Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1991 - Claude Gordon on Embouchure and Mouthpieces

Transcript Summary

In the first place, today we study the whole rest of the book, starting on page 29, the lips, the lips and mouth pieces placement, the muscles of the lips and the face, and the figures of the right hand, which we discussed, the left hand, and mouth pieces.
I'm going to discuss mouth pieces, even though it probably do no good.
It's acting the top mouth pieces that are blue in the face, and it will still go out and get into the troubles.
Remember, changing mouth pieces is the beginning of the end, especially the rim.
You know, you get a mouth piece when you're young, if you get the best mouth piece you can find, and never change.
You grow to that mouth piece, especially detrimental to changing the rim.
Now, I'll get into that more as we go, but the rim is a very personal thing.
That depends on the sensitivity of your face, like the facial structure of your teeth, and so forth.
So, the rim depends on your personal feel.
I've had many students that have, play a very fine mouth piece, but the rim is never right,
and they finally get the rim that they like on the mouth piece, and then they do fine.
So, the rim is very personal.
Now, the lips.
And you'll see in the brass book, it starts out on number four.
Contrary to popular opinion, the lips do not play the horn.
Now, let that sink in.
The lips do not play the instrument.
The only function of the lip is to vibrate.
I'll talk about that because I want you to understand that they are a vibration medium, and that's all they do.
Now, if you're constantly thinking about, I gotta get my lips tight, you're actually shutting the vibration off.
They're never that close together.
And if they get too close together, it shuts it off.
They must vibrate.
Now, we've discussed a lot about embouchure.
Who can tell me what is the embouchure?
They didn't know it, but he did.
So, I watched him, and I couldn't find out there.
I knew there was a common denominator somewhere that made him have that wonderful, strong attack.
And then I lost him one day, and it started to come together.
Every time that horn came up, that tongue went into the mouthpiece.
Just before he played.
Didn't change anything.
And then he played normal.
So, I thought, I'd try that.
It just worked miracles.
Never did that attack close up again.
Now, it didn't start working right away. I had to get used to it.
And then finally, I could get that tremendous explosion attack.
And little things like that mean a lot.
The trouble is that if you tell someone about it, they overdo it completely.
Overdo it.
Like you tell them, well, the lips contract like in Clark's book.
And I made a thing, a systematic approach.
There's a diagram. Did you get your book?
There's a diagram in there.
Before I was explaining that the facial muscles actually are set to lift.
But the facial muscles actually, and they grip.
Just like you get a hold of something.
And I tried to explain that, that it's in there with little arrows, that the lip does this.
I find guys practicing, back there, trying to pull up.
I didn't mean that.
That's the way it works. It'll work that way anyway.
Now, forget it.
The best advice I can give to any player, forget the lip.
If you leave the lip alone, it will take care of itself.
Its only function is to vibrate.
What channels the pitch?
The tongue.
What does the word?
So what are you worried about the lip for?
I have students come in, lesson after lesson.
It'll be a long time before they finally learn.
I say, well, my lip better.
And I say, I don't want to hear a word about your lip.
The next lesson, they go, well, what about my lip better?
I say, shut up.
I don't want to hear anything about your lip.
And finally, I get them to forget the lip, and then they play.
Now, Carl, when you play, do you worry about your lip?
How about you, Larry?
Frank, do you worry about your lip when you play?
No, you don't think of it. That's what I mean.
I told you last night, if I had to wait to play a concert,
my lip feels good. My family would be sorry.
You forget your lip.
Now, you watch Larry play. Larry has tremendous range, everything else.
In fact, Larry is a tremendous talent.
He plays in the opera up there. He plays the symphony.
He plays all the big shows.
And he put that mouthpiece up, and I watch him when he plays,
and sometimes it looks like it's way over here.
It'll move on it.
Now, if he worried about that, he'd be over in the mirror,
probably wouldn't play a thing.
So forget your lip. It must vibrate.
And the more you worry about it, the more you're going to shut that vibration off.
That's one of the terrible things that's been handed down,
the lip, the lip, the lip.
It gets the blame for everything. It gets the credit for everything.
So if someone plays good, you hear a guy play great,
what do you generally say?
He's got a good lip.
If he plays poorly, what do you generally say?
He's got a bad lip.
If he plays great, what does he say?
He's got a natural lip.
Everything is on the lip.
Have you seen here, seen an unnatural lip?
I don't know what it would look like.
We all have a natural lip, but all our lips are shaped differently.
So there's no two players going to look exactly alike.
And yet, you're trying to always see a good player,
you're trying to look at his lip and see what he's doing.
If you could, if you looked at his lip, what would it tell you?
You could watch somebody play all day.
I used to do that. I looked at Clark when he would demonstrate
my lip and see what his lip was doing.
I still didn't know.
And if I did know, there was nothing I could have done about it.
But the lips do not play the instrument, they vibrate.
There are seven items that play the instrument.
Wind power, tongue level, wind control, the lips that vibrate.
Facial muscles, fingers to the right hand, the left hand.
Those are the seven items that must be developed.
I don't care what you're going to play.
Once those are developed, and you're a player,
now you can play anything you want.
You can play jazz, you can play symphony, you can play rock.
If you have those seven items developed.
Who can tell me what constitutes the biggest help in endurance?
Wind power.
If you're inhibiting the lip movement by pinching it up or something like that,
now you're inhibiting your endurance too.
I'll turn over to Paige in fast playing and look on page 30.
I had a wonderful cartoonist out at MGM give these diagrams for me.
You notice that the top finger, his lips go up.
The middle finger, they go down.
Some players, when they play, the lip goes down like that.
Some go up.
Some come down on one side and up on the other.
It doesn't make a big difference.
It's just the way their face is constructed.
So when you're watching somebody play, you're looking for those things.
You see, his mouth goes up here and down here.
How are you going to try and imitate that?
It wouldn't be very easy to do.
