My observations and experience on Trying to find right embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by n8r, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. n8r

    n8r New Friend

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    My intent of this post was not for people to tell me what I need to do or how to play. It was to share my experiences thus far with finding what works for me up to this point with others who might be searching for ideas to play with in their playing who have had similar troubles to me and also to hear other peoples ideas and theories about what works for them embouchure and mechanic wise. I like hearing ALL views, theories, and ideas and then sifting through and deciding for myself what I like, don't like, etc. I will never again spend money on private lessons for someone to tell me I need to play like them and according to their interpretation of how to play the trumpet.

    I took private lessons my last year in High school and I've learned much more the last month by searching the internet and sifting through all the good and bad advice on other peoples interpretation on how to play the trumpet and experimenting to figure out how I think the trumpet should be played. I expect my views will evolve and I plan to always try to collaborate and rub shoulders with as many great trumpet players and musicians as I can and get their take and ideas on things. I know how I want to play and sound, and I know how to get there by listening, observing, experimenting, and practicing things I discover to be effective for me. I would much rather spend my time observing and sifting through the plethora of available ideas around the internet and listening/watching others play and use that to take what I think works for me to shape my style of playing.

    For example some people would say you need to sound like Dizzy Gillespie or Miles Davis so get them to teach you and get it together. Well I can't stand either of these trumpet players sound or over all style. They sound sloppy to me, I don't like the core sound these players play with, and would never want to sound like them. That is just their interpretation of how a trumpet should sound and though many people happen to agree and like them, I do not. I think I'm much better off putting together the trumpet jigsaw puzzle without paying someone to tell me how to do it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  2. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    I like that you are throwing this out here .. and it is your personal experience .. and you are having some success...
    I get you aren't looking for advice ...
    okay I feel the need to just throw this up there..
    A good private instructor will speed up your progress or anyones progress who is giving an honest effort..
    There are so many facets to being a musician, whose instrument happens to be trumpet. Instruction is much more than just playing high notes, proper breathing, mechanics.
    When I pull out a trumpet concerto ... I think about phrasing .. dynamics ... problem passages.. some interpretation and some technical issues.
    I found my best instructors will "talk trumpet" or music ... I learn by listening and watching them.
    Finally, a teacher won't always tell you what they see wrong or everything you need to work on ... it could be overwelming ... the good instructor has a plan which you may or may not be privy to.
    So, try not to be too hard on private instructors ... walk a mile in their shoes.
    Good job on explaining your journey by the way
     
  3. n8r

    n8r New Friend

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    Thanks, I appreciate your reply. I understand the benefit of having a good instructor for many people with goals that warrant it, and I'm not adverse to such instruction. For my personal situation, I'm in no hurry and I'm not willing to pay money for someone to work with me. If I were trying to play in an orchestra or be a professional musician I might consider it, but I am really just looking to take my time and pursue the trumpet as a life long personal enjoyment and to have the instrument as an accompanying composing/recording tool to the other instruments I play as I'm a singer/songwriter. The way I see it there is instruction all around me for free, good and bad. I wouldn't say that I'm not looking for advice or that I'm not willing to take it and hear peoples ideas, theories because I am.

    I don't want to come across as a stubborn closed minded person who thinks he has it all figured out and wants to argue with anyone who disagrees or offers advice. What i meant to say was that I like things to be presented to me and then choose for myself what I feel I want to apply and what I want to reject to shape my playing the way I want it to be. And vice versa, I enjoy presenting things to others I have experienced and letting them decide for themselves to use or reject it. What I don't like is a teacher or someone giving me advise or instruction and saying this is how it needs to be done, this is how you have to do it. The exception to this would be if I was playing someone else's music and they wanted it played a certain way for their performance cause it was their band, then I'm fine being told how to play it to meet their criteria. So while I see the value in a good instructor in many situations, for my own circumstances I see no value in spending money because my goals don't warrant it. There are so many other things more important to spend my money on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
    coolerdave likes this.
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    fair enough.. keep us posted on your progress
     
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I don't think there's much chance you would sound like either Diz or Miles, no matter what you do, even if you liked them (and they're not available for lessons). You should probably stay away from those sloppy jazz players, then, and go for the sound of classical players, who no doubt sound more precise. Yeah, Diz and Miles fooled a lot of people with their trumpet sounds, that is to say, a lot of fans.

