Stevens-Costello Embouchure Technique

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Chop-Doc, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

    Nov 16, 2005
    agreed...which is why the original poster with the sound clip should have stopped before the end of the 1st 8 bars and practiced phrasing and tone instead of pushing a high note method!!!

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    I would be very wary of any method that promises you the sky(screeching high notes), but which entails and requires florid alterations in your technique; not that most of us couldn't use some fine tuning in our technique. This has the potential of totally screwing you up due to confusion. I remember years ago when I played some golf for recreation and was introduced to some one with a "different appraoch" to the golf swing. I naively fell for it, took some lessons that totally ruined my game, so much so that I gave it up forever. Beware of saviours, religious or otherwise.:huh:
  3. bsakoi

    bsakoi New Friend

    Jul 22, 2009
    I agree w/RobertSlotte and Champ. Years ago I was in Local 369, Las Vegas and had the privilege of being a section player under some the greatest lead players, Stu Satalof at Caesars, Charlie Davis, Tony Scadwell at the Frontier, Al DiRisi and Tom Perello at the MGM, Joe Graves at the Sahara. There are more I've forgotten over the years and I purposely left out the more or less one dimensional former MF leads that came to town and struggled.

    Satalof had a warm big sound and by the time I had quit, was commuting to LA and playing for Hanna Barbara I believe. He also played the Merv Griffin Show when it aired from the strip. Davis and Scadwell were leads at the Frontier. I didn't know Charlie that well but remember Tony was a versatile player and could play with a very legit sound as well as lead the entire orchestra. DiRisi was a legendary player from NY who worked for NBC. Tom Porello (sp?) was the former lead of the Harry James band and lead at the MGM, totally solid, never overbearing or overpowering but you alway knew how he was going to lay down his part. Joe Graves had the biggest sound. I believe he played lead for the Casa Loma Orchestra. He swung harder than anyone I ever met. I loved working Tony Bennett and Mel Torme in his section.

    Lastly, although he was not a local, I sat next to Snooky for a week at the Sands playing for Doc. What a sound! Hard to describe, the way it would just ring.

    To get back to RobertSlotte and Champ's point, all these guys were consumate musicians. They had great sounds, accuracy, could sight read fly u-know-what, swing and LASTLY had range. Not a single one ever talked method books, range, mouthpieces or horns.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
  4. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    That may be true, but then, how will anyone ever know how they did it? Perhaps some can discover the secrets of the universe on their own (Einstein and Hawking seem to be able to) but the rest of us need some help along the way. Maybe it comes down to pure, dumb luck when we find a tutor that knows a way that matches what we need versus the one that takes us totally in the wrong direction (which worked for them) and causes us to hang it up forever. So far, I feel that I am making some progress with what I am doing so I am very reluctant to start new approaches. But, in the end, if I hit a wall, I may need to take a flyer and try something and just hope that it helps.
  5. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    I'd like to play a bit of a devil's advocate here (as Comback Kid seems to be doing, as well, at least a little bit...)

    I am NOT going to comment on the site post by Chop-Doc other than to say the site is well laid out and looks quite nice. There are a couple of remarks posted in the site and pictures that are quite revealing and interesting, if you look carefully, and FWIIW, one COULD pick up some good ideas, if you know what to look for! I thought the look of the video clips was excellent! They're very well done.

    I have read quite a few method books ranging from Claude Gordon to Walt Johsnosn to Jerry Callet to Maggio to Caruso to Glasel and more. As a kid in high school I was NOT gifted with high chops. In the end I sorted it all out for myself, BUT, I had a lot of positive input and learing from a great variety of folks via these method books.

    I will agree that any method that sacrifices tone and musicality for range should be regarded askance. However, from looking this site over, I'm not prepared to say these folks are doing that. I'd have to dig deeper. I don't get enough info from the site to draw that conclusion.

    IMHO (emphasis on the H), I believe we all end up playing OUR OWN WAY and mentally imaging our techniqes in our unique way and these ideas end up being a hybridiziation of every idea from every teacher and book we encounter along the way. I would not say that any one method book provided me with a clear path to success exclusively, but they each offered ideas I ended up using at least in part. So, I am always interested and open to different ways of thinking. I don't think there is any harm in that.

    I DO bristle a bit at a marketing technique that offers a method as THE SOLUTION! If I may be so bold, I would venture to say that the thing that has some folks steamed is the fact that this seems to have been done here. If a little less hurbris was present on Doc-Chops original post, I wonder how upset folks would be. If the C-S method were presented as a viable approach, but not the absolute BEST thing since sliced bread, would be a bit more open to it? It's hard to say.

    Folks have presented clear points in all their posts, and I am not trying to offer any dispute to anyone. I'm just wondering if we might give the Chop-Doc a chance to try to share his ideas in a little subtler fashion. I guess I'm saying, MAYBE we could cut a little slack here. Just a thought.

    OK, I am rambling, and I have to walk my dog, so I'm going to shut up. I hope I didn't offend anyone!


    Thumper's Mom
    er, uh I mean...

    DanZ_FL likes this.
  6. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Yeah, that is what I was trying to say only you said it better. Thanks.
  7. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria

    can you elaborate on that? What do you think that we should look for? Or to paraphrase, what do you look for? And eventually what have we missed....?
  8. NickD

    NickD Forte User

    Well, I hate to tip another magician's gaff, but here goes. I mean it is ON his site.

    OK, I was fascinated by the little picture showing a cross-section of a trumpet mouthpiece with a little symbol showing the air stream going upward. Well, in MY mind the move required to do this squares with Walt Johnson, Reihardt and others, including me. I achieve part of my upper register by lifting my bottom lip up towards the top as I ascend in pitch (this is an oversimplification, but sufficient for now). Well, I can see an effort to direct the air upward like that as developing a similar move, IMHO. Well this piques my interest.

    Next, in some of the text he discusses in his site, somewhere the merit of static tones pops out. I have seen this before and in different contexts. Now, I tried to contact the folks about this, but they haven't gotten back to me. So this is total conjecture on my part. To be truly fair to the folks of the C-S method, you should try to get this from them.

    Here's MY take. If you can produce high squeaky static filled tones by using moves suggested in the picture, you should be able to harness those tones and turn them into high notes. It's sort of a Fourier decomposition thing. If you've got a lot of white nose and want some high notes, scrape off the bottoms. This is similar to my squeak tones. I think it connects with things I've heard Roger Ingram discuss.

    So, I guess I'm saying that I'd like to see a lot more before I pass judgement. In fact, I stand by my premise that if a method helps just ONE player improve his/her life, then it is good. I can see the possibility for that here.

    Just my HUMBLE opinion! I also hope that sort of answers the question.


    I've GOT to get out of here!

  9. chenier

    chenier New Friend

    Jan 8, 2010
    I need find the book ¨ stevens-costello Triple c embouchure Technique¨ edited by William Morarty.
    Now, i am student of trumpet and really need this book because some friends took to me that this book is very good to learn to play in the hight register.
  10. Chop-Doc

    Chop-Doc New Friend

    Aug 25, 2008
    Dear Chenier,
    Thank you for your reply. The Costello book and DVD is available on my website Take your time in making this
    embouchure adjustment. You will be rewarded. :play: Al Geller

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