Claude Gordon Brass Camp 1991 - Claude Gordon on Wind Power with Carl Leach

Transcript Summary

Okay, there's three things to be in a process.
How to practice, what to practice, and when to practice.
Now keep that in mind constantly.
Now, there are seven natural items that we have to understand and develop.
Each one of these items has to be developed until it works correctly by habit.
In other words, when you're playing, you're not thinking about what you're doing.
It's developed until it works correctly by habit.
Now, each item has to be developed by itself.
These are the natural elements of nature.
And when you get all seven, they fit together like that and you start to play easily.
Remember, there's nothing in that piece of pipe, your instrument, that's going to play for you or do anything for you.
You are the one.
It's just like a vocalist.
They don't have an instrument to make the sound on.
They do it themselves, and that's the same way with the brass player.
That's one thing that's very interesting.
I get calls, many calls every year.
Can you help me with this?
I'm having this problem.
So you ask them the question, well, what's your major problem?
Well, range and endurance.
Every time it's the same.
Range and endurance to the exclusion of everything else.
Now then, we've been talking about wind power.
That's what we're going to go into today.
Now, wind power is what makes everything work.
That's like the fuel in your car.
If you have no wind power, you're not going to play anything.
That has to be the number one.
Now, with this in mind, that's why your breathing exercises are so important.
That's the first thing the student will forget to do, is the breathing exercises.
Now, endurance.
Wind power is absolutely linked with endurance.
Because wind power is what makes everything work.
So if you don't have any wind power, you're not going to have any endurance either.
So I want you to remember this one statement.
The air does the work.
Now, we hear a lot about breathing.
A lot of people talk about it.
They discuss it.
But the point that they miss is you've got to breathe again correctly.
The way nature intended you to breathe.
Like most of you talk is the stomach.
You push out the stomach.
I had a young man push out his stomach last night.
And you try it, it doesn't make you blow.
And yet they had, there was one big named teacher back east.
And they used to talk about it.
You could put your fist in his stomach, and he could push out that stomach so hard it would knock you over.
What good is it going to do as far as playing is concerned?
You could push out.
How many times have you heard about players in opera style and so on lay on the floor and they stack books on their stomach.
And then they try and breathe that way.
It's not going to help you.
You can do that all day, every day.
It's not going to mean a thing.
Stomach doesn't blow.
Everything comes from the lungs.
Now then, I used to do some of these crazy things when I was a kid.
I used to stand and bounce a medicine ball off my stomach, and I thought that was going to develop my blowing.
The only thing it did was give me a sore stomach.
I got nothing out of it.
And all these crazy things.
Air will only go one place, and that's in the lungs.
No way is it going to go anywhere else.
Bruce, where's Don LeVoy?
Don LeVoy. Good question.
He was signed up, right?
He's not here yet.
Anyway, so we got to concentrate on wind power.
Now then, you hear a lot of talk about wind control.
You can have no control if you don't have any power first.
So the first thing to develop is the wind power.
Then the control will come.
Because if you don't have the power, you have nothing to control.
So much, everyone gets the cart before the horse.
And then it doesn't work.
So wind power.
Now then, we talked about the chest up.
And remember this statement.
If your chest is up, you cannot breathe wrong.
You don't have to think about your breathing to keep the chest up.
That's all. It's that simple.
And that's natural.
You ever see in the Army, the sergeant gets everybody out there in a row.
And what does he say?
Shoulders back.
Now see, that's good posture.
Get those shoulders back.
It's not just good posture.
Nothing difficult.
That's the way we're built.
Now with those shoulders back, chest up, now you can't breathe wrong.
Now why?
Because the lungs are a set of bellows.
And they work just like bellows.
Now if you had to blow with a diaphragm, how would you do it?
Now some of you that have been taught diaphragm, let me see your hand.
All right, now I want you to stand up, any of you, and tell me how you would blow with the diaphragm.
Any of you, stand up and tell me what you thought.
It's not to ridicule anything.
It's just to get a point across.
Stand up.
And one of you, who wants to stand up?
One of you.
All right.
Now tell me, now both of you, that's good.
Now tell me what's your conception.
What would you figure that you're going to do from the diaphragm?
Well the idea was to be able to push the air out.
You'd have to push it up, wouldn't you?
Was that what you thought of too?
But you don't, do you?
You go like this.
That's the opposite.
Okay, now supposing that you were going to push with the diaphragm, if you could.
And you must remember that the diaphragm is not a muscle.
And yet there will be articles coming out that the diaphragm is a powerful muscle.
It's not a muscle.
It has some muscle fiber in it to accomplish what it has to purpose, the purpose it has to accomplish naturally.
But it has no muscle as such that it could ever stand the amount of pressure that it requires to play a brass instrument.
Now then, another one.
Let me see you stand up again.
All right, now raise your diaphragm.
Are you raising it?
You'd have to breathe out actually, wouldn't you?
That would raise it.
So generally you ask though, and like if you ask a little of the youngster about it, you say, okay, are you raising it?
I don't know.
And that's true.
How would you know if you were moving the diaphragm or not?
One medical book books it quite well.
It says the diaphragm is an involuntary muscle.
Now what does that mean?
That's why you can't hold the diaphragm.
That has nothing to do with blowing.
But what does it mean when it says involuntary?
It's a muscle by itself.
That's right.
In other words, you can't control it.
Now if you can't control it, how would you develop it?
You don't even know if you're moving it.
