Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1992 - Claude Gordon on Embouchure, Mouthpieces, and Equipment

Transcript Summary

I even did
four steps
is that on?
no, it's not on
that was good
now I want you
we're going to talk today
two seconds
the first one will be
they're still fooling with it
how's that?
okay, we're going to talk about two subjects today
now first of all
what we've covered
who could tell me
the seven natural items
that we're working to develop
okay, Steve
great powers
the tongue
great control
the muscles of the face
you know
you know
you know
you know
you know
you know
that's good, I told you
so that's your lip
one little student
came in, one little student
he was in the
Presidio Band
out in San Francisco
and he came in and the first thing he said was that
my lip, I said I told you
I didn't want to hear the word lip
in this studio
well I know, but my lip
I said will you shut up
I don't want to hear about the lip
I said I told you
to work on the other things
and the lip will take care of itself
and then I got started to get mad
because he had six months
of lessons, you know
and finally I said why don't you do
what I tell you
I said look
you take this routine
you go home and you practice it
to your next lesson, like I told you
and if you don't then don't come back
he never came back
he never came back
and Larry Susan was there
and I had another student waiting
and I must have bowed him out for an hour
I just came unglued
but I wanted to impress him
I was just mad, I wanted him to do it right
and the next student
who is now in London
a good player, he stuck his nose
he's a big guy
he said I don't know if I ought to come in now or not
and Larry on the other side
in his shop he said
don't worry, I'll be here
for another hour, so go ahead
now today we're going to talk
lip placement
which is, oh
such a discressed subject
now take out your Arben book
now Arben was responsible
for a lot of the
but Arben
absolutely great
and he was a great player
that's amazing because
he was responsible and part of
the inventing of the cornet
it had never had
valves before then
and he demonstrated the value
of this instrument
now then
how many have got the new edition of Arben?
that's better because
I've gone through the Arben book
left the reviser's notes
but then put down
the correct notes underneath the
reviser so a person could
check with the reviser what he had to say
what Arben had to say
and then what I
had to say
now if you take
if I can find it here now
mouthpiece position on page seven
one nice thing about
the Arben's all of them were still numbered
to save the oldest
from the oldest to the north
mouthpiece position
who wants to
stand up and start reading that very
so everyone can hear it
someone with a loud voice
that's better
mouthpiece position
the mouthpiece should be placed in the middle
of the left
two thirds on the lower left and one third
on the upper left
at any rate this is the position
which I have adopted
which I believe to be the best
okay now
but what's the footnote say
the footnote says
note notice that
Arben was not dogmatic on this
issue rather
he stated that he believed
it to be the best another
equal authority of that time
stated just the opposite
most all authorities today
placed the mouthpiece high
and these footnotes
go through the whole book as I say
I left the revisers in because
Arben's statements
were pretty darn good
but the reviser changes
it to his idea
and that's not right
Arben's book is Arben's
and even if it were wrong
it should be left in his
book when it could be studied
now to avoid
the extreme criticism you always get
in the back
of the book whether you
have the international edition
or the American edition
has the
Arben's text
let's see if I can find that
in the back
now here's the Arben's text
in its original form
so a person
can check that against the other
and see now
this will use more tomorrow
than today but
I think you'll enjoy this
in the back
is one of the
of one of my Cornet
oh this book is great
they put all the numbers in and left
the picture out
who's got another
this is
an 1885
Cornet here
and you'll see it tomorrow because this one
that the picture is of is the old
and I have it in the collection down there
that'll be that
all right
now then
Arben said that he believed
the mouthpiece should be placed
low on the upper left
but a shame
that that has been the rule
ever since
of Cornet began
back then
now there's a young man
a very good player
up in Toronto
and I know him
quite well
and he was working
on a doctorate and he had to write a thesis
so his
thesis was on of course
this subject and he sent it
to me so I could read it
and to show you how
revisers can destroy things
went over that thesis
in order to give
him that degree
but sure
they didn't understand either
and that's the sad point
in there he said
Arben and St.
Jacob and so on
were all in complete harmony
about mouthpiece placement
all right
now that's not true
but let's see why he did that
now if you're going to
be an authority
you should be an authority
not just take a book
and see what it says because
they've been tampered with
let's take St. Jacob now
who has that
now this is the modern
St. Jacob book, incidentally
I've gone through this book and corrected it
and put it back
not to my ideas
but what St. Jacob originally intended
Carl Fischer has not
put it out yet because they probably still have
a supply of these and they won't
reprint until that supply is gone
and hoping
they have the money still at that time
all the corporations
are in trouble
all right now
here's what it says in St. Jacob on page
on the second paragraph
under tone production
you want to read
you read it then Ezra
stand up and read it very loud
place the lips
together in a smiling position
leaving a small opening for the tongue
put the tongue against the upper
teeth and articulate the syllable
too, jerking the tongue back
quickly and blowing through the lips
and at the same time vibrating the lips
the more that
really keeps you informed
this will produce a buzzing sound
practice this until the
buzzing sound can be held for a few counts
and can be kept steady
that should be something more
place it
place it in the center of the lips
one third on the upper lip
and two thirds on the lower
that just shows you
it says the same thing as Arvin
let's see what
St. Jacob really said
before the reviser
came along
the reviser puts in his own idea
like he says strike
up here and do this
and all that information
which was all wrong
that was the reviser's
idea, they go to revise
the book and instead of working
on the things they should
they just put a page of their own ideas
in it
and as you will see
I did that book
this book was done
in about eighteen hundred
and maybe forty
so what
a hundred and fifty
years old
and those old timers
now they didn't always explain it good
but they knew
this is the oldest
St. Jacob and I happened to be very fortunate
to have one
and here's what he really said
this is taken right out, read that out very loud
the lips are divided in the
mouthpiece into two unequal
two thirds for the upper lip
and the rest for the under
according to all professors
and one third for the upper
and two for the under
according to one sole individual
whom I shall not name
you see, he and Arvin
didn't get along too well
they were both vying for the crown
and Arvin of course
had the inside track as he was
at the conservatory
so he got the most notoriety in the public
but that doesn't take away
from either of them, they were both
great writers, great
authorities, every
player should have both
Arvin's and St.
