The Balanced Embouchure An interview with Jeff Smiley It took Jeff Smiley 30 years to decipher the clues and discover an easier way to play trumpet, a dynamic step-by-step method that works for everyone. Jeff is a trumpet teacher who works with all age groups and skill levels. In the last 14 years, he has taught over twenty thousand lessons in the Dallas area in Texas. His book, "The Balanced Embouchure", is now available. It is the core text of a projected series of books dealing with unique dynamic range of motion exercises.
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The main thing I remember from your first reply, was that age was not my issue. That had to have been nearly seven years ago, and today I am approaching seventy years old, and my chops have never been in better shape! You were so right, and I am so grateful for your encouragement back then. The thing I believe age has influenced, is how long it takes to get to the same place a younger person would take.
The good news is that consistent practice and dedication can still get you there. I will never play with a major orchestra, or even play professionally, though I have been paid for a few performances.
My goal is to play to have fun and to get better and have even more fun. Music and playing horn is the passion of my retirement. For several years I have not steadfastly practiced the BE routines, but I have always kept firmly in mind the BE principles as I progressed. I have stayed in contact with Valerie over the years, and she and I have become good friends. What is personally important to me is that I struggled and struggled with the lower register on horn, and came up against the Reicha trios for horn, opus So I began experimenting, keeping BE in mind.
I certainly could play the lowest notes without any difficulty, having learned from BE how to play that low, but to move back into a more RI embouchure for the higher notes was a daunting task.
It made all the difference. On the high side, my upper range has increase a solid performable fifth, from my beginnings. This I truly believe is because of embracing the principles of BE, and finding ways to implement them in my day to day playing.
I play principal horn in a small town pops orchestra in Colorado, and occasionally sub in area orchestras that play major works. I travel to California each summer to play in the Brass Chamber Music Workshop at Humboldt State University, and have such a fantastic time with all those terrific brass players.
So I just wanted to give you an update and a huge thank you for what you have brought to my playing. The quoted prices are in US dollars. To Order: Step 1.
Please tell me what instrument you play and the country you live in. Step 2. I send you an invoice with payment options credit card, PayPal, check or money order. Step 3. You pay the invoice. Step 4. I ship your BE book.
Happy horn playing!
The Balanced Embouchure for Horn