I want you to think because brass players, notably, they don't think.
They go by emotion a lot of times, you know, or what they want to hear.
And they get so ingrained in that diaphragm idea that all their life they go on doing these silly things.
It's not going to help them.
You can't develop a diaphragm.
You can't control it.
You don't even know where it is or how it works.
I think Dr. Miller may have one here though.
The diaphragm is a thin sheet of tissue.
So thin you hold it to the right you can see through it.
Now supposing you could blow with the diaphragm.
Supposing that was a muscle.
You would have to what?
Push it which way?
This way?
You'd have to push up, wouldn't you?
How would you get by the heart?
Everything would be in the way.
You'd have to push that thing clear up to here to get any air because the air has to come out this way, doesn't it?
So how would you get by all these organs?
And then you've got a lung over here and a lung over here.
And here's a diaphragm.
I'm going to push these.
Now let me show you.
The lungs are a set of bellows.
Here's a hand bellows.
And they go like that.
You see that?
You don't push from down here.
The diaphragm does nothing.
It controls pressure within the body.
When the body reaches a certain push of energy the diaphragm will go pop.
That's it.
And it'll stay there until you relax and then it goes right back.
There's no slow movement.
It pops up when you reach a certain pressure.
And you can play and play and the diaphragm will not move until you reach that certain amount of push.
And then it will go like that.
It's controlling pressures within your body that you know nothing about.
So as a bellows, these lungs work like this.
They push.
Like that.
So you're not pushing up.
You're squeezing like a bellows.
You take a breath in and you go...
And you can see them come out.
Then when you blow they go...
Now if I told you to do that, you couldn't do it.
You'd go around and try and squeeze.
If the chest is up, that's the way it's going to work.
Remember, if the chest is up you cannot breathe wrong.
I had a trumpet player come up to me one day and say, oh, you're a high breather.
Is there any other way to breathe?
But see, his idea was that you blow from down here and it's completely ridiculous.
Now I've seen clinics where a teacher will get up and he'll talk about the diaphragm
and he'll expound on it and expound on it.
I'm talking about a good player, a real adult player.
And he'll expound on something that he's heard all his life.
It's not that he knows what he's doing.
He's expanding on what he's heard and what he was taught.
So he's talking about the diaphragm.
Now he picks up the instrument to demonstrate.
And notice the first thing, you'll see that chest come up like this.
Exactly opposite of what he's been talking about.
And you watch that.
And you watch the great players.
Boy, that chest comes up.
And it must stay up.
Now a good example, the fuel in your car isn't a gas tank, is it?
So what happened?
You drive down the street and your car runs out of gas.
Does the gas tank fold up and collapse?
It's still the gas tank.
This is your gas tank.
This holds the fuel.
It's also your support.
If this is down, you're going to be in trouble.
So when you're sitting down, you sit up on the front of the chair and keep that chest up.
Now, the lungs are like the gas tank.
When you're out of air, the lungs don't collapse.
Or the chest.
I've talked about the chest now.
When you're out of air, the chest doesn't collapse.
It's like the gas tank.
You keep the chest up always.
If you watch the great soloists, boy, what chests they have.
And it never comes down.
Is there a copy of that bienza, of that solo?
I don't know.
You have to ask Ruth.
But you take a look.
I don't want to show you a picture of one of these solos in his chest.
They all, Clark was like this.
If you look at Liberati, you look at Levi, all of them, their chests are like this.
And it wasn't from eating pizza.
It's not down here.
Remember, the chest must stay up.
Now, what you're going to do when you're breathing exercises, you have to work on this.
So we're going to go outside and work on it.
Now, what you're working on now, you stand in place.
Did Carl tell you this morning you take ten breaths?
Without the chest dropping, right?
Ten breaths and get out.
So it's like this here.
And if you do this, that kind of puts the posture up and opens the chest up.
Now, don't get tense like this because you can't go when you're tense.
But you take a big breath.
The chest is up.
You notice it stays up.
Let the air out.
I'm empty.
The chest is still up.
Still up.
Chest is still up.
Now, that is a little tricky at first, but it's natural.
Anyway, now then, after so many weeks of doing that, you start getting accustomed to it.
It feels good.
It's very natural.
Now you go outside.
And you don't do this inside as you'll work on this week.
You walk.
Very comfortable walking.
Like that.
Now, with each one of those steps, you take a short breath in through your nose.
Right there.
Through your nose.
Now, that has nothing to do with playing your horn, but it's controlling it.
You're going to go in through your nose, out through your mouth.
And later on in playing, you will use some of that too.
But in through your nose, out through your mouth.
Now then, you engage it so that you have chest up and you're full of wind on five steps.
So you start naturally.
Now you're full.
Comfortably full.
Keep that chest up.
And keep walking.
Five more.
Now you keep the chest up and start letting the air out with each step.
Engage it so you're empty on five, but the chest stays up.
Chest is still up.
Now you want empty for five.
Keep that chest up all the time.
In fact, I have all of the students keep the chest up constantly.
All day.
Every activity.
Don't walk around.
Did you ever see kids in high school coming in and out?
They come into the classroom.
They're not going to be very healthy either.
And that's a very dangerous thing.
Did you ever lift something up?
Like, if you lift up this ventricle case here.
You'd reach down and before you even lifted it, you'd take a big breath.
If you're empty of air and try and lift it, you don't have any power at all.
And that's the same with brass playing.
Now if that chest is down.
Supposing you're playing in a big orchestra and that chest is down.
