Date: Mon, 13 Oct 2003 21:46:24 +0200
From: "Emile Meuffels" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [TPIN] My trip to Sweden
Derek, and everyone else interested;
First, for those who don't know who Bo Nilsson is: he is off course
known as the teacher of Hakan Hardenberger. And there are probably not
many trumpet soloists in Europe who didn't have lessons with him. He is
best known as embouchure-doctor. In an instant, he can see or hear what
you are doing wrong and even better: he knows how to correct it!
I met him at a masterclass he gave at the Amsterdam Conservatory last
year. In an one hour lesson he was able to correct my
note-center-problem and everything I played felt much easier.
Unfortunately I couldn't reproduce it afterwards. So I decided to visit
him for some lessons.
My first trip to Sweden
In August I went there the first time. I was there for five days and
had five private lessons. My problem was that my embouchure was too
open. Apparently this is a very common problem; players want a good
sound in the low register so they open up and afterwards, if they want
to play up, they have to pinch to get up there.
His solution is buzzing. I have to buzz (in the middle register,
whatever I play) and then put the trumpet on. After each breath I have
to buzz again.
At first I worked on a selection of Irons lip-flexibilities, without
the low notes. I first have to learn to play the middle and
high-register. The low register is most difficult to play with a good
embouchure and has to wait till last. I have to change the notes with
my tongue and air and have to make sure that I don't change my lips.
After a few days we added tonguing. Clarke technical studies, first
slurred and in the repeat tongued. No breath on the repeat to keep the
slurred feeling while tonguing. The air has to keep flowing while the
tongue very fast interrupts it. Again, the lips shouldn't move while
I went home with a program of Irons, Cichowicz Flow Studies, Clarke,
Bordogni Vocalises to work on sound, Concone scale studies (originally
My second trip to Sweden
After about two months of practice I went back last week, again for
five private lessons. The masterclass by Hakan and the concert of the
symphony were just added bonusses!
Two old habits creeped back into my routine: I have the tendency to
hold back the air just after the first note and I changed my embouchure
for the lower notes. I just have to pay attention that I keep blowing
and I have to take my trumpet off my lips for the lower notes. This
way, I just buzz them and am not able to change anything.
We continued on the tonguing excercises and I can also start to learn
to play without buzz, but off course I have to play the same as with
the buzz. To accomplish this I have to first buzz the note, then
breathe through my nose without changing my embouchure. For the next
few lines I keep breathing through my nose. After I few lines I breath
normally and buzz again, but as I learn to play automatically "the buzz
way" I can play longer and longer without buzzing.
I now have to play the Irons on C-trumpet which makes it a lot more
challenging. Between the Irons-exercises I have to change to B-flat for
tonguing excercises. And we added a lot of books to keep everything
interesting: Clarke Characteristic Studies (Including the Articulation
excercises from the start of the book), Articulation excercises from
The Bing Book, Hering Advanced Etudes, A Russian book of compiled
etudes, Warm up from Tony Plog's Method, Harold Branch Trumpet Warmups
(III - All diatonic chords and inversions).
So now I am practising very hard again till late November, my next trip