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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
PLEASE REFRAIN FROM COMMENTS ABOUT THE THEORY, AMOUNT OF MOUTHPIECE, PALAT MANIPULATION ETC. THIS IS AN EXERCISE, SO PLEASE ONLY QUESTIONS ABOUT THAT EXERCISE OR ANSWERS ON THESE QUESTIONS.

Sorry to revive the thread this way. I found this incredible interesting, but gave up reading the original thread around page 6 due to all the BS in between, as Phil stated so nicely. It's very confusing, and all I need to know is how this has to be done. Not what all other people think is not right about it.

So for any remarks on the method : go mess up this thread a little further :
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=53228
Phil Barone said:
I'm tired of mouthpiece makers lying to players telling them that they can get a potential customer to sound like someone, that's a bunch of BS. I'm laying out what I learned from Joe Allard, Herk Faranda, and Vick Morosco here and I’ll elaborate if some of you guys practice them and report back to me. My feeling is that the books and exercises available for sale are unnecessarily complicated. So, here's some stuff just to get started.

Play middle F without the octave key and using your throat, "slide" it down to low F. There’s no rhythm so hold the note for as long as you have to until it sounds low F but do it with the air stream and while opening your throat and supporting your diaphragm. It should be CLEAN and don't use your embouchure. If there's a gurgle or some distortion in between then keep trying until it's CLEAN. Use your diaphragm and open your throat more as you go to the low F and keep the diaphragm SUPPORTED. Do this exercise chromatically down to low Bb. It gets harder as you go down but the benefits will come by just practicing it. You should probably do it on F and E before you venture further down the register but trying to do it on D or Eb won't hurt because it's harder and may give you insight as to how to do it but if you're not successful then stop and take a break because you don't want to reinforce bad habits.

Also, practice scales on your mouthpiece when you can't have your horn with you. Remember, use your throat. The embouchure should be as loose and relaxed as possible.

Joe Allard used to tell me that the only pressure should be from the bottom of the mouthpiece using your teeth. Just enough to FEEL the reed through the bottom lip with your teeth using the muscles in your JAW, not your facial muscles and this "posture' should remain FIXED. The jaw muscles are much stronger than the facial muscles thus easier to control. This doesn't necessarily mean that you won't use your facial muscles at all but it’s just meant to lead you in the right direction.

Also, from now on, don't think of the extreme upper register as being hard to get, think of it as being easy, it’s in fact so easy that one thinks that you have to “try” in order to get them to play. The change in your embouchure stature should be SUBTLE, understand? I can get a variety of notes out using just one fingering but I don't change my embouchure, I alter my throat cavity and I hear the note a moment before I play it. Also, this is VERY important, take as much mouthpiece as possible. This may feel uncomfortable at first and the sound will be unrefined but in a few days it will feel natural and you will find the place where the mouthpiece will give you the optimum results.

I've watched many great players and the great majority of them take huge amounts of mouthpiece. Do this stuff for a few weeks then get back to me and I'll give you an exercise that along with these will enable you to play any mouthpiece and essentially sound the same. YOU will be the maker of the sound and not the mouthpiece or horn. By the way, do this as much as possible but if you don't have a lot of time just do them for a few minutes when you start your practice session and a few minutes at the end. If you're having a long practice session the try and do it in the middle too.

Phil
So another try, if Phil still feels like answering this :
I don't really get the pic. If I play a F without octave key, it sounds like an F without octave key. I have to do a (minor) effort to get it one octave up. So I do that.

How do I slide down again? I loosen up my embouchure even further normally, but I understood that't the wrong way?

thank you all in advance.
 

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It an adjustment your throat makes.
 

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"Joe Allard used to tell me that the only pressure should be from the bottom of the mouthpiece using your teeth. Just enough to FEEL the reed through the bottom lip with your teeth using the muscles in your JAW, not your facial muscles and this "posture' should remain FIXED. The jaw muscles are much stronger than the facial muscles thus easier to control. This doesn't necessarily mean that you won't use your facial muscles at all but it’s just meant to lead you in the right direction."

Hmm guess this is not valid for people not putting their lower lip between teeth and mpc... and though lower lip muscles may be harder to develop, they are a lot more flexible than jaw muscles...
 

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How much embouchure movement is "subtle" for the Octave Sliding exercise? I'm trying not to move much, but I feel like if I don't move at least some, I can't make the slide happen. Also: should I be able to slide it back up? I can only do that regularly on D, and inconsistently up through F.

I'm trying my best not to bite, as well... this has allowed me to play my mouthpiece @ A, where previously I'd be as high as C. :eek: Just have to work my muscles up, so I can hold it longer.

Thanks very much for taking the time to do this write up, and thanks to Jolle for reposting it. ^^
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ismail said:
"Hmm guess ...
I know there is a lot to be said about it. I know there are pro's and con's. It has all been said in another thread and made that I couldn't ask a question about this method. That's exactly why I restarted this thread here.

Please do not dilute this thread. Let it be to ask questions about the method.

PS : thx Gary. Tried it yesterday evening, and indeed, I felt my throat move more than I could imagine. I'm going to try more.
 

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I think too much is said about amount of mouth piece and not enough about soft palate manipulation. I don't think you should ever put more then 50percent of the top of the the bite plate on, say a meyer, link, or berg...
 

