Monday, September 23, 2013

Colin Ng, Still Discovering with BE

First, a little disclaimer!  What you see demonstrated in this video is NOT a requirement of the BE method.  This is Colin having fun extending a specific BE exercise beyond the norm. 

  • Colin Ng has taken Lip Clamp Squeak to a whole new level!  Colin recently shared this on FaceBook:  

  •  Colin Ng

    Dear fellows,just to share a little "discovery". I have been experimenting for a long time (4-5 years) various chop building devices like Warburton PETE, BERP, pencil trick, "chop sticks" concept, the new brio device, narrow straws and short of some bizarre versions of lip/facial flex spring loaded toys.
    I decided to conclude this wild goose chase finally. The best way to develop the Orbicularis Oris muscle (circular band around the top and bottom lips especially at the corners.) is device free, and happens to be the unsuspecting and innocent BE initiation before the RI exercises called the Lip Clamp Squeak or LCS....

    In short, Once you manage to get air through the clamp setup, followed by some seemingly embarrassing and pathetic squeaks, and eventually a few workable notes in high buzz, you can observe in the mirror how much more flexed and pronounced the OO muscles have become. For the chops to maintain the clamp against the out going air, they really have to work to narrow in. and for the air to even make it through the clamp, our abdominals have to really work to get the wind support up against the resistance. chop strength and air support/speed for great sound/high notes all addressed in one exercise.

    We get to have one lean mean machine there; no toys no expenses. High notes and great stamina can happen even before achieving the RI-#1 properly.

    I "forced" myself to clock in 10-15 minutes of nursery rhymes (5 notes melody) on LCS. Like a body builder torturing himself because he can't wait to flex his muscles in front of a gym mirror. It looks firm and 'chiseled' in the mirror and when I play normal repertoire it really feels easy and great.  

Newbie Preparing for the BE Journey

Here I've cut and pasted various posts from the Balanced Embouchure for Horn group on FaceBook.!/groups/101746176633232/
  •  Rhodri Spearing:  The journey begins *today*!  Wish me luck...
    The journey begins *today*! Wish me luck...

    • Rhodri, a wise investment.

    •  Rhodri Spearing:
      I'm praying with every ounce of my being that you're right. I'm approaching 3 years now of endless frustration, and I've tried *everything* to get my chops to work, with only temporary and limited success...I really feel like this is all that's left now. "Help me BE you're my only hope"...
    • .. do best to forget all concepts, conventions and imagination until you are done reading for its simple literal meanings and practicing like you are ignorant and under supervision of an esteemed master. Then FORGET BE totally when doing 'normal' stuffs like etudes, excepts or repertoire. Do not expect miracles but enjoy things getting surprisingly easier little by little, day by day.

    •  Colin Ng: 
      Colin Ng there is no end; no 100%. You just keep discovering things getting easier each day... for me, its been like that since 2011. Just when you thought you know something, you go even further the next day... Then you start to wonder, did we actually know anything at all? That is the genius of Jeff Smiley. Just as Beatrice put it, "BE is not an embouchure"

    •  Well said, Colin and Beatrice. BE is definitely NOT an embouchure. It will help you discover awareness and understanding where there was previously frustration and confusion. I swear that rarely a day goes by without me feeling like some small thing is intuitively, unconsciously being tweaked. But know that you cannot force it to happen. Doing BE exercises for hours a day is NOT what it's about. He gives such GREAT advice in the book. Heed it well and things will start happening. And when you have that first "Aha" moment, you'll feel an enormous weight lifted off of your shoulders. Good luck and enjoy new beginnings.

      Everything I have learned and am continuing to learn from BE thus far, has done more to help me understand "traditionalist" approaches than any of the language that they tend to use. But we're preaching to the choir here! :-) BE is like a "key" to understanding some previously unintelligible language. Use it the way he (Smiley) suggests, play and forget about it, read it again, think some more, play some more, etc., etc., and little by little, over time, as your playing improves and changes in ways that you truly cannot comprehend just yet, you'll experience just how grateful you are to have discovered that "key."

      Rhodri, just enjoy the ride for a while. You will not likely have daily revelations, and you may not have any for a while. But something will happen at some point and you'll realize that the only reason you even recognize that it did is because you have the "key." 

      Valerie Wells: 
    • I found the most appropriate sentence one time on the BE forum of Trumpet Herald: "BE is not boot camp!" I never have been able to find who said it. It sums it up so well. BE isn't boot camp or a severe gymnasium workout. It's more like a university for your embouchure.

       Rhodri Speearing: 
    • Day 1 over and my perception of playing is already beginning to change. Looking forward to what tomorrow might bring!

    •  Beatrice Latherings: 
      Just remember it is not a quick fix; it's a journey.

    •  Valerie Wells: 
       BE is intended to be a friendly influence on the embouchure, not a hostile takeover!

       Colin Ng: 
    • To BE is not to BE.