You're not here just sitting like this.
And all of a sudden you're reading in sight.
All of a sudden you turn the page and there's a high F right in front of you.
Believe me, you're going to miss it.
There's no way.
That chest up, you're always ready.
The power is there.
Let the air do the work.
The air saves the lift.
And that has to be developed.
Now, you want those ears the way you want those thighs hanging over.
And you're starting with them.
Notice the chest is still up.
Now what happens when you're breathing like that is lungs are doing this.
And first thing you know, you get used to that and you breathe that way naturally.
Many students have done this and said,
I never realized that I didn't practice breathing exercises really for a couple of months.
And all of a sudden I just had a little kind of trouble playing.
And that's true.
Win, power.
That's the basis for everything.
Now, how many ever heard of Conrad Boswell?
I had the orchestra at the Palladium one night and I had Conrad Boswell on first trumpet.
Conrad was probably the highest salaried first trumpet player in all the recording industry.
In so demand you couldn't get him.
So he was on first and he was sitting back there.
Now, Conrad was a bell-chested guy too.
And he's sitting and I watched him because I know what's coming up in this arrangement.
And we're playing and I look back and just watch him out of the corner of my eye.
I had a lot of respect for this man. He was a great player.
And there was a high G coming up.
And he's sitting very relaxed playing.
And all of a sudden he literally came out of that chair.
He raised up about that high getting that chest up.
And then he nailed that G. You could hear it clear out in Sunset Boulevard.
Wind power.
I drove down Sunset Boulevard one night and I heard these high G's clear out in the street.
Gee, I wonder who's practicing up there.
And the lights were all out in the rooms.
Clear out on the boulevard. I could hear these beautiful high G's.
Boy, I wonder who that is practicing.
So we got down to the next block.
Here they're coming out of the Palladium.
I don't know what orchestra it was.
But these high G's are singing out in the street.
Garza was on the lead chair of this orchestra.
So that's power.
Now we're going to have to talk later about what to do with all that power.
But first you have to develop it.
So, now the breathing exercises.
You walk like that.
Now I did a cycle there, right?
I went in fire, hold fire, out fire, then empty fire.
Chest never drops.
You start all over again.
Now you're outside walking.
And you walk at least around the block every day.
That's enough. You don't have to kill yourself.
If you do it around the block every day,
I want to take 10 minutes, 15 minutes,
to develop what you're going to need to play.
And if you want to do it twice around the block later on,
again, that's alright.
But once, at least.
It isn't how much you do, it's how you do it.
So, and yet the habit of that good posture,
when you walk, when you do work,
if you're talking or anything, keep that chest up.
Because I see speakers that get at me.
They worry about, because you can't hear them in the back of the room.
And then you watch them give a lecture,
and they're up there like this.
Of course they're not going to hear them.
There's no projection.
And you're going to feel good.
Now after you do a couple of cycles around the,
if you start around the block and you do a couple of cycles,
well you're going to feel, oh my gosh, I'm dying.
You know, you're going to feel it.
You'll feel it back here.
Around these sides.
And so you stop.
And you relax a little bit.
As soon as you feel warm again, let's start up again.
And keep that up until you've continued around the block.
That's the easiest thing now to forget to do.
You've got to make yourself do that.
That takes a little energy.
Lots of times guys talk a lot about warm-up.
You'd probably do much better if you walk around the block
and do some breathing exercises
than if you go in and try to warm up on the horn.
It'll do you much more good.
Like the old cello player I told you about last night at Columbia.
I'd go in early to do the show.
And boy, he's in there doing exercises like this and all around.
Boy, when he sat down to play, he's wide awake and ready to go.
So that would be a better warm-up than anything else.
Lots of times you're going to play jobs where you don't have time to warm up.
You're going to get out of the bus or something's going to happen to your car.
You're going to be late.
And you're going to run in and pick up that horn and go.
So now if you figure, oh, I've got to warm up.
What are you going to do?
So keep yourself in shape.
And always be early.
And take that out of the story.
There's a very fine trumpet player on this recording corner in Los Angeles.
Pete Condola.
Very fine trumpet player.
Very well known.
And they're doing a recording.
And everybody's there, and it's about 30 seconds before they start recording.
This chair's still empty.
Now, don't get in the habit of this ever, because you won't get many calls.
But Pete is such a fine player that they want him on there.
So at about 15 seconds before the time,
Ed walks to Pete and he sits down, takes out his horn,
and the conductor says, well, there's one thing about Pete.
And he says, he's never late, but he's never early either.
And he picks it up, and the first note was a high F sharp.
He took the horn out of the case.
Conductor went back and, ding, boy, he nailed it.
So where was his warm-up?
So don't become a slave to a warm-up.
Sometimes you can't do it.
Many times we had to start playing.
Just take the horn out and play.
And you can do it.
Now then, after five steps, you do that.
I have the students now do five steps around the block for a whole month.
Now, in the book, it has less time.
But you'll find it better if you give it more time.
Because you'll be six months, no, ten months.
It'll take you ten months to get through the graduation of the breathing exercise.
Then you start it all over, and then another way, you've got ten months on that.
All right, now that's almost two years.
By that time, you're going to be feeling pretty darn good with your boy.
And it feels like, ooh, I just have power.
All right, and Brad, Brad is a great example.
Can you verify that?
It's just like you're sitting on power.
Now, it's not that you're sitting on it.
It's on the moon.
All right, after a month on that, you move to six steps.