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Ferret said:
How much embouchure movement is "subtle" for the Octave Sliding exercise? I'm trying not to move much, but I feel like if I don't move at least some, I can't make the slide happen. Also: should I be able to slide it back up? I can only do that regularly on D, and inconsistently up through F.
I promise you that as your whole technique develops you should reach a stage where you are able to move between the octaves with no embouchure movement at all. With the right approach this octave movement is completely a function of the throat cavity / rear tongue position - and subtle at that. Once you "get" it you will not believe how small and instinctive an adjustment it requires. Long tones got me to that place, months of them. Phil's explanation of Joe Allard's teaching is based also on a principle of 'thinking' the process. This is important. By strongly 'imagining' the octave happening, you create a environment for yourself where little or no deliberate physical intervention is necessary. This takes time; stick with Phil's exercises and trust that things will sort themselves out.

(Having said that a huge amount of wonderfull players move their jaws a lot over the range of the horn :!:.)
 

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ok. Although my post was kind of a question, I could easily go to the other thread. posting the link would help you best with dealing with BS-posters like me :>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ismail said:
ok. Although my post was kind of a question, I could easily go to the other thread. posting the link would help you best with dealing with BS-posters like me :>
Sorry, no insult intended. I was more referring to Phils reactions in his threads.
This is the other thread :
http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?t=53228
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmm... I tried this exercise now for five days, and I have ruined two reeds by now. They wear off in a speed I didn't consider possible.

I feel my throat move, I push the air up from below. My overall tone did improve indeed, although when I play according to Phils directions, I still honk like a steamboat with a serious cold. Practice is the key, I know, but is it normal my reeds wear off that fast?

I play a BergLarsen 115/2/SMS with a 2.5 VanDoren ZZ.

I prepare my reeds before I take a new one by soaking them 15 minutes, playing them for 10 minutes at a mf level in the middle register, play them the next day for 10 minutes over the whole register at mf, and only use them for the "real stuff" from the day after that one.
 

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I don't use ZZs myself and so it might be presumptuous of me to say that some modern reeds do tend to wear out quickly, simply because they are designed to give an immediate result 'straight out of the box'. However I have heard this criticism levelled by a few good players of Rico Select, so maybe that's the way it is. I often blow a reed out in one gig, but I did have one recently that lasted 7 gigs, and long ago I had 4 'pet' soprano reeds that lasted 6 months. If you just go through the 'bad' stage a reed will often recover and stabilize and last for ages.
 

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I too had the steamboat honking in the beginning, but that disappeared quick enough.

Never noticed any difference in the speed with which my reeds wore out and I do follow the same procedure you do when breaking in new reeds.
Only difference is that I do not soak them for 15 minutes the first time I use them. More like 2 or 3 min at the most, but for the rest no diffence.

When I was doing these exercises, I played a Link 7* with Rigotti Gold 3M reeds.
 

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honking

I've been playing for about 9 months & appreciate this thread. I've found that taking inceased amount of mouthpiece has really helped me sort out the tuning in the second octave, which has been inceasingly sharp as I go up it. Early days (4) yet, and I too have the honking BUT accompanied by serious squeaking from 2.5 and 3 Alexander DC Superial reeds. Phil Barone suggests that you can't get enough of mouthpiece, but the squeaks disappear if I back off a bit, but then the tuning issue re-appears. Using Vandoren V16 2s and 2.5s reduces the squeaking almost totally. Both sets of reeds have had a good soak prior to playing. Any suggestions of what the problem is?

Otherwise, the relaxed embouchure is difficult but seems to really help with emphasising the diaphragm pressure in order to get the pitch right, rather than squeezing the reed slightly or tightening the throat - bad habits that I need to get rid of.



The
rambert said:
I too had the steamboat honking in the beginning, but that disappeared quick enough.

Never noticed any difference in the speed with which my reeds wore out and I do follow the same procedure you do when breaking in new reeds.
Only difference is that I do not soak them for 15 minutes the first time I use them. More like 2 or 3 min at the most, but for the rest no diffence.

When I was doing these exercises, I played a Link 7* with Rigotti Gold 3M reeds.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I use rico Jazz Select 3M now, and have no problem with squeaks. Sounds like that's a reed problem (facing of the reed not fitting the facing of the mouthpiece might cause squeaking, as far as I know).

About the amount of mouthpiece : I noticed that I also back off a little when playing compared to when I do the exercise. But I still take more mouthpiece in than before.

The tuning problem is telling me you're biting seriously to get the upper octave speak.

Overall, my sound improved quite a lot doing this exercise (and the other, see part II). Mostly because I start getting a grip on "throat control". Thanks again, Phil.
 

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I find your post odd, Jolle. Thank you for reviving that post, but it seems like you're asking people for advice on how to work on the excercise without allowing them to discuss the things that will help you improve the way you play the excercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My bad. I wanted to avoid yet another endless discussion about the method Phil put down for us, as happened in the first thread. I'm not famous for my subtility, so to say :D
 

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Another good exercise is this one:
play high C# with the octave key and using your throat, slide it down to middle C# (with the octave key open). Do this exercise chromatically down to D.
 
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