Monday, February 3, 2014

Pole Vaulting

An unsolicited email from a happy BE'er.

Hi Valerie,
I have meant to let you know for a while how much I am enjoying the BE for French horn.  I originally thought of it mostly for extending my upper range but I have been surprised at how much it has extended my lower range and made it more rich and stable.

I first started using BE when the last summer Olympics was on.  As I was watching pole vaulting, it occurred to me that the way I had been attempting to play higher notes was a lot like someone like me trying to clear 17’ by blindly running at the bar with no idea of the mechanics involved.  Years ago, when I had the privilege of taking lessons from Kathleen Farner she would tell me to just relax when I was having trouble reaching a high note.  At the time it seemed impossible.  Now I am realizing that it actually works because BE gives me the ability to actually think about how to make my embouchure work for the note I am trying to make.  This also works psychologically because, as Kathleen also pointed out, half the battle was not panicking when the dreaded notes were approaching.

Now that my embouchure is improving its time to fix the growing problem with my left hand.  To that end I would like to order one of your comfy straps before my left pinky falls off.   -- Stephen Klassen

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