but I love that statement, according to one
sole individual whom I shall not
so it's
very interesting, now notice
he said the mouthpiece should
be placed toward
the center of the mouth
it doesn't have
to be exact centered
some teachers will say, no, you get that right in the middle
and don't you move it
a little to one side or the other
is irrelevant
I play a little off on one side
everybody I've seen that
if you watch every player that played
you see that mouthpiece is open
that depends on the shape of your teeth
and your mouth
you don't have to bring that direct center
Bobby O'Donnell is the only
player I've ever seen that that mouthpiece
sits right dead in the middle
but it's high
now why should it be high?
the lower lip doesn't really
the upper lip
vibrates against the lower
now I've demonstrated
many times
I stick my tongue out
place the mouthpiece on my tongue
and play just
as though it were on my lip
but it tickles so bad
you can't keep it up very long
but it just proves
the important thing
is keep it up high
now when it's high
now you've got some vibrating surface
up here
you put it low
you've got no vibrating surface, you're pinching
that's why
when you get a beginning student
boy you put fear into him
don't you dare go home and try high notes
that's the first thing he's going to do
go right home
see how high he can play
this worship of high notes
is very detrimental
and what happens?
the mouthpiece pulls down
he gets a little pinch here
and it squeaks
and he thinks he's playing high
keep that
mouthpiece up
before I forget
you stand up when you practice
I get very disturbed
I go by a college
I'm looking at someone's teaching
there's the teacher sitting slouched
in the chair
the student sitting right next to him
the student should
stand all the time
with the
chest up
never play with
a dry lip
keep that lip moist
there must be moisture
to play
so a little to one side
or another is irrelevant
but keep it high
on the mouth
another thing that's very detrimental
this mouthpiece visualizer
that I showed you earlier in the week
what are you looking for?
tells you nothing
what are you looking mirrors for?
tells you nothing
you don't even know what you're looking for
and if you found it
you wouldn't know what to do with it
so get away from the mirror
stamp on it
break it
you don't need mirrors
now then
when the mouthpiece is up
you're going to get a sound
and this brings up tone
how many teachers
will harp on you
oh your tone
we'll get a bigger mouthpiece
your tone is not good
now you're really going to have trouble
your tone will probably be worse
and I'll get to this later
but in case I forget
when you start changing mouthpieces
that's the beginning of the end
and we'll go into that more in depth
in a minute
now then
you get a vibration
off of that upper lip
you get lots of endurance
off of that
you can be tired
and that thing will still vibrate
I've seen Conrad Garza
and his lip looked like hamburger
because he played so hard
and so strong
he still played
where you're going to get tired
is here
in the facial muscles
because they grip
now when a teacher
harps on your tone
to me that's the signal
that he doesn't have much to talk about
so they'll always
revert to tone
at this point
you should ask your instructor
I don't understand
what is a good tone
now you've done it
the good tone is
now let me see
someone not my student
but someone that's not one of my students
stand up and tell me
what a good tone is
now anyone
not you Patty
not true
that's so true
that is sure true
but you know the teachers will start
well it's got to be
it's got to be
it's got to be
it's got to be
a number one
and never will
they get to the point of what the tone actually is
a good tone
is nothing more than
a free vibration
now if it's not
vibrating free it's inhibitive
and it's not
going to be a good tone
changing mouthpieces isn't
going to help that
unless of course
you've got
an A4A
or something like that
terrible mouthpiece
and then you should get rid of it and throw it away
like I told Masashi when he first
came out from Japan
he couldn't speak English I couldn't speak Japanese
so I was standing there
I says Masashi
I says
he looked at me
I said mouthpiece
he says ooh mouthpiece
and he
wanted to know if that was a good
mouthpiece he had
and it was one of those
A4A monstrosity
and I said Masashi
oh yes
I says you take the shovel
and you dig
ooh ooh
right yes ooh yes dig
there you go
and he thought that was very humorous
but he changed and then he did well
don't think
of mouthpieces as the answer
for something it's not
not in any way
the older mouthpieces
were all correct
when you went into a store
back in the 1920s
early 30s
up until 1935
you'd go into a music store
and I want a mouthpiece
that is
they were all the same
every one of them
they might vary in diameter a little
basically they were about
a diameter of
what we call a number
basically that diameter
a little wider
the cup was like this
the drill size
was 20
or 22
now in about 1935
oh thank you
I need that
you know this is too early
for trumpet players
a cup of coffee helps
now this is
one of the privileges I get at this school
I'm going to have coffee now
but now
is there
any questions
about mouthpiece placement
now remember you stand when you practice
somebody quick
what's the first thing you think about
big breath
chest up
I don't care if you're only going to play
a 30 second note
in that revised edition of Arman's
the revisions
of Saint Jacobin
the revisions says take only enough
air for the phrase to be played
that's a trouble remark
supposing that phrase is a
high G
30 second note
how much air is that going to take
but you better have
your wind support
because this is your wind support
it's your fuel tank
and it's your support
I think I told you the story
didn't I, Conrad Gossel
I had the orchestra at the Palladium
and Conrad was playing first
this man was an awful good player
I think he was the highest
paid player
in Los Angeles area
he made a lot of money
he drank most of it up
but he made it
he's sitting back there
he's an old timer
he looks at the part
and he's reading and playing
and I knew what was coming
because this arrangement I knew very well
and I'm up in front
and I'm kind of watching him out of the corner of my eyes
because I admire Conrad
he's a marvelous player
so I'm watching him
all of a sudden
he came bolt upright in that chair
like he'd been shot up
like that
and the next note was a G
up like that
chest up
I bet you could have heard that G
cleared out of Los Angeles
now supposing
he had slots
and turned the page
and there was a G
he'd have missed it
this is your support
never get below
half empty
I've said that before
once you're below half empty
start looking for a place to get a breath
now is there any questions
on mouthpiece placement?
