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The real Claude Gordon: not the Internet forum caricature

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Bill Bryant

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Feb 22, 2003, 8:42:15 PM2/22/03
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I was a long-time student of Claude Gordon in the 70s. During a recent
illness I decided to see what was being said about him on Internet
trumpet forums. I'm amazed and appalled.

Time won't allow me to clear up every misconception, of course, but in
honor of a tremendous teacher and noble man I want to clear up at
least a few of the worst.

1. Claude was not a high note teacher. He's been labeled this way
probably because most trumpeters flip through his Systematic Approach
book, see the arpeggios, and assume that Claude was just another
"Double High C in 37 Weeks" kind of guy, a gimmick, a quick way to get
yourself screaming. Nothing could be further from the truth. Claude
wasn't a high note teacher; he was a trumpet teacher. Yes, he taught a
person the full, practical range of the horn, and yes, he had a
particular approach to helping someone expand into new registers. But
this was a small fraction of what he taught. A very small fraction.
Claude hated, and I mean HATED, anything that even slightly smelled
like a secret method or a get-high-notes-fast kind of thing.
2. Claude was not a pedal tone freak. Yes, Claude believed that the
proper, controlled use of pedal tones (flexibly, easily connected to
the rest of one's playing register) improved vibrations, improved
endurance, helped with agility, etc., but again, the vast part of my
work with Claude had absolutely nothing to do with pedals.
3. Claude wasn't as dogmatic about embouchure as some assume. To the
contrary, about the only thing he ever said to me about it was that
most people needed to have more top lip in the mouthpiece than bottom.
I still have five or six trumpet books I took to my lessons with him,
and on every page are three words Claude put there with a red stamp:
FORGET THE LIP. When it came to the whole embouchure thing Claude
believed that the right kind of practice over an extended period of
time would help a person's embouchure set itself optimally.
Occasionally he would change a new student's embouchure if he believed
it was too far off ever to adjust itself with proper practice, but
most of the time he left embouchure alone.
4. Claude wasn't as dogmatic about KTM tonguing as some have stated,
at least not when I was studying with him in the 70s. Some of his best
students, Bob O'Donnell for example, never adopted it, and that was
just fine with Claude. He had me do a lot of it, but only as one of
the many models I did on virtually everything I practiced. He never
made me change to using it as my main approach to tonguing. He tongued
this way himself, and learned this from Clarke, who did it this way
too, but he never forced me to do it exclusively. Today I can use
either KTM or regular single tonguing with about equal facility
according to what seems best in a given musical passage (sort of like
choosing between single and double tonguing).

Now I want to say what I believe was at the heart of Gordon's genius
as a teacher. Claude believed the secret to reaching one's full
potential as a trumpet player was to be found in developing a
long-term, systematic approach to practice: how to practice, what to
practice, when to practice it. I have two legal-sized ringed binders
full of lesson plans that gave me detailed instructions about exactly
what to practice, how to practice it, how much to practice it, and in
what order to practice it. I wish I could show everyone the way these
hundreds of pages take a person incrementally through book after book,
emphasizing one thing the first time through, another the next. I wish
I could show you the way Claude systematically approached the study of
Gatti, St. Jacome, Arban, Irons, Smith, Colin, Staigers, Clarke, etc.

Under Claude I practiced every study in St. Jacome several times using
only K tonguing. Does that sound like the kind of thing a "high note"
teacher would have his students do? Under Claude, as per his
instructions regarding which lines to practice each day, I worked my
way through the Jerry Coker jazz patterns book and, for awhile, even
had a required cut from a required Jamie Aebersold Album to play
changes with. "Bill, if you're going to learn to hold down the jazz
chair in a big band, you need to approach it systematically. You're
getting bogged down in one key. You need to approach your jazz playing
the same way we approached Arban. Here, let me put your Aebersold
stuff into your lessons so you'll know when to practice it, exactly
how much of it to practice, and how much time to spend on it. Then
we'll work you through it bit by bit, come back through it a second
time and a third, and pretty soon you'll know all twelve keys equally
well when it comes to playing through jazz changes." Those weren't his
exact words, but close enough. And again, is this a "high note"
teacher?

So much more could be said but I haven't the time. Perhaps the thing I
appreciate most about Claude's teaching method was that it gave me
tremendous consistency. No, I never became a world-class monster, but
during my years dedicated to trumpet playing (I'm a school teacher
now) I completely overcame the on again-off again stuff that plagues
so many players. I knew what I could do as a player from day to day
because it was the same from day to day; contractors knew what to
expect from me day to day because I didn't have good days and bad
days. I just had my best, such as it was, the same every day.

I don't know if Claude's approach to high register development is the
best for everybody (it was fine for me, but other approaches may have
worked for me too). What I do believe is that his approach to
consistently, incrementally improving every aspect of one's playing in
tandem, at one's own best pace, has never been equaled.

A hint of this all-around incremental approach to every aspect of
playing can be found in Systematic Approach itself, if a student buys
all the supplemental books, lays them on a table and studies carefully
how Claude takes a student week by week through each of them along
with his own things. But this is a mere shadow compared to having the
man write customized weekly lessons for you yourself.

If you have any questions about the real Claude Gordon, not the
Internet caricature, please feel free to contact me at
bbr...@rapidnet.com.

P.S. I had/have some strong disagreements with Gordon about a couple
of things. Perhaps I'll discuss them here at a later date if anybody
has an interest.

DHoff56012

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Feb 22, 2003, 10:58:54 PM2/22/03
to
Good post.

I have a close friend that was a student of Claude's also. He related many of
the same things to me.