Now, it's six in, old six, six out, empty six.
Now, next month, seven, eight, nine, and ten.
Now, ten gets a little heavy.
You might have to stop many more times, but do it.
Now, after all that, start over again with the five steps and start juggling.
That's a nice, easy job.
And you all trot along sometimes.
You might not actually be doing the exercises some day as the exercise,
but you're late for school, or you want to get somewhere, or you're walking to school,
or you're going from one dormitory to another.
Always practice those breathing exercises.
But it soon gets to be habit.
So I was walking down, I was with an orchestra at Salt Lake one time,
and so you know how women are.
They like to go out window shopping and all of them.
So my wife and I were walking down the street, and she's talking at Blue Street, you know,
oh, this and this in the window, you know.
I didn't say anything.
I heard her, but I didn't say anything.
Pretty soon she looks up, oh, you're doing your breathing exercises.
And she'd get raped for terms.
But again, I had such a habit of it that constantly, no matter where I walked,
what I did, that chest was up.
And it really paid off.
It stands to reason, if you're working on breathing and you've got a good amount of wind power,
the player next to you never worries about that.
He never has any exercise in there.
And you're working on it.
That stands to reason you're going to play twice as easy as he does,
because you've got the power and the fuel behind you.
And now your endurance is going to be up.
I had a, many times, I had a student come up and this one,
and what was notable, he said,
well, you play a two-and-a-half-hour show.
And these were the shows where, the biggest shows were in Los Angeles.
You play, and not a big orchestra.
The trumpet is no while in the sections.
So the trumpets are playing constantly.
So for two-and-a-half hours, you finish, you get a 20-minute break,
and we'd run out and get a beer or something,
which I don't recommend or a job, but it's one beer a day.
So we'd go get a beer and come back.
Now we'd do a two-and-a-half-more-hour show.
That's five hours of constant song is blowing.
Then you'd have to play a 20-minute dance set to close up before they close the club.
Now these were big clubs.
I was thinking of the Floridian Garden.
Seated 5,000 people.
And it was full every night.
That was in the days when more of the shows were in a heyday.
A player comes up and says, boy, the interlip just shot.
I know, my lip feels fine.
But back here, I'd go home and I'd have to sit up a while
because I would ache back around these muscles.
The air was doing the work.
The air saves the lip.
You play on air.
All night long, you're pumping like a bellows.
These muscles will feel better.
Now then, if you afterwards, I had a thought in mind and I lost it.
If you go, you could rub your back and everything.
But these muscles in the back can be very powerful.
Your lungs are in peace with these muscles.
And they get very strong.
In fact, you can keep developing those all your life.
I know a good player, 70 years old.
And I would be playing still if I hadn't got that cancer and all that stuff.
But they get very strong.
And you get up on the real top register, you get that chest up in support,
those notes are going to come out easy.
So remember, the air does the work.
The air saves the lip.
You ever wonder why some guys look like they can play forever?
Gee, they just play, play, play, good, strong, power.
They don't seem to get tired.
Watch them breathe.
And you'll see why.
Don't ask them how they breathe because they're probably saying,
But watch them.
Many players have played beautifully, but they don't know how.
Herbert Clarke was never known to tire out.
Now just think of what a reputation that was.
All the big conductors back then all remarked on the amazing endurance that this man had.
Went back.
And you read that story that I gave at the barber.
And he talks about that in there.
He was always devising new things to develop that wit.
And it really paid off.
Well, you probably read in the brass playing the remarks of the critic.
It's like he takes all the air out of the room.
And yet, when he ends up, he hasn't thinned notes of play.
Now what do you mean by that?
He hadn't thinned notes of play.
In other words, the chest was still out.
He wasn't like this.
Now I noticed, did I have that chair called?
I went in, go into a high school.
And this should never be.
Did you ever go into a school and see and watch some of the trumpet players in the band?
That's prevalent.
How many have seen that?
How are they going to play?
First place, they have nothing where air is going to go.
Sit on the edge of the chair if you're going to sit down.
Sit on the edge of the chair.
Your feet flat.
The mic again?
What happens with this guy?
Sit on the edge of the chair with the feet flat.
Keep that chest up.
Now see, you can do it like this at night.
Like this.
We were playing a show one time.
Oh, let me finish first.
Clark was never known to tie a knot.
And he'd have fine players in the section.
Well, Susan had nothing but the best.
And he would come again, huh?
He was double.
There, now, can you hear it?
He would be over and the guys would be getting tired.
And he would just lay out the rest of it all the time.
And he never stopped.
He played it all the time.
And remember, he was doing every night or every afternoon,
he would be doing one of his solos with the band,
with as many as 13 encores.
And he'd still take it easy.
I'll take that one.
He was never known to tie a knot.
That's what wind power will do for you.
So don't underestimate it.
We were doing a show one time at Columbia.
Len Buskin was the head conductor and the meanest conductor.
I always got the mean guys.
I don't know why.
But I liked him.
He had a big heart.
He could be very stern and strict.
But I liked him.
I learned a lot from him.
And we were doing the show with Orson Welles.
And the favorite Orson Welles show was Moby Dick.
And that's what this was.
In those days, you had a running cue or a sad cue
or something like that.
That was ridiculous.
The arranger wrote for that show.
So the music was always new.
And it would come in on manuscript.
And each cue, you know what the cues are?
Does everyone understand that?
The cue was the part for that particular scene.
You do it.