how high
is too high or too low?
well that's like that
how soft is soft
a trombone mouthpiece
a trombone mouthpiece
should be up under their nose
the same with the tuba
a french horn
mouthpiece is ideal
I mean the french horn position is ideal
for all brass
a trumpet mouthpiece should
be down anywhere I've seen
with that way down here
has had
inhibited range, inhibited endurance
and a small sound
or somehow
you get that big open
fat sound
generally start a student and I have him
set it right on the
edge of that lower lip there
right where that
point is
and I don't worry about saying well I'll put it
here on the lower lip just set it
there and leave it high
then for the first like if you're
changing now don't everyone
go out and try and change their armature
you'll have so
much trouble you won't know what you're doing
unless you have somebody telling you
I had a
one student
he was
graduating his senior
year from
and his dad called me that's
Zig Tansen
and he said would you look at
Zig Junior
he said
I went to his
senior recital last night
oh great I said
how was it Zig he said
it was total disaster
he says I asked his teacher
at the beginning
of the semester
about his mouthpiece
which was way down here
the teacher said
I'll take care of it just put
it where it's comfortable
that's not true
where it's comfortable may not be
and when it's right it will
be comfortable later on
I had so many armatures
it was ridiculous
I played from here to here
I had under here
under here
everywhere because I didn't know
when I was hunting them
but that takes a lot of years of frustration
would you tell
a pianist he's gotten the finger
and he said well what about this
figure just use the
one that's comfortable
would he ever become a pianist
no way
he'd all be using these
three fingers
I know that because I learned piano
accordion and that's the way
I learned it all along
I didn't have to correct it
so put it where
it's right
don't try for high notes
what gets
the high notes
the tongue
the tongue
so these are part of the seven
atoms we develop right
now you can take each one
of these
and what's the first thing
there's three things we think about
what's the first thing
how to practice
you can practice
wherever if you don't do it right
then you're not developing the right
don't ever forget it's how
you practice that counts
and we've been through that a lot this week
so please for your own sake
don't forget it
now then
let's get into mouthpieces
this is a dangerous subject
ooh I hate
to get into this subject
I have spent hours and hours
of arguing
and the student
he's not even listening
the minute he leaves you'll be down
for mouthpiece maker well I'd like
to try this
don't try it
and your students you start them on
the best mouthpiece you can find
and never change
there's no such thing
as a student mouthpiece
there's no such
thing as a high note mouthpiece
it doesn't
you start on a mouthpiece
and play it all your life
you grow to it
I'm going to show you
here was Herbert Clark's mouthpiece
let me get my
Patty you want to find my pointer
it's I think it's
in the little gadget box there
now Herbert Clark
was one
of the pioneers
I don't think they didn't try
things they did
they tried like
most of us back then
they tried all the wrong things
then had to switch and correct it
but they were honest with themselves
they would listen
they would listen
and they would
now that's what I want all of you to do
think, get the
sense of it
remember how much I've said that
get the sense of what is
and then the natural way
will work out
now they were the pioneers
Clark never had a teacher
he was a
marvelous man he figured it out
now if you're going to figure something out
you can't go by all these little
things you hear can you
or somebody's idea
now then
the mouthpieces
they used
were the early
and they all used them
now in a mouthpiece there's
and there's several
resistance points
this is actually
the cup never comes
right off
because you'd have so much resistance you couldn't play
it has to come down
now this is the best
type mouthpiece
because it doesn't restrict you
the best cup I mean
like this
now notice it comes down
now look at the size of that
this happens to be
a 20
and then notice
a very short
straight away we call
a straight away that's where the drill goes
now then you notice
the nice
curve here in the back
that's a good mouthpiece
the rim
the narrower
that you can use
now take that
the narrower that you can use
the better
a flat rim restricts
okay now that was Herbert
Clark's mouthpiece
now then let's have another one
this is Del
we'll hear their records
you'll see what they played on this
equipment and
they played like no one
ever played
now notice he has the same type
a little less
than what Clark
had in depth
the drill
same thing
a short straight away
and then the curve
beautiful back bar
his rim
was narrow
now the mouthpiece that I call mine
wasn't my idea
that rim I love that rim
and that's the rim
that was on Del's
his name was Delaware
what a phenomenal clip
now notice they're wide open
at the end
the more this restricts
the less
volume, power, and control
you're going to have
alright now the next one
now this is mine
now notice this is
very similar to Clark's
and Stater's
a 20 drill
short straight away
and the back bar with the wide open end
it's about identical
with those three
you have all three on one now?