David

Tim Priddy

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Feb 23, 2003, 3:47:20 AM2/23/03
to
On Sat, 22 Feb 2003 20:42:15 -0500, Bill Bryant wrote
(in message <a7e7bb74.03022...@posting.google.com>):

>
> I was a long-time student of Claude Gordon in the 70s. During a recent
> illness I decided to see what was being said about him on Internet trumpet
> forums. I'm amazed and appalled.

I use some of the ideas you have elucidated about Claude in my teaching, but
NEVER read his books. Interesting. I must give this systemic approach a read.



> Time won't allow me to clear up every misconception, of course, but in honor
> of a tremendous teacher and noble man I want to clear up at least a few of
> the worst.

I'm glad you did. I didn't have your knowledge of the man to make a good
argument. Good job.



> 1. Claude was not a high note teacher. He's been labeled this way probably
> because most trumpeters flip through his Systematic Approach book, see the
> arpeggios, and assume that Claude was just another "Double High C in 37
> Weeks" kind of guy, a gimmick, a quick way to get yourself screaming.
> Nothing could be further from the truth. Claude wasn't a high note teacher;
> he was a trumpet teacher. Yes, he taught a person the full, practical range
> of the horn, and yes, he had a particular approach to helping someone expand
> into new registers. But this was a small fraction of what he taught. A very
> small fraction. Claude hated, and I mean HATED, anything that even slightly
> smelled like a secret method or a get-high-notes-fast kind of thing. 2.

Me too. What a load of crap.


> believed that the right kind of practice over an extended period of time
> would help a person's embouchure set itself optimally. Occasionally he would
> change a new student's embouchure if he believed it was too far off ever to

Again, my approach exactly.

> adjust itself with proper practice, but most of the time he left embouchure
> alone. 4. Claude wasn't as dogmatic about KTM tonguing as some have stated,

Please explain KTM toungueing?

> Now I want to say what I believe was at the heart of Gordon's genius as a
> teacher. Claude believed the secret to reaching one's full potential as a
> trumpet player was to be found in developing a long-term, systematic
> approach to practice: how to practice, what to practice, when to practice

I could use his foresight here.

> it. I have two legal-sized ringed binders full of lesson plans that gave me
> detailed instructions about exactly what to practice, how to practice it,
> how much to practice it, and in what order to practice it. I wish I could
> show everyone the way these hundreds of pages take a person incrementally
> through book after book, emphasizing one thing the first time through,
> another the next. I wish I could show you the way Claude systematically
> approached the study of Gatti, St. Jacome, Arban, Irons, Smith, Colin,
> Staigers, Clarke, etc.

Would it be presumptious of me to politely ask for a copy, if I paid for
shipping and copy fees? I have MANY trumpet students that could benefit! As
well as other instruments that could benefit from his approach.



> Under Claude I practiced every study in St. Jacome several times using only
> K tonguing. Does that sound like the kind of thing a "high note" teacher
> would have his students do? Under Claude, as per his instructions regarding

I have told my students time and again to practice K tongueing in as many
conceivable musical styles before double tongueing

> which lines to practice each day, I worked my way through the Jerry Coker
> jazz patterns book and, for awhile, even had a required cut from a required
> Jamie Aebersold Album to play changes with. "Bill, if you're going to learn
> to hold down the jazz chair in a big band, you need to approach it
> systematically. You're getting bogged down in one key. You need to approach
> your jazz playing the same way we approached Arban. Here, let me put your
> Aebersold stuff into your lessons so you'll know when to practice it,
> exactly how much of it to practice, and how much time to spend on it. Then
> we'll work you through it bit by bit, come back through it a second time and
> a third, and pretty soon you'll know all twelve keys equally well when it
> comes to playing through jazz changes." Those weren't his exact words, but
> close enough. And again, is this a "high note" teacher?

No, it is not. It is a TEACHER, period.



> So much more could be said but I haven't the time. Perhaps the thing I
> appreciate most about Claude's teaching method was that it gave me
> tremendous consistency. No, I never became a world-class monster, but during
> my years dedicated to trumpet playing (I'm a school teacher now) I
> completely overcame the on again-off again stuff that plagues so many
> players. I knew what I could do as a player from day to day because it was
> the same from day to day; contractors knew what to expect from me day to day
> because I didn't have good days and bad days. I just had my best, such as it
> was, the same every day.

The mark of a professional. Where do you reside? You sound like someone I
would LOVE on 2nd part. (or probably 1st hehe)

> I don't know if Claude's approach to high register development is the best
> for everybody (it was fine for me, but other approaches may have worked for
> me too). What I do believe is that his approach to consistently,
> incrementally improving every aspect of one's playing in tandem, at one's
> own best pace, has never been equaled.

I use the Colin system for range and flexabilty. I have never found an equal
to produce the correct results in so short a time...

> A hint of this all-around incremental approach to every aspect of playing
> can be found in Systematic Approach itself, if a student buys all the
> supplemental books, lays them on a table and studies carefully how Claude
> takes a student week by week through each of them along with his own things.
> But this is a mere shadow compared to having the man write customized weekly
> lessons for you yourself.

Which is why I politely ask again, "May I copy them?"


> P.S. I had/have some strong disagreements with Gordon about a couple of
> things. Perhaps I'll discuss them here at a later date if anybody has an
> interest.

I would also enjoy the discussion, as would many others in the newsgroup.

Warm Regards,
--
J. Timothy Priddy

trum...@chartermi.net
Lead, Ride, Side--All Styles--Educator, Arranger, Sight-Reader
Central Michigan Region

Bill Bryant

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Feb 24, 2003, 5:38:21 PM2/24/03
to
I hesitate to mention what my main disagreement with Claude was about,
but I believe it might be of interest to some, so here goes.

My disagreement had to do with what I saw as Claude's exagerated
optimism about who could become a great player. From his perspective,
anybody with proper instruction and the willingness to stick to it
long enough could become a fantastic trumpeter. I disagreed partly
because it never became true for myself but also on much bigger
principles.