And then when that scene was done and the conductor sat down,
you'd turn that over.
Now you're ready for the next cue when it came.
So they'd bring the parts in and they'd run them down.
That's your first chance.
Now when they ran those cues down,
that wasn't for you to learn to play them.
You, the musician, are expected to play them absolutely correct
the first time.
And if you don't, someone else is going to be in that chair
very rapidly.
So you come in, they bring you the parts,
and you play them through.
Now why?
To see if there's any mistakes in the notation or the copy work.
And if there is, it's corrected.
All right.
So you do that.
Now then, in those days, you had the cast was here.
The sound stage was behind you, or the sound effects.
And then the conductor was here.
You had one mic, and that's all.
So the second time you went through those cues
was for the dress rehearsal, the cast and all that.
The third time was for the balance,
because you had one mic, which was very adequate.
And you're not depending on somebody in the booth
telling you how loud you should be or something like that.
You would gauge the distance from the mic.
So the third time you had to go over them,
Lud would be in the booth, and he'd call back and tell you,
move over here, come in a little, and so forth.
That's the third time.
Now this cue happened to be so difficult,
I had never seen one like it.
We just turned it over, and boy, it was very high,
bad, bad key, and just hard to read.
I wish I'd had a copy of it.
In the back of one of the books, there's a copy of some of the cues
that we had to do, but I missed this one.
So anyway, they brought them in.
First time over, I missed it.
Really, all over the place.
So Lud didn't say a word.
He didn't even look up.
Now the dress rehearsal, I missed it again.
So Lud didn't say a word.
Now we've gotten the third time.
Now this is the last chance you take,
because the next time you're only it.
I missed it again.
So we talked back and forth, and I said,
yeah, is that going to be all right?
And I said, well, Lud, I said, it's very hard.
And he said, well, he said, let's change it.
And that's where I rebelled.
I really had a thing.
If that's it, I'll play it.
So I said, no, it'll be all right, Lud.
I said, we don't need to change it.
I heard a lot of fine players ask the conductor,
see, this is not trumpet-wise.
Can we change it?
I just, I wouldn't do that.
There was something in me that wouldn't let me do that.
So he said, are you sure?
I said, yeah, it's fine.
I'll play it.
Don't worry.
And he said, OK.
All right, now, I told him I'd play it.
Now he's depending on that, isn't it?
If I missed it again, he'd have every reason to let me go
because he was depending on it.
That's why a conductor likes to see the same faces out there
all the time, because he could be very fruity if he gets
nervous that they're not going to do it.
He can't do it.
He just brings a stick down.
So as a result, we get on the show.
Now, there are three trumpets in this particular orchestra.
I'm sitting here like this.
They come to that cue.
Somebody mentioned, well, didn't you go prox it?
That wouldn't have been any good.
If I couldn't play it then, I'd never play it.
Proxing it all the time wouldn't mean I wouldn't miss it.
So I took a good look at it.
I made it a point to actually memorize the first bar
every cue in case there was a distraction or a gust of air
curls your paper off the stand or something like that
so that whenever that stick came down,
I knew what was going to be off.
So anyway, we got to the show.
I'm up in here.
The curtain over here is this cue.
Boy, that chest was up, and I nailed that thing to the wall.
I didn't miss a thing.
It was absolutely accurate.
So the cue was over.
The blood never hooked up.
He didn't come up later and say, gee, that was fine.
He expected it to be fine.
That's what you're paid for.
But I looked down after I played the cue,
my feet were hooked around the chair like that.
And it was just like I had a seat belt on.
I was glued to it.
A trumpet player on my left, he says,
oh, glad that's over.
I went, why, dog?
He says, I was scared to death you were going to miss it.
But it went.
That's determination, concentration, and wind power.
So never underestimate wind power with your students.
What's the first thing I generally say, Carl,
when a guy comes in and he starts to play?
Chest up.
Big breath.
Even if it's up, I tell him that.
Chest up, big breath.
Never let a player forget that.
I had a student in New York that was playing in a show.
And there was another student out here
who was visiting New York.
And he came back and told me about it.
And he watched this guy play.
And he says, boy, this guy really played, you know.
And he's strong and sure.
Then he says, I watched him breathe.
His chest was up.
He was holding the horn.
And his fingers were great.
And he says, I went up to him in admission
and said to him, you play great.
He said, you play like you took from my teacher.
And he says, who did you take from?
He says, I took from a guy out in California named Gordon.
He says, that's my teacher.
Go buy your drink.
So they went over.
And he came back and told me about it.
He could tell where he studied by the way
he looked when he played and his accuracy.
Now, there's other things too.
Wind power, the sound.
How many times do you hear someone say, boy, your tone?
You've got to work on your tone.
Can anyone in here, raise your hand, tell me,
what is a good tone?
What is a good tone?
That's good.
That's good.
What else?
I'm centered in tune.
All right.
It's good.
Now, whether a player or a teacher tells you,
well, you're told it's not right,
go get a different mouthpiece.
That's when you should stop taking lessons.
A mouthpiece, a different mouthpiece,
is not going to help that sound.
You're the one.
A mouthpiece will restrict your sound,
but it won't make you have a better tone.
So if a student runs out and he gets a bigger mouthpiece,
now he's got a worse tone.
Now he's pinching, trying to hold it up.
Or he gets a smaller mouthpiece.
Reverse effects.
So the best thing in the world to do
is just to ask the teacher, say, well,
I'm a little confused.
