I am a 44 year old flat chinner, taught by a flat chinner as a teenager and I've taught flat chin all my life (The
Art of Brass Playing was my Bible).
I've just read your book, played a few exercise and hit the best DHC of my life - followed by the E above...
I've NEVER been able to play high.
As a teenager my main instrument was French Horn but I always "dabbled" with other instruments and I
prided myself on having a flexible embouchure.
I spent 3 years in a Service Band playing Euphonium (Baritone) and on leaving joined a Dixie Band on
Trumpet. For 20 years I've been slowly building my range and stamina but your "Balanced Embouchure
Process" has suddenly opened up a whole new world.
I don't teach much these days but I've already started emailing pupils to apologise and recommend your
Isle of Wight (UK)
Jeff- just a note to say thanks!
BE has helped me incorporate RO and RI along with the respective dragging up and dragging down into my
(almost) daily regimen.
My range of lip motion is already improving after only a few sessions. I have been playing mostly TOL for a
quite awhile now and find that incorporating RO back into my sessions is improving my power and sound, not
to mention endurance.
The explanations in the book and the included CD are straight-ahead and no-nonsense.
This book is pure "embouchure development."
The flexibility of the BE system is such that you learn to work on what YOU need to work on the most. For
example, I needed the RO back in my regimen to exercise my big ab muscles. I also needed the drag up and
drag down exercises to improve my range of motion.
My low register is starting to come back! Never thought I'd ever write this!!
Best $40 I've spent in a Long time. Thanks again.
Curry Precision Mouthpieces
I came across your Balanced Embouchure book several months ago at a colleague's house. Your clear and
comprehensible approach to the science of embouchure intrigued me.
As a professional player for many decades, I have always had "good" chops. Having studied with Armando
Ghitalla ("M" embouchure), Callet (super chops embouchure) Reinhardt (more top lip) among others, I could
easily see how your ideas fit in. I also have just about every other trumpet book ever published. But for all its
brevity and simplicity, the very well-written B.E. text seemed to make more sense than any of them.
Because a serious trumpeter's quest for improvement never ends, I sent for your book. I followed your
instructions for a couple of months, first thing every morning. Every aspect of my chops' response
dramatically improved beyond my expectations. Not only do I have more control, accuracy, and endurance,
but I've added consistent notes above my usual double G. I just thought you'd like to know.
Sincerely, Roland Chirico, Ph.D
I just thought I'd drop you a line and let you know I think I've finally gotten the BE to work for me. Art Falbush
originally showed me a couple of years back, and I bought the book too, but for a long time I couldn't seem to
make it work for me. Art even said that it's been harder for him to change long-time players than beginners.
So, here I am, on a cruise-ship in Europe, playing 2nd trumpet, but able to step up to the lead plate at any
notice. I've always had a fairly good range, but in the last 4-5 months it's become more of a solid and usable
range. I'm projecting a lot more, my sound has opened up, and at the end of a long night of playing, my chops
don't look like I've been in a fight. I find the first few roll-out exercises as a great warm-up/relaxer before the
set too. The others laugh...but they don't play trumpet.
I'm still fine-tuning things, but that's mostly hardware now that I can actually do something with it.
Thanks again Jeff. I nearly quit years ago. I'm glad I didn't.
Cheers from the cruise-ship wanderer from New Zealand.
I just received and read your book; very well done. I have great respect for your ideas and what you are trying
to accomplish in your book.
I have a couple specific BE questions, but let me give you a little background: as a student, some parts I was
given had required me to play high notes all the time- but the way I did it wasn't efficient. I wasn't aware at the
time, but despite sounding good when I had to, I had some destructive habits that eventually required some
immediate attention. I began a process of learning how to affect pitch change with habits that were more
efficient- and after trying for the last 4 months, and having some success, I arrived at your concepts and your
Let me say that the part of your book that makes sense (and lots of it makes sense) to me the most is the
idea that the lips must resist the airstream. The must move in the right direction as you ascend so that the
position itself is excited by the airstream, and NATURALLY wants to vibrate higher. While playing in
orchestras on my 1B in Chicago, what I was doing was using pressure and tricks to create resistance
artificially, with pretty much zero lip activity. Which meant high notes, but less stamina.
