James R. West

From time to time someone will ask me if my material/lessons would be of any benefit to a “serious” or “legit” player. Some even think that strenuous lessons might ruin them intrue terms of tone, flexibility… So I asked a man who is a College teacher, symphonic player and ITG presenter if he had experienced anything like this from the lesson I gave him. Here is his reply. OK, let me respond as a college trumpet teacher who has 35 years of teaching under his belt: HOGWASH!! In order to play higher notes on the trumpet, you need to make the air go faster. This is just physics! The rule applies to “serious” trumpet players, “legit” trumpet players, “commercial” trumpet players, “lead” trumpet players, “jazz” trumpet players, “Dixieland” trumpet players, and even “country and western” trumpet players! You make the air go faster by blowing harder, by making your embouchure […]

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Roddy Lewis

Hi ya from Wales UK! How are you? Would you consider adding a sound clip from me to your pupils page? I know we’ve never met but it was only after reading/playing your books did I get the range thing! I assure you that it was only your book (and Mr. Jacoby’s) which gave me the help I needed. If another teacher put up a page with clips on I would not consider sending a clip. I would be honored if you would consider me a pupil (albeit a remote one!) : ) Yours Roddy Lewis Author of “Embouchure Enhancement”

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Bryan Edgett

When I was playing in the Marine Corps field bands back in the mid to late 70s, I studied the Gordon method from Dave Evans, an excellent player and a Gordon student and colleague. (I might add that Dave had more technique than anyone I’ve known since.) I got some good instruction in reliance on the air, banging down the valves, etc. I did gain something from that method. I also used corollary methods (e.g., Colin, St. Jacome, Irons, Clarke.) Now, many years later and with much more experience, I dislike the Gordon method (NOTE–not the man) not for what it includes but for what it leaves out. 1) The size of the breath is only one component. Good breaths are relaxed in nature, too. 2) The arm pressure situation never is addressed in the book. While not everyone who uses heavy arm pressure fails, it does cause the failure […]

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Rex Merriweather

Hi Pops: The lessons are doing great. I can now keep my teeth apart to “D” over high “C”. Because of my playing schedule, I made this change gradually. I shocked a few band mates after a show one night as I glided easily up to and just over triple high “C”! It really helped me to except the fact that I could do it, hearing you play it. I wanted to thank you for the copy of your book. I have been using all three regularly and love the results! Mean while I am working hard to finish my C.D. I promised Nick Drozdoff a tune to use on his “Tpin” C.D. And I am incorporating some EXTREME upper register melodies similar to those found in ” The Next Level” into a tune I wrote for this album. I took your advice and have started incorporating some very high, […]

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Maggio Embouchure

The Maggio system was established because Louis Maggio had sustained an injury which prevented him from playing any other system. He tried a pucker instead of a buzz or a curl. This pucker allowed the bad tissue to vibrate in a different point and he could play. Maggio claimed that the pucker allowed him to not only play higher but also longer because the pucker made a cushion between the mouthpiece and the teeth. Carlton MacBeth was the main teacher of this method and he wrote a book which is sadly out of print. The last one I saw for sale was 895 dollars. This embouchure is elusive for some players. The pucker is so different from what they used before that they lose control and sound quality. Others do well. In this system you cushion the lips by extending them or puckering ( like a monkey ). In fact […]

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Lip Buzzing Embouchure and Mendez

Lip Buzzing This is the embouchure Mendez played. It is also what Clarke played. When Mendez taught a beginning student he made them lip buzz a month before he gave them a mouthpiece. He then made them mouthpiece buzz a month before he gave them the trumpet. By then they could change pitches and had decent tone. I use this embouchure on most of my students.He taught his own children this way and he toured with them playing trios for many years. He wrote about this in his book. The fastest way to successfully go to a closed embouchure is : Lip Buzz: (Like spitting seeds.) Do this 15 – 30 minutes a day. Buzz scales, songs, arpeggios, etudes…. Set your new embouchure: Buzz a note and while holding the buzz sneak the horn & mpc into playing position. Take ALL breaths through your nose (so you don’t disturb the […]

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