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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:13 pm 
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Location: Robertsbridge
Johnlovemusic wrote:
I had a very interesting conversation recently with Duanne Dugger of the Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra. We ran into each other at the beach in La Jolla, California a few weeks ago. They (CSO) not too long ago went through three principal position players (maybe it was 2 but I think it was 3) in a short period of time. The injuries were muscle tears and a nerve calcification. This was attributed to the high range and aggresive nature of their playing in their very large hall.

This is a very sad and worrying story.

When will American horn players understand that it is not necessary to play on mouthpieces with such narrow rims and small internal diameters?

When Tony Halstead and Tony C made the first PHCs available through Paxman the only rims in the range were the "M" medium rim, the "W" wide rim and as an afterthought the "S" standard rim. The rim designs were intended to protect embouchures from damage in orchestras which were playing very loudly, all day and every day. When the "N" narrow rim was introduced it was still not a 'Gillette' rim as we called American rims back then. Some exceptional players (like Nick Busch and Barry Tuckwell) have played on narrow rims without damaging themselves but both these players have exceptional breathing and support while playing very very loudly. Not all players are able to do what NB and BT did and they should at least consider trying a slightly wider PHC rim. The cup designs are in line with Amercan cup shapes.

When all of the new order for 2,000 PHC cups and 2,000 PHC rims have been received by HornCups UK Ltd we will need a good and accessible American outlet.

A pretty picture for you all


http://www.mikesmusic.co.uk/PHC/PHC%20s ... 20500k.jpg


8-)


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:23 pm
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Location: UK
Come on, let's be 'real', please!
The entire Farkas warm-up is just as much a 'theoretical ideal' as is your local vicar reading the whole Bible on Saturday to prepare him (her) self for the Sunday Sermon. :roll:
If you can do 30 to 60 per cent of the Farkas warm up you are doing 'fine'. :geek:


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:31 pm 
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Genialhorn wrote:
Come on, let's be 'real', please!
The entire Farkas warm-up is just as much a 'theoretical ideal' as is your local vicar reading the whole Bible on Saturday to prepare him (her) self for the Sunday Sermon. :roll:
If you can do 30 to 60 per cent of the Farkas warm up you are doing 'fine'. :geek:


Is it a theoretical ideal? I play it every day, as does the gentleman who sits next to me at work.


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:29 am 
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I would never do a complete Farkas warm up on shall we say a three session
working day.

I regard the Farkas as not a warm up as such, but as part of a practice plan to be
done later on, on a practice day.

What is important is not just to waffle through it, but to do it conscientiously
and accurately, otherwise it's a waste of time.

On a working day I save every scrap of energy I can until I have to deliver for
real, and don't waste lip strength by doing excessive "Warm ups".

Generally I do 10 - 15 minutes of soft "attacks" which for me is the most difficult
part of playing.

BTW I agree with Tony C about rims. Even the VPO players are now using
broader rims to cope with the day to day demands of top class playing.


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:57 am 
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Posts: 89
Chris wrote:
I would never do a complete Farkas warm up on shall we say a three session
working day.

I regard the Farkas as not a warm up as such, but as part of a practice plan to be
done later on, on a practice day.

What is important is not just to waffle through it, but to do it conscientiously
and accurately, otherwise it's a waste of time.

On a working day I save every scrap of energy I can until I have to deliver for
real, and don't waste lip strength by doing excessive "Warm ups".

Generally I do 10 - 15 minutes of soft "attacks" which for me is the most difficult
part of playing.

BTW I agree with Tony C about rims. Even the VPO players are now using
broader rims to cope with the day to day demands of top class playing.


And that's the beauty of horn playing; there is no hard and fast rule about how to do it. For me, Farkas is a warm up and I wouldn't consider working a three session day without doing it. For you, that wouldn't be suitable. Learning how to play is about taking advice and finding what works for the individual (horn, mouthpiece, style, sound etc) and not slavishly following a routine set down by someone else.


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:06 am 
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Absolutely!


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:57 pm
Posts: 221
Location: USA, San Diego, California
ERIC !!!!!

