Friday, June 25, 2010

Flat Chin: Andrew Joy Sets the Record Straight!

Andrew wishes to set the record straight about his chin:

Hi Valerie, I was working in the orchestra this week and only now got around to reading your blog. I was surprised to read that I play with a flat chin. I don't know where that opinion comes from. It is definitely not mine. My former teacher in Cologne, Erich Penzel is really big on the flat chin (or was in my time with him). My limit, using his method, was a high B flat and on a good day, like when I won the Cologne audition, I could squeeze out a passable high C.

A couple of years later whilst preparing Daphnes and Chloe for a German tour with the orchestra, I stumbled on the roll in technique when ascending. Subsequent investigation revealed Barry Tuckwell (in the Farkas book) doing the same. Since I was a great fan of Barry's playing, I assumed I was onto something important.

Those days I didn't make the further connection of the tongue touching (and supporting) the bottom lip. I then got completely off track preparing and recording the Ligeti Trio and actually hurt my bottom lip. An injury thereafter, a blister in the middle of my bottom lip with a tiny hole in the middle of it, led me to talking with a trumpet colleague who introduced me to Jerome Callet. Which led to Jeff Smiley and BE.

Looks can be deceiving. I am acutely aware of the "FEELING" difference between a flat and a bunched chin. My "FEELING" when playing these days is definitely bunched.

Best wishes,
Andrew Joy

Thank you, my dear friend Andrew, and my sincerest apologies for misrepresenting your agile chin! Your point is well made and well taken.

Here are links to a couple interesting interviews with Andrew.

Valerie Wells

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this site on Balanced Embouchure. I'm actually a trumpet player and have experimented with many different embouchures over my 40 plus years playing. This is actually new information to me.