yeah, now look at the
similarity between those mouthpieces
those are all marvelous
now if you put
about 1935
about 1935
mouthpiece makers
got pretty smart
now up until that time
any mouthpiece they got
you had
got back in it
the smallest drill
that the old timers used
was a 22
and these
were 20s
so if you have
a mouthpiece with a smaller drill
than that, take it down
to a good machinist or a good
mouthpiece maker, tell him to put
a 22 drill in it
that's all, just run the drill through
you probably won't even
notice it, but boy
you will play so much better
so much easier
and you won't have to stick a microphone up the bell
to be heard
can you imagine Bud
Herseth and the Chicago Symphony, they're going to play
them all at fifth
and he's got to put a
microphone up in his belt to be heard
out in front of that orchestra
it would be terrible wouldn't it
so you have
to have that freedom
and that openness
now somebody started out on that
and said oh, that's too big
I can't play it
I get tired right away
probably for a few days you may
but later on
you won't get tired as quick
you'll go hours longer
we used to play
two and a half hours
of the show
with two trumpets
the show I told you the stories about
at the closing
and there was disturbing factors around
but we'd play two and a half
hours, get a 20 minute
break, have to play two dance tunes
in between and come back and play
two and a half hours again
with two trumpets
and boy
we'd end up
just as strong as
when we started off
when I first went into Columbia
the conductor came up
halfway through the day, we used to do
ten hour days
and he says are you doing all right
are you tired? I said I feel fine
we'd end up
ten hours of playing, I'd feel great
I'd feel better at the end of ten hours than when I
now basically
half pieces were open
I was using what Clark gave me
and they were open
but what was the other
endurance factor? Somebody should know
after this week now
chest up
I don't care if I was so tired sleepily
that I'd fall off the chair
high note phenomena
came into being
mouthpiece makers
of course are smart
they make a lot of money on
the brass profession
believe me, a lot of money
Bach sells
millions of dollars
in mouthpieces every year
now that's a big business
isn't it?
they have eighty thousand
combinations of
that's enough to drive you crazy
for ten lifetimes
that won't do you any good
I came home one day
I think I told you this
around the plate board
around the front room
my wife had
right theater
all around that room
she finally got tired of that
and I looked at that, I couldn't believe
I had that many mouthpieces
not one of them
helped my playing one bit
so Tiegen came out
with an advertisement
I've looked for that ad and I can't
find it, I get so discouraged because I
can't find it, and it was such a
valuable ad
Sonny Dunham was
the big name in
high notes at that time
he was with the
great Casa Loma orchestra
boy that was a good orchestra
and probably one of the
very first of what we call the big band
and Sonny Dunham
was playing first trumpet
and he played
now the average person
so he didn't play high
those guys, they played higher than you
could write
but that wasn't the average player
and they didn't
flout high notes
they played what people
liked to listen to
and they made good money that way
so they
the ad says
our new
modern mouthpiece
built to meet
the demands of the modern
day trumpet player
why do you need a mouthpiece
that will meet the demands
they had good mouthpieces
but they put this one out
and you know what they had in it
a 24
now today they still think that's huge
by the time
in the 30s
had come along, now they had
shrunk to a 27
and some mouthpiece makers
were putting a 28
and 29
that's a pinhole
you can't get anything
through the horn
and then someone gets a horn
that's a good horn
if it's a good horn, they'll pick it up
and blow it. Did you ever see kids
try horns?
you don't try a horn
that tells you nothing
the horn isn't going to
get your high notes
you do
and that changes
the vibration
the minute it hits the horn anyway
like somebody says
oh, I can't play
that horn, it's too big
I can't fill it
what do they mean
fill it, it's open on both ends
how are you going to fill it?
those are just somebody's
crazy ideas
and you grab on and go oh, that sounds good
so now
down to 28 and 29
now here's what happens
the cup comes down like this
now that's resistance
you're blowing
into it
and that resistance is kicking back at you
then you wonder why you get
red and some pass off
now it gets down here
a 28
that's kicking
back at you all the more
then you get down here
and the backboard gets very
now let's see
all I can do
is show you
the best
that's not going to make you do it
there's going to be a lot of you here
go right down the mouth
let me try this
you don't have to try this
get a good one and stay with it
never change it
we used to pass out papers
and ask the students
what they thought of what they'd learned
we don't do that anymore
and this one guy wrote back
and he said I'd like to hear
some mouthpiece makers comments
mouthpiece makers are not
trumpet players generally
if they were good trumpet players
they wouldn't be making mouthpieces
now on
French horn I would highly
recommend a mouthpiece
of that caliber
which is the
what size drill
do you have in your mouth
now you heard what Brad does on rings
number one
and the cup is like this
and what happens
then when you get a smaller
Brad and smaller cup
how does that work
now let's see some of the other ones
now that is a
well made mouthpiece
it's a good mouthpiece
it's a sensible mouthpiece
now I can't tell you what to play
you're going to have to do it
but I am telling you
and you'll go out
and you'll get in trouble
everybody does
and you ever notice that you go to mouthpiece makers
and in about three days
the bomb drops
you think oh this is good
about three days later you pick it up
so back to the
mouthpiece maker
and who do you see
the same guys that were in there when you were there before
the next time you go in
the same guys again
in other words it never
you start changing mouthpieces
and you'll never stop
what did you find
when we got into that Larry
Dr. Miller
when I started with you I was a
I know you're on
filthy 13A4A
that's pretty good
squeak in it but
I had gone through a whole box
of stuff I had to do but I double
cut it
it took a long time
now Harry James played on it because he could play on
anything you put a teacup and he'd play it
and I
I used to
I had a nice ten and a half seat box
which I kept
a silver plate wrapped off
with a sand paper
so I could get a grip
and finally
when you were developing
your personal
I finally got them out
and then
anyone you talked to
what did they tell you what was their advice
well everybody that I talked to
said you can't play that thing
it's too big you can't feel that
hard to take in the sound
and then all of a sudden I had people coming up
after the concert saying
how do you get that money buried in sound