And there are many so-called methods that advocate that.
Your lips will tighten or loosen according to the facial structure,
which everyone may look different.
Don't study someone else to try and see how they look,
because you may not look the same at all.
See, what everyone is looking for is some little thing that they can latch onto
that they think, oh, that's going to do it.
And then they try to make that work and wait for the miracle to happen,
which never is going to happen.
It's simply a matter of gradual development of the natural elements that make that work.
The natural elements apply to everything.
A mathematician has to go to the natural elements to figure out.
Like you have direct North, you have two Norths,
and they have to take this into consideration.
How did they put a man on the moon?
Now they're thinking about putting the garbage on the moon.
That would be a disaster.
And I read a lot of the long after the other day.
To get rid of the garbage from the earth, take it to the moon.
Start ruining the universe too.
Anyway, how did they put a man up there?
By studying the laws of nature.
It wasn't because man was strong enough to do it.
He used the laws of nature.
Everybody does that.
Like if you fly an airplane.
I had the pleasure of flying for 20 years in the air.
And boy, I learned a lot about playing trumpet and flying that airplane.
Because an airplane flies by the natural elements.
That propeller doesn't pull it up in the air.
It's very simple.
The curve of the wings and the whole airplane, and it creates a lift.
That's why you can, how many thousand pounds in a jet?
My goodness, they can lift locomotives and everything in a jet.
How does that do that?
The natural elements, it's just a lift.
And it goes up very easy.
So everyone uses the natural elements except the brass bird.
He never thinks of them.
But you've got to do it.
Arben, I mentioned, how many have your Arben's book?
What page was that, Tom?
Where's Tom?
Let me have your Arben's book.
It should be like Clark.
We asked him, Arben, let's do an Arben thing.
One page, 203.
They go ahead and they play it.
A lot of them like that.
They knew that book by absolute memory.
You don't see that much anymore.
Clark had a black player, student, back in the Midwest.
He just loved his student.
He was totally blind and his right arm was gone.
He played everything there was to play and more.
They could pick up the two of them and take a page out of Arben's and play it.
He had memorized everything in Arben's.
He had memorized everything in St. Jacoby.
Now, if he does that, what's wrong with the rest of us?
Look at the handicaps that man had.
Now then, on page seven in Arben.
If you'll notice, it says a mouthpiece position.
You all have that on page seven.
Share your book with someone if they don't have it.
I want everyone to see this.
Okay, now I'm going to read on the mouthpiece position.
It says, the mouthpiece should be placed in the middle of the lips.
Everybody took that absolutely literal.
So that the teaching came down, that mouthpiece has to be right in the center.
That's not true.
It could be over here a little, it could be over here a little.
It doesn't matter.
That depends on the shape of your teeth.
Now he says two-thirds on the lower lip and one-third on the upper lip.
Now notice down in the footnote.
And I mentioned in the footnote there.
I went through this whole book and put footnotes to explain what was actually meant.
But I never changed anything in the text.
I added with the footnote.
And I left the old revisor's footnotes in so you could compare and see where errors were made.
Now everybody put their own interpretation.
You can understand that in those days.
It's just like Frank brought up last night.
Those poor guys, they had a rough time.
They didn't have the education, they didn't have the opportunities to gather together and find out.
So everyone put their private interpretation on these statements.
The book would be sent to the United States.
It didn't have anyone to talk to.
So they put their interpretation on it.
And this is what happened.
But notice that Arvin was not dogmatic about that.
The next sentence, let's see, one-third on the upper lip.
At any rate, this is the position which I have adopted and which I believe to be the best.
So you see, there was still open for discussion there.
Now it turned out that that was not the best, as was proven over the years with great players.
Now in Saint-Jacques, incidentally it would be a good idea to take this annotated Arvin's and go through the book and read all of those footnotes, both of them.
But one reviser had in there that diaphragmatic breathing is the new way of breathing that is beneficial for many things.
He was absolutely wrong.
That was his idea.
But I left that in there.
Then the critics are going to bring out, well, yeah, but that's his idea.
All right.
In the back of the book, you will find the original Arvin as it was in the original book.
So everything is covered.
So the critics have to be a little careful, too.
Now take your Saint-Jacques and share the book if others don't have it.
Can I have a Saint-Jacques, Bruce?
The placement of the mouthpiece is very important.
I told you to forget the lip, but the placing of the mouthpiece is important.
I'll go on with that.
Now in the Saint-Jacques old book, on page one, you can just tear that page out and throw it away.
That was strictly added by a reviser, and there's some ridiculous things in there.
It says, do not attempt to play much triple tucking.
It is seldom called for except in solar.
That's the dumbest statement I ever heard.
You have to train that.
If you've never tripled tongue in your life, you have to train it.
And Saint-Jacques is a book on tripling double tongue.
So see, these kind of things measure the length of breath by the length of the phrase to be played.
Now that's, I'm going to be very frank, that's a dumb statement.
What if that phrase is a high F, eighth note, and you're empty of air?
The air is what makes the horn work.
So that was put in there by some reviser.
I don't know, but in the new book I took that up.
Now on page, let's see.
It should say in there something about mountainous placement.
Let me see.
Yeah, here it is.
In the undertone production, the second paragraph, fourth line,
It says, place it in the center of the lips, one third on the upper and two thirds on the lower.
That's exactly the same as in the Arben book, isn't it?
But that isn't what Saint-Jacques said.
Some reviser has taken the Arben text and put it in the Saint-Jacques.
Now fortunately, I have one of the oldest Saint-Jacques in existence.
And I got it from Herbert Clarke.
He gave me some things that were really treasures.
Now, here's what the original text said in Saint-Jacques.
Now listen carefully.
He said, the mouthpiece should be placed toward the center of the mouth.
He said, a little to one side or another is used by most players with no seeming credit or discredit to their playing.
Place it unevenly, two thirds on the upper and the rest on the lower.
Now that's a general statement.
