Should we always take the easy option?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

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    I also have not had time to read the entire thread, so that is understood.

    However, in my opinion, take the "easy" option only if it is also the "right" option.
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    NO!! STD stands for "Stupid Trumpet (or Trombone) Disease."
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not calling anyone "stupid", rather drawing attention to VERY common things that result in problems - just like you describe.

    Here is something interesting, the Yamaha is a horn with excellent resonant properties. There should be much less work with intonation when playing it IF THERE IS ENOUGH BREATH CONTROL TO SUPPORT THE SOUND. Yes, it is not the chops, it is the support of the standing wave in the horn that also keeps the lips in resonance with the horn. If you have time, read the thread at the top of this section of the forum: How a trumpet works". I describe the process in greater detail. Basically, our lips don't vibrate, rather open and close like a switch. We buzz into the horn and immediately a standing wave is set up that is based on length, taper and volume of the instrument. More efficient instruments like your Yamaha help greatly in this respect. Once the standing wave is set up, we only need enough air to keep the lips in free fall. The resonance of the horn keeps them vibrating at set frequencies until our air is gone or we squeeze off vibration. Big intonation issues mean that we are in some way preventing the lips from sympathetically vibrating with the horn (body use, breathing, pressure, bad hearing for instance).

    A pivot actually does change the resonant behaviour of the lips. That does not have to be bad and often enough is caused by deficiencies in the horn/mouthpiece combination. It is also a great compensator for sucky breathing, body use or sense of intonation - a bad thing! Squeezing makes our sound thinner, makes us reduce our breathing even more to lower the pitch. That increases body tension and a vicious circle of activity cripples us even more.

    When only certain notes suffer, I get really suspicious. Providing the horn is consistent (a 6xxx series Yamaha certainly is consistent!), there is no technical reason for this behaviour and that means only one thing: the player is bending everything out of shape. Again, this is NOT a function of embouchure. I suspect tension and breathing. Perhaps even serious compensation with the chops and tongue.

    I am convinced that your current direction is missing some very critical aspects and every post you write strengthens this belief. My take is that you need to get your body use and breathing straight before even considering anything else. My comment about replacing bad habits with new ones stands.

    Learning relearning is most efficient when we do not address the symptoms first, rather the illness that caused the symptoms in the first place. You can fight symptoms all that you want, you simply exchange old symptoms for new ones. This is exactly what you are posting here, and I don't understand the refusal to look deeper. Granted, all of the embouchure bullshit spread thick everywhere trumpet players may frequent make it sound attractive. The relative low quantity of success stories should make most at least suspicious.

    I do not post to damn you. I just call the shots as I see them and as you are not a student of mine, it makes no difference if you understand/accept what I say or not. If the foundation is not substantial, the rest will never happen. That is what YOU need to think about. Anyone slowing down development of the foundation is not doing you any favors. There are even more indicators in your posting, but I think that I have covered those that result in your present dilemma. If you fight them, why get even more detailed.

    By the way, serious stuff is actually only personal. The world is not a better or worse place because of my or your playing. A trumpeter more or less is insignificant on the grander scale of things. Me getting it right helps ME. If I don't bother, someone else is available faster than I care to think about.

     
  4. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Good advice. A bit stark for some, but still insightful.

    BTW, who started this "often misused" pivot idea anyway?
     
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    I used to play with all sorts of pivoting gyrations, and recognized it as a hinderance to smooth playing (among other things). I consciously worked on losing it, using flexibility studies with little to no movement of mouthpiece/trumpet attitude. It took a while to unlearn the pivot, but things are so much better for me without it.
     
  6. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Ditto.
    I think Manny was the first source where I heard that the pivot is not your friend.
     
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Because the devil is in the detail. I'm digesting every morsel that comes my way, and am eager for more. But we've got way off topic, so PM sent. This thread wasn't supposed to be about me.
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I love plainchant, and some of the old churches had resonant chambers built into the wall behind the altar. A very good thing for priests who could not sing.

    When we practice bending tones, we establish our ability to treat the trumpet like a megaphone. When we practice long tones we practice resonance.
     
  9. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

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    In my humble view, the whole pivot thing is misunderstood. It was first described when professionals started to approach embouchure in a rational, systematic way. Then some tried to recreate that without having the level of development that makes it happen in the first place. Just because the pivot can be observed in successful players does not mean that trying to create a pivot will make one successful. The pivot is likely an incidental consequence of good development for some players. Trying to emulate the pivot to unlock new notes is a little like trying to turn red in the face to see if that will produce a high register. The pivot is a feature of what some do with their face muscles when playing, not a mean to achieve playing.
     
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    One point we haven't addressed yet is the difference between "easy" and "efficient." I worked with a Japanese trumpet player in Germany who studied in Vienna, so he knew style, but after graduating he also studied with an American who introduced him to one of those "DHC in X number of Weeks" methods. He had crazy range and was a fine piccolo player, but his sound was like a laser even on a Ganter rotary valved trumpet. He didn't get many gigs as a result.

    A lot of "embouchure gurus" and method books promise to make playing the trumpet easier, and yeah, they can give us more range, but often other parts of our playing can suffer. We should be seeking a balanced package of abilities, and pursuing excellence in all facets of trumpet usually creates an embouchure that does it all and frees us up to concentrate on the music.
     

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