what kind of mouthpiece do you play
I'd say well it's a 22
but I've also had students
who brought me the same thing and they called
and said my conductor said
I sound like I sound terrible
I can't play any highlights
so they quit
before they ever
can't really see how it works
and you won't find
Frank Cantor Abbott playing one of those
little kinched up mouthpieces
nor will you find Arturo playing a little
kinched up mouthpiece
it'll be a good mouthpiece
and probably they never changed
the rest of their life
the old time with the real players
they used to come up and say
what's the trumpet player's conversation
the first thing
oh what mouthpiece do you use
that's the first thing
never thought is that a good horn or what
forget the horn
what kind of mouthpiece do you use
and the mouthpiece
makes more money and more money
and then they put the gadgets out
and they make more money
so it's a
money making business at the expense
of the brass player
what was the mouthpiece
maker that died
oh what a beautiful guy
Bert Harris
Bert Harris
what a beautiful guy
he told me he said you know before
we never made anything like this
he said everything was
the same in the back
that's the way it comes out
Bert was a wonderful guy
and very intelligent
and very open
he would sit and talk with it
now I almost lost
one of the best jobs
in the country because of a mouthpiece
and I'm going to tell you the story
because I'm actually ashamed
of it, is Patty back there
not far away from here as well
well I need to find something rather than
take a minute but maybe I can find it
I just pile things in
well I don't
if you can hold that
yeah because I don't think you can
find it unless I
I'm looking for a letter
I think it's in
it's right there
now there's a gentleman
wrote me from
let me see where is it
it's Minnesota
I think let me get my glasses
it's like Manny says
I don't hear very well
I don't see very well
I don't talk very well
but he can still play good
this man
wrote to me
some time ago
I've never seen him
and he asked me some advice
and I told him to get
brass playing is no harder than deep breathing
and study it
and he wrote me a letter
after that the most wonderful letter
he ever wrote
he says I've never met you
and he says I have learned
more than I have ever learned in my life
just try to look
the trombone
even though you know him
I know the first trombone in the
Munich opera
he came over
for a lesson
all the way from Germany
and he stayed all that way
but we had several lessons
and I talked to him
and when we first started
to play
man he picked up the trombone
and he could play as high as a trumpet player
with a good sound and very easy
and I said Carl
that is Carl Lentz
I said Carl
your tongue
there's nothing I can teach you about your tongue
I said you're doing it right
I said where did you learn that
he said out of your book
so you see
he got the sense of it
now this man wrote me in the same way
several months ago
and he
called me
just a few weeks back and he said
I don't know what to do about mouthpieces
he said I've never changed
I'm playing this
and I think that
it's probably not according to your
brass playing book
it's not really what you'd recommend
so I said I'll tell you what
I said I'll have
Bruce Hague
will send you a mouthpiece
and you handle it with Bruce
because I don't sell them
and I'm not a mouthpiece maker
I call it personal
for myself
and for my students
because we could not find good mouthpieces
so I sent him one
now here's a man that was having trouble
not like a guy that's out
and shouldn't have any trouble
and he says
thanks for the excellent mouthpiece
now he
wasn't worried about filling it was he
he said
I know from feel that it does not
fight me in any register
as the Bach
number one did
the sound is becoming more
open and full
yesterday I could not believe the
sound that it was coming out of
my horn
I have a better sense of feel
to where the
tongue belongs
for each note
and that's true
if the mouthpiece is fighting you
the tongue is not dumb
it just lays down and doesn't have to work
and now you're trying to get your resistance
from the mouthpiece
it shouldn't be from the mouthpiece
the resistance should be
from your tongue
the tongue rising
in the mouth to make the mouth
is the knack of playing high notes
or high tones he said
the tapered
inner edge
he's talking about the rim now
is comfortable
greatly so and of course
it's much easier
for the lip and the face
muscles to adjust
with the Bach I had the feeling
that the lip was pinched
beneath the rim
that's true
that's the feeling you get
Bach wins
generally a person that plays
Bachs all the time
and that's their privilege
I'm not saying don't buy this thing
that's up to the player
but he generally goes and has that
inner edge
buffed down
very sharp
and their theory behind that
is you get a better attack
that's not where the attack
comes from
and then
when they first try the
personal mouthpiece
one of their soft
are oh I have
a dozen grip I lose it
well sure they don't have
a grip that's why
it's like
there was a writer that used to write
for downbeat
now we were foolish as kids
we used to believe what was in downbeat
you know
and this one writer
says you want to get a good grip
take a wood raft
rough up the edge of your rim
it'll grip better
it sure will
you'll bleed a little but it'll grip
your grip comes from
the facial muscles
that's what hold is
now let's take a look at some more
common sense
can we erase this
I know I think Dave
used that probably in his
clips right
and that's over with
we've got to get into
the mouthpiece
and the horns too
what about a
trombone mouthpiece
a trombone mouthpiece
Bruce what was I saying on a trombone
I've been on it for nine years
I think you've been self-protected
one or two
59 or 60
or something
for years
I think the trombone
most of the trombone players
were using a block 11
something like that
and that was very well
it's like Jerry Kinney
natural lip Kinney
that was a
tag we put on him for a gag
he played good
and he'd gone out
on some clinics with Herbie Green
and he was
Jerry was
such a character I just loved to go on
tour with him
he had so much fun
played on this
block mouthpiece all his life
so after the trip with
with uh
who did I say the trombone player was
Herbie Green
anyway he uh
he called me one day
in absolute panic
and he said
I've got to play a job
in Reno
and he says I can't play the horn
I said come on
Jerry I said
don't tell me that you're a good player
maybe you're just having a bad day
no it's been that way all week
what do I do
I said well now let's think a little bit
I said have you uh
been messing around with anything
you play the same horn yeah
I said what about mouthpieces
I said I haven't messed with that
he says Herbie
told me I ought to play
uh this mouthpiece
he said it would help me a lot
I said what is it
and he said well it's a um
I said now what was the name of that company
huh Jepto
uh it was a Jepto
and I
said alright