We can't measure two thirds on the upper, one third on the lower.
So the French horn players had the edge on that because they've always been told that it's up high.
So that is proper up high.
Now he said, two thirds on the upper and the rest on the lower.
According to all professors and one third on the upper and two thirds on the lower,
according to one sole individual whom I shall not measure.
Now that's the original text.
So you can see he and Arben were like this.
But the exercises show that basically they play exactly the same way.
In other words, what made it work was the same.
So remember, now if your armature is way down here, it should be changed.
It should be up high.
Now Clark was very kind and all in his book.
He said, place it right in the center, half and half.
That makes good sense.
And that didn't step on anyone's toes or anything else.
And it was still high.
Now sometimes it may look lower, but if someone that knows really examines it, it'll be high.
But on the outside it might not look as high.
It depends again on the shape of the lip.
I don't, when I start a student, I don't generally talk about, well, get it high up there.
I just put the lower lip, the mouthpiece right on the edge of that lower lip.
And that's the only time you buzz to set that armature and get the feel.
Then I have it buzz, take it off.
Buzz, take it off.
And that's the only time they look in the mirror because they don't know yet.
But they can buzz it and make sure it goes right there and take it off.
Buzz, take it off.
Until finally, every time they put it up, it'll go to exactly the same place.
Sideways doesn't make any difference.
It couldn't be a little lower here.
I played so many wrong ways in my life.
And that was actually good in a sense because I think I played every wrong way that was ever devised.
So I know what it is and what it feels like.
I had armature from here to here.
I could play anywhere on my mouth.
I had armature up under my upper lip, which that was a disaster.
And I used to try to curl the lip.
You never curl that lower lip in.
Even in Smith in his book, wonderful trumpet player.
But he said, as you go up, the tongue rises.
And then he said, the lower lip slightly pulls in.
It does not.
That is one of the most dangerous things you can do.
That lip comes in.
Now you can't get a vibration from anything.
Now as you practice, that will adjust itself.
Remember I told you, forget the lip.
The lip will take care of itself.
So practice.
There's the whole thing.
Now in Saint Jacome, on page 157, he has a whole series of tongue level exercises.
And he mentions it's good for training the lip.
All right.
But forget the lip.
And he mentions that it would be great tongue exercises, which it is.
And do all the modus.
So remember that the Saint Jacome that it is now has the Arvin's text, which is not the best of all.
Not this should be mine.
I have changed many embassies over the years.
Never a problem.
It's a little traumatic at first.
An older player, you've got to use your judgment.
If a fellow has been playing 30 years, 40 years, and he's getting up in years, unless it is so bad that he is not ever going to play at all, I don't mess with it.
Generally, the pedal register, if you do it correctly, like dropping your job, tends to push that math piece upward below without you ever knowing it.
So the practice of the pedal register is very important if you do it correctly.
If you don't, it's better not to do it at all.
And Saint Jacome said that back in his book, too.
At that time, no one else talked about pedals.
That was the only book.
Whose book was that?
Oh, that's yours.
All right.
Now the muscles of the lips and the face.
These muscles have to be very strong.
This is another where your endurance comes in.
Well, you practice and practice, and these hold.
Now what do they hold for?
They're holding the lips in place so that the lips will keep vibrating.
When you get tired, you collapse, and you're done until you rest.
So in your practice, you rest every so often.
You play a little bit and rest.
Remember, you're not practicing to get tired.
You're practicing to train.
Clark's, I printed a letter that Clark wrote to me when I was a youngster.
And it's in the book, so read it.
Now, I want to impress on you, when you read these things, get the sense of it.
So that when you go out, you're practicing the way we studied to.
Don't go out and just play along like you always have.
Work on the things that you know you want to develop.
What do you want to develop?
You want to develop wind power, you want to develop the tongue, the knack.
Like Herbert Clark made a great statement.
He said, the tongue rising in the mouth to make the mouth shallow is the knack of getting high notes.
Think about that.
The tongue rising in the mouth to make the mouth shallow is the knack of playing high tones.
So when you leave here, if you never think of that, and you go out and practice like you always have, is that going to develop?
And it's not going to develop overnight.
It takes time.
One of the leading professors in a great Texas university would come up and take lessons maybe once a year.
He'd take a lesson, then he'd correspond.
Now, that's not the best way to study.
But he got all the idea and everything of the tongue, and he wrote a wonderful book on tongue level.
But he never learned the tongue like Clark said to tongue, and it always held him back.
Now, lots of people are telling it correctly that don't even realize it.
I watch great players and they say, no, they don't tell you that way.
But they do when you hear them play, but they haven't sensed it yet.
And when they do get the sense of it, you say, gee, I didn't know that.
Like one of the great trumpet players from France came over.
And the ITG was always looking for a way to try and prove that wrong.
So they asked him, they said, can we forestalk you when you play?
And he says, well, yes.
He said, well, do you raise your tongue when you're going higher?
He says, no, my tongue never moves.
Yeah, they said, ah, there's a great player.
And he'll prove this theory wrong.
So they forestalked him.
They brought the pictures out, and that tongue was just going like this all the way.
So the player said, no, that's not me.
You've got me mixed up with someone else.
My tongue never moves.
So they said, can we do it again?
They said, yes, now let's mark it so we can't miss.
So they marked it and they came back and the player had his tongue going like this like that.
And he looked at it and he says, I never knew that.
He didn't realize it.
So those are the things that we have to keep in mind.
So as I said, think about these things.
Now yesterday, we didn't have enough time, but we were talking about wind control.
And I want to just touch on one more thing.
Brad, how do you feel this morning?
Now we already put Brad on the spot, but wind control entails a lot of things.
To control your wind, I should say, unless you control it,
you'll never be able to use what we call circular breathing.
I earned this from Harvard Blog of course, and I almost gave up.
I tried it and tried it and tried it.
Nothing happened.
And finally I was in Salt Lake playing up there at the hotel.
