My efforts to work out the TCE thing...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by NickD, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    This is basically a thread I'ved been working with on TH. I started this after the review of the Trumpet Secrets book in the last ITG Journal. I was intrigued by how close my own style of playing was to this, so I decided to explore it seriously. My lastest post is about a sound file of my practice session today on which I spent quite a bit of time working with this. Here's the post I made on TH:

    OK, folks, just for the heck of it, I recorded bit and pieces of my PRACTICE session today. I am trying to implement TCE and learn how to do this better. This is NOT a flawless performance. In fact it is not a performance at all! I am just trying to share what I am dong with this as I sort this all out. I hope to trigger more ideas about all of this. Here's what is on it.

    I have a commentary intersperesed describing wha the heck I am up to.

    I have one chord exercise up to E over double C trying to keep this together.

    I have a bunch of Clarkes #2, single tongue (TCE style), k tongue and double tongue. Now I am not trying to make this flawless a smuch as I am trying to focus on keeping the form correct.

    I stuck a few bars of Hot Canary just for goofing around purposes.

    Finally, I stuck some practice on a couple of Mendez tunes I have begun re-working for a recording project, but with a TCE approach.

    One last comment. I am using a new John Lynch Asymmetric mouthpiece a Led model 342M, with a different throat and backbore configuration. I REALLY like the way this feels! It isn't on the market just yet, but it will be soon. Stay tuned.

    To hear this 8 minutes of madness go to...
    It's the last track.

    For you TM readers, the thread on TH can be found at:

    Food for thought.


  2. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    See the TH Link

    I haven't made too much out of this here at TM. However, at TH, there is a forum dedicated to Callet alone at TH. I have been experimenting with TCE for a few weeks now. Rahter than completely re-has thing here, I'd invite you to follow this link over to TH. I've been pretty actively following through with thigns there. After I finish my efforts studying TCE, I want to explore the Smiley/BE thing.

    What is interesting to me is the rivalries between the proponents of one method over another. Thge beefs range from similarites to other methods to how well the crator plays. I find this intruiging when on econsiders that one of the most popular trumpet metohds out there is the Caruso method. I took some lessons from Caruso in his little hole in the wall studio in NYC. He NEVER played for me. In fact, as many of you may recall, he wasn't even a trumpet player! He did, however, have some amazing ideas about how to work on trumpet playing.

    Anyway, I have a secondary agenda, one of positive reinfocement. PLEASE at least drop by and read the posts. Here's the link...

    I will be doing some more recording of my practice sessions. I also have a call scheduled with Jerry for Thursday of this week. I will outline what I learn on the TH page, but I'll post a reminder here.

    Hit that link early and often (election day humor here in the Chicago area - heh, heh).


  3. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    First...I don't know about all this TCE stuff...not sure I understand the concept (not anyone's fault...just that I don't know that much about it and what I have read, seems very odd indeed)... That said, I wanted to thank you for sharing the stuff you do. It is at the very least interesting... and you sound very good. what you are sharing a practice thing...mistakes, whatever. You state that up front...and there really "aren't" that many. kudos....

    The most interesting thing?? Your "voice" really sounds good! Definately radio worthy (not crazy dj sounding..)...but very pleasing! SO.....maybe there's a new offshoot for you? doing more of these type training sessions with you narrating?? Hey... why not?! That part was just as neat to discover as the playing! ha...

    Okay...will read the stuff over at the other place. You continue to offer some pretty neat material. Thanks...
  4. NickD

    NickD Forte User


    My voice, eh? Heh, heh, well, thanks, man!

    OK, TCE stands for tongue controlled embouchure. It is Jerry Callet's thing. I took some lessons from Jerry and Carmine Caruso many yers ago. I was impressed by the ease with which Jerry could navigte the range of the horn. I couldn't get my head into the Superchops thing, though. I then saw a review of Trumpet Secrets in the last ITG Journal. They described somethng very close to what I do. I figured that I might be able to make my own thing even beter by applying the new Callet thing. So far so good! I had one heck of a night of practice. I'm going to record some of the exercies from the book in the next couple of days.