I don't quite understand.
Would you explain to me what a good tone is?
So I know.
And you know, him and Hall, well, a good tone.
And he brought out, well, it's got to have a center.
And you brought out, it's got to be open.
That's true.
But still, what is a good tone?
Free vibration.
A free vibration.
So he won't come up with that.
But you know it.
A good sound is a free vibration.
Now, if you have that vibration restricted
somewhere or another, it's not going to be a good sound.
It's not going to be a good tone.
Elementary students shouldn't even worry about tone yet.
They're not ready to worry about that.
First of all, they've got to get a good free vibration.
Wind power.
If you don't have it, you never will have a free vibration.
So think about that.
Work on those breathing exercises.
They're vital.
The minute you stop doing it, they're
going to go right down.
You won't notice it maybe for a couple weeks.
But after a couple weeks, you're starting to notice it.
So a good sound is a free vibration.
And that's all.
Outside of that, sooner or later,
got your voice on?
Sooner or later, your personality will come out.
If you're a timid person like that,
your sound is going to be the sad act.
You're going to play that way.
A loving person will come out and he's playing.
So your personality will be your playing regardless.
But your good sound is the free vibration.
So naturally, if you're going to go up a higher range,
that free vibration still has to be there, doesn't it?
Or it's going to get pinched and squeezed.
That you don't want.
Carl's going to do some wonderful things here for us.
Oh, thank you.
Your coffee's a wonderful drink.
I made the mistake, though, after I had the heart trouble.
Larry Miller was telling me,
I think you better get off of that coffee.
And he was right.
I was only drinking 22 cups by noon.
And then I wondered why I did like this.
I never attributed to coffee.
I would be drinking 22 cups of coffee every morning.
And boy, it makes you as hyper as can be.
But when I quit, Dr. Miller suggested,
I went down to about one or two now,
I couldn't get out of the chair.
I was just like this.
And I never dreamed that coffee would give you that much of a lift.
But it's still great in the morning.
All right.
Carl had been studying very long, about 18 years.
And he was...
I'm 19.
He had his troubles.
But he became a very...
Carl is another player.
He lasted until everything folded up in Las Vegas.
Ten years.
His first job was at the Flamingos.
That takes endurance.
A lot of players don't go through it.
They'll start changing mouthpieces so rapidly
that pretty soon they can't play at all.
And when you get that, Carl called me and said,
maybe I better use a different mouthpiece.
I said, Carl, you don't go near a mouthpiece.
You wade that through until you start feeling it.
And you change your mouthpiece.
Now everything is different.
And you're in trouble.
It's just like starting all over again.
Now, in systematic approach, who has that?
Everybody get that book out.
Now, this...
Everybody looks at this book and they think,
oh, wow, that's...
I can't do that.
It's a beginner's book.
Actually, it's elementary.
Now, lesson one.
Lesson one, ignore that.
I shouldn't have even put it in there.
I don't believe in long tones.
They don't do any good.
The only reason that lesson one was in there
was to get the player to hold that breath
until there was no air left.
But I don't even use that anymore
because long tones can be detrimental.
They have a terrible stiffening effect.
Now, notwithstanding that every lesson in the book
is written in half notes.
That's only for visual only.
You notice there's no time signatures.
Now, it's a...
The first one, part one, and lesson two,
it's a breathing exercise.
It goes on an arpeggio.
Now, the chest must stay up.
You keep that chest up.
Now, you hold the note.
Now, while that chest is up,
these fellows are starting to squeeze.
Hold the note. Hold it.
Until you're out of air
and you'll start to shake a little.
Then hold it some more.
Give it an extra push, like that.
And that will...
It's like...
Something like this, like isometrics.
You know, it's that last push.
When the blood circulates, then you start building.
And if you could watch, like, the In Brass Playing Book,
I'll bring that. Don't let me forget that.
The pictures of Tom playing with it.
I think they have a movie today that's going to show that.
Oh, great. Yeah, I forgot about that.
Oh, that volunteer is here.
I've got to apologize to Dr. Mayer.
I always introduce him as a great surgeon, which he is.
And I always forget to mention that
I'm a fucking trumpet player.
And that re-irritates him a lot.
Because he'd rather be a trumpet player than a surgeon.
And he's very successful.
Tremendous high range...
Great player.
All right. Now, let's take that lesson two.
And part one.
Okay, Carl, have you played today? No?
Yeah, I had to play this morning, I think.
I noticed, first thing, what happened with his chest.
Every year.
I noticed that chest goes up, okay.
Well, now, break.
Oh, okay.
I noticed the chest never came down.
It stayed up. But, boy, he was squeezing.
Now, if you'd been watching from the back,
you'd see those muscles, just like this.
A lot of the players...
That takes a little effort to move like that,
so they don't do it.
Might as well throw the exercise away.
That's what it's all about.
Now, notice there's a rest after that.
Now, I hate to write music.
Just hate it.
So, I didn't put that rest in there
just to have fun writing.
Observe it.
Get that horn off your mouth.
Now, the next one.
You know, I know exactly how he feels.
I get addicted to it when he's doing that.
I'm starting to feel better.
I've got my chest up.
You never stop these things.
Because if you do, you never stay here.
And if you're not practicing those breathing exercises,
the muscles start getting soft,
and you're going to start going down.
You might not notice it right away,
but you will.
And you wouldn't sit like that playing, would you?
This is relaxing.
Okay, listen.
Great job.
