My efforts to work out the TCE thing...

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

  1. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
  2. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    great....that's 8 minutes I'll never get back....;-) ugh. At least I know what "not" to sound like. Thanks, dbacon. haha
  3. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Reasons already covered...

    My reasons for studying these embouchure systems was already stated. I'll try to summarize here.

    I've been doing my own thing for some time. It has been working reasonably well, and I am satisfied that the musical demands placed on me I can meet without much trouble. The International Trumpet Guild wrote a review of Trumpet Secrets that caught my eye (see original posts, rather than re-hash here). I figurted I'd look into it. Then I discover that Callet as well as quite few other folks have their OWN FORUMS on TH! Some folks are getting pretty worked up all over this.

    It struck me that it would be interesting to find out about these methods, so I am exploring them. I like exploring stuff like this. It's fun. I also like sharing what I've learned. That's fun, too!

    I decided to go back and review some of the mehtods I've used before, just for kicks, now that I've got some experience under my belt (such as Caruso and Claude Gordon). However, I haven't completely exhausted exploration of the Trumpet Secrets book, yet.

    When I first took some lesson from Jerry many years ago, I spotted some similarities with what I've read before as well. No Man Is An Island (heh, heh), and it seems to me that it isn't too surprising that some ideas voiced by some previously might surfuce in "newer works" by virtue of either open or subliminal influences or, perhaps by virtue of original yet coincidentlay similar thinking. MOST of the methods I've seen do that to a certain extent, iMHO. The Colin Lip Felxibilitites have similar instrucitons as the Earl Irons book, and the CG 52 week method descbes tongue arch in the same way as both. In any case, this sort of redundancy is why I abandoned my own little method book (now P.O.P.)

    In short I am curious about this stuff and I'm just tryig to share my insights on it, fwiiw!

    I couldn't get that darn video to play on my family PC, but the RF connection might be jammed up. I'll have to try that again later.

  4. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    I got that video to play...

    Hey, Dave!

    I got that video to play.

    First, out of curiosity, who is that?

    Second, I actually found it very interesting. I think I know exactly what he is doing.

    Third, this isn't the way I want to play my horn. I have a wierd little falsetto embouchure I can pull out of hat for horsing around purposes. I try not to use it on a gig, unless I'm teasing someone! :-)

    I have wondered for some time of some embouchure techniques I have read about take something like this and manage it into a usable embouchure with a real trumpet sound.

    Curioser and curioser!


    BTW, Wilcox! You said "that's 8 minutes you couldn't get back.' Hmmm, the video was only three minutes. MY little demo was 8 minutes! Ah Freud...
    grrrr ;-)

    Just kidding! I'm the first guy to admit that my little demo was kinda nuts. I just put it up there for folks follwoing the thread on TH. I'm going ot change it up soon and then it will come down alltogether when I move onto to some new experimentation.

    I just started doing some prelinimary exploration of Adams ideas. I have a gig with an Adams disciple this weekend. I'm gonna bug him a bit.

    OK, that's it for now.

  5. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Yikes! You are right, Nick! (re: 8 mins vs actually 3)! hahah. Freudian indeed. Maybe it seemed like 8 minutes! (kind of like the old joke, "I played in Cleveland 2 weeks, one night! ")....

    No need to say more about the video.... Your audio was cool... the video ... blah blah..

    Who's the Adam disciple? I used to work with Karl Seivers (among other Adam-ites) when he lived in town. What a talent. Fun to work with also.

    I tell you, the expanding scale is one of the greatest exercises ever. However, I think of his stuff as more of things to practice that meet an end, rather than an "embouchure" is the Callet, Maggio..etc. I guess that's the distinction between some of these methods...some are more specifically embouchure/tongue related and others are more methodology designed towards an end (well..are we "ever" at the end?)... you know what I mean.

    ramble ramble...okay...we'll see what you have to say later on this evening...
  6. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    TCE Practice Session #2

    Well, folks, I had my second phone lesson with Jerry Callet at 4:30 PM today. It was quite interesting. He was really pushing me to keep my tongue much farther forward than I have been. When He talks about curling the tongue, in the extreme, I would be sticking my tongue down over the top of my lower teeth in between them and my lower lip and sort of lifting my lower lip up with the tongue! Now, this is in the extreme. I couldn't really play that way. However, as long as I tried to actively approach that, I found I could blow with much more freedom. It was quite interesting. I think this is what I was achievieng, a bit inadvertantly the ohter night. With his advice, I think I can do this much more at will.

    I took the liberty of recording bits and pieces of an extended practice session this eveing before dinner. Now this is NOT flawless stuff, and it is certainly indelicate and non-musical. The are more just training exercises. I do feel they are helping me become more efficient. Here is a list of the pages I played from (if you have the Trumpet Secrest book).

    P. 38 top
    p. 39 bottom
    P. 40 A and B in several keys
    p. 49 in a few keys
    P. 50 #12
    P. 59 the first two chops builders (note I was just reading these down and there are few mistakes)
    p. 61 another rendetion of Hot Canary (I think I was doing better with the tongue more forward this time).
    P. 61 "Hey There" - Note: I stuck some of the mellow low melody in there before the big M.F. cadenza.

    Again, there are flaws, but this was just PRACTICE! This will be taken down soon.

    Also, at the end of this, I tossed in a little shout out to all of you, just for some fun.

    OK, I'm still learning, but I think I'm getting better.

    Here's the direct link to the sound file.

    Have fun listening to this trumpet mayhem!