    Jerry is controversial, but I think his heart is in the right place. He seems to have found a way to articulate his ideas that connect with me. Hit the TH post and see some of the other stuff I've posted.

    Once I've exhausted my exploration of the TCE thing, I want to check out the Balanced Embouchure approach and compare.



  5. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    I've just been around commercial production, radio, tv stuff for a long time. It was just an observation about your voice. Something I recognize. Quality voices are rarer than you when I hear it, it stands out. It is obviously just natural with you...

    As for TCE...yeah, I knew how it came to be...who...etc.. Just some of the things I read (re: tongue placement, etc)... are unconventional. Not knocking it...just an observation only. I've actually been experimenting over the last month or so...need to get the book to qualified folks to get the truest sense of the concept. (if I want to pursue it).

    I think I get what you are doing're gonna be a human guinea pig with embouchure/method types for a while (you mention checking out BE in the future).... ???


    Oh yeah...I wanted to ask you this. I suspect you've had the range, etc for much of your life. Yeah, some ways you've gone about it are easier or more efficient than others...but you've had exceptional range for a long time. The questions are this.... do you (or can you) have the same range with a mpc other than the Asymmetric? Can you do the same on a mpc with a deeper cup? ...ala C cup? Forget which is more efficient for now...just ... do you have the same range on other pcs?

  6. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Ah, the $64 question!!!!

    Ah, Wilcox, mon ami, you have asked the big question! Am I CHEATING! Ha!

    Honest answer. No, I don't think so.

    In an effort to make better sense as a teacher, I make sure that I practice on about 10 differnet mouthpieces. Here's a list, from memory.

    1.) Laskey 84C
    2.) Laskey 81D
    3.) Lakey 80*
    4.) Lakey 40S*
    5.) GR Skyrocket (a knock off of a Buddy Brisbois mpce)
    6.) NYTC Stage 1
    7.) Asymmetric Opera
    8.) Asymetric 3C
    9.)Asymmetric Lead
    10.) Zotolla (I forgot the number), but it is similar in feel to a Purvaince 4*K4

    I can play up to a double C on the 84 C. The 81 D is a little deep and I have a tougher time popping out the grand. On all of the others, I have essentially the same range I alwys do, just with varying degrees of brilliance to the tone and volume of sound.

    I do this, in part, to minimize the "your cheating" syndrome! :-) I see it as I am just using the tool for the job! I'm OK either way. The other reason is that I don't see the asymmetric as something that reqires that I abandon conventionals. However, on the job, I use only asymmetrics. They work for me, and I like the endurance and freedom they give me.

    As to my range, I've had decent range for some time. When I was on Maynard's band I used a Purvaince 4*K4. I sold it a long time ago. I wish I never had. It's a collectors item. Oh well... But I dsigress... When I was on Maynard's band I could hit some really nice high A's. B flats were a problem for me then. The B and Double C weren't bad either.

    My intital efforts to build rage were based on the Claude Grond 52 week method and the Trumpet Yoga book. I'll disucss both later.

    The PROBLEM, and thisis a BIG problem was two-fold. I used WAAAYYYY too much pressure. I was just mashing my chops - using brute force to get the notes. I was also using a bit of a stretch and pull. If you looked at my chops when i was playing a high A, it looked like I smelled something awful. The combination of misguided techniques gave rise to raging inconsistencies and often banged up chops.

    All of my study for the past 15 years or so has not been to increase range. It has been to increase efficiency and freedom. This, I admit, will taint my point of view. For someone just starting out, the point of view could be utterly different.

    I've have to run for now, but if this triggers more questions or ideas, keep posting! I relish the exhange!


  7. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Need to clear something up.....I was "never" inferring, suggesting, etc that I felt you were "cheating". No traps here! I don't consider any mpc or horn "cheating". To me, that would be the same as telling someone they were cheating by using a flugelhorn. Know what I mean? Don't worry...we are on the same page there.

