Why Cat Anderson's mouthpiece worked for him.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Over the past year or so I have wrestled with the fact that my dynamic range is not what it should be. mf,f,ff,fff were no problem. I really had a hard time playing softly with a good tone. Sometimes the tone would shut down altogether. There were comments from section mates and my teacher that finally got me to put an honest effort towards playing softly. On the days that I remember to concentrate on soft playing my upper register works the best. My problem is that I don't always remember what works and I take steps in the wrong direction. I have not completely studied Cat's method. I know little about it other than the 20 minute G. What I have experienced is that when things are working above high c it feels no different than when I am playing a G on the staff at the lowest possible dynamic level. Who is to say if that is true? I may be doing something differently and not even know it. Regardless of high notes I am gaining new colors in my palette to paint with. The high notes will be a consolation prize.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Change that. I posted a link to his method earlier in this thread. Check it out and let us know what you think. Knowledge IS everything.
  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I can't believe that I am reading this in 2012!
    Cat Anderson worked his rear end off to achieve his skills. Jon works his butt off.
    It is not the size or shape of their chops that give them stratospheric range, it's smart diligent practice.
    I have worked with Cat, Ernie, Lammar Wright and many other players who shined in upper register, they were ALL hard workers on the horn.
  4. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    I would be curious to know how many people have tried this 20 minute G.

    How many have successfully done it???

    When I tried it .... I didn't last 20 minutes. That said to me that the whole program is TOUGH, and like Cat, will only get you higher if you work very hard at it. Just HOW HARD did the Cat work?? It would be interesting, I think, to get a glimpse of his workout. We tend to see just the results and not the hard work that goes behind it, and so naturally think there must be something special about him to be able to play the way he did. Sounds to me like that something special was a very solid work ethic.

  6. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Mendez said it this way.
    If you want to play loud, learn to play SOFT.
    If you want to play high, learn to play LOW.
    This is from a man who would often awake a 6 AM and practice until 12 midnight! Of course he rested as much as he played, but he was there for 18 hours!
    The truly great players have innate senses that the rest of us just don't have. That doesn't mean the rest of us can't become fine players and the world is full of fine trumpet players, but those greats have that innate "gift" to sort things out in their minds far quicker, which means that while they must practice (and practice they do!), their gifts and hard work mean they get to the uppermost level of performance far faster and they continue to work hard to maintain their excellence. Embouchure be damned! Bud Herseth (one of those extraordinary gifted people) stated there is nothing wrong with your chops. Your head is getting in the way. Vince Chicowicz was fond of saying everytime he called Bud's house, Bud was practicing. Doc is always practicing. The greats are always practicing.
    Paralysis through analysis. I suggest many on this site would highly benefit by spending less time on this and other websites and practice more. Make a weakness a strength. I just finished some Chicowicz air flow studies at a soft level. Very similar to Cat's method except the notes move up and down instead of a static long tone. The results are the same. A smooth air flow with only subtle, basically imperceptible lip movement.
    Folks need to stop fretting about this and that and how this one does it in relation to that one, etc. . Practice and things seem to work out.
    Rich T.
  7. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011


    What your posts suggests is that all one has to do to attain Cat's range is to practice like a mad man for years and years.

    I assure you that plenty plenty of us already do that and fall short of Triple C. Well short in fact.

    The ingredients of those who play easily in the area above and well beyond High G does not exist within the average trumpet player's chops. Conversely there are trumpet players of very mediocre ability who can play decent Double C's and beyond. They just don't care to put in the hours necessary to perfect their craft. In the later case they merely have a condition of elasticity and control through their lip/facial/teeth/jaw which makes these notes playable. Lacking the desire to excel we occasionally find them kicking around the community bands and other places. Within a few days practice each can blow great DHC's and higher without even practicing the rest of the year prior. Their technique otherwise stifled somewhere around a high school level. Except for the DHC's that is.

    Donald Reinhardt called these type "a physical accident over which they can take little credit for" loosely quoted that is.
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    TJ, I attribute my success in the high range with the 20 minute G (and that high range is varaialbe --- a decent high F, and before some physical problems this past year, and with a 3 hr workout each day on the horn --- it actually was a decent reproduceable High A. Now mind you, when I first started that 20 minute G (yeah a 2nd line G) how hard can that be?? but it is difficult, and it took a month or two before I could realistically and reproducibly manage a 2nd line G at ppp, and that was nearly 3 years ago ---- Does it work? I say definitely!! -- now can I do the whole Cat Anderson Method from the Roddy Trumpet page that GM listed? NO ---- but I do numerous long tones, and range studies, octave leaps, and intervals and such -------YOU know whatever this 47 ish year old body can handle as a 4 year comebacker. SO, In my mind -- if I was let's say 20 years younger, and the body wasn't taking it's normal course of aging --- I BELIEVE THAT 3-4 Hrs a day on the Cat Anderson Method, would have yielded AWESOME RESULTS ----- as I view it, the parts that I can do, still yield GREAT results for me, even though I am approaching 50 and took over a decade off the horn ---------So, if life tops out for me at a HIGH F, I guess I can live with that!!!!
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    There is so much truth to both camps here as we are all individuals with individual ablity. To some of us [I am not one of the lucky], technical skills come easy. To others it takes work. But when the two come together [finding comfort AND working with it] EVENTUALLY comes together. THAT IS what happened to Cat. One day it just clicked and he never turned back. We are all working toward that click. I am STILL working toward that click, but I have achieved many additional victorys along the way.
  10. peanuts56

    peanuts56 Pianissimo User

    Jan 18, 2009
    Many times we hear the phrase practice makes perfect. Years ago while teaching band at a local middle school I also coached boys basketball. I saw a poster for a clinic at a nearby high school and the clinician was a man named George Lehmann, he played in the NBA and the ABA in the mid 60s-to the mid 70s. His forte was shooting and during his clinic he stressed four basic principles and repetition to have the act of shooting become a reflex. He shot jumper after jumper while talking for about 90 minutes. My guess is that he shot the ball 200-250 times and he missed one shot! Half of his shots hit nothing but net. He used the term practice makes permanent over and over. I think this phrase applies to why Cat played the way he did and why Rashawnn, Jon, Arturo, Maynard, Doc etc. are or were able to do what they do. They put in the time to make the act of playing the horn an automatic permanent reflex. Doesn't matter whether it's trumpet, basketball or bagpipes, you have to put in the time. Practice makes permanent!

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