Why should trumpet playing defy rules about human differences that
otherwise apply universally? Give me the best
swimming/track/wrestling/you-name-it coach in the world and 100 eager
youths ready to give a 100% effort for six or eight years. Does
anybody think all of them will become olympians merely by combining
(1) great coaching with (2) disciplined, patient practice over a long
period of time? Isn't it obvious that a third thing comes into play?
Isn't it obvious that the different inborn, genetic characteristics of
each athlete will play a huge part in the equation? Isn't it obvious
that there will be quite a few hard working, intelligent, well-coached
students for whom no amount of good instruction and dilligent work
will produce an Olympic Medal? Or even a spot on next year's local
college team?

OK back to trumpet. I think Claude was too confident that the only
reason somebody isn't a good trumpet player is that he has been poorly
instructed and/or hasn't practiced enough. Certainly, many play poorly
for these very reasons, and they could play much better with better
teaching and better practice habits. But my thesis, brutal as it must
sound to many young players, is this:

There is no perfect equation between good coaching/practicing and good
results. Some, with very poor coaching/practicing, because of inborn
aptitude, will surpass others whose instruction/work was vastly
superior. The only truly sound equation is that you need both a good
teacher and a disciplined life of practice to reach your personal best
(whatever that may be, world-class fame or third section in the
college pep band).

Claude once told me that he never had a student work harder than I
did. That may or may not be true, but certainly I was extremely
disciplined for a long period of time. Claude also mentioned to me
once, referring to a student who has now made several high note
records many on this board are surely familiar with, that he wished
that student were as disciplined as me.

Of course that's when I voiced my disagreement with Mr. Gordon, saying
that I was somewhat skeptical of the level of optimism he always
exuded about what he thought my potential was ("You can become as good
as anybody, Bill!") If I could be as good as anybody, why was
so-and-so, who doesn't work as hard as I do, so obviously, uh, well,
BETTER THAN ME?! Sorry, Claude, but I was young and upset, and not
very realistic.

Anyway, the flip side of this is that most of us, at least in one area
of life or another, do need to 'fess up to the fact that we don't work
hard enough and/or we haven't sought good instruction. And for very
many people, it is indeed good advice to tell them that the thing
keeping them back is either (1) bad teaching or (2) poor work habits.

But here and there, unfortunately, are people for whom no amount of
sound instuction and dilligent application will produce greatness--or,
ouch! even middle of the road ability.

Claude Gordon was a great teacher, but I think his wonderful optimism
sometimes got the best of him with regard to judging a student's
potential and shooting straight with him about it.

Russ Schmidt

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Feb 24, 2003, 5:53:39 PM2/24/03
to
way cool, and interesting..I had a teacher in college who studied with
claude, and had a couple "customized" lessons regarding arbans that he
shared...

sadly, the only time I saw claude was in his twilight at a jazz festival (he
was the trumpet clinician), and quite honestly we (high schoolers then) were
all underwhelmed because his whole clinic revolved around claude turning a
reel to reel tape deck on and off. playing one student's recoding to
another, all playing clarke's tech etude #4 in one breath 60-90 times (I
exaggerate slightly here).

I too (like tim), would love the oppourtunity to read and study claude's
sytematic notes to various methods. perhaps you should consider doing it as
a cottage industry publishing side business.

thanks

russ schmidt

"Bill Bryant" <bbr...@rapidnet.com> wrote in message
news:a7e7bb74.03022...@posting.google.com...

Tim Priddy

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Feb 24, 2003, 10:07:52 PM2/24/03
to

On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 17:38:21 -0500, Bill Bryant wrote
(in message <a7e7bb74.03022...@posting.google.com>):
>
> I hesitate to mention what my main disagreement with Claude was about, but I
> believe it might be of interest to some, so here goes.
>
> My disagreement had to do with what I saw as Claude's exagerated optimism
> about who could become a great player. From his perspective, anybody with
> proper instruction and the willingness to stick to it long enough could
> become a fantastic trumpeter. I disagreed partly because it never became
> true for myself but also on much bigger principles.

I do agree with you on this count. Not everyone will become a FANTASTIC
trumpeter.



> Why should trumpet playing defy rules about human differences that otherwise
> apply universally? Give me the best swimming/track/wrestling/you-name-it
> coach in the world and 100 eager youths ready to give a 100% effort for six
> or eight years. Does anybody think all of them will become olympians merely
> by combining (1) great coaching with (2) disciplined, patient practice over
> a long period of time? Isn't it obvious that a third thing comes into play?
> Isn't it obvious that the different inborn, genetic characteristics of each
> athlete will play a huge part in the equation? Isn't it obvious that there
> will be quite a few hard working, intelligent, well-coached students for
> whom no amount of good instruction and dilligent work will produce an
> Olympic Medal? Or even a spot on next year's local college team?

But, all of them, given this set of circumstances, surely improved. If they
didn't, they should switch sports. Analogy to instrumentalist's is this: If
you can't produce the compression necessary to play a brass (especially
trumpet) instrument, then switch to another with an easier blow. I have done
this with a couple of students over the years, and they thrived on the
different instrument. Trumpet ISN'T for everyone, if it were, then NOBODY
would want to play the SAX. ;-)

> OK back to trumpet. I think Claude was too confident that the only reason
> somebody isn't a good trumpet player is that he has been poorly instructed
> and/or hasn't practiced enough. Certainly, many play poorly for these very
> reasons, and they could play much better with better teaching and better
> practice habits. But my thesis, brutal as it must sound to many young
> players, is this:
>
> There is no perfect equation between good coaching/practicing and good
> results. Some, with very poor coaching/practicing, because of inborn
> aptitude, will surpass others whose instruction/work was vastly superior.
> The only truly sound equation is that you need both a good teacher and a
> disciplined life of practice to reach your personal best (whatever that may
> be, world-class fame or third section in the college pep band).

