John Clyman

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

  1. Jon Kratzer

    Jon Kratzer Pianissimo User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Eh...most germans use Schlinge for noose. Strick is really used more for Cord or threads(knitting anyone?), even more simple a rope. Carries a lot of meanings. Are we sure this isn't just a typo of 'strict'? I don't see any significant links to my mother tongue...
  2. dkoorn

    dkoorn New Friend

    Dec 17, 2007
    I studied with John Clyman from about 1959 to 1964. Was he strict? To say the least! But he was by far the best teacher of anything I've ever had. I'm currently a teacher myself, and I still use that tough-love approach with my students. I still recall the time in a lesson when I didn't have enough air in my lungs to complete a passage and I took a breath. He told me that the listeners couldn't care less about my own personal problems, that the passage had to be completed as written. "But how," I asked, "if there's no air in my lungs?" "Then use blood, but keep playing!" That NO EXCUSES approach has dominated everything I've done in my life since then. Yes, he was tough and strict. But the best teacher ever!
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    it was actually a play on words. If that guy was so tough, you had your neck in the noose when you showed up for the lesson..........................
  4. sdoucette

    sdoucette New Friend

    Jun 2, 2008
    I studied with John Clyman from 1970-1976. I have all of his exercises and was a devoted student. Grant Hungarford and myself were his two students at this time he held high hopes for. Grant went on to play professionally and I went on to other things. I have many stories to tell about my experience with him.
    Steve Doucette
  5. Smirnus

    Smirnus New Friend

    Jun 24, 2008
    The O.C., CA
    My father studied with him when he was in high school. Pop didn't take it farther than that, but hearing him play was one of my favorite sounds as a child.
  6. John (JT) Wyper

    John (JT) Wyper New Friend

    Dec 27, 2008
    Hi All;

    I'm new to this website. I studied with John Clyman from 1976 though 1979, near the end of his life. He was a real task master for classical training. As another player posted, Mr. Clyman had most of his students playing a 1-1/2 C mouthpiece. Mine had a Schmidt back bore.

    My favorite JC moment(s) when I would finish my study such as an Arbans Etude then he would just sit in his leather chair stairing at me saying nothing. After a few painfull moments, and by the time I was really raddled, he would say "how much would you pay to hear someone play like you just did". Not a great ego builder.


    JT. Wyper
    Formally from LA now living in Florida
  7. TedR

    TedR New Friend

    Feb 9, 2009
    Southern California
    I studied with John Clyman in the early seventies priviately, and as a student at USC, where he also coached my Brass Quintet and ran the Master class. I came to study with Mr. Clyman after studying with Tom Scott (LA) and Mel Broils (NY). Like many who have posted here, I had great respect for him and his teachings. To me he was a seirous teacher, a player's player, a mentor, and a life advisor.
    To address a few questions I have seen here; starting we soft playing, he refered to playing soft with a sweet tone as having a "vailed tone", and he advocated large mouth pieces (I still play a 1C that he traded me for, and yes, I use that same mouthpiece for everything except cornet of course) and he insisted that the mouthepiece be put into the reciever in exactly the same position every time, (I still do this) , reasoning that it was "consistant" and consintancy was a big thing with him. I recall him allowing me to try different horns asking me which one I thought I had the biggest and best sound playing, it always turned out that the smaller horns had the best sound, he reasoned that the smaller bore horn could be filled up with air more rediley then a larger one thus facilitating a larger sound (I use a 72 Bach LW Bb, 239 AH leadpipe C). He siad "never try to finesse a solo" and "give every piece in your reciatal/jury your most effort, not saving yourself for the last, but playing your strongest up until you can't play". Surely the 'Hindimith Sonata' was writtin with him in mind with it's "All Men Must Die" hymn at the end!
    I loved his Sparten attitude and old school ways, and as some have pointed out, that approach is not at work today, I know from personal experience.
    He drove a tan Porsche and he said, "when I drive, I drive". I used to repair his daughter's VW for him an tuned up his Porsch. He loved Golf and that is where he wanted to "go", and that's exactly what he did. We all miss him. John Clyman was truely one-of-a-kind.
  8. charley000

    charley000 New Friend

    Mar 16, 2009
    Northern California
    Hi. I studied with John from 1958 to 1965. He was my first teacher. He was quite strict. He really made you work. I remember when he had a couple of new students who thought they were hot stuff (guys who are well known today). But he really put them through their paces.

    John had an amazing trumpet collection. Mostly Benge and Besson. He was a good friend of Eldon Benge and worked with Eldon to improve the instruments. He arranged for me to buy my Benge trumpets that I still have (I have a Bflat and C Benge). He preferred the French Besson Meha for orchestral play. And the English Besson D trumpet.

    He could play amazingly! Amazing range (for that day -- today most players seem to be able to go above double c). And truly amazing technique. I have never heard anyone with better technique. He generally used a hand rather than lip vibrato.

    Sincerely, Charles Kline
    (I gave up playing in 1965 when I went to college in Engineering and Computers).
  9. carltonsstudent

    carltonsstudent New Friend

    May 2, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I took only one lesson from John Clyman about 1975 perhaps. I had heard Larry McGuire playing lead with Gerald Wilson at the Lighthouse in Rodondo Beach and was really impressed with his playing. During the break my wife and I talked to Larry and I mentioned that he had an aspect of power in his playing that I had not heard before. He said "Oh that is the Glockenspiel Effect." He told me he had learned it from John Clyman. He said that John Clyman required him to pay the whole of Arbans up an octave. He said that at first he could not do it, but in time he got so that he could do it.

    Earlier my wife had studied under Clyman so I called him and arranged for a lesson. My wife went with me to the lesson. At the time I was playing a cornet because it seemed to work very well with my Septet. John was not happy when I took it out of the case. Later in the lesson he taped on it and said: "You have to get the sound of this horn out of your mind." He gave me a copy of what Herbert L. Clarke had said about the trumpet being the devils instrument, but he said the trumpet is what we should be playing. Clyman got right into the Glockenspiel Effect. I probably had mentioned hearing Larry McGuire play and related what he had told me.

    An important thing Clyman noticed was my breathing. He tapped my chest towards the top of the lungs and said: "You can get about 15% more air in here." I didn't tell him that my right lung almost always hurts up in the top portion. I have discovered that my lungs feel better when I get the ocean air and I am right now, March 2009, in fact in the process of moving from Richmond, Virginia to Virginia Beach, VA to get the ocean air. I have finally come to realize that I have Asthma and am happy to relate that playing the trumpet is very helpful with respect to Asthma.

    Anyway, I thought that the lesson with Clyman was very worthwhile. He never played his horn for me so I didn't get any impression of his playing. I think he only lived a couple more years after that.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  10. peanuts56

    peanuts56 Pianissimo User

    Jan 18, 2009
    Anyone ever study with Ray Kotwica in Boston? Ray was probably the east coast version of Mr. Clyman. He was on you right after your first two notes. Great guy once you got to know him.

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