My Lesson With Alex!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Eclipsehornplayer, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. mrfabulous963

    mrfabulous963 Piano User

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    Nov 26, 2005
    My sound has greatly improved when i started working on the basic's with my teacher.


    "Strengthening the foundation of the house makes the house last longer" is what my teacher said. the basics being the foundation. Without the basics you've got nothing to build on
     
  2. mrfabulous963

    mrfabulous963 Piano User

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    Nov 26, 2005
    Alex,
    If you're ever in Chicago, let me know, I would love to get a lesson in, since the seem to be filled with a lot of good advice!
     
  3. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

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    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey Dan, that is very nice of you to say. You do live in the land of "ten thousand" great players and teachers, so I appreciate your sentiment that much more. ;-)

    Hey Greg, you really should give some mouthpiece work a try. A little can help a great deal. I am sorry to hear that you couldn't practice on your trip, but hey, at least you found out that missing a week didn't kill your chops. That's great news, eh? :-)
     
  4. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

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    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    I'm curious about the 'buzzing' you folks are talking about. Are you just making noise? Or notes on just the mouthpiece? Or are you playing actual exercises/songs on the mouthpiece?

    I've seen that BERP thingy before---what is the advantage of using that over the leadpipe?

    Anyway, I'm just curious. I've played exercises and songs on just my mouthpiece for years. My teacher just loves to hear me play something new every week. I got started playing on just the mouthpiece because of long, boring band tours back in high school. Couldn't use the horn with the bus rockn' and rollin'. So, I learned to use the mouthpiece, and my favorite was the old familiar 'charge' series of notes you hear at baseball games. Is this anything like what you folks are doing?

    Bill
     
  5. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

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    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts/words.

    Alex, thanks for working with me I seem to be improving daily.

    Bill,

    Although I'm far from an authority on the matter I can give you my impressions. The BERP I believe has an advantage over the leadpipe because you can adjust the amount of resistance/backpressure that your lips are subjected to forcing you to move more air to sustain what ever note it is you are trying to acheive.

    I have found this to be beneficial in two main areas first I have to really tank up on and use air to perform the excercises in the James Thompson buzzing book successfully, and second is that by working to create one embouchrue throughout the entire range of the horn I've found my range starting to make nice increases. Prior to seeing Alex I was able to belt out a high "C" but it required significant strain on my part and was thin sounding.

    Now I can ascend to the high "C" some what comfortably. belt out that same high "C" but it is full sounding and ringing, and I have been able to belt out a high "E" once or twice. The same is true for the lower ranges of the horn. I am a third part trumpet player in my community band so I spend much time in the low "A" and below range. This has helped me there also.

    I can't stress enough the importance of this simple excercise.

    I've been to the top of the mountain, and I have seen the other side. I believe!

    Thank you Ms. Alex :D
     
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Bill,

    The mouthpiece is to used to make musical, recognizable sounds when buzzing. The mindless noise that some folks make without a musical goal is antithetical to music making.

    ML
     
  7. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    Manny!

    Good to see you back! You and I are on the same page then when it comes to buzzing. I never could see any use for making 'noise' and not music---even if it sounds a bit odd with just a mouthpiece! :-)
     
  8. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
    4
    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    John,
    I'm glad to hear that you are seeing improvements. Making sure you are 'set' to play with a full tank of air is an important skill that far too many players don't do. It's a learned habit and without it you can't sustain a note. If at all possible, I'd suggest finding a pro caliber teacher to learn and play with. Playing along with my teacher has really helped me to even out the air flow and taught me what to do to keep the air stream even to the last note.

    Another book that can teach you to keep one embochure is the Clarks Technical studies. You go up, you go down and you do it all fast. If you do it right, you won't be able to stop and reset for the higher notes.

    Here's an exercise for more advanced players that will really help break that 'two embochure' problem. The exercise is based out of Vizzuttis 'New Concepts for Trumpet' book, but can be adapted from Clarks or Arbans.

    Go to p. 4 and 5 in Vizzutti and look at exercise 3,5 and 6. Play these three exercises TOGETHER, while nose breathing ONLY and without removing/resetting the mouthpiece. You have to keep the chops in the 'play' postition during the entire exercise. The exercise starts on a 'G' in the middle of the staff, which is a very easy and comfortable note. My teachers take on this note is that whatever embochure you can use to produce a big, fat 'G' in the middle of the staff, should be the embochure to use all over the staff. The exercise then goes up to the 'G' at the top of the staff.

    This exercise is a tough, chop building exercise and is not designed for the beginners!

    Bill
     
  9. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

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    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Hey Bill,

    Thanks, your advice is noted and appreciated.

    I'm sure it was not meant in a derogitory way however to clear it up properly I'd like to note that Alex is a "pro caliber teacher!"

    Needless to say I'm comfortable with with my instructor.
     
  10. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

    488
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    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    No, I wasn't making any derogatory references to Alex. I knew you had traveled to Atlanta for a lesson and (reading between the lines) it didn't seem as if you had a local teacher.

    But, it seems that you do. I have to ask, though, John just how good is your local teacher? What Alex was teaching you is basic stuff that any conservatory trained trumpet teacher would make sure that any of their pupils were doing. Why didn't your teacher do that? Why hasn't your local teacher picked up on your use of two embochures and found a way to stop that practice?

    You don't have to answer these questions, as I'm not looking for to start a pedagological argument. I'm just suggesting that maybe you should evaluate if this is the right teacher for you considering where you are as a trumpet player.

    Something to think about....

    Bill
     

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