Finally- just one comment/reflection. I'm happy as a player/teacher to see more people being open to new
ideas and directions in trumpet teaching. Most importantly, that the development of range/endurance
requires attention to the way we actually *play* the trumpet! Habits need to be 'consciously' developed and
ingrained, so they can be 'subconsciously' recruited in performance. By reading your book, I can see you feel
this way, too.
Hope to hear from you soon,
I discovered you book in January 2006 and the only bad thing is, that I couldn't study your BE method 30
years ago. I am convinced, after reading and studying many embouchure books and methods, that your
method is a breakthrough for all "not-first-chair-Johnnys". Although I am 50 years old now and playing first
trumpet for the past 27 years I got a real boost in my trumpet playing internalizing your method. It has helped
me a lot in power and endurance.
1st trumpet, SWR Radio Orchestra, Germany
"Rennquintet" brass quintet
Just thought I'd let you know that after winning the Australian Trumpet Championship in 2005, I have just been
awarded first in the 2006 competition. As I said last year, your book has been a significant factor in my
successes, so I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this valuable resource with the world.
The test piece was the Sonata by Pilss. In the end it came down to a battle of tone, control and stamina. Most
people were (and sounded) very tired by the end, but I still felt good. The contest was started at 8am... not a
nice time to play!
Many of my friends/colleagues who were skeptical about your book are now showing quite and interest :-)
My sincerest thanks and best wishes,
Mark C Smith
Hello Mr. Smiley,
My name is Igor Matkovic and I come from Slovenia. After almost one year of practicing BE I decided to
finally email you and ask you a couple of questions.
Since this is the first mail from me I will first tell you a little bit of my self.
I started to play trumpet when I was 7 years old and I never stopped till now. I will be 22 in December. Actually
trumpet was the first place (priority) since then.
I was doing very good almost all the time. I was wining all national competitions and was always treated as a
special talent. All this was happening till age of 16 or 17.
Then something started to happen to me. At that time I had a really frustrated teacher who really did not know
much about how trumpet works, so I started to experiment my self. In a period of one year I brought my self to
even more embouchure problems. At that time I was not able to play C2 (high C) on a trumpet. I was in third
year on a high school (high school in Slovenia is from age 14-15 till 18-19) and had one year till graduation.
As it was obvious to all trumpet community in Slovenia (very small country) that I was facing problems nobody
actually know how to help me. Nobody really did not want take responsibility for my playing. My teacher at
that time could not take the fact that could not help me so he publicly said that I was taking drugs. Thanks to
my parents who was very understandable to me, this false drug thing (is now) past.
My father is also a trumpet player, not professional, but he can play very high and he is a good teacher if he
has a good student. He was my teacher before a went to a high school. He got my playing all this lip slurs
which before I was facing problems worked very good for me. He also was listening to jazz music a lot so
probably I got this from him. At that time I started to listen to jazz music a lot and I found my self a jazz trumpet
teacher. He also had some problems with trumpet, so he understood how I feel at that time. He was not
forcing me to any special exercises, instead, he just played with me some tunes and solos. This is how he
got me out from all frustrations that I was facing this year. So after one year a got my chops working in the
way that a could play B2, but I had an endurance for 10 minutes and after that it was struggling.
I somehow graduated from classical high school and was accepted to jazz academy in Graz (Austria). I am
quite good in playing jazz so a got a lot of gigs. So for me it was OK at that time my problems were not so
obvious for other people but I was not making any progress and I was practicing 4 hours a day.
My journey for better chops started again. But this time I was more "careful". I was trying everything: Claude
Gordon, Malte Burba, James stamp... and then I heard for Caruso system. The problem was that there was
no Caruso teacher near me so I took all my savings at that time and bought a plane ticket for NY. I also
wanted to see jazz scene there. In NY I worked with Sam Burtis and Dave Rodgers and they are both great
guys who told me a lot about Caruso. The problem was that when I came home (after one month) there was
nobody who could tell me if I am doing things right. So after 6 month of Caruso and no progress I quit doing
I do not know how, but one day while searching the Internet I came across your method. Balanced
Embouchure - dynamic...and works for every trumpet player. I read an old post where there is a big
discussion about this "works for every...". I have to say that this immediately got my attention.