This unfortunately, is a reality. The people that come closest to this thesis
either do not possess the necessary genetic make-up, either physically or
aurally, to synthesize good reproducible results. It is sad when it comes to
that, especially when the DESIRE is present. Truly sad.



> Claude once told me that he never had a student work harder than I did. That
> may or may not be true, but certainly I was extremely disciplined for a long
> period of time. Claude also mentioned to me once, referring to a student who
> has now made several high note records many on this board are surely
> familiar with, that he wished that student were as disciplined as me.

Quite a compliment from your teacher, surely.



> Of course that's when I voiced my disagreement with Mr. Gordon, saying that
> I was somewhat skeptical of the level of optimism he always exuded about
> what he thought my potential was ("You can become as good as anybody,
> Bill!") If I could be as good as anybody, why was so-and-so, who doesn't
> work as hard as I do, so obviously, uh, well, BETTER THAN ME?! Sorry,
> Claude, but I was young and upset, and not very realistic.

Perhaps that person "got-it" sooner than you. A life in music is one of
constant change, combined with experimentation to produce the best results. It
is dynamic.



> Anyway, the flip side of this is that most of us, at least in one area of
> life or another, do need to 'fess up to the fact that we don't work hard
> enough and/or we haven't sought good instruction. And for very many people,
> it is indeed good advice to tell them that the thing keeping them back is
> either (1) bad teaching or (2) poor work habits.

These issues encompass the vast majority of the problems I face as a teacher,
that of poor work habits. Especially when the truly gifted don't work. It
drives me CRAZY.



> But here and there, unfortunately, are people for whom no amount of sound
> instuction and dilligent application will produce greatness--or, ouch! even
> middle of the road ability.

These students generally realize this by age 11 or 12. If they go farther than
this, sometimes it enters the level of masochism. I have a second year french
horn student that doesn't realize this yet (and french horn, too (DAMN)). ;-)



> Claude Gordon was a great teacher, but I think his wonderful optimism
> sometimes got the best of him with regard to judging a student's potential
> and shooting straight with him about it.

If you will pardon the criticism, perhaps he was that way for a very important
reason: that being optimism generally outweighs pessimism. The mark of a
truly great motivator.

William E. Graham

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Feb 24, 2003, 11:56:25 PM2/24/03
to

"Bill Bryant" <bbr...@rapidnet.com> wrote in message
news:a7e7bb74.03022...@posting.google.com...

I agree that there must be SOME natural talent there in order for one to
become really great....But the question is, just how much natural talent
is enough? - I have had teachers tell me that if they could start with a
young enough student, they could turn anyone into a professional
musician. I thought at the time that this was also an
exaggeration....The only way to really know would be to experiment with
identical twins who had only average or below average musical talent.
(which you would find out much later) and just work with one to attempt
to turn him/her into a good musician. - Since experimenting with human
beings is generally not done, it will probably be a long time before we
know just how much can be done with early teaching.......


Roddy Tpt

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Feb 26, 2003, 2:41:33 AM2/26/03
to
Thanks for sharing that Bill...

Rod

Pops

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Feb 26, 2003, 7:24:40 AM2/26/03
to
The student is the WORST judge of their own ability.

Look at the show American Idol.

Some have delusions and can't be helped.
Some have low self esteem and need encouragement.

Most of us play at a level below 50% of where we could be.

I've had many students who were good players and thought they were close
to the top of their game ; make 400% improvement after some lessons.

Some email me EVERY DAY, others every week, some call me every week....
To them it was a miracle. But really it was just ignoring their
objections and finding out what was possible.

In other words I had to kick them in the butt.

Some fail because they set limits in their mind and they refuse to
attempt to go past that. I have fooled students into doing things that
they thought were impossible. Many will continue to do it because they
realize that they were wrong. Some never repeat it because they let
their mental block control them.

** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
Come see the book everyone is talking about.
"The Pros Talk Embouchure" http://www.BbTrumpet.com/pros.html

Information about my other trumpet & embouchure books.
http://www.BbTrumpet.com

Best wishes
Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin

It is the smart application of hard work that gets you there.

Pops

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Feb 26, 2003, 7:27:38 AM2/26/03
to

Eric Bolvin

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Feb 27, 2003, 1:58:30 PM2/27/03
to
I understand what you're saying here, Bill and appreciate the frankness of
your posts.
I don't know what Claude said to other students, but he always instilled a
sense of confidence in me.
My father split when I was like 12, and Claude kinda filled that gap for me.
He always believed in me. Although I was never lacking in self-confidence, I
have no musical talent.
Everything that I have today, I worked for and am still working for.
I envied many kids around me growing up who were talented where I was not at
all talented. Most of those kids are no longer playing music and I still am.
Will I ever be a Marvin Stamm or Lew Soloff? Probably not, but I sure am
gonna keep trying.
In my case Claude's optimistic approach worked. I also have friends in the
Bay Area who are like me, without talent, who kept perservering and now make
a living in music.

Eb

--
Eric Bolvin
Trumpet, Arranger, Composer, Educator
SF Bay Area
Hear our new CD at
http://www.bolvinmusic.com
http://www.mp3.com/EricBolvin
408.236.2009


"Bill Bryant" <bbr...@rapidnet.com> wrote in message
news:a7e7bb74.03022...@posting.google.com...

Tom King

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Feb 27, 2003, 10:29:14 PM2/27/03
to
Eric proved himself that every player, young or old, could become like
him or better with proper attitudes.

Students with wrong attitudes will have difficult time to improve
their skills regardless of teachers.

I cannot disgree with Eric.


"Eric Bolvin" <EBj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message news:<b3ln4o$a6t$1...@slb9.atl.mindspring.net>...