you drive across the Columbia River
I said stop long enough to throw that mouthpiece
as far as you can out in the river
then I said
you go back and put in that mouthpiece
you've played all your life
and you play a couple
of days forget that you even
mess with the mouthpiece don't uh
just play it
about three days later he called me he says
you were right he says I'm playing wonderful
I feel great
to go up there
changing mouthpieces
is the beginning
of the end
now what does a mouthpiece do
a mouthpiece
is part of the instrument
you're not
learning a mouthpiece
so you don't practice
on a mouthpiece
you're working
on the instrument
now let's take a look here's a lead pipe
play the trumpet
here's the vowel
now you've got a receiver
now what's the receiver for
just what it says
to receive the mouthpiece
now years ago
they didn't have receivers
on that
the lead pipe came out
and then it spread a little bit
and you put the mouthpiece right into the lead pipe
and then as time went on
they put the receiver on
now they've got theories out
back the mouthpiece
off of the lead pipe
one eighth of an inch
and one mouthpiece maker
is making sleeves
so you can back it off an eighth
more, more, more
now your mouthpiece
comes in
and so you can
your mouthpiece comes in
and supposing it ends right there
now what's going to happen
with this big gap in here
that's going to disturb the air
and it's going to
make resistance
you don't want that resistance
okay, now they get it backwards
the rule that I apply is
don't back it off any further
than an eighth of an inch
what is best is right up
to the lead pipe
now it becomes part of the horn
okay, now
this here
these sleeves
you can buy
and they will put it in so the mouthpiece
will only go to there
so you play it
the horn feels terrible
from then it may
be very good because
I've got to get a new horn
and the horn you got may be
alright, so you get another sleeve
you move it up to there
what happens
same thing
it really doesn't change at all
but in your head
you think it does
so you say well maybe I need a tail
then you get another one
you move it up to there
you get another one and you move it up
now you get about an eighth of an inch
from the start of the lead pipe and all of a sudden
whap! it opens up
now why is that
if you take
take a horn
put a mouthpiece in it
and blow with everything you've got
just air
you put a match at the bell
it may flicker a little bit
that's all the air that comes out
your wind support and your wind
is for you
what goes through the horn?
the vibration
now this is why
my theories
when I designed a trumpet
the thinnest lead pipe
I could get made
the brass lead pipe
normal thin
would collapse
so we made the lead pipe
out of nickel silver
now it's even thinner
now it's even thinner
than the brass
but it's stronger
now you put
the vibration starts
when it hits that lead pipe
boy that just
sizzles through
now the vibration goes through the horn
we use the term
get air through the horn
for you as the player
but the air
picks up the vibration
and carries them through
the size of the bore
has nothing to do with it
unless you get a large bore
that stays large constantly
that doesn't work
that plays cubby
but you have papers
that have been discovered
and you change these papers
in the right spots
my horn
well first of all
right here
is where your intonation comes in
these letters are easy to hear
I got him a horn
when I first got the summer
I came in one day
and here's this brand new horn
completely apart
on the bench
slides unsoddered
I said Larry what are you doing
that's a brand new instrument
he said oh I'll put it back together
he said I just want to find out
where this intonation comes from
it's such a beautiful
in tune instrument
and I think it's in the vowel cluster
it's not in the vowel cluster
the intonation
from right there
now the funny thing is
the horn doesn't play in tune
you cannot make
a horn that it plays in tune
it's impossible
you play it in tune
this makes it
possible for you to
adjust intonation
without struggling
most instruments
start here too small
and right away
your intonation is effective
now I'm going to mention some measurements
at least you'll know
my trumpets start out at
most trumpets
start out at .345
that's too small
all the older horns like
the old boston
all those great instruments
that the great players play
they all started out at least
now you can get it too big
that's not good either
but .360 works
when you reach the end of the lead pipe
it reaches
around the crook
all the way up to the bow
it stays a constant
now the bell starts off
of the first bow
that starts off
it cuts back
now that was a secret
from the old boston
old boston I don't know whether
he was that smart about it
or whether he just happened to latch on to it
but for years
and Frank will bear this out
for years
they tore those vessels apart
they measured the alloys
they did everything to find out
does this horn play like this
just a few
most of them played pretty poorly
but when you got a good one
boy you really had something
they overlooked
because the horn was handmade
and they thought it was just
sloppy work and a bad
he had that restriction
at the start of that bell
that was one of the big
secrets and they
rejected that because to the engineers
that didn't make sense
it was just poor workmanship
but he meant it to be
now that vibration boy
it starts through that lead back
and when you play a horn and you feel it quiver
in your hand
you know you got a horn
that's what it should do
you should feel
that vibration just sizzles in your hand
why was it that all those old
what did you find
that became the standard of the world
if the
Bach came over here
a good engineer
and he copied that Besson
in fact on the early box
that was put out
he had a whole
he went over to France
and he bought a whole carnival
of French
Besson bells
so on the first box
it was all Besson bells
that's very important
now what about mouthpieces
which we'll get some more pictures
here in a minute
okay you got the mouthpiece
when I went to park
I was so screwed up it was a mess
I was playing on a mouthpiece
called the
Rudy Muck cushion rim
the rim was about that wide
the theory
oh and he sold a lot of them
the theory was that it's wide
it's easy on your mouth
it has
just the opposite effect
it cuts off circulation all through
here and makes it harder
to recover
now then the cup
came down like this
you've got to have a freedom
here off of the rim
it's got to come down a little bit
and then it can be this way
now Bach
he was going to make the high notes easier
so he put a bowl cup
that's resistance
comes in
kicks back that way
now you put a little tiny drill
that's resistance
now notice
you're starting to work hard now to get anything
into the horn
the length of that drill
determines resistance
now then
the backbores
they started to make them
everything was resistant
let's take a look at some more of those slides
now on what I was talking about
can you see those?
