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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

Has anyone used David Liebmans rolling embochure concept? This is where you effectively have less reed been used for low notes and more reed for high. I can understand how this concept works but i find it very difficult for ascending lines where you have to swallow more mouthpiece.
How should this concept be practised and realised?
Have I got it wrong?
Who uses it and why?
Who doesn't use it and why?
Alternatives?

This has come about realising that I can get a nice tone anywhere on the sax but only really when I stop the phrase to 'reset' the embochure.

Thanks in advance
Crysp
 

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As you said, it's not evident when playing fast licks. I have the tendency to do the same, but in fact I try to unlearn it and get a good sound with a fixed embouchure. I believe that works better in the long run.
 

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Crysp said:
Hello all,

Has anyone used David Liebmans rolling embochure concept? This is where you effectively have less reed been used for low notes and more reed for high. I can understand how this concept works but i find it very difficult for ascending lines where you have to swallow more mouthpiece.
How should this concept be practised and realised?
Have I got it wrong?
Who uses it and why?
Who doesn't use it and why?
Alternatives?

This has come about realising that I can get a nice tone anywhere on the sax but only really when I stop the phrase to 'reset' the embochure.

Thanks in advance
Crysp
Brass players (esp. trumpeters) talk about "Bel Canto" playing, where you do not think about the embouchure set-up at all but only pay attention to what's coming out of the bell of the horn, and trying hard to make it beautiful. The theory is that in doing so, without specifically homing in on lips, mouth, cheeks etc, you will develop the best embouchure possible across the whole range of the horn, and I believe it.
The technique is well proven by now and works as well for woodwinds. Because clarinet is such an intransigent horn, I think that many clarinet players consciously or unconsciously use the bel canto approach, automatically adjusting the angle of the horn, the chin, cheeks, lips, etc while thinking only of producing a resonant beautiful tone. When I was seriously studying clarinet I asked Buddy DeFranco one time what's the best angle to hold the horn? He said don't think about it. Hold it at the angle that gives the best sound. I rest my case, as they say.
Play against a wall and listen, listen, listen is my technique, and to hell with how much MP you have in your mouth.
 

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IMO, the "rolling" technique is done on a subconscious level while playing. I do it somewhat. The only time I ever consciously notice anything is when I get to the bottom of the horn and (depending on what I'm going for) I either subtone or go for a harsher but full sound. I know how I want it to sound and my lip does the rest. If I want to subtone I just automatically "roll out".

I'm sure it's the same for the rest of the horn too, just with more subtle effects.
 

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I think that changing the amount of piece in your mouth for different octaves is not needed.

Changing the shape of your tongue/throat (aka voicing) is what does the trick. Everyone is very different in this respect, because of different shapes of oral/throat/nasal cavities. The purpose of long tones is to find what shape renders the 'best' tone for YOU, and is dependant upon what type of sound you're going for.

I personally don't need to change the amount of piece for a subtone, either.
 

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Good replies above. The main point would seem to be that any adjustments are subtle, to the point of being unconscious, or second nature. I've always thought that this was what practicing long tones was all about. Don't overthink things just go for a good sound.

So "Bel Canto" is Eyetalian for "sounds good?" :D

You learn something new here everyday.
 

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Dog Pants said:
So "Bel Canto" is Eyetalian for "sounds good?" :D

.
Bel Canto means 'good singing'.

I remember being at an opera. During the intermission, I overheard a couple talking.

She asked, 'Was that Bel Canto?'
He replied, 'It wasn't even Bel.':twisted:
 

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having studied swapped pieces,etc. with liebs in the early 70s i can say his allard stuff,some of it helped me.matching harmonics is a great exercise,today i believe the least amount of embouchure movement is key. covering the range of the horn,of course constant movement in the mouth,throat, for me lets the embouchure stay relatively fixed.i use a double lip which helps me with articulation.different stokes.and oh yea bel canto love that bel canto
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks all for that.
Yea totally agree with most of that. I'm just re-inventing my tone technique because I don't believe I was taught properly in university. It's funny, you can't rely on a single source to give you the full picture really ever. You always have to do the homework yourself and find what works for you. Luckily I'm having allot of success lately.
I am starting to find it much easier to get a consistent range throughout the horn when I aim my air stream on a 45 degree angle above me. I am also adjusting my neck strap so that it angles slightly more up into my mouth. It feels funny now but when I look in the mirror it looks fine. Maybe not used to having head level.

