Starting the TCE set road

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Patric_Bernard, Nov 3, 2007.

  1. Bill McCloskey

    Bill McCloskey Piano User

    Apr 22, 2007
    I'm interested in this topic since I'm headed down this road myself.

    OJ: I see that you've bought the materials but I'm unclear how commited you were to this embroucher. Did you try it for a while and then find it lacking? Did you dabble (experiment) without committing to it?

    Personally, I'm not concerned about the "who uses TCE and who doesn't". All marketing materials are always suspect. I'm more concerned with : does it work?

    Here is my limited experience with it. I'm a comeback player, so my committing to it is less a risk I guess than someone who's livelihood depends on it. I had a lesson with Jerry last Friday. I have a lesson with saturday with Bahb.

    After my lesson with Jerry, I wasn't sure. It was so odd feeling, compared to my old method. And my tone sounded awful. I worked on it over the weekend and the first thing I noticed was that endurance was no longer a problem. It seemed like I could play forever and not get tired. Previously, even a short practice session was filled with lots of breaks and my chops just gave up after a relatively short time. Not a problem here. Also, the preasure and pain I felt with my crooked bottom teeth digging into my lower lip was also gone completely.

    My range went way down, not that it was great before hand. I could sort of hit a high c occassionally, but high G was the highest note I could hit consistantly. After the lesson, and using TCE, I struggled getting to a middle C on the staff.

    By Monday and definitely Tuesday, my tone was about 80% back. In fact it was a more interesting tone than I had before and much more flexible. My ability to quickly run through the chromatic scale improved dramatically ( I often had a blank spot between the low c and C# where I'd have to restart at the C# since I couldn't make a smooth transition between the two notes). That problem disappered. The endurance thing continued to amaze me. I just wasn't tired at all, no matter how long I played and I had to remind myself to take a break (I don't think my family is happy with this developement :) ).

    My range is now starting to come back as well. E above middle C was do-able yesterday and I'm sure that will improve as well.

    I'm looking forward to my Saturday lesson.
  2. oj

    oj Pianissimo User

    Sep 9, 2005
    Bill, I use TCE on all my horns.

    To say a bit more about my involvement:

    Some years ago I got a copy of a letter that Herbert Clarke wrote to Fred Elias. Clarke said he used a special embouchure when he was tired but had to play (with Sousa). Clarke call it a ”stunt”, and this is perhaps the reason why he never mentioned it in his books? Clarke says in the letter:
    I told this to Civiletti and Callet. Both were very enthusiastic about that info.

    I'm sure we can say that some players in the past used a type of tongue supported embouchure ("controlled" is IMO too strong a word).

    To go from saying this to saying that so and so (who now is dead and can't be asked) used TCE - is on the other hand silly (as I've already said).

    The tongue wedge you use in TCE is so special that I don't think you "fall" into it. You have to work on it for a long time (I'm still working on it).

    When you see Bahb - give my regards. I did an interview with him in 2003:

    Interview with Robert Civiletti

  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am not criticizing TCE as a valid possibility. I criticize typical players that "grab for straws" and cannot present a reasonable description of the present situation, what they would like to change and why a certain strategy makes sense. Throwing everything overboard is a last consequence in my humble opinion.

    I do advocate the use of the tongue in conjunction with the facial muscles to give a holistic solution. This is very well described by Earl Irons. This does not mean that all of my students are squeezed into this form. They play the slurs as part of a daily routine and I only get involved if I think what is coming out of the bell is not optimal.
    I prefer to polish edges instead of bringing out the jack hammer whenever possible. Only in otherwise hopeless situations do we start mathematically perfect. There we know from the get go that 6 months to 2 years could be necessary!
  4. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    Once again... I Will not give up and i'm not trying this as an escape. I did research it for a while before considering the switch. It WAS NOT just an out of the blue switch because I felt like it and because I saw about it on this forum. I have been working hard on this ever since I got my book. I can get a pretty solid tone (no where near great, but its ok, still a little tension in the throught however.) I can play a middle C (in the staff) with a little more strain, but I know thats not right. I will Continue working diligently on this. I am right now, just taking a frustration and tension break. back to it.
  5. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Straight up...voice of reason, right there. Not negative...just a word of caution coming from someone with huge experience. If you are going to go for it, do it intelligently by seeking out educated help throughout your journey. (ie: studying with Nick...Jerry....or another student of Jerry's). Go full bore. Anything less (in a situation like this) is just not taking it seriously enough - resulting in a statistically poor result.

    Wishing you "the" best.....
  6. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

    Oct 25, 2007
    First Telephone Lesson with Jerome Callet is today. I am really excited to see what he has to say. I think I'm on the right track, but I wont know until 11 today.

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