Friday, April 17, 2009

New Horn Blog

Horndog blog linked to the Newhornist's Blog and I found this post about BE and made the following comment:

Hi. Just clicked over from Horndog. Just turning 60, picked up the horn 5 years ago having never played a brass instrument. No teachers, self taught using Farkas and Tuckwell books. Got the BE book back in January because I’d developed a lip callus, and the book really helped me better understand what embouchure is all about, callus now gone, and range and endurance better. Still waiting to see where tone will end up.

But I really understand your “meltdown”, because when I was between the old embouchure and the new, the bottom fell out of of my playing. I’d been asking some muscles to do too much, and others not enough. Reorganizing them using mostly the RO and TOL tools made things a little chaotic until a new equilibrium set in.

I’d decided if the callus didn’t go away I was giving up the horn. Took a month off completely and then very slowly started all over again, never forcing and always trying to be as aware as possible of just embouchure, not worrying about learning music that challenged it. As of now, feel I’ve come through the worst and looking forward to continuing the horn.

Horns (and mouthpieces) and horn players’ embouchures seem more idiosyncratic than most instruments and techniques. My thoroughly off the wall intuition is that if your initial embouchure is way different than the one BE will lead you to, some sort of meltdown during the change is inevitable. If your initial embouchure is something like the one BE will lead you to, then your sailing will be smoother.

Apologies for going on and on, but I’ve spent a LOT of time on this issue. Very happy to have found your blog.

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