    DIY rarely got anyone to their level. Intellectualizing trumpeting can be fun for a while, but if you want to get serious on the instrument, you'll have to get some lessons. I'd suggest finding a teacher who's playing doesn't sound sloppy to you so you can benefit from emulating, rather than intellectualizing. .

    Guitars, drums, singing, harmonica ...... those are DIY instruments. Not the trumpet. Just my opinion (and I play all of them), for what it's worth.


    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  6. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    Dizzy and Miles...... Sloppy...............Really ? Interesting...........Do you mean ALL jazz players are sloppy.....or just Dizzy and Miles ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I'm a jazz player and I'm sloppy. There, I've said it, and I'm not ashamed. No doubt, it's because I stopped taking lessons. :-(

    Now, I'm slogging my way towards the sloppy Diz/Miles ideal, without any precision from teachers getting in my way. :evil:


    Turtle
     
  8. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

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    First let me say that I'm glad that you returned to the trumpet and that you're excited about the success you've had. Being out of high school allows us to take a step back and remove ourselves from the seasonal concert routine and look at our playing from a more fundamental level.

    That said, I think you would benefit from getting some kind of professional instruction. You seem to recoil at the thought of paying someone else for telling you how to do something you can seemingly "figure out" on the internet, but IMO you're significantly limiting your possibility for success. You were an admittedly mediocre player many years ago in high school, so you really don't have any valuable experience/reference points to leverage during this comeback. You dismiss things like the Callet method as being too difficult and time consuming, yet you go on to talk about lots of other trial and error methods and imply that you're in this for the long haul.

    I'll very respectfully suggest that you do need to pay someone to start you on the right path, otherwise you'll likely never advance past the level you were at in high school.

    Kind of like someone who was a 40+ handicap golfer as a teenager deciding to play golf again without taking lessons. There's lots of information available, but the odds of making any changes to that handicap are slim.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Good job! I think that you have realistic expectations and a decent view of what needs to happen. Now that you feel comfortable, there are 2 areas that need your attention. The first is breathing and if you google "circle of breath" you will have my view and recommendation on the matter. The second issue is evolution.That consists of long tones and lipslurs that fine tune your face. I teach with Earl Irons lip flexibility book. My belief is that playing things that are good for you, improves you holistically!
     
  10. n8r

    n8r New Friend

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    May 10, 2012
    Actually I love a lot of Jazz, I just really dislike the sound and style of jazz that Dizzy and Miles play. I love stuff that melodically makes more sense and sounds better to me. Big band, New Orleans Jazz, etc. It's just my opinion and taste. I say Dizzy and Miles are sloppy players because every recording I've heard they often miss notes and have a terrible tone at times that I think people are pass off as artistic style. To me it sounds terrible. Melodically I there is very little going on in their trumpet playing that appeals to me.

    It's funny you say that DIY really won't get anyone to elite levels of playing, because DIY is exactly what Dizzy was. Kind of Ironic even if I don''t like his music.

    I disagree with you that any instrument is a DIY instrument. Unless a person is in isolation on an island trying to learn to play, it's not DIY. Listening to other players and recordings, as well as conversing with other musicians about how they play, and emulating what you hear, well that's not DIY. It's learning from what others have done. Instruction is all around us.

    The difference with paid instruction is that it's like someone sitting next you while you put together a jigsaw puzzle and telling you exactly how to do it as opposed to putting it together without a "master" at your side. Yeah, it takes longer and you might make a lot more mistakes, but in the end you still have the masters examples to observe which gives to know how the puzzle goes together and if you keep at it, eventually you'll probably do a pretty darn good job of getting there if, especially if you have talent.

    I think one of the huge advantages of a teacher can be motivation to continue. You have a paid, invested, interest and someone to help keep you on track. I understand the benefits of paying for instruction. I'm just choosing another path to get where I want to go.

    I stated earlier that my music goals are not aimed towards becoming what you would call an elite level player. If I am able to somehow achieve that the way I am pursuing the instrument then that's great, but that is not what I'm shooting for. I am SERIOUS about playing trumpet and learning to command the instrument to levels I consider talented and creative. Just because one takes an unorthodox or less traveled road doesn't mean they aren't serious about their journey.
     

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