Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BE Update: Benefits Not Anticipated

Doug Wagner, a former professional trombonist turned hornist, began studying The Balanced Embouchure three years ago.  He emailed this to me this past weekend:  

I signed on to Facebook, which is not a regular habit for me, and found your post of comments from Jane Swanson. My takeaway was from her first two points: 
1. Even when I play to exhaustion I do NOT have swollen lips afterwards or the next day: so I can jump right back into action.  
2. In the midst of challenging playing, same story -- my chops recover if I give them a few seconds off.  That was not the case previously.
Yesterday, I endured a brutal two-and-a-half rehearsal featuring repeated, sub tempo rehearsal of high, loud passages. Even allowing for laying out at strategic points, I was burned out after two hours and struggled for the ability to play in the high range. Even so, I was able to finish the rehearsal in reasonably good shape by judicious rest, and by depending on my section. I chose not to play any more after I got home.

Today. I considered not playing at all, but I warmed up carefully and after a few minutes had all the flexibility and range that I've had previously. The conclusion I reached is that, I can recover quickly, if not completely, by a few seconds rest, and that the next day, I don't suffer prolonged fatigue. So, I will echo Jane's comments. BE had benefits not anticipated.

I'm 66 years old. If I could duplicate the benefits of BE with the rest of my body as it ages, I'd be the wonder of the Western world. I'm amazed at the progress I've made. A new horn doesn't hurt either.


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