Crysp
 

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hakukani said:
Bel Canto means 'good singing'.

I remember being at an opera. During the intermission, I overheard a couple talking.

She asked, 'Was that Bel Canto?'
He replied, 'It wasn't even Bel.':twisted:
Not that I like to appear pedantic (;) ), but i wonder if this story might be better if he replied "it wasn't even canto" ("it wasn't even singing") rather than "it wasn't even bel" ("it wasn't even beautiful")?

;)
 

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RootyTootoot said:
Not that I like to appear pedantic (;) ), but i wonder if this story might be better if he replied "it wasn't even canto" ("it wasn't even singing") rather than "it wasn't even bel" ("it wasn't even beautiful")?

;)
Rooty, it's a TRUE story. All of my stories have an element of truth--however I don't let extraneous facts get in the way.:D
 

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Liebman is a master musician and player, of course, but still ... looking at him playing the tenor on his videos makes me doubt whether this way of moving the embouchure all over the mouthpiece is the most efficient way to play!

It seems the idea with the rolling embouchure comes from Joe Allard. The funny thing is that there are teachers who also claim to go back to Joe Allard that teach you to use the same embouchure all over the horn, maybe with the exception of palm D and above.
 

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As I understand Joe Allard's teaching, he prescribed different things to different students who had totally different problems on the sax. Any attempt to make 'rules of thumb' or 'rules of Allard' always bring up these seeming contradictions.

The only way to really learn 'Joe Allard' technique, is to take lessons from the master teacher Joe Allard. Unfortunately, he's no longer among us.

It's the same for any master teacher.
 

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Toot Sweet! said:
Liebman is a master musician and player, of course, but still ... looking at him playing the tenor on his videos makes me doubt whether this way of moving the embouchure all over the mouthpiece is the most efficient way to play!

It seems the idea with the rolling embouchure comes from Joe Allard. The funny thing is that there are teachers who also claim to go back to Joe Allard that teach you to use the same embouchure all over the horn, maybe with the exception of palm D and above.
I read Liebman's book, and when I tried to use this rolling embouchure of his, I couldn't do it. It didn't make any sense. Today, as I was practicing, I realized that I'm doing it. I looked in the mirror in the practice room, and saw my adam's apple moving as I changed my throat position to voice the notes. All without ever really sitting down and trying to practice these concepts. Not that they don't need practicing now that I realize I use them, but it seems to me that I started doing them, in a rudimentary way, I suppose, by keeping in mind the writing in the first few chapters (I think? The book is in a locker at school right now) about airstream and the idea of exhaling into the horn, not blowing into it. This helps me maintain a relaxed torso while filling up the horn with more air than I've ever been able to give it before.

Now I just need to spend some quality time with a tuner in a practice room.
 

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dirty said:
I looked in the mirror in the practice room, and saw my adam's apple moving as I changed my throat position to voice the notes. QUOTE]

What you're describing is *voicing*, not Liebman's "rolling embouchure".
 

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I have to use it to jump to the high palm notes on soprano. It is annoying since I don't need it on the bigger horns. I have tried to eliminate it with mouthpiece changes. Perhaps with more practice or a new horn I will find the answer
 

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hakukani said:
As I understand Joe Allard's teaching, he prescribed different things to different students who had totally different problems on the sax. Any attempt to make 'rules of thumb' or 'rules of Allard' always bring up these seeming contradictions.

The only way to really learn 'Joe Allard' technique, is to take lessons from the master teacher Joe Allard. Unfortunately, he's no longer among us.

It's the same for any master teacher.
However, the concept of 'moving at the reed' is a very common one for Allard's students. How it differed between each student of Allard's was HOW he got them to achieve it.

Yes, it feels strange at first, but can be invaluable. Its also a great tool for achieving colour change and playing the extreme ends of the horn (esp. at extreme dynamics).
Yes, I find it totally impracticle during fast runs, but it is amazing how much you subconsciously do it once you have absorbed the concept.
I have also heard Delangle talk of similar concepts, just presented in a different fashion, so I don't think its limited to Allard's approach.
 

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Maybe Selmer's Glu could chime in on this one? I know he has studied with some students of Allard's in NY, much more extensively than I have.

Are you there Tom??
 
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