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 of many. The closed aperture is far more effective.
3) It is not self-monitoring. It is possible for well-meaning students and teachers to use the book and overdo it believing that they are doing precisely what they are supposed to do. It is kind of like self-help electrical wiring books. It has a lot of good information but it can be devastating when used by those without proper supervision. John’s explanation of what Mr. Gordon meant by “Don’t hold back” is a perfect example.
I have been a list member almost the entire life of TPIN. I’ve read a lot of drivel here. But when it comes to trumpet pedagogy (and my doctorate was in trumpet performance and pedagogy) Pops’ information is excellent. I read most of TPIN’s pedagogy posts. Among the pedagogical contributors, many of whom are very good, 3 stand out as first-tier in my judgment: Clyde, Jeanne, and Pops. These three have gone above and beyond to dispel misinformation, communicate good information, and help TPIN’s readership time and time again.