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Trumpet Discussion Discuss 2 Exercises... in the General forums; BUM, one of the best ways to help yourself play in a more relaxed way is to move your practice ...
  1. #11
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    one of the best ways to help yourself play in a more relaxed way is to move your practice time to a lower tension time. If I come home from work and try to get a half an hour in before dinner, that is exactly what happens - I SQUEEZE something into an unnatural time frame. I spend that time with my kids instead. Then we have dinner together and then I go open end into my practice time. The same on the weekends that I don't have gigs. Take care of the family first and then reward myself with a great relaxed practice session!
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    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  2. #12
    Piano User Bloomin Untidy Musician's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    Cheers Rowuk,
    I never thought about practise sessions like that.
    I suppose you could take that to the extreme of fitting practise within your biorhythmic cycle. Now that would be a silly, knit picking thread!

  3. #13
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    It would be less invasive if you practiced to your WIFES biorythmic cycle...................
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  4. #14
    Forte User Patric_Bernard's Avatar
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    Oct 2007

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    you are asking the impossible as we can't see if you are doing the exercizes right, if the rest of your routine is too short, if you are getting enough tunes in.

    I will NEVER recommend DIY embouchure changes as they most often mess up more than they help. IF you get professional help, there is still no guarantee but the chances are better.

    I consider embouchure methods to be like dieting. The first couple of weeks you are motivated and things seem to get better because you have lost some weight. For most dieters after 4 weeks there is no improvement because the first couple of weeks was just water loss and no real change. When the going gets rough, most quit and try to find another diet that is easy and promises even more with less work. The real problem is between the ears, not around the waistline (wasteline).

    The same is true with embouchures. The first couple of weeks, you are really paying attention to your chops and every somewhat higher note is judged a major success. After a couple of weeks, the player discovers that their playing has NOT really improved and they look for the next promise (lie).

    I am not saying that diet or embouchure method XYZ is good or bad. Most all of them have some success stories. What I am saying is DIY embouchure is very seldom successful because the player that is trying to teach themselves has no idea what to look out for - or what dangers are involved. The change is between the ears nowhere else!

    The method with the best chances is to get a sound, DAILY, basic routine that is safe. Buzzing, long tones and slurs all played very softly, cleanly and precisely. After that you play some tunes and at the end technical stuff. Never beat your face up when practicing and only go after high notes with musical content - instead of stabbing at high notes, play some Clarke technical studies up an octave. THAT will build high chops that are good for more than annoying sax players.

    Leave embouchure changes alone unless you have professional help. The odds are miserable and hardly anybody has enough time to practice anyway!!!!!!!

    Listen to him when he says this... I tried switching to another embouchure by myself. I understood the concept, I understood how it worked and how to practice, but I did not know what to do to get better with it. How did I know I was doing it right??? I switched back, and got back to where I was. Just stick with what you have and improve on that. Get a teacher and have him kind of guide you along.

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  5. #15
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    Jun 2013

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    Try the pencile exercise without using the pencile,Just hold until you feel a burn,release and flutter you lips to loosen things up, repeat up to 3 times and for not more than 4 minutes a rep.I think this helps with your stamina but not much else.You can do this anyware an not look like a crazy man with a pencile hanging out of your mouth. I do it on the bus ride to work in the morning.

    I do this quite often when I can not practice or my wife tells me to she needs a break. usually she tells me to take the Dulcimer out in the pavilion cause I need a break! Oh,...i do it without pencil/pen' That's an old Phil Driskoll thing, he sold videos of this "Perfect Position" method.

    I also wonder if people think I'm a "Grumpy Old Man" with my lips all puckered askew. The kids on the street do stay away from me. But at times I do think it helps at times.
    Perhaps it's also the times when i practice more?
    Yah,....people on the bus will probably simply move away! LOL again!

  6. #16
    Utimate User gmonady's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    How do you guys find these Zombies? And number 2 yellow pencil dye... doesn't that eventually turn you into a Zombie?
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  7. #17
    Mezzo Piano User Churchman's Avatar
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    Apr 2012

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    After a few months on the comeback trail I have decided that I have a 'churchman' embouchure.
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  8. #18
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    Aug 2009
    Jackson NC

    Re: 2 Exercises...

    The "pencil" and "button" exercises IMO are rarely done correctly ... and where is the fault? The answer to this lay in the failure of adequate instruction, written or orally provided. First, I don't think the usage of an ordinary pencil is very hygienic to be placing in your mouth. Too, the best results have nothing to do with added weight. To understand this, I can only suggest one utilize the lips' own strength to press on the "pencil" alternately pressing and relaxing. Some physiologists may call this "dynamic tension" as did the body building techniques of Angelo Siciliano aka Charles Atlas to which he legally changed his name, but the USAF called it isometric exercises and requires no expensive equipment. The "button" exercise is a interior pull against the lips, again resisted by the strength of the lips. IT IS NOT A JERK OF THE BUTTON OUT OF THE LIPS as will usually cause bruising . Yes, these two exercises are incorporated in a device called P.E.T.E. marketed by Warburton, and this is what I use and clean regularly to maintain it as hygienically as reasonably possible. With my age and health I am not saying I achieve optimum results, but I'm no longer concerned about my lip embouchure either. Too, it has raised the eyebrows with curiosity of those who have seen me using P.E.T.E., even by Doctors and nurses who attended me during my lengthy stays in the hospital. Yes, I say our individual lip physiology also interplays with our embouchure, but our own accommodation usually overcomes this if we adamantly persist in playing our brass instruments, and to this end I've seen many on the marching fields and stages that have accomplished such. For an instructor/teacher to characterize such as a deficiency is akin to calling a student a dunce because at the moment the correct answer is not known. No, no student of mine will "sit in the corner" with a dunces conical hat on their head, as historically some teachers had their students do.

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