Bill Bryant

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Feb 28, 2003, 12:54:34 AM2/28/03
to
> I've had many students who were good players and thought they were close
> to the top of their game ; make 400% improvement after some lessons.

I'm guessing the 400% improvement you're refering to is in the area of
range and/or endurance. These are important, very, but they aren't the
primary areas I have in mind when I'm talking about become a truly
great player.

Have "some lessons" given a good player who thinks he's at the top of
his form a 400% improvement in improvisational creativity? 400% in
musicality? 400% in top speed accurately fingering the low A study in
Clarke Technical no. 2? 400% in top speed single tonguing a G in the
staff? 400% in ability to memorize large chunks of repertoire quickly
and accurately? 400% in rhythmic savvy or sight-reading skill? 400% in
pitch sensitivity/knack for perfect intonation?

I'm not trying to be controversial here; I have no axe to grind, no
fight to pick with anyone, certainly not with 'Pops.' In fact, I
heartily recommended him as a teacher to my nephew, an aspiring high
school trumpeter from southern Texas.

Yet I do think that the trumpet has had more than its share of secret
methods, breakthrough miracles, esoteric 'insider' talk, magic lip
salves, etc. etc. and that this can make far too many wannabe players
less realistic than, say, wannabe NBA stars who can't seem to grow
more than 5'4".

The flip side, of course, is that a huge number of students really can
have 400% improvements in a short amount of time (at least in certain
specific areas of growth), and that a huge number really are held back
by bad teaching and/or lack of discipline.

I suppose the only way an individual can find this out for
himself--find out if he is limited by the trumpet equivalent of being
a 5'4" NBA wannabe--is to get truly excellent teaching and practice
for five or six hours a day for five or ten years. Short of that, one
can only speculate, can only mumble if-onlys and what-ifs into his
pillow.

Tom King

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Feb 28, 2003, 9:08:39 AM2/28/03
to
> Some have low self esteem and need encouragement.
Of course, the right attitude is important. Positive attitude is
important.
But I did not think of self esteem when I was a teenager. I pracriced
a lot because playing trumpet was fun. I became a good trumpet player,
not the best in the world, because I practiced a lot, more than 4
hours a day. I did not mind practicing 8 hours because it was fun. I
ran miles to strengthen my body because playing trumpet was fun.

Self esteem would not make kids practice harder. Fun would do the
trick.

HiC

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Feb 28, 2003, 1:55:20 PM2/28/03
to
bbr...@rapidnet.com (Bill Bryant) wrote in message news:<a7e7bb74.03022...@posting.google.com>...


> My disagreement had to do with what I saw as Claude's exagerated
> optimism about who could become a great player. From his perspective,
> anybody with proper instruction and the willingness to stick to it
> long enough could become a fantastic trumpeter.

There's certainly something to be said for encouraging all his
students and trying to get them to achieve their best. But, while he
probably had a good system worked out for the type of material to
practice, if he truly believed this and was unable to recognize when
and WHY certain students weren't progressing as well as others,
despite hard work, it was not only unrealistic, it's also a clear
testament of a lack of understanding on his part of certain issues,
mental and physical. This is something I've long believed about him.
Your statement only reinforces this notion.

Like many brass teachers, he therefore surely couldn't possibly have
known the best route to solve problems of those who had solvable
problems. Simply throwing exercises at someone doesn't address the
fundamental issues of their chops. You say yourself, you were having
problems, and he ultimately wasn't able to solve them. I believe his
notion of "correct practice will force the embouchure into correct
alignment" or the like is patently false. I say this from personal
experience. I have more range and endurance than I ever had when I was
practicing far more than I do now, and it's strictly due to changing
the mechanics of how I was doing things, not from endless long tones,
flex studies etc. I could have practiced 'til the sun burned out the
way I used to do it and it would have never gotten better.

As far as CG being thought of as a high note guru, I always heard of
his method referred to in the context of being a high-chops developer.
I knew some guys who went to N. Texas State in the 70's and from what
I was told, getting the exalted lead chair in the lab bands and
powerhouse high-noting was largely the focus in the Jazz program.

Tom King

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Feb 28, 2003, 6:29:35 PM2/28/03
to
> The student is the WORST judge of their own ability.
At the same time, they are the BEST judge of their teacher's ability
to teach. They can tell if they are improving. When they see they are
improving, they feel fun and practice more.

Eric Bolvin

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Mar 1, 2003, 11:36:35 PM3/1/03
to
< if he truly believed this and was unable to recognize when
and WHY certain students weren't progressing as well as others,
despite hard work, it was not only unrealistic, it's also a clear
testament of a lack of understanding on his part of certain issues,
mental and physical. This is something I've long believed about him.>

You're completely misinformed on this subject. Claude helped his students on
an individual level. Where did you come up with this crap anyway?
You're the reason Bill made his post in the first place. I don't understand
why you find it neccesary to diss a man who helped so many trumpet players.

Eb


--
Eric Bolvin
Trumpet, Arranger, Composer, Educator
SF Bay Area
Hear our new CD at
http://www.bolvinmusic.com
http://www.mp3.com/EricBolvin
408.236.2009

"HiC" <brass...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:be867d2c.03022...@posting.google.com...

Tom King

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Mar 2, 2003, 6:38:45 AM3/2/03
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> Like many brass teachers, he therefore surely couldn't possibly have

You should have said, "Like ALL brass teachers,........"

> notion of "correct practice will force the embouchure into correct
> alignment" or the like is patently false.

Worng practice will force the embouchure into wrong alignment is
certinly correct. The way you write tells me you have not studied
ettudes like Top TOnes for the Trumpeter by W.M. Smith, Playing
Techniques & Performance Studies by Arturo Sandoval, Musical
Calisthenics for Brass by Carmine Caruso and many other.