We have a lady here that
I really enjoyed watching her
all last night and today.
She's going to remember everything from there.
And that's Lorraine.
Lorraine, that's excellent.
You won.
She's taken in everything,
and she's really watching.
Okay, thanks.
At first, it may seem an effort in the morning,
but after you finish it,
that's when you start feeling it, isn't it?
Notice that chest?
It's up all the time.
You're going to look like Herbert Clark.
All right.
Now, we're down at the bottom of the...
He's dead.
He's dead?
You know, there's always a smart winner.
F sharp and then lower.
Did you do F sharp?
You didn't do F sharp?
I just did F sharp.
Now, we get into what we call the pedal register.
Now, where the name
pedal came from, I'm not sure.
I think it came from
ancient times
on the organ.
They call it the pedal register.
But it starts
on a
trumpet on F.
The first half step
under F sharp.
Concert, that would be E flat.
The French horn
has got to be another octave under
before you hit those pedals.
The French horn is an amazing instrument.
It's got so much range
before you get out of the natural
and into pedals
that it's unbelievable.
And that causes some French horn players
Incidentally, Mary, did you and Cathy meet?
Yes. Good.
Poor French horn player.
All right. Now then,
if you take a player
that's been playing for
30 years,
he makes such an issue
out of this, you can't believe it.
Oh, I can't get that F.
Get that F.
It's so simple. You take
a beginning player.
You don't tell him it's a pedal
at all.
They just say, now the next note is F.
Now play it.
And it won't sound good at first,
but he'll go,
yeah, just hear it
and play it.
But the player that's been playing here,
he makes an issue.
I've got a guy that came to
clinics back in Chicago
15, 20 years ago.
I get letters from him. He's still having
trouble. He can't get that F.
The easiest pedal there is to get.
But in his mind,
he's going to make something out of it.
Now it's very easy.
If you want an explanation of what it is,
play me the low F sharp.
And while you're
playing, hold it and force it flat.
What's easier to do
than that? Anyone can force
a note flat.
Don't worry about how you're doing it.
Just force it flat.
Do it again.
Now that's your pedal F.
But you don't do it with all three
valves. You do it with first valves.
Do the arpeggio.
It doesn't do it. That's very easy.
A beginning
player will get it very rapidly.
You don't say, oh now wait, this is different.
You don't say anything about that.
Don't tell any of your students,
this is hard.
This is easy.
Alright, now the E.
Now F, E, E flat, D,
D flat. On the treble.
Have a step lower concert.
On the treble.
All feel exactly the same.
There's no
slap on the horn.
You have to make it like he did that.
So remember that.
your hands are very important.
It's a part
of the instrument.
Very misunderstood down
through the whole generation.
But now it's beginning to be understood.
The pedal register is not
a cure-all.
But it's very
beneficial. And it tends
to put the whole machine
in the right concept
of where it should be. It pushes
the mouthpiece up. You don't even
know it. And that's good.
Now also,
How many have a Saint-Jacques
one? Okay.
Anyone that has a Saint-Jacques one, get it out.
This young man's
on the ball. Even last night. He's
always ready. Page 81.
This is
showing you that over
120 years ago,
they knew about pedals.
But it was
very difficult to teach.
Now let me see.
I think it's page 81.
Yeah, 81.
Now someone that can read
very loud, out loud,
read what
it says. Now you'll see a pedal
C for trumpet
now read very loud so everyone
can hear you. Existing
on the cornet to be obtained
without moving the mouth
or left alone. Now notice
to be obtained without
moving the mouth or
left alone.
If you don't
do your pedal register right, you're better
off not even trying it.
And all across the country
I stop and I do clinic and clinic
and clinic and they come up
they're doing the pedals
all wrong.
And then asking me well
why doesn't this work?
They're doing it all wrong.
Now that's why I like to
have you watch Carl. And notice
his jaw will drop.
the lip. In other words what he
meant by without moving the mouth is
this kind of a thing.
Where you try and get the lips to get
Forget the lip. Let's do the
E note. Now this feels exactly
the same.
Now D.
I was so
ingrained with the thought of the lip
that when I was studying with Clark
if he'd demonstrate something for me
I'd go up my kiss you know look see what
his lips doing.
It wasn't going to do me any good.
It wouldn't look like mine anyway. But notice
that facial structure, the jaw
Now I hesitate to even mention
that because you'll overdo it.
You let nature take its course.
Now pedal C down.
Concert B flat down.
The whole picture changes.
This is where everyone
gets in trouble.
Now Carl can you
do that arpeggio and try
to do it the same way. Don't do it right.
Do it the same way as you did the F.
Like you did the F.
Don't let it drop. Try and do
it the same formation as though you were playing
the pedal F.
You know like you were buzzing and pinching it.
No I don't
know what you mean. Try and
get it in tune in other words.
Yeah that kind of thing.
Carl can't even do it.
Because he does it right.
Now everyone tries
to get that right in tune.
You're not going to get it
in tune. It's a complete
different feel. You don't
do it the same as
F, E, E flat, D and D flat.
It's completely different. Now take
your systematic approach.
And who has it that I can get a page here?
It's my own book and I don't remember
the pages at all.
I think it's page
Page ten.
The first paragraph.
Now notice I
put that in there
and yet I'll run
across trumpet after trumpet after trumpet
and trombone and everything else.
On some clinic
they've never even read that.
the directions. Get the sense
of what that book is talking about.
Now notice it says
the register from
pedal C down
has a tendency to be very
Now how flat is flat?