not very well
can we get
some more darkness here somehow?
now here's the cup
look here comes the cup
right here
boy that's shallow
does that say
whose model is what?
anyway that's alright
now look at here
a little
drill size
it has a fairly
open throat
it has to have otherwise you wouldn't get any sound
something's got a channel in there
and then the backbore
now the backbore you notice is much narrower
than on the other
but it opens up here which is alright
it's too narrow
you're getting resistance
okay let's try another one
now when you go into Mouthfish Maker
and you say well
let's try a little more cup
or a little more drill
so he puts in a little
doesn't make any difference
you're still getting the same resistance
so it's a waste of money and time
like Calicchio used to be a pretty funny guy
I liked him well we got along great
and I have more Calicchio stories
than you could write a book about
and I went in and I said Dominic
I want this
and I said would you
I want a 22 drill in there
and he says
22? and I said yeah
he says you sure?
I said yeah Dominic 22
why you work so hard?
I said no that's because I don't want to work so hard
so he gets right up
to the drill and he says
22? and I said yeah
okay and he drills it to
I got the Mouthfish home
it just played terrible
I measured it
he had a 28 in it
he knew he did
he just
he was going to try to prove something
but it didn't work
now I went to Mouthfish Maker
some guys came up
and I said this here says Gordy
the way you play
if you got a smaller Mouthfish
you'd be unbeatable
and I kept listening to that talk
and Clark was dead
for a long time
I finally succumbed to some of this talk
and I went down
I had a Mouthfish made
I put a 28 in it
narrowed back more and all
and I went in the studio
I didn't really realize it
I was really struggling with it
one day one of the conductors
one of the big conductors
he says come on I'm going to take you to lunch
I said okay
that was great so I felt very honored
and we went down to lunch
and over there he said
you feeling okay?
I says yeah I'm feeling fine
he says
we working you too hard?
I said no
he says would you like some time off?
and get a rest
I said no
what's the matter Bill?
he says well you're just not
sounding like the same old guy
he laid it right out
and that's when I realized
man I better get rid of this
thing and go back to what I was playing
so it could
cost you a job you have a good conductor
with a good pair of ears
you don't notice it
now then you have the same
situation here
give me another one see if we can get one where you see better
ah that's better
now look at this one look at that cup
the drill's too
small now the straight away goes
from here to here
that's too long
that's more resistance
and now look how narrow
that backboard is all the way down
until it gets here and then it flares
terrible mouthpiece
you got this here
and then you got a
long throat
and the backboard everything is
about the same too narrow
the length of the drill
is only to here
so that's not too awfully bad
but this is terrible up here
now the theory of the double cup
was that you had a
shallow cup to play high
and then the longer cup
to get a good sound
and play lower that's absolutely
false theory that mouthpiece
you got nothing out of it
you had just
a very shallow cup
and then you had a big wide open
throat and that's all
and they called it a double cup
and sold millions of dollars
that's the same thing
well that's one of the better ones
let's try another
notice this is good
it's got a free off here
and down wide
well it's too narrow
here a little
let's have a try and find that
keep going we'll find that
no keep going
what do we got here
I can't see these myself
we're going to have to redo
these pictures
wait a minute
is this it
now on the
A4A Shilkey should have been
horse with for this
the worst monstrosity
ever put out
the worst, the very worst
are you getting this
Dave or are you telling jokes
all right
the worst monstrosity
that was ever sold to trumpet players
it had a cup so shallow
that it would do nothing
there's not even a drop
of a freeway there
now if this is
the one I'm looking at
the straight away
starts here goes clear down to here
how are you going to
get anything through that
and that's what these
poor kids in these high schools
are sitting back there
trying to play arrangements that they should
need to be trying to play
they're turning blue
and purple
their eyeballs are out to here
and they wonder why
they can't play
they're trying to get
a mouthpiece to do it for them
it won't work
you are the ones
that play
now the trouble is they don't realize
that it won't work until
a long time later
generally then it's too late
I mean it takes
a few years to become a good
brass player
if you're going to waste all that
on those kinds of things
and gadgets
and enjoy those gadgets the first day
oh no
that's terrible
then it's not going to work
okay now let's see
have we
covered all our points
we had the mouthpieces
the horns
yes Steve
loud guys, I can hear
you said you had a story about
to show you
this ridiculousness of
this is
one of the classic stories of all time
in New York
they had New New York
Austin, Toronto
that's where all the great artists were
gathered in these days
now Clark
as I said was a pioneer
and he tried things
now he had
his mouthpiece
this is looking at it from the edge
I like that
the rim was concave
so it hit his mouth
and then of course
the thing came down
and into the backbone
but this hit his mouth
so it had this curve
and he liked that
I asked him, I said should I get that
oh little kid
always anxious to get some gadget
he says
it helped me, that's all I can say
so I
fine, so
in those days there was a
real trumpet fraternity