And I stayed in the motel and we had one room.
And my oldest boy was just a little baby and he was in the crib.
And he learned that I practiced all the time.
And you know that he learned the minute I started practicing,
he was very happy and content to go to sleep.
So you don't worry about, oh, the baby, I'll wake the baby.
The baby becomes accustomed and that's their security.
When I practiced, he was just as content as could be.
So he was right over the corner.
My wife was out doing all the work this year too.
And I was practicing.
It wouldn't work.
And I thought, oh, the heck with it, who needs it?
And I walked out and I had a cup of coffee
and then I thought, we'll try it again.
So I went back and you know, it worked.
And it was so easy that I couldn't believe it.
I tried it again and it worked.
I had been looking for something hard, something that you couldn't do.
Circular breathing is a matter of using the wind force that's in your mouth,
just like going...
So you do that, try that.
And while you're holding a note, you can push that air like that
and at the same time, get a quick breath through your nose.
Now, that takes practice, but it does work.
I learned, as I say, from Clark because...
And I think he told me he got it from glass blowers.
Glass blowers do that all the time.
When they blow glass, it's hot.
They can't stop or it'll ruin it.
But without wind control, you're never going to do that.
And when are you going to use it?
You do use it.
I was doing a show one time and the conductor played the cue slightly too fast
and he ended up with a few seconds to spare.
And he couldn't stop.
So he's standing there like this and everybody's holding the last note.
One by one, they all quit.
And fortunately, I just kept going and breathing through my nose,
still breathing, and pretty soon even he looked up to see,
how are you doing there?
And it saved my neck on that.
It was very good.
So there are times you use it when you don't even think.
Now, difficult in the high register.
And I don't know.
I have never seen anyone that developed a tongue, Bob's tongue.
There's too much involved there.
So Brad, would you come up?
Now, you can sit down, Brad.
You don't have to stand up, you know.
There is a piece of music out called Motum Perpetual.
It runs seven minutes.
There's not anywhere, anywhere in there that you can take a break on.
Now, there are some of the great soloists that have recorded it.
But I have heard from reliable sources that they dump it in.
They match it up on tape.
So that's very impressive.
But to do it before an audience, now you can't dump it in, can you?
Now, if you don't have wind power, you can't do it.
If you can't keep your chest up, you can't do it.
So we signed Brad on it.
Like, we had one of the fellows out in the East was out in the past camp a few years ago.
And Brad did this.
Now, this is on French horn, too.
And he came up after it.
I'll never forget it.
He said, well, I saw it, but I still don't believe it.
So we're going to ask Brad to do it.
This is, you don't want to sit down.
Okay, this is that Motum Perpetual.
And it runs seven minutes.
And you notice his chest never goes down.
And that wind is controlled all the way.
The other thing you can't do for seven minutes is to get the water out of the horn.
You remember what that critic said?
Stood back in the horn section.
He said, you have to wear boots to sit in the horn section.
You know, putting it on tape and doing it live is two different things.
That's marvelous, Brad.
You know, I noticed one day I always watched where his chest never moved.
It was up all the time.
And you could obviously see him getting impressed.
And he didn't wait until he got too far out of Brad.
Now he's lost it.
He kept getting them quick, little hitchwits, you know.
So remember now, the lip.
Forget the lip.
But do place it high.
When you change, if you change the denominator not over it,
go out and just change the denominator indiscriminately.
That's not good sense.
But if it needs it, it might be a good idea to have someone help you with it.
Because it is a little traumatic when you get upset and then you're discouraged.
Then you go back to play.
It could be played as a beautiful incident, right?
And Rich Polk did a beautiful job this week on that piccolo trumpet.
Did Dave play piccolo, too?
Did you play piccolo, Dave?
Yeah, it still hurts.
And Dave always does a wonderful job.
Okay, now about this.
We've got a machine here lined up.
Can we get the slides?
Now what makes a good mouthpiece is described in the brass playbook.
Study it and again get the sense out of it.
Now the diagrams are only handwritten diagrams to give you an idea of what I'm getting at.
In other words, open equipment is what plays the most easy
and will get you the best results in your technique endurance and everything like that.
A mouthpiece can really hinder your endurance.
If you've got a mouthpiece that's kicking back at you constantly,
you're going to get tired quicker.
And everybody thinks a small mouthpiece will get high notes.
That's not true.
Clark played higher than anyone that ever lived.
And he had a mouthpiece, well, which I have copied mine off of with a number 20 drill,
which is seven drill size larger than the standard drill in any mouthpiece today.
You have the, what's it called again?
Like a V-type.
So nothing is kicking back and the backboard opens.
Because the mouthpiece doesn't play for you, it's part of the instrument.
And all it does is transfer the vibration from your lip to the pickup of the metal in the horn.
Many say that you should back the mouthpiece off of the lead pipe.
I'm going to draw a diagram like that.
Let's have this.
Let's turn backwards, but that's all.
Now this is my mouthpiece.
Now the type of mouthpiece, notice, and this is kind of, it's not clean like it should be,
but it's all we could get out of the picture.
The cup, it's not a straight V, it's a slight curve.
Then you have the throat.
Now then, this is the number 20 drill.
Now the straightaway, there has to be a straightaway.
The straightaway is the actual straight drill size.
But the length of that drill size is very important.
The longer the drill goes, the more resistance.
This way?
The longer that straight drill goes down there, the more resistance is going to be kicking back at you.
But there has to be some, or you lose your intonation and everything else.
Now then, when you get to where the backboard starts, notice it has a curve, a constant curve,
until it opens up at the end.
Notice it's very thin on the sides.
And that gives you a tremendous force if you want it.
The smaller this is, the more sticks and your power gets much less, as well as your freedom.
Now this was Clark's, which I patted mine off of.
Notice he has much more cup than I have.
The straightaway is about the same, and the backboard is about the same.
Now these are the things that make a mouthpiece. You don't see that.