I was going thru your page and I read everything. The more I read more I got interested. At that time I was
very skeptic and I immediately looked on the Internet if there is a teacher in Europe. That is how I came to
Bert Lochs. Great guy who was very helpful to me from the first mail he send to me.
After reading the book and practicing the exercises for 3 month I immediately knew that this is the method for
me. One of most important things that book did for me was, to got me out of that "careful" zone. Later I
learned that this is called comfort zone. I started to study NLP. I read in one post where you mention you also
was studying that. Maybe you could tell me something about that some other time.
After 6 month I drove 1100 km and went to visit Bert in Holland. I was there for 3 hours and had a great time.
He is really a nice guy. He said to me that I was doing things correctly so I could peacefully practice further.
I am now doing RO #4 up to C3 every day. This exercise I like the most. First time I blew C3 on this exercise
it was so loud that I almost started crying. In last month I am getting some squeaks on E3. So probably
something is happening.
After one year of practicing BE I am very pleased with the progress. I can not play on new embouchure jazz
gigs but I use it on Big Band rehearsals where I play fourth trumpet.
It is not stable I am getting occasionally hrrrrrr from my trumpet and it is hard to play piano above C2. But I
pickup my trumpet every day and can practice. Before, every time when I had a gig or a busy day a could not
play anything the next day. My lips would be swollen...
Thank you very much for taking the time and read the story of a guy from Slovenia. I really appreciate
everything you did for trumpet community and guys like me. I can not imagine how many courage it took to
bring out those first site pictures.
I am a comeback player at the whopping age of 38. I was a pretty darn good player through high school, and
had music performance scholarships in college. I changed majors in college, but did continue in all
ensembles through my undergraduate program. I was classically trained and played almost exclusively lead
and first chair for all of my years. I graduated in 1989, and essentially that was it for my trumpet playing, sadly.
In September of this year my daughter, unbeknownst to me, signed me up for our outstanding church
orchestra. This is an outstanding full orchestra, as well as a great horn section. I thought at the time they were
all paid musicians, though I have come to find out they are all volunteers, even though a great number or them
are professional musicians, music teachers, and play in the local Philharmonic Orchestra. I was VERY
intimidated (a characteristic that one would typically really struggle to apply to me in every other aspect of my
life! HA!). So, off I went to the races trying to catch up with the big dogs.
By December of that same year, my playing was coming along very well, and I was sitting second chair, as
well as playing solo cornet in our local brass band (about killed my chops!). I was being asked to play WAY
more than my chops could deliver, but I so appreciated them essentially pushing me along. In typical
obsessive-compulsive trumpet player fashion, I was practicing and performing like a mad man through the
Christmas season, and my lips were paying the price. At this point, I had done enough reading (since I had a
15+ year layoff before this comeback), to select a more methodical approach to my practicing. That was
when I ordered the Balanced Embouchure. I was LOVING playing again, and things were coming back pretty
quickly. But I was being asked to play lead after Christmas, and didn't really have the range to do it. Thank
God the 1st chair trumpet encouraged me through all this, and we began to split up charts…some second,
some 1st, some lead. But in my heart I am a lead player (though my chops presently say otherwise).
I started doing BE around Christmas, and really hit it pretty hard right afterwards. Now, keep in mind that I'd
only been playing for less than 4 months, but I was pretty happy to have a really solid range up to D above
high C. The E was kina there, but not really useable. Realistically, I need a monster G above high C. I figured,
given that I'm a comeback player, and was working diligently at ALL aspects of playing, I would take up BE
because it did not appear that it would inhibit my playing or practice of the other aspects I'd been working on.
I confess fully that I bought BE strictly as a way to have a system that I could add to my regular weekly
routines, but one that was primarily focused on increasing my range and power in the upper register. I realize
that it can do much more than that, but that's why I got it, honestly.
