Should we always take the easy option?

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The pivot is not necessarily a hindrance, just like pressure does not have to be either. For many they are just temporary solutions and become less prevalent as the players tune into themselves and start listening instead of only broadcasting.

    The major factor for bad playing is FORCE, regardless of where it comes from. If we stop trying to NAIL or CONQUERING it, very often little voices have a chance to be heard - and I don't mean from the saxophone section..........
     
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    I really appreciate what rowuk expresses. But sometimes the "yoga-speak" / Monette-isms / mystic verbiage gets in the way.

    I'd appreciate more physically relevant terminology. Terminology like "body alignment", "relaxed breathing", "constant-pitch-center", etc.
    may mean something to people that are into Monette products. But for the other 99.9% of players they are just esoteric expressions
    they pretend to understand so as not to appear ignorant.

    So, maybe some more pedantic communication would help.
     
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  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Now don't go thinking I disagree with rowuk. I just don't believe in yoga. I believe in science, so more specifics and less mysticism is
    what I'm after.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey, I'm into pedantic!

    "Body alignment," as I understand it, includes things like slouching, hanging the neck or bending to one side. This is the kind of stuff the Alexander Technique works with. The cheapo Vulgano version involves getting our head as far as possible from our butt while pretending to be wearing a cape. Basically it is good posture without tension.

    "Relaxed Breathing," as I understand it, has to do with the tension in the time between inhalation and exhalation. This is where Rowuk's "Circle of Breath" comes in. There should be no time between the two. One of the 10th Army YouTube videos explains it as in saying "How to." The "how" on inhalation opens the throat and goes directly to the "to."

    "Constant-Pitch-Center," as I understand it, has two meanings. The first is that the pitch (if we remain neutral) will neither rise nor fall during a crescendo. Most mouthpieces won't. The majority will go rise with the crescendo, which causes us to lip down when we play loudly. This will tire us more quickly. The other bit is to have octaves in tune for C and G. There are some horns that allow the E at the top of the staff to be in tune as well.

    In those "Ford v. Chevy," "Mary Ann v. Ginger," "Jennifer v. Bailey," debates, we can add the "scientific v. mystic" debate. Go out and ask 10 or even a hundred people how to pick up a pencil. I would bet that they would look like you as if you are a crazy man, and if they answered it would be along the lines of "just pick it up!" Do you honestly think any one will explain to you how our brains interpret what we see and direct certain muscles (a true scientific answer would include the specific muscles) to grip the pencil with the right amount of force to hold it without breaking it and then the muscles involved in bringing it up off the surface? Is that how you learned to write? Is that how you learned to play trumpet? Is that the way anyone, anywhere has learned to play trumpet?
     
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    I too am an engineer, and deeply committed (as some have noticed) to an analytic approach. Recently I asked one esteemed TMer for advice on how best to gain control over double-buzzes and cracked notes. Essentially he told me to squint down at where the piece enters the receiver and imagine that was where the sound was coming from. Got to admit that at first I thought this one came straight from fairy ring and cloud cuckoo land. But do you know, it worked, and phenomenally so. Absolutely no idea why, and I don't want to know - might break the magic spell :-)
     
  6. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    However, if you are designing a robotic arm to pick up a pencil then this is exactly what you do need to know about...

    With respect to "believing in yoga", I have deeply religious relatives who frowned upon my trying out Tai Chi because it "went against their beliefs". What they meant was they were not happy that it has Taoist and Buddhist origins. The language used to describe and explain the benefits may be rooted in those traditions but as I with my "western" mind listen to this I reinterpret/translate the concepts in my own way. Kinking the wrist to increase energy flow? How about kinking the wrist to create a minor constriction in the veins thereby increasing the local blood flow speed into and from the hand? (Fridge engineers know this one.) Some days the sun rises, some days it's the earth turning...

    --bumblebee
     
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    But the fool on the hill,
    Sees the sun going down,
    And the eyes in his head,
    See the world spinning 'round.

    To get this thread back on track.... There's a general principle in my line of work that the theoretically most efficient engineering design for a given duty will be a beast to operate and liable to catastrophic failure. Making the facility safe and operable requires a great many compromises. To put this into a concrete example, most of us would probably be able to cope with driving from A to B at high speed in a top of the range Mercedes saloon, and yet few if any could handle the same journey in a state-of-the-art F1 car.

    Does the same reasoning apply to trumpet hardware? Is the 'perfect' trumpet unplayable? Are Harrelson's only of use to the baggy pant brigade?
     
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Buzzing is so overrated! I gain control by not buzzing... endurance increases, control improves. PERIOD.
     
  9. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    I sometimes wonder about this -- do some top-flight pros play special horns because they are top-flight pros? That is, those who have perfected their art, have put in the time and effort required and who would sound just as good (to me) on a simple Strad or Wild Thing, and for whom the special horn is a mark of their special status? Or are the special horns those F1 sports cars which far from being better for every player, require significantly more attention/training/ability to unlock/unleash their awesomeness, and in turn help the top-flight pros truly sound even better too?

    Considering this, I think my response to the original post is that the road that takes you where you want to go is the right road to take. If there is more than one road and the travelling time is about the same, I would take the more interesting one. If the needs of where I want to go next after I get to the first place I want to go to are better served by taking one path over another to get to that first place, then I should consider doing that.

    If the future "special horn" for me would require a certain kind of mouthpiece (just supposing) then I would probably work on that mouthpiece type during the preparation period on my "regular pro" horn, not actually selecting it because it is easier or harder (and it might be one or the other).
    On the other hand, given the time frames involved (for me at any rate), any special future horn is so far in the future (and very very low in probability), keeping my eye on that target would most likely make me miss all the targets in between, so I think I would always be better off focusing on the needs of my current horn and current in-sight targets.

    --bumblebee

    (sorry if that wasn't useful, or just repetitious...)
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I will not disagree here. I too am wary of any voodoo. To me however, the terminology fits. Yoga involves exactly what I am talking about: shutting up and listening, balance, low tension control. At a site like trumpetmaster, we have a problem with definition AND even more so with intellectualism. I have trouble teaching engineers that get hung up on ANALysing processes. For me, aligning the backbone is not something to be proud of-it is the result of a bigger goal.

    There is a spiritual part to giving a shit. The result of piece of mind out of the box is not unique to Yoga, most everyone can relate to the metapher.

    So, keep the Result in focus. Then it is less significant what we call it.
     

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