I did the biggest kick. I see someone go look at it with their head.
A hundred mouthpieces out here.
The trumpet player and all the other brass players, they go up and they look at the cup like this.
It doesn't mean anything.
It's what you can't see that makes it a good or bad mouthpiece.
Now here was Del Stager's.
Now this is a very similar mouthpiece.
Now notice he has a little less cup.
And not quite as much straightaway.
But he has that same curve and that nice open bowl into the backboard.
Now here they all three together, so you can see the similarities.
Here was Stager's.
Notice a little less cup.
Quite higher than anybody with the largest cup of all.
And then the CG personal in between the two.
Now the rim that I have on there was not my idea.
Nothing is really new.
I had an old Stager's mouthpiece.
And the rim that's on the personal mouthpiece is the old Stager's rim.
And I always loved it and I always did.
Now then, here is one of the modern mouthpieces.
This is, well, now it doesn't make a bit of difference who made the mouthpiece.
So when I say so-and-so's mouthpiece, if I happen to slip and mention the maker's name, that means nothing.
All the mouthpiece makers do very good machine work.
That's irrelevant.
If you know what you want done, they can do it.
But if you don't know what you want done, they'll make it according to the normal theories.
The theory mainly is that high notes are obtained by small mouthpieces.
This is not true.
The standard mouthpiece used by all the great soloists from a diameter size was the old, using the mock figures, was the old seven or three.
That was used most universally by them all.
Then they fluctuated in the manufacture.
Up until about 1935, all the mouthpieces were freshly the same.
You'd go into the store, you'd buy a mouthpiece, it was like those I showed you.
Open back door, a 22 or a 20 drill was standard, with a cup like the same thing that we had in the Stakers or mine or Fox.
That's what they were, until about 1935.
That's when a young player with the Castleville Orchestra named Sonny Dunham started playing some pretty high notes in the Castleville Orchestra.
He did it very well.
But he played the same high register on trombones, with a mouthpiece that big around it.
Actually, that was no argument.
He had the same old standard mouthpiece in his trumpet, too.
So up until that time, no matter what mouthpiece you bought, it was generally the same.
But about 1935, high notes came into vogue with the big dance bands.
Everybody wanted to play high, so the mouthpiece manufacturers, under the theory that to play high you go smaller, started putting out smaller mouthpieces.
I have a keen advertisement somewhere saying,
Our new modern mouthpiece, built to meet the demands of today, and it had shrunk down to a 24 drill, with a smaller cup.
Now, the demands of today were not met by that mouthpiece.
And one mouthpiece maker told me,
That was great for us, because we made mouthpieces like crazy.
And they got smaller all the time.
Now, we saw a player the other day with a drill. He was having a terrible struggle.
We measured his mouthpiece. He had a 29 drill.
That's a pinhole.
You're not going to play anything on a mouthpiece like that.
Now, here's a good example.
This was...
Look at that cup.
There's hardly enough room to even get to the lips in without hitting the side.
Then, there's a wide throat to try to compensate for that.
Straight away, about like that.
Now, the back work is not too bad.
It curves.
Now, here...
It's hard to see this.
I've got to get new pictures. They're not too good.
I believe this is the one.
Can you see any...
How does that straightaway look? Can you see?
Yeah, it's real long.
That's the long one. Okay.
Now, this mouthpiece was an absolute disaster.
And yet, every school kid in the country had that mouthpiece.
It was called an A4A.
Horrible mouthpiece.
It should have been outlawed.
Shilty, I'm sorry to say, was a nice guy, and he really was sincere,
but he should have been put in jail for that thing.
It's a horrible mouthpiece.
Notice, there's no cup.
It's got a fat rim.
The straightaway starts here.
Let's put it under here.
Nothing but solid resistance.
So, no wonder that kids' eyeballs are out to here.
And many of them pass out.
You cannot play a mouthpiece like that and be a player.
Look at the trombone.
I had a fellow come in one day, and he says,
you know, it's a funny thing.
I can play higher on my trombone than I can on my trombone.
I said, gee, I'm glad you noticed that.
I said, let's sit down and think a little bit.
What is your mouthpiece on your flugelhorn like?
And he pulled it out.
And I think Larry Sousa had made it for him.
And Larry doesn't make small flugelhorn mouthpieces.
What was the drill, Larry? 18?
More likely to be a 13.
13 drill.
That's pretty big.
They have a long cup.
You put a long cup in it.
And he could play higher on the flugelhorn.
I said, why is it?
And he finally had dawned on him that he's playing this little,
tiny, restricted mouthpiece on the trumpet.
He gets up so high and zooms.
That's it.
It stops.
Because nothing's going into the horn.
Now, the theory was that the resistance of the mouthpiece
would cause you to go higher.
Well, what about that?
The resistance on the mouthpiece is out here in front of your mouth.
The resistance should come from your tongue,
which is on the inside of the mouth,
before it ever hits your lip.
Now, if you've got a tight mouthpiece and you blow,
now then, the vibration starts, and it hits the mouthpiece,
it kicks back.
Now, when it kicks back on the lip, what is the effect going to be?
Oh, thank you.
It's going to be to stop that vibration.
So now you blow harder.
It kicks back all the more.
So you see, the idea is you get the resistance in the mouth before,
and then that goes into that horn, and nothing stops it.
And those lips are vibrating like crazy.
Now, the higher you go, it doesn't keep backing up.
The thing is why you don't get high on those things is that the vibration is stopped.
Now, I can talk all day, and you're going to get out,
and you're going to go right to the mouthpiece shop and try mouthpieces.
Worst thing you could do.
You get the best mouthpiece you can find.
By that, I mean a comfortable rim and open.
Now, when you first try the personal mouthpiece,
you may think, oh, I'm falling through this.
It's like if you've been playing some of that tight equipment,
and you're leaning on a door, and somebody opens the door, what happens?
You fall over.