> I have more range and endurance than I ever had when I was
> practicing far more than I do now, and it's strictly due to changing
> the mechanics of how I was doing things, not from endless long tones,
> flex studies etc. I could have practiced 'til the sun burned out the
> way I used to do it and it would have never gotten better.

Please go ahead help your students if you have any. Tell us how you
solved their problems. If you do not teach, you lack credential to
criticize CG. BTW, those who have credentials to teach do not
criticize anybody except young and zealous teachers.

> As far as CG being thought of as a high note guru, I always heard of
> his method referred to in the context of being a high-chops developer.

I think you misunderstood him because of your inclination to high
notes. I view CG as music guru.

HiC

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Mar 2, 2003, 9:27:37 AM3/2/03
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"Eric Bolvin" <EBj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message news:<b3s1pb$n6h$1...@slb2.atl.mindspring.net>...

> < if he truly believed this and was unable to recognize when
> and WHY certain students weren't progressing as well as others,
> despite hard work, it was not only unrealistic, it's also a clear
> testament of a lack of understanding on his part of certain issues,
> mental and physical. This is something I've long believed about him.>
>
> You're completely misinformed on this subject. Claude helped his students on
> an individual level. Where did you come up with this crap anyway?

Uhh...from Bill's post. Which you apparently didn't read. To
paraphrase, while praising Claude in one respect, he also stated that
he felt CG was often unrealistic in his assessment of indivual
ability. That anyone could be as good a player as anyone else with
enough hard work. Apparently you either don't recognize or choose to
ignore what a critical flaw this is. If he truly felt this way, then
there were serious gaps in his understanding of certain issues. The
fact is some players with dysfunctions CAN be helped, but you have to
have a fundamental understanding of precisely what the problem is.
Simply throwing some neato practice routine at them isn't going to
accomplish it.

> You're the reason Bill made his post in the first place. I don't understand
> why you find it neccesary to diss a man who helped so many trumpet players.

I'm sure Claude was a nice guy, and from what I've heard he was a
decent trumpet player. However, I've found just as you're
demonstrating now, that people on this forum and in the music world in
general tend to be incredibly non-objective, and get wrapped up in
politics and personalities more than reason. You like someone so ergo
you're going to defend them to the ends of the earth, and reject any
evidence that suggests maybe they weren't as great as their rep would
suggest, or that their skills have deteriorated due often to their own
habits/neglect.

By virtue of sheer numbers, any teacher is going to have a certain
number of successful students, by putting them through the time
honored gamut of exercises. And those students are obviously going to
sing the praises of that teacher.

However, where many fall short is in helping the problem cases, mainly
because they don't truly understand what the problem is. Anyone who
categorically states that ALL players have equal potential, and can
achieve equal greatness merely by practicing the right things, as Bill
suggests CG did, isn't being realistic, and demonstrates a lack of
understanding. Many, probably most teachers DO depend on the students'
chops finding their own way and self-correcting after being exposed to
certain regimens, but this doesn't always work. Or, they have some
preconceived notion of what the embouchure is supposed to look like
and they try to force all students' chops into this mold. Again, for
the same reason, lack of a fundamental understanding.

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 2, 2003, 10:42:41 AM3/2/03
to
On Sat, 1 Mar 2003 20:36:35 -0800, "Eric Bolvin"
<EBj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>< if he truly believed this and was unable to recognize when
>and WHY certain students weren't progressing as well as others,
>despite hard work, it was not only unrealistic, it's also a clear
>testament of a lack of understanding on his part of certain issues,
>mental and physical. This is something I've long believed about him.>
>
>You're completely misinformed on this subject. Claude helped his students on
>an individual level. Where did you come up with this crap anyway?
>You're the reason Bill made his post in the first place. I don't understand
>why you find it neccesary to diss a man who helped so many trumpet players.
>
>Eb

I agree with you. I'm the first to recognize my shortcomings and know
that no matter what I do, I'll never achieve the greatness that others
have. However, that will not keep me from plugging, especially if the
teacher is trying to encourage me with higher than possible hopes.
While it won't get me to the top, I'm sure that I'll be a 'wee bit'
better than if I went to a teacher who constantly tells me, "You
suck!" I'm aware of that already. That's why I'd be going to a teacher
in the first place. If we want to talk about reaching full potential,
I seriously doubt that more than a very few who visit this news group
can make that claim and could benefit from the likes of Claude Gordon.
In my case, had CG been alive today, I would admit that he has
forgotten more than I'll ever know.

BOB

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 2, 2003, 10:49:38 AM3/2/03
to
On 2 Mar 2003 06:27:37 -0800, brass...@yahoo.com (HiC) wrote:


>
>> You're the reason Bill made his post in the first place. I don't understand
>> why you find it neccesary to diss a man who helped so many trumpet players.
>
>I'm sure Claude was a nice guy, and from what I've heard he was a
>decent trumpet player.

A look at CG's resume might compel you to upgrade the term 'decent' to
something commensurate to his true ability.

Eric Bolvin

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Mar 2, 2003, 2:10:22 PM3/2/03
to
<The
fact is some players with dysfunctions CAN be helped, but you have to
have a fundamental understanding of precisely what the problem is.
Simply throwing some neato practice routine at them isn't going to
accomplish it.>

What "neato practice routine" sre you referring to? Do you mean practicing
Arban, St. Jacome and Schlossburg, etc?
And where did you get the idea that CG didn't understand problems? He helped
more trumpet players in solving their personal playing problems in a month
that other teachers did in a lifetime.

<You like someone so ergo
you're going to defend them to the ends of the earth, and reject any
evidence that suggests maybe they weren't as great as their rep would
suggest, or that their skills have deteriorated due often to their own
habits/neglect.>

What the hell are you talking about? What evidence??? I took lessons from CG
and know dozens of great trumpet players that also did. I was there in the
same room. Where were you when you were collecting all this "evidence"? And
to prove what? That you are just another internet troll looking to diss
someone and piss people off?

