Pencil Excercise/Mouthpiece Exercise

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BigSwingFace, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. BigSwingFace

    BigSwingFace Pianissimo User

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    If I might answer my own question like a jackass, I think the concept behind the pencil exercise is to teach the muscles to react to the increased air speed. The Bud Brisbois technique as described by Kurt Thompson just seems to promote aimless mashing of the muscles towards the center. Both might serve a purpose, though.
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    To be clear, I don't think anyone here believes that Bud Brisbois totally got his chops from an arcane chops strengthening exercise. He undoubtedly spent a lot of time in the woodshed working his chops the conventional way too.
     
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    No effect of airspeed improvement gained by proper pencil exercise!
     
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    That's what it takes ... practice, practice, practice and more practice ad infinitum or at least until you're dead.
     
  5. BigSwingFace

    BigSwingFace Pianissimo User

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  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Hisssssss
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Athletes do this all the time, but do so using their flexors and extensors as they will be using them in their performance range. Exercise of muscle will work for musicians, as the orbicularis is intended for use in vibrating the lip on the mouthpiece. Dangling the mouthpiece from the lip works on a completely different set (upper face) of muscle that ignores the orbicularis function.

    Using your Athlete analogy, this would be no different than telling a long distance runner to arm bench-press 300 lbs in order to run faster. Really?

    PS: Not bashing Pops pencil exercise (which involves fine motor action of the orbicularis) but dangling a mouthpiece from the lip will do nothing to develop the orbicularis.
     
  8. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    Let me preface my reply by saying that I believe there's a place for these types of ancillary exercises. Some people find them very helpful, which is a good thing.

    With that clarification in place, let me agree with the good doctor's comments. The pencil exercise is based on the believe that the corners of the embouchure do the work. Kind of like a guitar string, which is held down at both ends, and freely vibrates in the middle.

    However, the muscles in the middle of your lips are also doing work. In fact, they are likely doing the bulk of the embouchure work by supporting the aperture, and are not just freely vibrating. The corners (and other anchoring muscles that gmonday pointed out) deal with only a part of the equation.

    The PETE device, of course, has other exercises that work the middle of the embouchure. But I suspect it still focuses more on the anchoring muscles than the vibrating/aperture muscles.

    Mike
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There is no such thing as "fast air". The horn doesn't need it (we can replace our lips with a headphone transducer and get comparable results - no air is flowing!) and we certainly need to breathe in "human" intervals. Speed is only a visualization. A sixpack in the face is immediate destruction of all of the things important for "normal" players.

    I would not call it snake oil. I would call it stupid. Even a drinking straw from McDonalds or BurgerKing can get you focussing the the muscles towards the middle. I do not recommend replacing real practice though because the INTEGRATION of mind, body, brain, ears and chops requires a balanced approach to getting better.

    If the degree of integration is very high and you are playing a lot, PERHAPS some raw strength exercizes would not destroy something else. This recommendation is only to get the attention of wannabe jocks. I have no problem with them screwing their faces up.......
     
  10. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vUX_hX-fZs

    Mike
     

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