Rafael Mendez: The Legacy

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BrotherBACH, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    Heard Mendez and Moto Perp. yesterday. Just amazing to the point where you want to slap him. But like most greats I'll bet he was very humble, so you can't hate him :) But back to the OPs point. I too was tonguing wrong, anchoring tongue to bottom teeth. I've tried the advice I received on TM, especially to try DIT instead of TU. I'm having the dangedest time with it though. It's like my tongue is too big. Without the mpc I can easily say Tu but as soon as I try to say it/tongue it while playing I have to bend things into an unnatural position, spit starts coming out the sides, etc. The only way I've found is to pucker like I'm kissing or whistling, and that's very unnatural. So...could that be the case, that some people just have larger tongues and will never be able to tongue correctly?

    2nd point...the tongue really doesn't act like a piston cutting off air, or rather just cutting off air isn't enough. I whistle quite a bit, and separate notes by cutting off the air with my throat, almost like a cough. Works great, I get distinct notes, and can "tongue" this way very quickly. Doing the same thing with trumpet just doesn't work. The notes are still very mushy.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  2. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 11, 2011
    Claymont, DE
    I remember listening to Rafael Mendez albums during my high school days. Great, Great player who made playing the trumpet sound effortless.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It is a moot point when trying to compare the greats of our time and the past. Each player has their own mix of wonderful.

    Current inspiration when focussing on articulation belongs to Al Vizzutti. For my ears, he accomplishes the detail, cleanliness and precision that Mr. Méndez also showed. At least a worthy successor for those that are truly interested in getting a lesson............
  4. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I've seen Vizzutti in person and he just blows your socks off. I heard him pick up his horn cold, It had been sitting there for an hour during a clinic, and play an arppegio from low C to double C triple tongued up and down. He could do it in his sleep. But he is one of many current players who are just the best ever. But still Mendez played with so much passion and excitment. Fred Mills and Ronald Romm played that way for me. Thete are players out there that we've never heard about who can make feel their passion.
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Unbelievable. I sure wish they had left the mic open for another 25 seconds. Wouldn't you have loved to have heard that breath? I realize there were splices, but where was he sneaking in breaths.
  6. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    He was circular breathing the whole time.
    It took him years of incredible practice to develop circular breathing and double tonguing at this astonishing level.
  7. groverdot

    groverdot New Friend

    Aug 27, 2010
    I remember the first time I saw the Youtube video of Rafael Mendez play The Flight of the Bumblebee ... completely blown away. He's truly an inspiration.
  8. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Brotherbach, You teacher should be helping you with exercise that are easy for you to practice your tonguing on. Untill it starts to become second nature/good habit. When I work with my students it doesn't take them long to make the switch.
  9. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Thanks Bob. At my last lesson, my teacher had me play some double octave scales and he said that he did "not" hear any problem and say it sounds good. But, I will say at that time it was not easy. In fact, it was a real struggle\. Now, after several weeks of doing Clarkes I it is getting much better. In fact, there is a "dreaded" arpegio as part of a performance piece I have in two weeks that has starting to take shape. Every night I am drilling the phrase over-and-over again and I am starting to think it "can" be done.

    I have also incorporated tonguing into much more of my daily maintainence now. So, for example, when I do Section III from Colin's lip flexibiity, I slur and tongue each exercise. That has really help accelerate the process too. It only reinfornces that fact that I think brass is a real lonely process; just you and the tubing putting in countless of hours "figuring" it out because no one else can do it for you. ;-)

  10. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Most excellent.


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