John Clyman

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by psalt, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. psalt

    psalt New Friend

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    Jan 15, 2004
    Australia
    Who has studied with John Clyman? Can you give me some idea of him as a teacher and his approach. I believe he was very strict about playing softly.
    Peter Salt
     
  2. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    I think he was real strick on everything. I've talked to George Graham about this and he was into pushing everything. Every note perfect. I have a routine of his that's not real exciting to practice, but very intense when everything is correct. Take your time on everynote until it's the way it should be.
     
  3. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Peter,

    I studied with John Clyman for 4 years. He was the first LA teacher I sought after when I hit town.

    Strick is an understatement.

    He didn't worry about any " Self-Esteem " issues with his students. His teaching methods would be frowned on greatly today, but 25 - 30 years ago, most of the old timers took this " strick " approach, but Clyman waas the master of " tough-love" He said he used" a little sugar , but alot of vinegar to toughen you up" trying to make you meet the demands the town might place on you. The worse was at the beginning ( first year )when John was testing you to see what your breaking point might be. He actually told players to " hang it up" , " you'll never make it" , "If I played like you, I'd do it for a hobby only, do something else for a living ", pretty rough stuff for some younger players to handle, but I came off the road to town so, I had a little grizzle on me all ready.

    Uan Rasey tells the story that Clyman actually told Uan Rasey to think about giving up playing, he's never make it, after Una had developed some scar tissue in the late 40's and went to John and Louis Maggio for lessons to get back into shape. ^ month later in 1948 , Uan was playing first trumpet at MGM and John was at Th Century Fox. They never talked about the advise that Clyman had given Uan, not knowing who he was.

    John didn't get that one right.

    After he got to know you, and what type of demeanor and discipline you had to you and your playing he was a great teacher who really took an interest in the minutest detail of your playing. He never did get that ' Father know best " kind of warmth to him thou, ever. He was always the consummate professional , with his German demeanor. He taught at his house in Pacific Palisades and even the place was always immaculate like a 4 star hotel lobby.

    My only real difference from his dogma was in equipment. He liked large mouthpieces , the Bach 1 1/2c variety for everything, including Big Band , Commercial lead.
    That's something I could never do, plus he like large bore, .468 trumpet like the Benge 6x , and the Besson Meha - .470. that was the sound he had in his ear and he could play anything , up to double C and beyond with a big , full, sound with lots of overtones that would make your inner ear vibrate.

    You can hear John's playing on the 20th Century Fox Movie into when you see and hear the lion roar and seeipe his paw ( the world was that was John in a costume ) playing -" Dat - dada dahhh - dada,dada, da dat - dada dat , dat dat dat dat dat dat dat da dat dada dahhh !!! " Starts on a G on top of the staff with alternating with Ab's and G's - Sorry , I got a little sharp at the end.

    I was lucky enough to take lesson with John, Uan Rasey, Claude Gordon and Jimmy Stamp with the Caruso method taught by Bob Findley and John Harner ( he was in town a little while ) and finally forced Charlie Davis to show me the Bill Adams stuff . I would say the Clyman and Adams methods taught me the most with the Caruso being the icing on the cake. Just my opinion all you Claude-heads.
    I've always took lessons from the best LA offered all along the way. I don't think you can ever know enough or stop learning, plus it keeps giving you goals.

    Larry
     
  4. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

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    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Great post Larry!

    Who are the guys to study with in L.A. today?
     
  5. Larry Gianni

    Larry Gianni Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    Los Angeles
    LA Teachers

    Dave,

    The different schools of thought ( methods ) have their different teachers in town. Here's a " off the top of my head " list

    Roy Poper is an excellent " legit" and session playing that teaches the Jimmy Stamp method. He's even re-issued the original stamp book with additional comments and exercises by himself.

    For a guy that told me when i first meet him in 1981 when he came here from Las Vegas after a devistaing strike by the musicicns union that crippled the town, quote;
    " I didn't come to LA to teach, you or anybody!! "

    is now teaching up to 50 students at Long Beach State University and even more privately. I'm talking about Charlie Davis who is not only a great lead trumpet and session player, but can play all pitched trumpets with great ease sounding very "classically" and fantastic " picc" with the best of them. He uses the Bill Adams approach and I think that this method is the soundest, most grounded approach to trumpet there is today. Jerry Hey, Larry Hall, Bob Slack and now Gary Grant are Bill Adams students. ( Charlie only agreed to teach me after a few night's at a local tavern and me losing a few games of his favorite bar game " Dart's - I am proud to say I was Charlie's first student in Los Angles( I'm not that much younger than he is ) and that meeting has grown into a great friendship )

    Asst principal of the LA Phil, Boyde Hood teaches at USC and also privately and I hear he is outstanding. I personally know he is " one hell of a nice guy " and encorporates Stamp and " Old School thinking " into his methods

    Bobby Findley still teaches the Caruso method and has his own book out about Carmine's methods. Howie Shear also carries on the teaching the Caruso method and is a great jazz trumpet teacher. He teaches out of Bob Reeves Shop.

    Wayne Bergeron was an ad. junc. teacher at Cal St. Northridge for a while. but left that post. His schedule with performances and clinic's didn't leave him enough time for teaching, but Wayne is a super nice guy and is very approachable about everything/ anything trumpet.

    The Claude Gordon mania of the 70's has died out, but I'm sure there are still teachers in the area that teach this method and done correctly, is a really good , solid foundation to anyone's trumpet playing.

    I know Gary Grant takes a very limited number of students and so does Burnett Dillon, Bill Bing, Rob Roy McGregor ( LA Phil ) and John Thomas.

    This is a fast list, right off the top of my head, but I'm going to give it more thought tomorrow , plus a few calls (it's Fri night , 9:00 pm my time ) and try to give a better and more definitive answer. Ten minutes after posting I'll think of 10 great teachers I should have mentioned.

    But as you probably know, the real legends of the teaching world , in Los Angeles, and other places , have passed on or are too old to take students. What a shame.

    Larry
     
  6. David771

    David771 New Friend

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    Oct 29, 2006
    First time post here. Wow, did this bring back memories of the past. I studied with John during high school and college in the late 60s and early 70s. Every Monday night, I was his last lesson for the day. Many nights I was there untill 9:00 or 9:30pm, which was not uncommon even with my starting time of 7:00pm. Yes, John was strick and tough, but he was always fair with me. He made sure after he tore me apart that he built me back up before I left. I learned just as much about life as I did about the trumpet. I have used his teachings and philosiphies in all areas of my life. I still have everything he ever wrote for me to play and practice. As you can see, I was very fond of him and not only appreciate what he did for me as his trumpet student, but what he gave me to succeed throughout life. John had me playing on a Bach 37 with the following mouthpieces progressing in this order bach 6c, 3c, then a custom reeves. Today, I just play part time.
     
  7. David771

    David771 New Friend

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    Oct 29, 2006
    John was 1st trumpet for 20th Century Fox studios for 25 years.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Germany
    Strick is a german word for "noose".
    I've been in Germany a long time and have never seen this word used. Does it mean extremely tough?
     
  9. David771

    David771 New Friend

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    Oct 29, 2006
    I've never heard of strick either, and I wrote it. It should have read strict.
     
  10. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 11, 2003
    I think "strict" was what was meant.
     

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