    My question about your range vs mpc size/depth all that was just curiosity AND to prove that what you're doing can be done because you can really play that matter what. (I guess you're right...that "someone" might read these posts...listen to your stuff...and think it's only because you use a certain piece of equipment). You did 2 things by answering... that you can probably play the gammut of range on a tpt mpc or a garden hose! ha. AND that the embouchure, compression, etc you have is valid. You've done things over the years to increase your efficiency (which we all want to do)...which "can" as a by-product...provide us with extensions of our abilities, ie: range, tone..whatever.

    Now, about this notion of placing the tongue thru the teeth business on TCE...? :bleah: (is that what it looks like??? hahaha.) Actually, as I said above, I've experimented with the very least... keeping the tongue forward and anchored a bit more. That has, so far, proven more efficient.).
    I guess I'll have to dive in if I want to find out more.... it hasn't gotten in my way Plus, I've been playing for so long, I can get the job done in the midst of all of it....kind of like what you are doing.
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    heh, heh

    I realize you weren't saying I was cheating. We're cool! However, I can't tell you how many times someone HAS claimed I was cheating by using the gear that I use! I'm just kind-of horsing around a bit with this one!

    Ok, I have a phone call scheduled with Jerry for tomorrow at 4:30 PM Chicago time. One of the issues is the lip protruding between the lips. When I articulate a note this way, the tip of my tongue does slightly come through the lips. When I strike the note, it pops back to the position I've already described. In fact, I am almost uisng an anchor tip thing when I do this, so I feel the top of my lower teeth touching the bottom of the tip of my tongue the whole time I'm playing.

    Jerry refers to advanced TCE in his book. The pictures imply that the tip of the ongue is in there a lot more. This I CAN'T do. I am wondering if I am mis-reading those sketches, hence the need for a phone call.

    In Jerry's previous book, SuperChops, he talked about the lower lip being over the top gum line. I couldn't even begin to play that way. This new way of articulating his ideas is reaching me, though. For all of Jerry's controversy, I really get a kick out of the absolute ease with which he navigates the upper register. He really does make it seem as easy as a kid just plunking away with his/her right hand all the way up on top of the 88 on a piano. If I could just tap some of that and make my playing and practicing even easier, it's worth the time, to me.

    OK, great stuff, Wilcox, my man! I'm off to practice for about an hour or so, till the last bell ends. I'm done for the day, but my son has classes right up till the end of the day, so I'm here till 3:30 even though I have early release.


  9. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Okay...what you're describing is very much what I've experimented with. That makes this a bit more understandable and attainable than I previously thought. I also realize there is much more to this than that...but to get the basic concept is at least a start.

    It sounds like you'll post after you talk with Jerry...that would be great. I've read that stuff about the lip over the top gum too. (see what I mean when I started this back and forth? ..Bill Cosby has a bit about when his wife was going thru child birth and she likened it to having your bottom lip pulled up over the top of your head! hahahahah... now, imagine playing tpt! I'll bet this concept has got to be exaggerated in our minds....) very interested in what you find out, if you don't mind.

  10. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    "I not exactly 100% sure what JERRY CALLET means by grip, but in my head I mean a sense of having my chops sort of hold or grip the mouthpiece a bit, as opposed of pushing the mouthpiece against my chops. It's more "bring the lips to the mouthpiece" as opposed to "pressing the mouthpiece aginst the lips."

    I'm sure you've heard of this one before, it's the cushion, pucker, grip between the teeth and the mouthpiece.

    Uan Rasey always said to keep the pucker as long as possible.

    Nick, the old Anchor Tonguing and grip (pucker) are nothing new. Mr. Clarke described the very simple concept and Maggio taught pucker through pedal tones.

    Lip to lip compression, Costello Method from the 30's.

    Why try these so called Embouchure Systems? Why not just make as much creative music as possible?

    If you want effortless playing, check out Allen Vizzutti and Jens Lindeman. Just great old fashion development, common sense practice.


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