It's the same thing.
You've been playing that real tight equipment.
You've been learning to play and working just by force.
If someone takes that away, you're going to fall through it.
But see, you're not playing correctly with a mouthpiece like that.
If you learn to play with the natural elements, you will do that easily.
The one with the tight mouthpiece is the one that gets red and purple,
and his eyes come out, and he works hard, and it's torture.
Did you notice you watched Frank last night?
You watched every soloist.
You watched Dave.
You watched Carl.
You watched Rich.
And every one that has played, you never saw any undue strain.
Now, think about that.
There's a reason.
That doesn't happen automatically.
But take a good look at that.
The most detrimental mouthpiece that has ever been made.
And I'll bet you they made a fortune, and still are in that mouthpiece.
Now, here's another example.
Look at the tiny little cup, and there has to be a little more soap,
otherwise nothing will go through.
The straightaway goes from here to here.
That's too long.
The backboard starts to be narrow here.
That's restrictive.
It has to open up into a curve.
Now, here's a very bad one, too.
Very small cup.
No through.
Straightaway, too long.
Much too long.
And too narrow through here.
It finally opens up down through here, but it's too late by that time.
And then it's got to wide open down here, which doesn't balance.
Now you've got side by side.
Where is that A4A?
Here, boy, we can really see that straightaway.
This one we can't see too much.
But it's the same old thing.
All these that are not good are all similar.
So this is great for the mouthpiece maker,
because you can go to the mouthpiece shop every week,
and you can change that a thousandth of an inch.
Well, let's try a little more cup.
Let's try this.
Let's try that.
You go back, you're going to get the exact same result.
They're all engineered incorrectly.
They're too tight.
I used to go to Calypio.
He's one of the greatest guys in the world.
And what a craftsman Calypio was.
I'd go over, I'd say, Dumbass, I want you to make this mouthpiece.
And I'd show him what I wanted.
And I said, I want a 20 drill.
So he goes up to me.
I kid you a lot.
And he had these glasses on, guys.
Take that out.
He'd have the lathe, and I knew him very well,
so we used to discuss a lot.
So I'd go back and rewrite with him with the lathe.
And he didn't use, what is it?
Are we done with the slides?
I didn't hear.
Are we done with the slides?
Are we done with them?
I think that's it.
So we're done with the slides.
So he's got the lathe going, and his glasses are always down here
and looking up at me.
And he never used a lathe tool.
Boy, this guy is a real artist.
He used a file at the end of it.
And that's what he used as a cutter.
And the other, boy, beautiful workmanship.
So he has it going, and then he finally gets it ready for the drill.
And he says, 20?
I says, yeah, I'll make 20.
Are you sure?
I says, yeah, 20.
And he says, why do you work so hard?
See, now we're getting back to the theory.
I said, don't make, I'm not working hard.
That's what makes it easy.
It's open.
So he sets the lathe up again.
He says, 20.
I says, yeah.
You're sure?
I says, yeah, yeah.
So he runs the drill through.
And we're not finished.
I took the mouthpiece home.
It's just real terrible.
I got out my measuring tools, and I put a 28 in it.
He did this all the time.
So I had to go all the way back into Hollywood.
I said, don't make, would you put a 20 drill in it?
And he worked.
He was a very humor.
There are more dominant, collegial stories
than anyone I know.
A fellow brought in a horn one time.
Now, this guy was big, and he was kind of audacious
and very demanding.
He said, Dominic, I've got this horn,
and I want you to re-lacquered for me
and adjust it all out, almost.
And he said, now I've got to have it.
When am I going to get it?
Dominic had one of my trombones for six years.
Then when I got it back, it wasn't the same trombone.
But he had it for six years.
So everybody knew that they might have to wait.
So he said, next week.
He says, next week.
I'm not so busy.
So he says, OK, next week.
Now, remember, I'll be in here.
So Dominic goes back, and a bunch of us
come back there.
And the first thing you do, you go back
and put it in the acid.
It'll take all the lacquer off.
So he did, and he came back, and we were talking again.
Everybody got busy, and I left, and everybody else left.
I was in the shop, eventually.
And this guy came in again.
Dominic's front door had a big plate glass,
like the old New York doors.
And he says, Dominic, you got my horn?
What horn?
Dominic, I brought my horn in here.
Now, where is it?
You said it would be ready.
I wanted it.
He said, I don't have no horn.
Dominic, I'm going to come right over that counter after you.
And all of a sudden, Dominic, you could see the look on his face.
And he tore into the back of the shop.
It forgot the horn completely, and it was still in the acid.
All that was left was one little brace.
The guy went out and slammed the door so hard,
all the glass fell out.
And then he came back in.
I left, buddy.
I've got to tell one more garbage story.
Even if we run out of time, I've got to tell one more garbage story.
Charlie Coleman.
You all know Charlie Coleman in New York.
And they were always good friends.
New York is like a family.
They all know each other.
So Charlie's horn had to be repaired.
So he went down to Dominic, and he said, Dominic,
I want this horn, this and this and this.
Dominic said, I fixed.
And he says, yeah, but Dominic, I've got to have it.
He goes, next a week.
Damn, they're so busy.
So he hung it up on the hook, on the peg.
So next week, Charlie came in.
He says, Dominic, got my horn?
He says, Charlie, next a week.
This is Charlie.
Next a week.
Damn, they're so busy.
So this went on week after week after week.
And every time Charlie came in, the horn was still on the peg.
So finally, Charlie got that.
He doesn't have to temper anything.
Beautiful man.
He came in.
He says, Tommy, I want that horn.
But I need it, and I want it, or I'm going to sue you.
And Dominic says, no, you're going to sue me.
He turned around and he says, you're going to sue me.
He grabbed the horn, and he went wham, wham, wham, on the bench.
And he says, there's your horn.
Now get out of my shop.
So Charlie says, I went, too.
And the next morning, Charlie's sound asleep,
and there's a knock on the door.
