There was a masterclass given by Bobby Shew I went to a couple of months back that introduced the air pivot system to me (the actual name of it escapes me). Basically, as I'm sure many of you are already aware, the basic thought behind this system is that there are certain spots inside the mouthpiece where you aim your air according to which note you're trying to get (middle C is right down the throat, g in the staff is about a quarter of the way down from that, high G is just up from the throat, etc). Now, my teacher noticed that as I go up past middle C, I kick out my jaw a little to help with this pivot type thing and she thinks that this defeats the idea of having one setting with which to play everything in your range on so you don't have to change settings. So I put it away.
Today though, I was having a pretty demanding day. Assembly at my high school where I played lead in 3 pieces, the Last Post and the Rouse, a rehearsal for the aforementioned assembly, Jazz band (in which I play lead), and Wind Ensemble (lead again). I started to get tired about halfway through jazz, and then things suddenly got a lot easier. I brought my horn up basically parallel to the floor, eased off on the pressure just a touch and kicked out my lower jaw. Everything suddenly became ridiculously easy in terms of endurance and after the end of Wind Ensemble I was screwing around with my horn and I was consistently nailing stuff at the top of my range. After examining how in God's name I was doing this, I concluded that I was (unwittingly) using the pivot system. My questions are as follows:
1) What are your thoughts on the pivot system?
2) Should I change my setting to incorporate more of this outward jaw placement? It really does seem to help my endurance.
I plan on discussing this extensively with my teacher on Saturday but for now I'd like to hear your thoughts on the pivot system.