Now, not that I expect this is typical of everyone, but I got the BE and read all the materials and listened to the
CD several times to understand the concepts before I started. Then I started the exercises….of course,
though….faster than the book recommends (imagine that! HA!). On the day I began the exercises, the
absolute highest note I could play was essentially a teeny squeaky occasional F above high C. I was hoping
that with BE I might add range up the G within the year. But what happened was far from that! On the 3rd day
of doing BE, my 'playable' range suddenly jumped from essentially D right up to F…..BAM. Just like that. I
don't mean I was able to 'squeek out' an F in front of the tuner. Rather, I mean my 'playable' range jumped
right up to the F. My squeaky range within a day or two was A above high C. I was ecstatic! And surprised!
So were all the folks I play with in the bands and orchestra.
Summary is that after about 5 months of working on BE, my range is increased from basically a squeaky
high E, to a solid G, pretty decent A, and beginning to creep in to the range over Double High C pretty
consistently. My tone is markedly improved, and my endurance has increased ten fold. On top of that, my
'happiness factor' has perhaps increased more than anything because I'm beginning to play more like what I
hear in my head and heart. In addition to that, I have a fantastic, methodical approach to practice and
improvement that is systematic…..and is working for me at what I consider an astounding rate. Maybe this
isn't astounding to others out there, but I sure never figured that I'd be knocking on the door of the Double C
range consistently within 9 months of a comeback after laying off for 15 years!
I don't want to discount the fact that most of my playing is with some remarkably talented Christian bands.
Perhaps it is a combination of BE and guidance and the grace of God that my comeback is going as it is.
The people in these ensembles have encouraged me in ways that are so incredible, as well as my family has
(my 15 year old daughter fells pretty great about her old dad playing some whailing lead in front of her band
buddies….and that has brought us closer together as well). Since I have vowed to do BE 5 days a week for
the next 4 solid months, I can only waits to see what unfolds for me.
I know this was a ridiculously long note, but you can't imagine how passionate I am about my comeback, and
the assistance that the Balanced Embouchure has provided to me in this. Thank you so much, Jeff, for this
incredible tool you have developed. It has just been remarkable.
Don't know if you remember me or not, but I bought a copy of your book from you about 18 months ago. I was
finding playing to be rather tough & hard work at the time and my range was a big problem.
Well, to cut a long story short, your book has been of great assistance to me. My range, tone and confidence
have all improved greatly. This was never more evident than the Thursday immediately before Easter, when I
played in the Australian National Solo Championships and, in my first time entering, took out the Open
I got some rather odd looks in the warm-up room when I was playing roll-ins and double pedals. One person
even asked if I was blowing in the right end! I wonder if that particular player has reflected on his
comments after the result?!
So... I just wanted to send you my thanks for an excellent book that has made a major impact on my playing.
I'm very grateful that you chose to publish your techniques rather than keeping them to yourself.
Could you please advise me of the current cost of your book and of postage to Australia? Several of my
friends who were skeptical before are now interested in purchasing it.
Mark C Smith
Just wanted to give you an update on my progress so far -
I've been using BE since March of this year, about 7 months now.
So far I've added 4 notes to my upper register that I can consistently and solidly hit whenever I want (G above
high C being the top note). I can hit higher than that, but not consistently.
I am very pleased with my progress, considering I've been playing for 33 years and was never able to hit
these notes before, let alone with consistency.
This method definitely works and I've been advocating it with all my fellow trumpeters.
Thanks so much for your contributions!!!
I have difficulty articulating my feelings of gratitude to you for revealing the "secrets" that every trumpet player
I am an old geezer who has had lifelong fantasies of playing G above high C.
Some of my trumpet playing friends can get to F above high C, not G, and then squeak out notes above G.
The G is mystical and missing and without explanation.
I purchased a Claude Gordon method and eventually loaned it to another trumpet player to see if he could
make sense of it. So far, no luck and that was many years ago. I also made an expensive two day visit to one
of your Dallas suburb neighbors who says he knows the secret. The problem was lack of explanation. I
arrived home believing my quest would be resolved after a great many repetitions. My F got better, but G and
above was still elusive.
