Since we all are teachers, whether ultimately "our own teacher", teaching others privately or teaching the youth in a school setting such as Middle School, High School or College level, I will be gearing FixYourBrass to include teachers and performers. My posts will have various "topics" (Range, for example), with information for development and maintaining these categories as well as problems that may arise. The posts may be followed by my own "comments" and as to solutions to these problems watch for follow-up posts. So please add your own comments as to create a dialogue regarding said posts as well as any "personal problems" that I can help with. Looking forward to this exchange.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

BRASSolutioins - A Preview

Almost 70 years ago, Dr. Reinhardt printed DETAILED PLAYING PROBLEMS in his "Pivot System - A Complete Manual with Studies". (Now out of print) My new book "Solutions" is not only a tribute to the genius of Donald S. Reinhardt but a continuation into the present of his original "solutions" of the common playing problems of his day. This is what he said then:
I. Fuzz on the Tone
Caused by:
A. An improper mouthpiece contact on the lips due to:

1. Too little mouthpiece pressure.
2. Too much mouthpiece pressure.
3. Too much saliva(faulty diet, natural causes, etc.)
4. Fatigued or swollen lips caused by strain.
5. Improper PIVOTING
6. Tonguing between the teeth and lips
7. Improper mouthpiece placement
8. The vibrating points of the lips having been burned
by eating over-heated foods.
9. Chapped, cracked or feverish lips.
10. Cold sores, fever blisters, etc.
ll. The lips being heavily coated from nicotine, upset stomach,
12. Undeveloped lips.
13. The vibrating points of the lips being too dry.
14. Shaving too closely.
15. A mustache

B. An unsuitable mouthpiece for your type of lips, teeth, jaw,
gums, etc.Remember the back bore of the mouthpiece
must correspond to the bore of the instrument and
the mouthpiece must be designed with proper
proportions of the rim, cup, throat and back bore.

C. An instrument or mouthpiece that is dirty inside.
D. Improper breathing (neck bulging, etc.)
E. Puffing your cheeks, if you are not the type.
F. Improper tongue-level.
G. Improper Posture.
H. A leaky instrument.
I. Contracting the throat (head too far forward).

Corrected by:
Studying diligently and applying all the basic theories
of this manual and studies until they become a natural playing
habit. [Note: you will find The Reinhardt Routines + CD
as the modern version of these studies on my
website www.AirstreamDynamics.com in the Products page.

II. Rattles and Overtones

A. Almost always brought on by some form of playing strain. It is
an uncontrollable involuntary lip vibration. [Note: Very common in
a Type IV upstream performer.-ed.]

Caused by:
1. Too many high notes.
2. Playing fortissimo before warming up thoroughly.
3. Improperly balanced practice.
4. Too much playing without resting.
5. Changing mouthpieces and instruments too frequently.
6. Playing with too much mouthpiece pressure.
7. Swollen, strained, spread-lips.
8. Loss of sleep, etc.
9. Reversing the natural PIVOT.
10. Over-pivoting.
ll. A shifting, bobbing mouthpiece.
12. Tonguing between the teeth and lips.
13. Excessive chin or lip vibrato.

Corrected by:

1. Not practicing too many high notes.
2. Warming up correctly
3. Resting more often.
4. Playing softly the notes that rattle.
5. Pianissimo sustained tones on the rattle notes daily.
6. Balancing the practice period.
7. Adjusting a faulty PIVOT.
8. Avoiding strain.
9. Using only one mouthpiece.
10. Maintaining the anchor-spot when breathing (Note: upper lip in a
Downstream player and the lower lip in an Upstream Player -ed.)
11. Using less mouthpiece pressure.
12. Not tonguing between the teeth and lips.
13. Maintaining a correct diet.
14. Adopting a hand vibrato.

So look for the book "SOLUTIONS", which will include solutions beyond 1940 solutions devised by Dr. Reinhardt to cover
the present-day brass players' mechanical problems and will even delve
into the "psychological" practice and performance stymies that one may
encounter as well.

- Dave Sheetz

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