It could be down to the G.
That's probably what you'll get
first is a G.
Now you don't play it the same.
You know, dee da da
ah. Drop that
jaw. Open it up and let it just
completely relax. Dee
ah. Forget the lip.
Don't worry about the lip. It has nothing to do
with it. Dee
ah. Play an octave like that Carl
and let it drop.
Now that's right. That's the feel.
Now that will develop
with the exercise.
How long? Someone said, how long before I
play it in two?
If you're fortunate, maybe three years.
four years.
Tom, how long before you were
able to bring your pedal up in two?
Yeah. This year. How long
before you brought yours across?
I don't know. It took me six months even
getting there.
So it varies.
You don't worry about it.
You're not going to use that pedal anyway.
Not yet. Later. Yeah. They used to write
pedals for me at the studio.
And then forget this. One conductor
came in one time. We had this
show we're doing. He says, oh he says,
I got my jam. He says, I want you to
turn the pedal register.
He says, let me show you.
Fs and Cs
and B flats. He says,
I don't have the instrumentation.
He says, is that alright?
And I said, well,
I'd like to put someone on
actually. I'll tell you what I said.
No, I said, that's not
But for you I'll do it.
So leave it
under. Not play the arpeggio.
Forget about pitch.
Forget you're a musician for a while.
For several years in fact.
It's a kind of Senate.
It's going to do
a job if you let it work
Let it go?
Yeah, leave it the right way.
Now from there down, it all
feels the same.
Did you want it in tune or do you want me to just relax?
No, relax. The way they're going to play it
Now some professor or
another player is going to say, see, get that in tune.
Don't get it in tune.
If you get it in tune, you're not going
to progress.
Okay, the next one.
B flat.
All these feel the same.
You don't have to hold it now.
Go ahead. They know if they've got to hold it.
Play the next one.
B flat.
B flat.
B flat.
B flat.
Forget intonation.
This is a coliseum.
B flat.
B flat.
B flat.
Now, you notice how his jaw
opens up and drops?
There are French students that come over from France.
Ooh, have a terrible time getting them to do that
because they won't say ah
because of their language. They say
like that. And boy, you have to work
with them like crazy to get them to
open up that jaw.
Now German students,
if they're real German with
the language, they're just the opposite
because their language is going to
then they have a hard time
getting them to get it up.
Now that was F sharp
and it's still out of tune, right?
Now from F down
it all comes back into tune
and it gets very easy.
From there down they're all the same.
But when you practice it
the C and the A
are going to be out.
Let's do it that way. Leave the C
and the A out like they're going to do it.
From F you'll have to pull up.
Now you won't get down that far
for a while, but
it's possible. I went down
four octaves.
You get down in that fourth panel
and you sound like a motorboat.
Then you have to work to control it.
And that's what all of my books
are about. Control
what you've got.
I won't interrupt so much. Now we're going to start up.
Start on the pedal seat.
This is part two now.
Now as you go up
you're going uphill.
So if you're flying, how many
of you are flying an airplane?
Now if you're flying an airplane you'll have
a good concept of what I'm
talking about. In fact I learned about
what about traffic planes?
You're flying an airplane.
Carl can tell you some stories about
flying into San Francisco, right Carl?
So anyway
you've got the stick and you pull up on it
and the elevator in the back goes up.
The airplane does nothing.
It just goes on like that. But you want to climb.
How do you climb?
Give it more power.
Give it more power to climb.
If you're driving your car up a hill
start slowing down.
What do you do?
Give it some more gas.
Do the same thing on the brass instrument.
Let's start out now.
So you start out, don't over blow.
The idea is never to blast.
But never play softer
then you can get a sure sound.
Forget soft playing
right now.
Okay, let's start out.
You notice he never lets it
ta ta ta tee
Ta ta ta tee
You want to practice
getting enough behind it to hold it.
Did you ever play a high note on the end
of an arrangement and lose it?
Ta ta ta tee ah!
Oh, back. Sounds terrible.
There's two reasons you lose it.
We'll talk about one tomorrow.
Not one tomorrow, but the first one is
you stop blowing.
So by getting that little crescendo all the time
you make the habit of more support
while you hold it.
I thought it was story but
I lost it. Go ahead.
Now notice this is not
a long hold like on the
first routine. The first routine is
the long hold. This one is just through
a crescendo. That's all.
It's remarkable too.
Notice how easy Carl plays.
You don't see any
like that.
The notes are there.
That's like one of Carl's
partners in Las Vegas.
That's another long time student
from years ago.
This kid is amazing.
Mike Balsam.
He's a great guy.
He's a great guy.
He's a great guy.
He's a great guy.
He's a great guy.
He's a great guy.
He's a great guy.
He's a great guy.
Mike Balsam.
He'll play ballads around a double F
with big fat
sound. He just scares
It's not hard.
The only thing is he's crazy. He goes out and rides motorcycles
and gets some wrecks and all this stuff.
I worry about it but what a player.
What am I on?
Which one?
F sharp.
He speaks
well for my ears.
You notice he gets a horn off
between everyone.
You're not practicing to get tired.
You're practicing
to train.
We're going to run a little bit
long into the practical application.
second line,
third line,
fourth line,
five line,
look at me.
I guess you have to imagine
how the
sort of
with him
Now as he gets a little higher, he gets a little more support, a little stronger, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
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going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support, you're
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going to get a little more support, you're going to get a little more support.