He got his robe and walked to the door.
The door was open.
Here was Dominic, Billy Gill.
And he had a pillow with a sack and cover on it
and a brand new horn.
He says, Charlie, I'm sorry.
He stayed up all night and made him another horn.
So that's the way those guys were.
But I've got a million of these Charlie Cohen stories.
Our Dominic, Billy Gill story.
OK, now let's see.
Where did we stand?
The last thing we discussed was the mouthpieces, right?
And we got the breathing exercises.
So I think we've got it covered.
Any questions?
You mentioned the gap between the end of the mouthpiece.
Oh, that's what I was going to show you.
Can we raise this up?
Now this is, well, I don't know.
Dave, is this yours here?
He'll bring it right down.
Do you need it still?
There's a lot of talk about, oh, that's
not going to do it in that piece.
Oh, there's a lot of talk about the gap between the mouthpiece
and the lead pipe.
Now your lead pipe comes up like this.
Now the curves are generally very secret.
Like, you won't be able to find the dimensions or the curve
on my personal trumpet, because I won't let it out,
even though there will be those who try to copy it.
But the tapers are in the instrument.
That's what makes that instrument play.
Like, if you go indiscriminately and you take a horn off of one
or a bell off of one horn and put it on another,
that's not going to make a good horn.
Because the entire horn has to be considered, the balance,
the texture of the metal, and all these things.
Now the mouthpiece should be as part of the instrument.
I don't say it should be made as the instrument.
It should be made as the instrument.
It's as the instrument.
We used to take the mouthpiece, and Clark told me this
in the beginning, we used to take and ream the end of it
carefully so it was just like a razor.
Because in those days you didn't have a mouthpiece receiver.
It was the end of the lead pipe where the mouthpiece went in.
So we'd make that end of that mouthpiece so thin
that there would be no obstruction in there
to bother the vibration.
Now it's not to bother the air.
The amount of air that goes through that instrument
would hardly flicker a match.
The wind power is used up in generating the vibration.
What goes through the horn is the vibration.
That's why on my particular trumpet I've made that lead pipe
so thin that if it were made of brass it would collapse.
But we've made it out of nickel silver,
which is actually stronger than the original brass.
So we don't have any worry about that.
But it is thin.
And that way, when that vibration comes in,
it'll pick up the vibration and send it through the horn.
That's why the horn plays easily.
All right, now the lead pipe, say, ends there.
Can you all see that?
OK, now the receiver will come up maybe that far
and then go up like that.
And that's not in shape there.
But you notice the lead pipe comes up and the receiver there.
Now the mouthpiece comes in the receiver
and should get very close to the lead pipe.
I try to make mine butt right up against the lead pipe,
close enough so that it'll still grip.
But still as close as I can get it.
Now then, there's no obstruction here, I'm saying.
Now, there are so many theories.
You heard the theory, I know.
Back the lead pipe off the mouthpiece an eighth of an inch.
Or back the mouthpiece off the lead pipe an eighth of an inch.
That's not true.
It's exactly the opposite.
It should never be backed off any more than an eighth of an inch.
Now, one mouthpiece maker did a very smart thing.
He made a lot of little sleeves.
And you could put the mouthpiece in these sleeves
and they would go into the receiver at varying lengths
so that you can back the mouthpiece off in those receivers there.
Now, I got a whole set of them and really experimented with it.
You bring the mouthpiece way back off the lead pipe and it blows terrible.
You move it up a little bit, it blows terrible.
You move it up a little further, it still blows terrible.
You can keep moving it up until you get about an eighth of an inch
from the mouthpipe and all of a sudden, it opens up and plays very, very well.
Then you keep up moving it as close to the lead pipe as you can get
and a real player can sense that it's even better.
So the rule should be never back the mouthpiece off further than an eighth of an inch.
Somewhere around, the theory got turned around.
So again, I generally have mine, if it didn't fit, I would take it over to Larry
and have him do it on a lathe and file the mouthpiece enough
so it would go in and fit right up against the lead pipe.
We'll discuss that a little more tomorrow.
I have a question for either you or for Larry.
As far as the mouthpiece that John Faddis is pictured with on his latest album,
it's got a cup that looks like it's about two and a half inches long,
it's like a tuning fork shape.
I'm curious how that mouthpiece actually works.
It's got a big long cup, it's like a tuning fork shape.
I don't know what it's like inside.
It goes right up into the top.
I think that's that added metal, doesn't it?
It's got nothing to do with the cup.
Yeah, the cup is still the same.
That's a pretty popular thing right now,
putting a lot of bulk of heavy metal on a mouthpiece
or big weights or actually built into the mouthpiece block
has come out with a whole line now of heavy metal.
It's actually the same type of throat.
It's just that it has a lot more metal in it.
What's the advantage of that?
Supposedly, cut down on certain vibrations or focus the tone.
That's the concept.
It does change the tone.
I mean, if you listen to it, it's a different tone.
The long cup, you see, you can blow all you want.
It's not going to kick back at it.
If it kicked back at it, it wouldn't play as high as it does.
Look at the French horn mouthpiece.
Boy, they go up to high Q.
You know, a good French hornist.
And the trombones.
Trombones play in trumpet range.
It's not the actual trumpet,
but on the trombones, it's the same comparable range.
Frank, do you want to say something?
Claude, I wanted to respond to you.
You know, all that extra weight on those mouthpieces
that started with Jerry Callot.
And the theory was that the weight of the mouthpiece here
would bring the horn up.
Oh, really?
That's what they were putting.
They were also putting those weights.
Yeah, it's supposed to have a sleeve,
a weight sleeve that they put on the mouthpiece.
And it was all to bring the horn up this way.
Doesn't mean a thing.
Now, a Bach who sells millions of dollars of mouthpieces every year
has caught on to that crazy thing.
And they've got one out now with a real heavy,
it looks terrible, and it's garbage.
