Maggio Method, for solving problems

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 6pk, May 30, 2006.

  1. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    All those systems/methods -- Caruso, Pivot, Stamp, BE all have a their place. Trumpet playing is to a certain extent an athletic activity and it certainly couldn't hurt to cultivate the training and developing the muscles and nerves that are used in trumpet playing.

    That being said there are certain things to watch for.
    1) It makes little sense to get iron chops if you can't use them to make music

    2) Embouchures are personal things, like underwear. These methods are not all the same and the one you choose may not be the one that works for you. Flexibility and pragmatism should be high priorities

    3) Most of these methods are attempts at crystallizing the wisdom and experience of great teachers. Its impossible to capture such skills in a book/DVD/video so be aware that you may think you are doing everything according to the book and yet be miles away from what Caruso, Reinhardt, Stevens etc intended. You really shouldn't mess with embouchure issues without a knowledgeable teacher.
  2. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    Nov 29, 2003
    The lips themselves are not, but the fine muscles that control the movements of our lips do require warming up, cooling down, and stretching.


    If you look at the diagram, you'll notice the Orbicularis oris directly surrounding the lips, the muscle that allows us to purse our lips, or roll them in and out. If you form your embouchure and firm up, you'll feel the Orbicularis oris. Other than that, the top lip doesn't really have any musculature that effects trumpet playing. The bottom lip, however, is a different story. The Depressors, Mentalis, and Platysma muscles allow us to move the bottom lip up for more compression. The buccinators allow us to bring the entire embouchure set forward. As was explained to me, the bottom lip is the one doing the work -- the top one just vibrates (although I think its function is a little more complex than that; however, if you've done double pedal tones using the BE method, you'll see how that seems true).

    In my playing, when I experience chop failure, it's usually one of two categories: lip swelling or muscle failure. Sometimes they swell to the point where I have trouble producing a tone. Other times, I've been playing for so long that I lose the ability to form an embouchure (that's when I usually resort to the old Armstrong Method!).

    The way I see things, at least, is that we need to develop the surrounding musculature in order to prevent muscle failure in our embouchure; and, we need to find ways to play efficiently and ways to keep swelling down. Systems like Maggio, Gordon, BE, and Caruso, are great for developing the strength (as is a whole bunch of playing), but they also help to refine control of those muscles (especially BE). My only fault with some of those is that they rely too much on slurs or long tones and never really address tonguing. Combine this with good training in musciality and one should be on the road to good playing.

    (Most of this is a reiteration of Manny's and Alex's posts, but I thought it would be a good idea to have the visual aspect in here.)
  3. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    I've been through all the methods like Maggio, Reinhardt (pivot system), Claude Gordon and Stamp so I would know something about them and get some tips to helps my students out. The thing I worry about most is that the old adage about analysis equalling paralysis can be quite true so I don't recommend these books to my students (mostly young people high school age and younger). As a teacher I use some of the techniques but don't try to make too much of a deal out of it with the students. Some good trumpet playing advice is on Dave Monette's web site. Most of it holds true regardless of what brand of instrument or mouthpiece you play.
  4. 6pk

    6pk New Friend

    Mar 9, 2006
    Hong Kong
    Thanks everyone for your fantastic ideas and information.
    I'm not normally one for all these methods, but this one has truely worked for me. Since my last post my range has improved by a fourth, stamina and dynamic has increased by at least 30% and everything just feels that little bit easier.
    I have been careful too over do it, and I have sought a lot of advice before taking it up.(also reado on this great forums!)

    Yesterday I had 3hrs of rehs on West side, Swan Lake and Bolero, practiced for an hour, tought for 2hours, went to the gymn then a three hour rehearsal on "Le Roi Davi" by Honnegar, and I still wasn't tired, two weeks ago I would have been on the floor!

    It feels like this has tweeaked my tongue position and one or two things which has opened everything up.

    As far as I'm concerned this has given me a slightly increased facility to do my job.
  5. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Pardon me for chopping up your post Jon, but I had to chime in and agree with you on the Maggio method. I was turned on to it several years ago in Belgium by Leon Petre and it gave me strength, as well the other things you mentioned. I highly recommend it. It is the concept of the controlled, focused pedals and gaining command of them that truly stregthens the corners in my opinion. Anything that increases stamina in a healthy, beneficial way is worth it's weight in gold to me.
  6. CMagee

    CMagee New Friend

    Sep 4, 2006
    Roanoke VA
    Range development methods vs. Embouchure methods

    I think the distinction that needs to be made is that some range method books are actually embouchure methods, where the author is prescribing a specific embouchure formation. Hence, Maggio has his photo of the chimp. Other authors/books that fall into this category include:

    • Claude Gordon
    • Jerome Callet (many books, each with a differently described embouchure)
    • Doc Reinhardt
    • Roger Spaulding (Double High C in 37 Weeks)
    • Stevens/Costello

    The thing to remember is just because the author advocates a specific embouchure formation doesn't mean you have to follow it. Most of these methods contain exercises that can be useful for the development of strength and coordination even if you don't buy into the author's embouchure.

    Will all of them be equally effective for each trumpeter? Probably not -- everyone has a different embouchure and learning style. The trick is finding the approach that works for you. In the end, we are still our own teachers, no matter who we study with.
  7. 6pk

    6pk New Friend

    Mar 9, 2006
    Hong Kong
    Wow, I wasn't expecting this post to be revived!
    (Thanks Alex for your pearls of wisdom, couldn't agree more! Also for info on Eclipse they did arrive!)

    Well 6 months later I'm still doing this method, and found it to be fantastic all round. It just keeps getting better! I've found it particularly good for, "breaking in" a new mpc or trumpet. For me everything in it is equally beneficial, the sylables, putting head back whilst breathing, embouchure, pedals, it just seems to take care of everything.

    I'm sensible with it too, I think its easy to get carried away or to lose patience, but best things come to those who wait......
  8. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2007

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