Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chris jankowski, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. chris jankowski

    chris jankowski New Friend

    May 29, 2004
    Hey, Manny -

    Thanks again for a fantastic weekend here in Rochester! It was great to hang and an inspiration to see and hear you play.

    Decided to quit lurking (!) and post here at TM...

    Today, I was trying the Jacobs 5-beat breathing exercise that you showed me and can see that it's going to be very helpful. However, when playing etudes, I still develop some tension after a period of time and have difficulty taking in a full relaxed breath. You mentioned that you have a great approach for this. However, we got to the restaurant, started talking about Indian food and politics, and I forgot to ask to about it again! Was was wondering if you could post it here.

    Best Regards,

  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Dear Chris,

    Yes, I remember my just about to tell you something when we walked into the restaurant and I swooned over the smell of cardomum and cumin and promptly forgot about all matters trumpet.

    What I was going to say had to do with a concept from Alexander technique that deals with the disengaging of tne joints. That is, if you can imagine that you have the ability to create spaces between all the joints and various connective tissue of the body you can imagine your self as an "exploded" trumpeter. It's not a concept of stretching as much as it is relieving the muscular compression that we can engage in when we play.

    You can get a better idea if you sit up right now instead slumping and connecting a marionette string on top of your head to be controlled by a master puppeteer who is actually you. That string goes into your head and end inside your chin. As the puppeteer pulls the string gently, your hands flop down to your sides, right? Because you're just a puppet. Now the other strings make you bring your hands up to play trumpet. Nothing else moves, just your hands. Add some more strings to your elbows and let them FLOAT up and away from your ribs.

    This bit up nonsense helps us to realize that we have to do things with our arms and torso that aid inhaling and exhaling. Get rid of the tension and you are able to employ the replacement breaths much more easily. It also keeps the bouyancy of the exhalation present instead of allowing it to become tight and less efficient. Look in a large mirror when you play and make the object a Sesame Street episode about how easy trumpet playing is. There you go: do a little skit for your daughter about easy and hard. She'll enjoy it and you'll get an even better idea of opposite ends of the relaxation spectrum.

    Stay in touch,

  3. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    A good Alexander teacher can do this thing where you lie on a table (or floor) and they gradually get you to relax your limbs and stretch them outwards. It really feels bizarre - like you're extending in all directions all at once!

    It makes you realise how much you normally compress your body just in everyday life.
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN

    Welcome to TM! I thought the orchestra did a fine job of backing
    up the Man(ny). :)

  5. chris jankowski

    chris jankowski New Friend

    May 29, 2004
    Thanks, Greg. The concert was a real kick for us. I didn't know that was you hanging with Manny after the first show - woulda introduced myself. We'll have to get together and play sometime!

    Manny and Jack,
    Thanks for the info. I'll give it a shot. I leave for a meeting in Hawaii tomorrow and I'm sure that'll help get rid of tension, too!


  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Oh, and by the way, Chris: you and Skip from Hawaii both suck!

    Glad spring is around the corner,

  7. Rimshot

    Rimshot Pianissimo User

    Feb 14, 2005
    Hey Manny,

    Last time I visited Minnesota was in the middle of July...93 degrees, humid, and was eaten alive by mosquitos. I also understand it gets cold in the winter. So, is there a good season to visit up there?

    (p.s., going to Hawaii this summer :-) )
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Mosquitoes and Minnesota... that brings back memories. We were on a road trip with the family from Alberta to the East Coast and back. Went through Minnesota and stayed overnight at some small, forestry campground. I woke up in the middle of the night because the mosquitoes were arguing about whether they'd eat us in the tent or take us outside. One of them settled the argument when he said "If we take them outside, the big guys will steal them from us!"

    I've camped in some "woodsy" places... but those mosquitoes must all be on steroids!
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    This year there will be random testing. If you go back I bet alot of them will look much smaller this season :lol:
  10. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    When it comes to mosquitos, I believe it's not the size that's the sheer numbers.

    As for when is the best season to visit here? I've lived here 12 years and I'm still trying to figure which is the "good" season....

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