My apologies to Bach.
I don't want to hurt their sales.
That's garbage.
That would be nice to have made it possible for me to be here.
Okay, so, yeah, Dennis?
You didn't talk much about rims.
Oh, rims, good.
There's much talk about rims.
Like they say, well, if you want to get a better attack,
get a sharp inner rim.
That's not true.
I used all of those, the sharp ones.
Most of the Bach mouthpieces, the guys take them in to,
and someone will have them smooth that inner edge out.
They're a little too sharp.
You can kid yourself all you want.
You get a rim that's comfortable,
and then you tug like you should tug, and that's all.
The rim isn't going to have anything to do with it.
You get too wide a rim.
When I was a kid, oh, we tried one.
It was called a Rudy Muck cushion rim.
As Frank smiles at you.
That rim was about that fat.
That would just fit on your face.
The funny part of it, you try to play it,
and you have no control at all.
It's covering too much area,
and it inhibits the movement of the facial muscles.
On top of that, it's shutting off
many times more circulation than the narrow rim.
So the narrower rim that you can play, the better.
But you notice I said the narrower that you can play.
Again, the rim is such a personal item.
I like a very thin rim.
I like it rounded off on the side
so that it's narrow on the side.
Then your lips are like they grab a hold,
and you feel like you're gripping.
The mouthpiece becomes a part of you.
Like you notice my personal mouthpiece.
It's narrow on the outside.
Look at all the old timers.
They were all that way.
Our theories now and our intellectual idea of playing
really gets in the way.
They all played those little narrow rips.
Clark, Liberati, some of them were very sharp on the outside edge.
But now Bach started that wide fat outside.
That became to be called the block rim,
which is used on most everything today.
But I personally like that narrow outside.
I got used to it and nothing else feels right.
It feels like it's pushing you away from it
rather than you've got a hold of it.
Okay, now the width of the rim.
That can vary.
You don't want to ever have anything like that cushion rim.
You didn't bring that, did you?
Oh, bring that up here.
It's a good door stop.
Now, this you've got to see.
Keep an eye on this, Rich, and pass it around.
Rich, keep an eye on this and let everybody see it.
Oh, yeah, just whoever has the best,
please give it back to me when we're done.
See, now all these theories have a basis of fact
that sounds like gee, that would work.
But they don't.
They don't work any way, shape or form.
Pass it around so everybody can get a chance to.
Incidentally, I just happened to think,
I looked at Barbara.
As usual, and this generally happens
when you get an artist and everybody wants it,
they go take his pictures down from the halls.
So that's no fault and nothing that we're griping about.
But whoever took Frank Cataranda's pictures,
would you please take them back to Barbara
so that she can make copies for the school
and the newspapers and so forth.
And that's the only ones they had.
We need the whole poster.
Don't try to remove the picture and bring it back to me.
We need the whole poster, please.
So there's three of them that someone has.
We don't even care who you are.
You can slip them under the door.
We need to have the posters returned
when you come back at the one o'clock session.
They really need somebody.
Now, this is not putting you down.
Everybody does that normally.
And it makes Frank happy.
I'm flattered.
Barbara, can we get some of those pictures?
Give them the capsules.
He wants a copy of the picture.
He wants the pictures available.
You guys got to speak up.
Loma Linda has promised me
that they'll make these things work.
I've been a year now trying to get them
a rear-end that could work.
When they work, I hear, fine.
They just can't get it to fit somewhere in there.
So they promised me they're going to do it.
He wants a copy of Frank's picture.
Can you just give him, what, a cap,
a cap of copy of the picture?
They have copy machines, yeah.
He can't make...
It won't work.
If you're interested, I could ask the media services
if they'll make a copy of that picture.
What they'll have to do is take a picture of the picture
and print it.
But I'll tell you right now, it's not going to be cheap.
I don't have many pictures left.
I'm ready to go.
So if you really are interested in having me look into that,
please see me after the session.
And if there's enough interest, I will.
And I'll tell you now, it will not be cheap.
Okay, now any other questions?
Ask Patty.
She can yell at him.
Did you mention the Parduba double cup?
Oh, yeah.
Have you got it with you?
Well, I forgot.
No, I didn't bring it with me.
You didn't bring it?
No, it's in the room.
Well, that was...
That was another innovation.
Let me show you.
Another guy's idea.
Now, you know the interesting thing about all these mouthpieces?
Colleccio made them all.
These guys have got these ideas.
They go to Colleccio.
He made them all.
Well, he didn't care.
You know?
Sure, I mean, I fixed.
Next week, you know?
No, no, no.
Actually, the Parduba double cup was a fallacy.
They had a cup like this.
That was supposed to be for high notes.
Then it had what they called the second cup, like this,
which was supposed to be for everything.
This didn't mean a thing.
All it did is cause resistance.
The sharp edge here between the two made it very edgy sounding.
That's why Harry...
Well, the whole section out on old Benny Goodman orchestra played those.
That was a promotion, of course.
And that's why they had that edgy little sound.
This cup wasn't even used.
The only thing this is was a big wide open throat
that compensated a little for that real shallow cup.
Now, I think that just like the old mouthpieces,
if they had just taken that edge off,
it had a mouthpiece just like Clark and the rest of them.
I think it did have a fairly good backboard, at least the original ones did.
It was pretty wide open.
And the cup was not real tiny.
I mean, the drill size was not real tiny.
A lot of fellows come in and they have a rim that they just love,
but the mouthpiece is not working right for them.
There's two things I do.
Either have them take their rim and have it made so it'll screw on the good backboard
or the cup, or to take it and have a technician drill it out, the drill size.
Okay. Now, is there any other questions?
Okay. Well, that'll do this one.
Not tomorrow.
Thank you.
Now, I hope you try to remember.
We had one young fellow last year, a year before,
who had been all done with this.
And then there's firstly Michael.
Well, I'd like to talk to some mouthpiece makers a little bit.