You met Alburtis Myers ? When was this ? Man, what a treat. Just not too recently I was talking with Tom Greer about Jules Levy who was also a soloist with the Sousa band and his amzing ability to articulate fast. My teacher was fast at four 16ths at metronome 144.

Isn't it amazing how good these retired musicians sound even after not playing for years? Amazing!


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:34 pm
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Location: Pennsylvania, USA
He was my teacher for weekly lessons from 1971 to 1973. He died several years later. I was very lucky to sign on with him. I spent as much time listening to "war stories" as working on my trumpet, but that was OK by me. The lessons were cheap, and mom paid for them anyway. Wish now I had written them all down. I do recall (speaking of articulation) when he was working with me on double and triple tounging that Burt told me Italians never needed to learn the technique because they naturally talked fast due to their language. I was a trusting young fellow then, so I took him literally. Myers was very Pennsylvania Dutch.(PA Dutch=PA German. v's were w's etc.) Many of the PA Dutch dislike Italians, so I suspect the bit about the Italians not needing to learn tripletounging was actually a slam, but I am not sure to this day. I think these old-timers were so good a lot because they simply played all the time. He told me he learned light pressure from another New York pit player as a matter of survival. "Three acts in the afternoon, three more at night." he used to say.

I started this string by asking when to stop in order to avoid damage. I think there is more risk at age 55 than 15, but I would really like to push the envelope a little, but wisely. I am leaning toward throwing a little caution to the wind, but I don't jump out of trees like I did as a lad. I would love to hear from the forum some specific advise as to indicators to watch for that I am over the safety line with the high range work.


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Location: USA, San Diego, California
Eric,
I think you might be treading on thin ice. I was talking with Duane Dugger from the Cincinnati SO just recently. One of the topics we covered was the symphony's need to replace the principal position a few times in quick sucession. As I understand it the orchestra is playing very aggresivly partly due to the hall they are playing in. The result was a calsified nerve and two torn lip muscles. Another person in the conversation was an oral surgeon specialist.

(my apologis to Mike and others who might recognize this from a different thread).
That lip muscle we use it an isometric type muscle. It really is not intended to be held in a static position for long periods of time. place your arms straight out in front of you at a 90 degree angle to your torso. turn your hands palm side up and place a 10lb weight on them and hold it. This is a poor anaolgy of what we are doing when we play.

If you are going to test your envelope of endurance and stamina I think you should
A) have a good set of warm ups.
I see you are using the Farcus warm up. I prefer the Moeck French Horn warm ups. I can send you a copy if you'd like. Moeck starts in smaller increments at first and I find I can play for a long time afterwards. I find Farcus to high too fast for too long.

B) keep a journal of practice
Farcus suggests keeping a log or practice sheet. I would extend his example to include a small narative as to how you feel about the items you practiced that day. (ex. lips slurs seem easy today, pp attacks seemed off and delayed, concerto was very musical. Lips feel like superman today).

C) remember as we get older we must be more aware of our body - not necessarily more careful.
Get a feel where the 'edge of the envelope" is and move towards it, but don't exceed it. An ache is the result of a good work out, a pain is a sign of possible injury.

D)Warm down. Just like athletes stretch and warm down, if you are going to push yourself you need to do the same. Remember to take in appropriate foods for muscle repair. Stretch, massage, and rest. don't be afraid to apply cold sometimes to reduce swelling and don't be afraid to apply heat which will increase blood flow and bring more oxygen to the area to help repair and build.

There are two books out there you might want to acquire. One is The Balanced Embouchre and the other is the Brass Gym. The Balanced Embouchre is by Jeff Smiley and is actually for trumpet, but there is someone who has an addendum of Horn exercises I can get you in touch with. Jeff teches the concept of rolling the lips - instead of stretching and thining the lips as you go higher he puts more mass of lip around the smaller aperture. The other book, The Brass Gym, is highly recommended by a very good Horn Professor for buildingn up your chps.


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 Post subject: Re: How much is too much?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:57 am 
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Tony C


I've just noticed the m/piece picture at mikesmusic.co.uk

You could sell that as a poster or framed through Paxmans. It's reminiscent of
Andy Warhol although he was into tins of soup not horns!! ;)


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