Proof vs Power of suggestion.

Do Heavy valve caps work? I think that several factors come into play here. Yes one is the power of suggestion. For some thinking an improvement will be made creates its own improvement. This is GREAT I wished everyone could experience this. Some don’t experience this because of TOO HIGH expectations. They had set up mentally for huge improvements and made some improvements. For some this means that they see no improvements. Finally there are those that want to prove or disprove something. Again they can show up so mentally biased that it is NOT possible for them to notice improvement. These are all REAL aspects that different people face when experimenting, testing, learning… They are not done this way on purpose it is basic human differences. I see it every day. One student wants something to work and makes big improvements. Another student wants PROOF. This need for proof […]

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Resistance in horns

Is there a tactic for these high note artists? Like a common resistance source? NO. There MUST be resistance somewhere in the system inorder for the notes to come out. However; there are several different ways to do that. The biggest problem I see everyday is that so many people mismatch their embouchure/mouthpiece/trumpet. They may even take a lesson here and there. But they jump from one end of the spectrum to the other. I get email from people who studied a closed aperture embouchure and try to use what they heard at a Shew clinic. Or some who study an open aperture embouchure and try something that Callet says. Again these people are mismatching techniques that CAN’T work together. If you are determined to be an open aperture player you need to work that approach and no other. If you opt for a closed setting don’t ask spread aperture […]

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What should my second horn be? C, Eb, Piccolo?

  WoW a different question for a change. The choice is very personal. It has a lot to do with where you see yourself playing. There are a great many people who feel the need for 2 Bb’s. A good lead horn with some sizzle and a more mellow heavier sounding horn for more serious playing. If you are a lead player who also solos then a Firebird might be a fun purchase. A C trumpet comes into play if you see yourself playing in a symphony a great deal. It also comes in handy for church players who don’t want to transpose. (Shame on you.) A cornet would be a choice if there is a brass band nearby or you get the Dixieland bug. A flugel would get some use in a jazz band if you held the hot seat otherwise it would never come out of the case. […]

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Jet-tone & Parduba mouthpieces

Are Jet-tone & Parduba mouthpieces good? A Parduba is a bad choice (as is a Jet-tone) for players who allow their lips to extend into the cup as they play. Those mpcs with little or no cup will stop the buzz as you bottom out. As for the Parduba Harry James played the HJ or shallow models. He had a pretty nice sound too. We should all do so well. I always liked the basic design but not the rim. There are a number of copies of this idea that are not as good. The Callet cv (the second cup is only 1/4 as wide and not as deep). Jet-tones use a similar idea but there is a curve instead of a shoulder ridge going from the first to the second cup. And JT second cups are not as deep as Pardubas. Schilke made a few mpcs with a widened […]

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Mouthpieces in Middle School

My daughters MS director wants all of the students to switch to a Bach 3. Is that right? Mouthpieces come in sizes like shoes do. Lips come in different sizes as well. Besides lip size the strength of the embouchure also comes into play. Some highly respected playing professionals play mouthpieces the size of a 7c, some smaller and of course some larger. Your daughters director feels that he should say something about mouthpieces but he does NOT know what to say. Most Band directors do not play every instrument well. Some colleges cover all instruments in 1 semester brass, woodwinds and strings. Some do not teach them at all. There are some playing tests that can help determine if your daughter needs to change her mouthpiece. One is how well she plays below low c. If a mouthpiece is too small the low notes do not respond very well. […]

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Asymmetrical mouthpiece

What about those asymmetrical mouthpieces? There have been mouthpieces made for people with mouth malformations that were Not symmetrical. The rim was offset to avoid a bad spot. A second type in an oval shape were made in the mistaken belief that it would help in the upper register. Think about a piano string it can play higher by tension or by making it shorter. Tension works to a point but after that the mouth corners should come in to shorten the vibrating surface. This was suggested by lots of teachers Farkas included. The oval shape works against this. A third type is an off-shoot of double cups. Instead of the sides being shallow and the center deep they make the top half deep and bottom half shallow. If you don’t place it perfectly on your lips then you end up with the shallow part stopping the buzz by touching […]

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