Monday, April 12, 2010

Knowing, Understanding vs Feeling

I learn so much from my BE horn friends. Read this interesting comment from Gill [italics added].

Dear Val,

Yesterday evening, I went through a nice experience. I was trying a couple of BE things on my trumpet, without any real other aim but having some fun after my day at work, and I suddenly found a lip set up (I'd say, 90% of RO and 10% of RI) which allowed me to hit high Cs one after the other with absolutely no mpc pressure while doing RO#4. I knew from my previous experiments on the horn that I was more of a RO type of player, but up till now it was another kind of RO feeling... Yesterday I felt for the first time the foreward - inward motion of RO up to high C and the
repetition made me feel what happens on low C that I need to drag up so I can climb up there easily.

"Muscles moving toward the mpc while ascending." I surely knew and understood what it was about and I already had a kind of feeling before. But now it's a whole new feeling associated with it. There a huge difference between understanding the principals of embouchure development and feeling them.

You can understand the concepts, but it will be nothing until you feel them in practice, and the path is quite well hidden.

...the one solution: "practice", and the first rule: "BE patient!"

Take care.

If any of you have a trumpet or another brass instrument, it can be beneficial to experiment on it. Experimenting on an unfamiliar brass instrument removes the elements that are unique to the instrument and gives you the opportunity to isolate and explore the universal principals that BE is based upon. After I'd studied BE on horn for a year or more, I began to experiment with BE on trumpet. I discovered a whole new, extreme technique for double pedals with the lower lip fully outside the mouthpiece. I had read the book, knew & understood the logic behind it, but, like Gill, I hadn't felt it yet. Experiencing the new technique on trumpet introduced me to a whole new feeling that wasn't available to me on horn alone. I was able to transfer the techniques to horn and expand on my range of motion that is so beneficial to development.

Valerie Wells

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