Maynard Ferguson was becoming prominent during my high school years and my trumpet instructor thought
Maynard would not last. His extreme range would destroy his lip tissue. Well, Maynard has lasted longer than
my instructor so it isn't the high notes that kill you.
The point of my email is to thank you for developing your explanation of how to achieve the pitches above the
staff. It has enabled me to reach the elusive G and up to double C.
While I need work on control and refinement, The difference I've experienced is remarkable in a short period
Thank you very,very much for your instructional information. I shall be happy the recommend your web site to
any trumpet player searching for the "secret". In addition, you are correct about prior experience and age not
being a barrier to adapting to your system. Good Lord willin', I'll be 73 years of age on August 15 and playing
with the Oconomowoc American Legion Band .
Thank You Very Much,
FINALLY someone who has addressed the embouchure directly and not skirted around the issue!!!
I have been using your book with many of my students for about a year now (I also use it!) and I am having
INCREDIBLE SUCCESS with your suggestions, thoughts, and theories with all of my students. In the past, I
would not have known how to address problems such as range and endurance, and would have simply
chalked it up to a lack of practice on the student's part. This is only because I would not have truly known how
to help some of these kids after I had exhausted my bag of tricks. The old saying, "you need to practice
more" simply was not the issue.
I was the one who was practicing every day and playing jobs at night and I was the one with the classic
endurance, range, too much pressure, and swollen lips problems that plague all inefficient embouchure
users. I had read many a text and seen many a video on the subject and could never get a clear-cut answer
to my playing problems.
I am even more excited for my students to see their smiling excited faces when they pop out a high C for the
first time after struggling for years with an F in the top of the staff!!
A thousand thanks,
San Francisco Bay Area trumpeter, teacher, and clinician
I wanted you to be the first to know, as my unofficial trumpet guru, that after nearly three years of filling in the
Principal Trumpet vacancy in my orchestra (The Orchestra of Scottish Opera), I'm pleased to say that I have
been appointed to the post. It's been a long and stressful process: first, the position had to be advertised
throughout the European Union (which narrowed it down to 450 million or so!); then auditions were held, of
which myself and three others were shortlisted for trial periods of work for the orchestra; and then I was finally
offered the job a couple of days ago.
However, the point of all this is to say, with absolute certainty, that I could never have got this job without BE. It
has taken my playing to a completely different level, and given me the confidence to realize my dreams of
being a principal trumpet player. I just can't thank you enough, not only for writing the brilliant BE method, but
also for the help and encouragement you have given me since the start. I will never be able to repay you, of
course, but I do hope that you will at least be able to take some measure of satisfaction from my success.
Orchestra of Scottish Opera
After a year of your method, I have reached my primary goal of being able to play 3-4 hour big band gigs
without busting my chops. It is really a great feeling when you are as fresh at the end of the night as in the
Just wanted to drop a line to say hello and let you know that BE is working great. I'm starting to get the Roll-In
more coordinated, and I'm connecting the registers much more smoothly now. I'm also starting to gain more
endurance (and confidence) with it, too. I have increased my practice time, and I'm practicing the rolled in lip
position with my other routines as well. I'm now able to play extended scales up to a G above high C, and
even an occasional Ab or A.
The best part is that I am not injuring myself to do it. There have been times in the past when I might play
some loud F's, but would be so stiff 5 minutes afterward that I couldn't play the rest of the day, and
sometimes all the next day. That is definitely NOT the case now - I've been doing the extended scale routine
every day for 2 weeks with zero stiff or sore chops. In fact, I practiced a few scales last night before playing in
church - I played up to F# above high C, and absolutely SCORCHED it, then went and played the whole
service on flugelhorn, with plenty of flexibility and a nice dark sound.
Roll-In method working very well. Higher notes above the staff coming through quite clear. I have hit high C a
number of times - amazing! I have found the whole range of notes from below the staff and up to be a lot
clearer. I can see now that my lips were straining before BE.
Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate The Balanced Embouchure method. My upper register has
improved a great deal over the past several months. I play in a community concert (and sometimes jazz)
band, and practice an additional 2-3 hours a week. But my upper register is better now than it was when I
was a college music major playing and practicing 4-5 hours a day. Before "BE," I could play up to an A
above the staff with relative ease. Everything above that was inconsistent and a strain. Now, I'm having a
blast playing Bb's above the staff in "In The Mood," and can even play the run at the end of the piece that
goes up to high D. Thanks so much!
The thing I learned is to just practice the BE exercises and watch what happens. I take care of my air support
and don't think about how my embouchure looks or feels. With your exercises, my chops take on the right
shape without thinking. And it gets better every day. My endurance is growing. I have had some days in which
I played Schlossberg, Bach etudes, and jazz licks up to high E until my neighbors started to complain!
I am working on BE with a lot of my students, and you were right: some are quicker than myself. I have a ten
year old who cannot even play Twinkle Twinkle, but does the Roll-In and has a very clear high C. Others
benefit also. I have a forty year old woman who had big trouble until BE. Now she can finally play above C2
and is getting confident about it. I had no method to help her prior to your book.
Dutch trumpet recording artist and composer
I continue to make remarkable progress. I'm a totally different player from the one I was just 3 short months
ago. My sound is much more vibrant; my range is better and much more secure; I am playing with much more
of a dynamic range; my endurance is three times as good; and for the first time in my career I have a real
feeling of consistency. I'm improving for the first time in 15 years, and my confidence is soaring.
You're so right though: it really does all flow from lip position. To take just one example, I can now play very
softly with a purity of tone that I have never been able to achieve before. This hasn't come about from
practicing softly (eg Clarke); its happened because my lip position is changing, and my lips are now
presumably sealing much better. I've put aside all the other method books and technical material for the time
being, yet my playing is improving in those very areas that I would seem to be neglecting right now! I won't go
on, but suffice to say, your method in taking my playing to a totally different level, and I can't express my
admiration or gratitude enough.
Andrew Lynn, Assistant Principal Trumpet
Orchestra of Scottish Opera
I have found that every aspect of (the BE) method is true. I cannot believe how consistent my playing is now.
There are no "bad days" any more. Also, my tone is so pure and big and beautiful now. I had always thought
that my tone was my strong point - now it is even better.
I am a high school band director and have several students switching to trumpet to improve the bands'
instrumentation. I am much more successful with helping students improve their tone and range with this
At this point, I don't understand why your approach is not the mainstream approach. In my opinion, The
Balanced Embouchure will have a strong impact on trumpet pedagogy.
Just to let you know. My wife ordered your book for me as an XMAS present. So I have been working out of
it for about a month at this point and I have made significant progress. So much that the person that sits next
to me in my community band asked me what I had been doing. When I told him that I had been using your
book, he asked me where he could get a copy, so I directed him to your website. But he did not have a
computer so he asked me to order the book for him. So last week my wife ordered another copy of the book.
...I am a comeback player. In high school I made all state in spite of my smile embouchure. At the time, the
horn I played was a school owned Mt. Vernon Bach Strad cornet. So I fell out of playing for a long time
because I didn't have a horn.
FYI - I am now starting to work on roll out #4 and roll in #2. I particularly have found your information on how to
get relaxed corners to be very helpful. Since I had about 3 weeks before my community band started up
again, I decided to completely let go of my old tight corner embouchure. Using the techniques from your
book, I was able to get a handle on the new "feel" fairly quickly. At first I couldn't hardly play a thing this way.
But in about two weeks I had very close to the same range as before (that is, not very much) but with more
endurance and with less mouthpiece pressure. I still have to think about this to make it work correctly, but I
am definitely going in the right direction. So much so that the other day while doing my roll in exercises I
found myself occasionally over shooting and playing high C's instead of the G. This is definitely a "problem" I
don't mind having to work through at this stage. I am steadily getting more control and stability and when I am
doing this correctly I am amazed at the ease with which I can play above the staff. In fact, at this point I think
that my biggest roadblock is to change my mindset and not tense up when playing up high. It really isn't hard
if you are doing it right and being relaxed is definitely part of doing it correctly.
