The Balanced Embouchure for Horn
Monday, September 23, 2013
Newbie Preparing for the BE Journey
Here I've cut and pasted various posts from the Balanced Embouchure for Horn group on FaceBook. https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/101746176633232/
Rhodri Spearing: The journey begins *today*! Wish me luck...
Rhodri, a wise investment.
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.
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."
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.
Day 1 over and my perception of playing is already beginning to change. Looking forward to what tomorrow might bring!
Just remember it is not a quick fix; it's a journey.
BE is intended to be a friendly influence on the embouchure, not a hostile takeover!
To BE is not to BE.
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