<Anyone who
categorically states that ALL players have equal potential, and can
achieve equal greatness merely by practicing the right things, as Bill
suggests CG did, isn't being realistic, and demonstrates a lack of
understanding. >

OK. Bill did state this, but I never heard Claude say anything like this.
Yes, he was always encourging and positive as a teacher. Yes, he thought
with hard work, many obstacles could be overcome. Like one of the other
posters stated, I'd rather have a positive teacher than a guy that says "You
suck". If you read my first reply, you can see that I (and others)
benefitted from Claude's posistive attitude.
Please include your real name if you choose to reply. Otherwise, I'm done
with you and you can return to troll heaven.

Eb

--
Eric Bolvin
Trumpet, Arranger, Composer, Educator
SF Bay Area
Hear our new CD at
http://www.bolvinmusic.com
http://www.mp3.com/EricBolvin
408.236.2009
"HiC" <brass...@yahoo.com> wrote in message

news:be867d2c.03030...@posting.google.com...

Bill Bryant

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Mar 2, 2003, 7:04:02 PM3/2/03
to
I'm sorry to see friction develop on this thread, especially since it
has been caused almost entirely by ignorance. If no one but former CG
students were paricipating here, differing opinions (and there would
be some) would at least have a legitimate knowledge base. As it is,
some of what is being written here is way off.

To set the record straight, I want to clarify a bit about what I said
earlier regarding my disagreement with Claude.

1. Claude was indeed an optimistic encourager. This is good. Very
good. I once studied for a few months with another well-known L.A.
teacher, and his condescending, tyrannical, jack-booted negativism
quickly led me to other pastures. In all I've said on this thread I'M
SAYING NOTHING AGAINST CLAUDE'S NEVER-SAY-DIE OPTIMISM. This was a
good, even great, trait of this master teacher. If it sometimes got
away from him, and IMHO it did occassionally, it in no way speaks
poorly of this basic, wonderful characteristic he had. To extrapolate
from what I said to the generalization that Claude was long on wishful
thinking and short on genuine expertise is simply ludicrous.

2. Claude was very good at helping struggling students with chop
problems get straightened out and learn to play well on better setups.
Case in point: ME. When I came to Claude I was a high school graduate
who couldn't play a high C. At all. Not one. Truly an embouchure
nightmare. Today, thanks not just to Claude's systematic approach to
long-term practice, but also to his straightening out my embouchure, I
have a high G as big as a house.

3. I said earlier that I didn't become a FANTASTIC player, but I never
said I didn't learn to play. Claude took me from almost total failure
and despair--I almost committed suicide the summer after high school
because my countless hours of practice had led to nothing but an
unbroken string of musical disasters--to a player who got calls, made
money, went on the road with a lounge act for a while, etc. No, I
never became a household name, but because of Claude I (arguably his
worst student) I became a real musician who could hold his head up in
most musical situations.

HiC

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Mar 2, 2003, 8:09:58 PM3/2/03
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Robert DeSavage <alle...@attbi.comnospam> wrote in message news:<5q946vcivrj3b4fek...@4ax.com>...

> >I'm sure Claude was a nice guy, and from what I've heard he was a
> >decent trumpet player.
>
> A look at CG's resume might compel you to upgrade the term 'decent' to
> something commensurate to his true ability.

Someone can politic themselves into entries on a resume. I base my
statement on something more significant, what he sounded like. He was
a decent player, nothing scary. As an example of someone who was
better, the young Doc Severinsen would eat him for breakfast on any
measure of trumpet playing. Among other things, Doc's soloing had far
more personality, and the same could be said for any of a number of
players.

Once again, you're providing an example of emotionalism regarding a
"beloved" personality.

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 2, 2003, 8:29:43 PM3/2/03
to

I'm sure that the contractors that hired him, the conductors he worked
under, and the studio bosses that paid him all share my emotionalism
regarding a 'beloved' personality. I would imagine that studios of any
genre' would frown on substandard playing. Apparently, CG among others
who do not solo as well (as you opine) as Doc (another 'beloved'
personality), yet could do their jobs otherwise didn't have to worry
where their next buck was coming from. I'm also quite certain that non
of them would give a rat's ass about what you or I think of them and
cry all the way to the bank.

BillBarbS1

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Mar 2, 2003, 8:34:27 PM3/2/03
to
>He was
>a decent player, nothing scary. As an example of someone who was
>better, the young Doc Severinsen would eat him for breakfast on any
>measure of trumpet playing.

Why do these conversations always degrade to who's better than who. The only
time I heard CG play was at a clinic in NYC in 1978 where he demonstrated his
6+ocatave range in a nice relaxed style. He was also an outstanding teacher and
did a lot of good for a lot of trumpeters. He also enjoyed life and lived in
Montana and flew airplanes. He also had an incredibly positive outlook. Neat
man. Bill S.

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 2, 2003, 8:39:19 PM3/2/03
to
On 03 Mar 2003 01:34:27 GMT, billb...@aol.com (BillBarbS1) wrote:

>>He was
>>a decent player, nothing scary. As an example of someone who was
>>better, the young Doc Severinsen would eat him for breakfast on any
>>measure of trumpet playing.
>
>Why do these conversations always degrade to who's better than who.

Because that's an immature person's final argument.

