Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 10:24:19 -0700
From: "Reaban, Derek" <>
Subject: [TPIN] Jens Lindemann Master Class (Part 2)

I also have to discuss his take on sound production (clearly my favorite topic). He said, "find the perfect point of balance, like a violinist would do on an open string". He does this on the mouthpiece with breath attacks. He said, "really great trumpet playing has to do with coordination, not strength!"

Basic vibration with breath attacks is a very important component of sound production. Start your morning with this (he commented on how Hakan Hardenberger describes this - see OJ's site). (Gentle mouthpiece buzzing).

Jens pulled a student up on stage (literally) and asked him to speak in a radio voice (after some great modeling from him). This creates a great posture (drawing the chin in slightly) and helps to develop a resonant chamber. Then Jens demonstrated some arpeggios with his head slightly extended towards the mouthpiece versus the chin brought in slightly (the radio voice posture). This is so similar to the David Krauss superhero pose that I picked up in Denver (great minds think alike!).

He went on to discuss breathing and talked about the "egg breath" (a deep sound on the inhale). He held his whole hand up with his index finger pressed against his lips from his chin up to his nose. He said, "tension is the enemy". Since Allen Vizzutti was in the room, he commented that when he stands beside Allen he is very aware of the length of the inhale. Where possible, take longer, slower, relaxed breaths. It's a very good way to diminish tension and harmful nervousness. I've found this to be true when I work regularly with my breathing bag.

He came back to breath attacks and said he picked them up from Alain Trudel (a trombone player) several years ago. Jens is a huge proponent of these. He then lay down on the stage and did a breath attack on a high E, pianissimo and stood up with a great sound!

I just loved this analysis of the breath attack and was really impressed with the thought that he has put into this important concept. You remain calm, cool and collected, take a relaxed breath and then "le moment de la vérité" (the moment of truth). The point where you strike the note (ictus) is the moment of truth. Right after that instant you're back to calm. The only point of true tension is the actual act of striking. It's a coordinated activity that involves your whole body when you're playing the trumpet efficiently. If you can get really clean breath attacks you'll be teaching yourself this. You won't have to rely on the tongue to release the note.

Wow! That's why I came. What great information.

I asked my typical question (tied in to the voice impressions that Jens did throughout his class - hearing this sound in his head) and I really enjoyed Jens' response. My question was something like...I always come back to the words of John Hagstrom commenting on the clarity and intensity of the sound in your mind needing to be so strong that it drowns out the sound coming out the bell. Charles Vernon talking about approaching the ideal sound in your mind with the sound that you can currently produce and bringing them closer together. And the words of Arnold Jacobs talking about playing two horns simultaneously, the one in your hands and the one in your head. John talks about immersion to get to this point. Literally bombarding yourself with music until it has penetrated. Jens told me that I need to focus on my musical imagination. I like that idea!

Jens finished his class by inviting his Wife up to the stage and they finished with a solo in the style of Raphael Mendez in line with the theme of the weekend. They both sounded fantastic!

Jens' Wife found me afterwards and shared some ideas with me related to my question. What insightful comments she had for me! I am just amazed at what a great couple of days it has been!

This is not even half of what was presented today. I'm sorry I don't have time to talk about Allen's class, but it's after 2 AM and I'm exhausted.

Thanks so much to Dave, Jens, and Allen for a very memorable couple of days of music making and conversation. I can't think of a better way to spend my vacation!

Derek Reaban
Tempe, Arizona

Message: 2
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 10:38:30 -0700
From: "Reaban, Derek" <>
Subject: RE: [TPIN] Jens Lindemann Master Class (Part 2)

Tom and Noah,

I noticed you taking notes when Jens stressed the importance of breath attacks.
I wrote this in my bigger overview, but I wanted to add some more to this.
In addition to Jens, here are more advocates for the breath attack!

Breath Attacks

Carmine Caruso
The breath attack is used in this initial exercise because it is the quickest way to get the lips in focus, to get them touching.

David Hickman
One of the most effective methods of developing correct tone production is through the use of breath attacks. Commencing the tone without the aid of the tongue will require the embouchure and throat to be relaxed and efficient.

James Stamp
Learn to buzz the lips without using the tongue to start the first note.

Charlie Vernon
Use a 'ho' syllable to articulate each note. This exercise aids the lips to vibrate the desired pitch more readily.

Bob Findley
[For the exercises] All breath attacks - don't use the tongue to start or stop a note".

Donald Reinhardt
Hoo (Breath Attack) for the first exercises - Warmup #57.

James Stamp
"If done correctly [lip buzzing] helps a student to get a bigger range of color in his or her tonal spectrum."

"Proponents of the Stamp buzzing concept find that when they are buzzing correctly their sound is more colorful,
they are more flexible, warm up faster, and are more consistent players from day to day."

Stamp on Lip and Mouthpiece Buzzing - "Stay as loose as possible in the center of the lip while buzzing".

James Thompson
"As you practice on the mouthpiece [the reduced resistance compared to the trumpet] tend to let the lips relax and buzz more freely into the mouthpiece... As the lips become less tense the tone from the mouthpiece will become fuller, with more overtones sounding."

"While buzzing, the lips need to be relaxed, not tense."

Charles Vernon
"Always strive for a focused, centered, free sounding [mouthpiece] buzz in all registers. Using a lip vibrato helps to focus the sound."

Don Jacoby
"Only the corners should be firm, the part of your chops inside the mouthpiece should stay relaxed".

Bill Adam on Leadpipe Buzzing
"I know there has to be a certain amount of mouthpiece buzzing to warm up the resilience that we have to have here. But, if we can set the mouthpiece and tube in vibration, the embouchure is much more relaxed. What we're trying to do is to get the air through that horn with the least amount of tension and the least amount of muscle."

One last quote that I really like. This one is from Thomas Moore: "For maximum resonance, let the horn play the lips rather than the lips play the horn."

Derek Reaban
Tempe, Arizona