or cornet fraternity
and they always
the player never went anywhere
without his mouthpiece
in his pocket
they had at the
big theater, I think what was it
Paramount, the big Paramount theater
outside the marquee
Walter Smith
world's greatest
cornetist in concert
it's 30 below zero outside
in New York, those of you that know New York
know how cold that gets out
everybody, the bands
play, everything out comes
time for Walter Smith
and the stage manager's going crazy
Walt, you're on
Walt, where are you
he's running around backstage
and Clark's standing there
cause they all showed up to hear each other play
and Clark's standing there
he says you seen Smith
Clark says no I'm seeing him
now the announcer's already
stepped on stage and he's going
to announce the great Walter
Smith and he was a great
he really was
all of a sudden the stage door bangs
open and in comes
Walter Smith, great big
heavy overcoat, they shook the snow off
and just about that time
the announcer's
digressing on
Walter Smith and
he opens
his case, 30 below
outside, I don't remember
he grabs in his case
and you see him again
oh my gosh
it's Clark
you got a mouthpiece
he says I forgot my mouthpiece
and Clark says well I got mine
and he says do you mind if I borrow
and he says no
fine, he hands in the mouthpiece, now it's got
that curve
and just then
and his horn is like ice
so just then the announcer
says Walter
Smith and he charges out
and he jams the mouthpiece
in and he got it like
he played the whole solo
the modulation in the cadenza
to pitch when the horn got
played several encores
never touched the mouthpiece
the show's over and he comes in and he says
oh thanks Clark you saved my life
and he didn't back him out
he didn't even realize it
that's so much for mouthpieces
use your head guys
don't ask for more problems
you're going to have enough of them
get a mouthpiece and grow with it
alright, any questions now
you're always saying that mouthpieces are too small
can there ever be a mouthpiece that's too big
oh sure
I should say so
especially if you get too wide
like for a trumpet player
you're going to have trouble holding to it
and the same with anything
with french horn
a teacher would say get a bigger
well it tells you well
big in what way
it's like one
one professor in
I lectured up there and he came to me
and he said afterwards
he said well you didn't embarrass me
too much
and I said well I didn't mean to
embarrass you
the next year I move him up to a
back one and a half
he says the fourth year
I graduate him to a back one and a quarter
he shot that
fourth student down every
in that length of time he never got
used to any mouthpiece
and besides that
what they go by numbers meant
the backboards were all too small
most everybody gets a back
mouthpiece and if they want
to play box and they like them and
that's fine they always go down
and have them drilled out to a 25
every one of them
they'd be
better off and run a 22 through it
forget it
why can't I do it all at once can I do it a little at a time
you don't have to do it a little at a time
bore it out and then use it
thank you Steve any other questions
sure now
because we're running up
we've only got one more day to
on tuba
I think the standard size that
Bruce mentioned would be okay
and that's pretty open
in the booth
did you hear that
that series turns out pretty well
now if you can't get the
activist horn mouthpiece
what did we
figure Bruce was the comparable
horn mouthpiece
there really isn't any
that close
it's not
so much worse
what would
you recommend
what would you recommend Brad
the problem with the
they're cut
they're not like this so they
and they're really wide
yeah some of them get to
sign by width but that's no good
yeah but it's dark
which one
John Nellie
John Nellie
John Nellie you think
yeah you know who makes those
yeah Zig Dazzle
makes those right here in town
and then sends them to John Nellie
okay but if
you can get that actin
that's a very good mouthpiece
very cheap mouthpiece
what did he try 175
what did you get it for
you mentioned your date
that's like
at the Fourteen Gardens
a guy get up and you know he's
going to go to the restroom or a girl
and this announcer turns to him
he says mention it by name you get a good
so okay
and be sure to mention the name
that's used
by many
great French hornists like
DeRosa that's what they call
his model that's a very good
mouthpiece for French horn
yes Stephen
Google mouthpiece
Google mouthpiece is a little more open
Pugelhorn is meant to play high
that's a bridge
and you can play
infinity on them
if you can do it
but where the Pugelhorn
sounds good is right in that
center register if you want to play
high you can go play a trumpet
or a cornet
they've been nice
they're beautiful when they're played
I got a kick out of Larry
Sousa's solo
the other night he played that fast
one where he wants you know
dee da dee da dee da dee da dee da dee da dee
it was so pretty
and on Pugel it's good but suppose
he can play an octave higher
why use a Pugel
it wouldn't be pretty at all
anything else
on the
yes uh huh
I've had students come in and say
that we're using bad
trouble in my faces and they wouldn't
change and I found them and said gee why
is it I can play higher on my Pugelhorn
than I can't on that I said well now
think about it
I said you
I said that to yourself
yeah we got in fact
who was the guy in the
symphony Larry
up in oh Schluter
is that
Schluter he had a 13
drill in his
piccolo master
it should
be open now okay
now it's been a marvelous
session today
and I know even though
I have really enjoyed this
this uh workshop
this week all of you are just great
and tomorrow we're going to have
a morning session that I know you all
love and
okay now you're
you're on your own now