  7. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    "I couldn't really play that way."

    Clue phone ringing..........

    Just got in from the coolest straight ahead Jazz Gig!

    Fine Rhythm Section, too much fun!!!!!!!!

    Make music not noise!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    I am trying ...

    Ok, folks, I will probably pop back in here now and then to see if there are any questions that I might address, but this will be my OFFICIAL concluding post on my exploration of TCE.

    My conversation with Jerry was vey interesting. It took me back a bit. I originally went to Jerry a couple of years or so after I left Maynard's band. I was having some serious chops problems. I also went to Carmine Caruso. Both men were very kind and patient with me. I was a bit panicked. My ability to support my family was in question and they were all to eager to help me.

    So, talking to Jerry last night was a bit of a blast from the past for me. His firey rhetoric has not toned down one bit! I think I know where he is coming from, but his ability to step on toes still seems to be there. I don't think he means it in a bad way. I think he has very narrow view of what he expects of a trumpet sound. I DID NOT fit that mold, and he didn't spare me, so he is consistent. Personally I could tell he was sincere in his desire to share with me, and I enjoyed that. Whenever I deal with anyone I will focus only on the good they represent.

    Now, as to his method.

    After speaking with him, I think I see what he is driving at. When he suggested as an extreme example, putting my tongue between my lower lip and my lower teeth and lifting up my lower lip as I play higher. Now, the actual method seems a bit subtler than that, but I do see where he is going.

    What is interesting to me is the notion of "as you play higher, the lower lip comes up." That is not new and I've seen this expressed in various places and methods. In fact, the asymmetric mouthpiece I use directly taps that thinking!

    The idea of getting the tongue right behind the lower lip is also something that I have seen before. Most notably for me is in a video called Screamin' (or something like that; I'm not at home now).

    What is quite different here is the idea of actually using the tongue to lift the lower lip - sort of help it along, so to speak. This is quite radical, IMHO.

    Lastly, he brought up someting from his old Superchops book. The idea that the top of the lower lip will ascend above the bottom of the upper teeth. In fact, in Superchops, he says his lower lip comes up to his upper gum line. In his conversation with me yesterday, he was just saying over the bottom of the upper teeth. Inerestingly enough, I am doing that, and I didn't know it. I'm not WAY up there, but when I was getting rolling "really good" my lower lip was slightly above the bottom of my upper teeth. Things to make you go 'hmmmmmm...'

    I have a rather firm but not inflexible, belief, that we each individually evolve into hybrid players, assimilating ideas from various sources and molding them to fit our own way of thinking about playing. I doubt I'll ever be a 100% TCE player. Ostensibly, that doesn't really matter to me. I just want to play my music with freedom, control and an whole toolbox full of options. This exploraiton has helped me add some more tools to the box!

    I am not in the business of endorsing methods or books, and I fully intend to explore some other methods and see some other teachers. I am doing this just out of curiosity and fun - my choice. Some folks think I'm crazy, and that's OK. In any case, I honestly think Jerry and Bahb, have written a decent book. Before you flame me, remember, I started this whole project as the result of the publication of a review in the ITG Journal - the world wide scholarly journal for trumpet players! The review was very positive.

    In defense of the sound files I've created in this process, let me say this. Carmine Caruso wrote a book called "Musical Calesthenics for Brass." Caruso comments that the exercises are anything but musical, but merely exercises designed to help one play better. Believe me, when I was doing the Caruso exercises, and if I recorded those, they would be ugly, too! Well, that is certainly the case here. These exercises are merely a tool for getting in shape to play. I don't PLAY that way! However, by internalizing what I need to do to play certain things, I can get them to pop out automatically when I am just playing music.

    If my TCE sound file makes you question whether or not I want to make music, PLEASE listen to the other files on my site before you judge me harshly. I THINK I am a musican making what is his best concept of music. If after hearing those files you still think I am just making noise, I am 100% sincere in my apology in failing you at the moment. However, I will remain true to mine ownself. My MUSIC files are what I hear and want to share with the world as a musician - very individual stuff. I harbor no misguided ideas that I will please everyone. However, if just ONE person in the world feels his/her spirit lifted for having heard my music, I count myself a lucky man ineed!

    TCE is most certainly not for everyone. However, it is most certainly worth investigating seriously! I'm very glad I did.

    My next effort will have a bit to do with the Adams way of thinking. I'll come back to B.E. later. I want to do something completely different now. I will be beginning that effort on the weekend. I have a several gigs, and one of Adams biggest proponents in the Chicago area will be working with me on Saturday night.

    Peace, to you all!

  9. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    I was going to say something to the effect of.... we all "practice" many things that may or may not be deemed "musical"... (I know my wife and kids get tired of hearing Clarke Technical studies...scales..flexibilities...)

    But...then they come hear me play in a live setting...on a touring Broadway show, live act, recording, whatever.... then, they realize what all that stuff was for.

    That said.... Nick, your post above was extremely eloquent. Thanks for taking the time to post... the time it took to put the sound examples together. That phone lesson wasn't free either...but you shared some of it with all of us...thanks.

    Practice stuff or not...playing an alternate style embouchure/type thing or not, I gotta give you props. You just can't do that stuff you did w/o having developed an easy going, natural playing style. The work you've done shows. So fluid...up and down registers. Well done, oh good and faithful servant! haha.

    Now, as your voice - over talent agent....;-) hahaha.

  10. Geekman

    Geekman New Friend

    Nov 25, 2005
    TCE to adams. All I can say is that I hope for the best.

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