands . . neither to work full time for a while professionally (before kids) . . . and neither to still play at a high level throughout the many years ahead.

    I was a "tone" guy who had the musicianship and sound conductors and leaders wanted . . . but my range was limited to the G above High C. That was my plateau that no amount of practice could overcome for decades.

    I heard of Jerry and Superchops in March about three years ago via a personal encounter with Lee Adams. After his humble but awesome presentation to me I was hooked and decided to "crash and burn," if need be, to play efficiently like he did.

    THE RESULTS? My transition was untypically super-fast (a few weeks at most) . . .

    Nahhhh, the same tone I always had didn't go away!

    Nahhhhh, the same technique I always had didn't go away!

    Nahhhhh, the same "musicianship" didn't go away!

    Nothing left me at all . . . except for my mediocre range and better than average endurance.

    What did I "pick up" by converting?

    1. ONE FULL OCTAVE OF PERFORMANCE RANGE (through the G above Double C)




    THE DOWNSIDE? None . . . other than that strange sensation of learning to play solos in an octave I'd never known before! After 40 years to have that final door opened was a realllll strange feeling!


    Tom Turner
  8. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    I see both sides of this and you both have good points.

    Embouchure is sometimes VERY important but that importance drops to Zero as soon as you get the problem corrected.

    Tone, musicianship... is ALWAYS VERY important. That never changes.

    I learned 20 years ago that to just teach chops was the road to nowhere. Even in a lesson where I'm doing an embouchure change I make the student play with a good tone quality and I make them improve the technique from the first note on. I use orchestral pieces, Clarke solos, advanced technical studies, and some exercises I wrote to stretch people as players. And after a day of embouchure change you are a better player; with better tone, faster tonguing, much more flexibility and better technique.

    Other teachers when doing embouchure changes make you play 1 note over and over and over or work on 1 octave arpeggios. (This is not new. This is how embouchure changes were done for years.) Any improvement in tone and technique will have to come from the student in private practice.

    They don't all make the transition using that approach. They never did all make it. Plus you said the magic words YOU already had tone and musicianship. You only needed tweaking.

    Most people with serious embouchure problems need everything. And if the student doesn't already know what a trumpet should sound like LIVE or just how flexibile a serious player needs to be, or what clean tonguing should be like, or which concerto to work on after they mastered the ____ whatever they did last: Then the teacher they choose had better know those things.

    Many people figure this out on their own. I had a man stand on my front porch and refuse to come in the house for his first lesson until I played a concerto for him. See he had wasted 2 years going to see someone who only ever played 1 note for him the entire time he took lessons. And hearing a paintpeeling note didn't change this mans life. He needed to hear music. And he needed to apply his embouchure change to music and get it tweaked some more so it would work.

    When the group starts yelling Caruso please remind them that he spent most of his life sitting next to pro trumpet players and that helped him a lot.
  9. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA
    Hi Pops,

    Great comments!

    I agree, once your embouchere "problems" are solved the embouchere is the least of one's worries!

    Tone and musicianship are a MUST as a fine player. This comes with hard practice, discipline, developing a set of "ears" to know what sounds "right" by listening to others and by developing the proper traits into one's own sound and style. Obviously, competent instruction and coaching is a must!

    Yes, my transition went really fast. I did just need "tweaking." I already had lots of experience on the horn, already had a good sound, already had strong chops and already played with very little arm pressure on the chops.

    Lee said it was quicker than any other person he'd helped. He added that I was already doing MOST of the right things, at least partially, already. Still, I had to endure the sacrifice of unlearning some hindering habits and for a few days hardly a sound would come out. Most people choose to "cut their losses" and abandon the commitment during that dark hour but I refused to give in to myself. The sacrifice was worth it!!!

    Back on the "old" Trumpet Herald I would post each week for a couple of months or so about my practice . . . and I was climbing a note chromatically about each day. WHAT AN EXCITING TIME!!!ll

    Still . . . I really feel for people who write me PMs and send me e-mails for advice on making their own breakthrough. I'm not there to see what they might be doing wrong . . . if I could even help them then. Some of 'em are doing soooo many other things wrong and everything HAS to be working right to play one's best!

    ON A SIDE NOTE . . .
    Today I was watching a DVD of a live performance I was involved in during a week-long international worship conference a year or so ago. I was mailed a twenty-five minute excerpt from a FIVE HOUR LONG session one evening backing an artist from New York. This excerpt is actually about half-way through the evening and it called for chops of steel and lots of Phil Driscoll-like range, bravura, flexibility and power. Lots of Dubba Bs and Dubba Ds on that 25-minute non-stop stretch!

    I'd already played morning, afternoon and evening sessions all week too! This was the Friday night session and I felt I could play on and on forever. I never stopped playing that entire five hours . . . and never felt winded. Man, what a feeling it now is to be able to do this!!!

    IF . . .
    If playing trumpet was easy there would be no reward in the satisfaction one gets when everything finally clicks. However . . . I'm convinced that many folks give up who could have been great players if someone could have found a way to help 'em "connect the dots" in the right way.

    Pops, that's where you teachers come in . . . and I admire the efforts of the teachers. It's so hard sometimes to use the English language in a way that can help the student understand what you are trying to get them to do.

    Talking, listening and reading are EASY . . . but UNDERSTANDING is HARD!

    Warmest regards,


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