So thank you for a great book. It has been by far the best book on embouchure I have, and I think I have most
You may not remember me but we spoke briefly about six months ago when I ordered a copy of the
Balanced Embouchure. Back then, you recommended that I put my Curry 3DC (deep cornet) mouthpiece
aside for a while in favor of a Bach 7C until my chops got adjusted to the closed setting and I was able to
manage the pedal tones more efficiently.
That was six months ago and my progress has been fairly remarkable given longstanding chop problems.
No, I'm not crushing double C's or ready, just yet, to give Maynard a run for his money, but my tone and
endurance have improved so much since I started the book that, at 56 years of age, I'm playing stronger and
better than at any time in my life.
What is perhaps most interesting is the realization that I can hit notes (i.e. presently up to a high E or F)
which were previously unthinkable. At some point this past summer after working with your method (and, to a
lesser degree, some material gleaned from the Superchops manual) I realized that I could extend my range
and potential. For the previous thirty years I have been "stuck" in a musical purgatory - unable to progress
because of a faulty approach and physical limitations.
After a few weeks practicing your method on the Bach 7C, I returned to my symphonic bucket; the Curry
sounded better than ever and it did not adversely affect my ability to play in the upper register. I feel no need
to downsize or use a shallow cup to facilitate the high notes. I'm playing technical passages that were
previously unthinkable and doing it with ease using the Balanced Embouchure. Your book is truly one of the
best on the market and a whole generation of trumpeters owe you a debt of gratitude for sharing your
wisdom and knowledge in the field of brass instruction.
I introduced my sister (the French Horn playing brass teacher) to your methods, and gave my 11 yr old
nephew a couple of lessons on pedals and lip clamp. He just loves the weird noises you make! Anyway, the
pedals took about a week to get started, and playing with the lip clamp took two lessons to get going. Initially,
he found playing with the lip clamp hard work, but eventually by easing up on the lip-to-lip compression the
notes came out. It was a revelation for him to play a high G, which was the absolute top of his range, with
hardly any effort at all. During the attempts, he played a D above high C loud and clear!
An amazing thing happened last night during my roll-in warmup at Big Band and during the break. I found a
setting that, when coupled with higher internal pressure produced high F's and high G's with pretty decent
volume, then up to a weaker double C, then up to a triple C squeak. The amazing part was that the center of
the lips were very relaxed, it seemed that they were barely touching one another. Didn't take much
mouthpiece pressure either - a very exciting and encouraging experience for me - thank you for your
exercises! I repeated the setting several times to retain muscle memory for the F's and G's. It got all the
trumpet players' attention, so the secret is out. I'm plugging the concepts in your book, but I still get a lot of
blank and skeptical expressions from the others.
Editors note: an interesting comeback profile which I hope you enjoy!
Age: Oh, about 60.
Years off the horn: 42 (last paid gig was a wedding dance, August, 1959).
How long back on the horn: Eight months.
How long using the BE book: Four weeks.
Self analysis: Excellent tone, excellent breathing patterns. Embouchure durability is poor. Poor fingering
dexterity, poor skill in scales.
Practice time: Truly averaging 90 min a day. Weekends are best when 2-3 hours can be spread over a 12
Most shocking loss of skill after 42 years off the horn: Breathing.
Easiest gain of skill after 42 years off the horn: Breathing.
Counting/understanding of music: No problem because of piano studies before trumpet (thanks, Mom, RIP).
Commitment level: Bordering on obsession. Worrying about 2002 vacation without access to horn!
First observations of BE (Balanced Embouchure): The best $40 I ever spent.
1. Totally impressed with value of double pedals and inherent application of increased lip mass in roll-out
leading to roll-in. Pure physics!
2. Totally impressed with lip clamp (in conjunction with roll-out/in) and gain in total range with concomitant
gain in musicality below max range. Could squeeze out high C, now I do not know where I max out at, but
certainly double G. Can play somewhat musically above the staff to high C. This is nothing short of