Trumpet Discussion Discuss When you were down... in the General forums; Hi Manny,
I'm a frequent lurker, but sparse poster....but I wanted to say that your story in the lesson fee ...
When you were down...
I'm a frequent lurker, but sparse poster....but I wanted to say that your story in the lesson fee thread about going to Jacobs in 1989 was interesting to me. I used to study with Phil Snedecor, and he talked of his experience with Jacobs alot during lessons...at the time, I was kind a hard sell on that school of playing (I was exceedingly chops obsessed) but recently I'm beginning to be more receptive to less "embo-centric" schools of pedagogy. I've found that when I engage my mind in musical/stylistic/dynamic/tone/timbre/color/etc. related things, all of a sudden I don't seem to notice my chops any more. It is still a BIG leap of faith for me, but I feel like I'm going through a VERY gradual shift in mindset.
Just out of curiosity, what kind of playing issues were you contending with, and what did Jacobs do to fix them? It is always interesting and refreshing when a respected pro freely talks of career threatening playing problems, and times when they were down...after they had won a job and become high-profile!
It was a tough time and I've written about it before but the bottom line was that I had a misimpression about "support" and was at the time in life where one's air use becomes a less subconscious factor than when you're younger. Add to that the fact that I was playing equipment that demanded more of me as an effecient player. I was getting by on a natural strength of chop but it wasn't enough anymore. The Monettes can only be played to an optimal degree when the body is relaxed and stable. My idea of support had too much to do with stifness and Arnold got me to understand about the natural ebb and flow of the abdomen and support as movement not stiffness. The results were immediate and I was my old self again except much smarter about respiratory function as relates to wind playing. I read all I could about it and gave up teaching for a while. When I started up again I began to develop my own style as a teacher, combining the musical with the physical and psychological.
So, some horns can be played with a stiff gut but you can't do that on my equipment and sound the way I like to hear the trumpet played. Between Arnold's wonderful pedgogical technique and the many, many talks I've had with Dave about body use (and a few Alexander technique lessons) I'm having the time of my life as a player and teacher. Most recently, since Mr. Vacchiano's death, I've rediscovered many of our lessons and have enjoyed practicing them. It's amazing how many things there are to practice. You really do need about 2 to 3 hours a day to get it all in but sometimes you have to make choices, so, you have to be very effecient about daily practice.
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