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 2, 2003, 8:52:51 PM3/2/03
to
On 2 Mar 2003 17:09:58 -0800, brass...@yahoo.com (HiC) wrote:

Other 'beloved' personalities while not 'flamboyant' but highly
respected for their true greatness. Gozzo, Uan Rasey, Jimmy Maxwell,
Bernie Glow, Frank Beach, Jimmy Zito, to name but a scant few. Just as
they undoubtedly respect Doc, I'm certain that Doc has nothing but the
highest respect for them. Myself? Anytime I hear any of them as well
as others too numerous to name, my respect and envy turns into one big
humongous orgasm. It's those 'beloved' that create legends that feed
and pave the way for generations to come. As to my own resume, I'll be
a living legend by going down in history as being the 'suckiest'. How
now brown cow ...where are you on the totem pole?????

HiC

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Mar 2, 2003, 10:32:11 PM3/2/03
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"Eric Bolvin" <EBj...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message news:<b3tkv9$m9i$1...@slb6.atl.mindspring.net>...

> Please include your real name if you choose to reply. Otherwise, I'm done
> with you and you can return to troll heaven.

Say g'night Gracie...

<cue Leann Rimes' "How Do I Live Without You">

HiC

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Mar 3, 2003, 12:33:14 AM3/3/03
to
Robert DeSavage <alle...@attbi.comnospam> wrote in message news:<tkc56vkueuqcepih8...@4ax.com>...

> On 2 Mar 2003 17:09:58 -0800, brass...@yahoo.com (HiC) wrote:
>
> Other 'beloved' personalities while not 'flamboyant' but highly
> respected for their true greatness. Gozzo, Uan Rasey, Jimmy Maxwell,
> Bernie Glow, Frank Beach, Jimmy Zito, to name but a scant few. Just as
> they undoubtedly respect Doc, I'm certain that Doc has nothing but the
> highest respect for them. Myself? Anytime I hear any of them as well
> as others too numerous to name, my respect and envy turns into one big
> humongous orgasm.

Forget to take 'yer meds today?

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 3, 2003, 8:45:07 AM3/3/03
to

I'm not sure what you mean. Care to elaborate a little?

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 3, 2003, 11:58:10 AM3/3/03
to
On 2 Mar 2003 21:33:14 -0800, brass...@yahoo.com (HiC) wrote:

I have total faith in you. Keep practicing and you'll be able to use
your crayons equally as well as any five year old child.

Tom King

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Mar 3, 2003, 4:45:21 PM3/3/03
to
> >Forget to take 'yer meds today?
>
> I have total faith in you. Keep practicing and you'll be able to use
> your crayons equally as well as any five year old child.

Well said.

HiC

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Mar 4, 2003, 1:31:54 PM3/4/03
to
Robert DeSavage <alle...@attbi.comnospam> wrote in message news:<tkc56vkueuqcepih8...@4ax.com>...

>
> Other 'beloved' personalities while not 'flamboyant' but highly
> respected for their true greatness. Gozzo,

Just out of curiosity, do you really believe Claude Gordon was Gozzo's
equal as a lead player?

HiC

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Mar 4, 2003, 1:35:13 PM3/4/03
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Robert DeSavage <alle...@attbi.comnospam> wrote in message news:<vsm66vofpn02uu5mu...@4ax.com>...


Oh I dunno, I think any of the guys you mentioned would cringe at the
thought you deriving pleasure of "that nature" over them.... ;-)

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 4, 2003, 2:27:41 PM3/4/03
to

Nothing surprises me any more. 8-)
Even though I 'speak' figuratively, I'm sure they'd rather have that
reaction than for me to throw rocks at them.

HiC

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Mar 4, 2003, 2:36:46 PM3/4/03
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bbr...@rapidnet.com (Bill Bryant) wrote in message news:<a7e7bb74.03030...@posting.google.com>...

> I'm sorry to see friction develop on this thread,

Hey what the heck, all the newsgroups should be for is for everyone to
blandly state their concurrence with what everyone else says. Group
hug!!

> especially since it
> has been caused almost entirely by ignorance. If no one but former CG
> students were paricipating here, differing opinions (and there would
> be some) would at least have a legitimate knowledge base. As it is,
> some of what is being written here is way off.
>
> To set the record straight, I want to clarify a bit about what I said
> earlier regarding my disagreement with Claude.
>
> 1. Claude was indeed an optimistic encourager. This is good. Very
> good.


Yes it is, no argument there.


> I once studied for a few months with another well-known L.A.
> teacher, and his condescending, tyrannical, jack-booted negativism
> quickly led me to other pastures.

I'm sincerely glad he was able to help you, and that you gained
benefit from your studies with him. However... (see below)

> In all I've said on this thread I'M
> SAYING NOTHING AGAINST CLAUDE'S NEVER-SAY-DIE OPTIMISM.

Well, yeah, after a fashion you did.

"This was a
good, even great, trait of this master teacher. If it sometimes got
away from him, and IMHO it did occassionally,"

"Got away from him"? Words have meaning. It seems clear enough that
you're saying that at times the "never say die optimism" was misplaced
and counter-productive.

"it in no way speaks
poorly of this basic, wonderful characteristic he had. To extrapolate
from what I said to the generalization that Claude was long on wishful
thinking and short on genuine expertise is simply ludicrous."

Actually, no it's not. And I believe you're back-peddling because you
see the unpopular implications of what you said in all candor and
honesty. You said:

"...My disagreement had to do with what I saw as Claude's exagerated


optimism about who could become a great player. From his perspective,
anybody with proper instruction and the willingness to stick to it
long enough could become a fantastic trumpeter."

"exagerated optimism" [sic] another way of saying "long on wishful
thinking". If you disagreed with him, you clearly felt he was missing
the boat. I.e., he lacked full understanding.

"I disagreed partly
because it never became true for myself but also on much bigger
principles..."

These are you words, and again, words have meaning Bill. There's no
misinterpreting this statement. In short, you felt he was wrong. You
meant something by "bigger principles". Which you elaborate on at
length:

"Why should trumpet playing defy rules about human differences that
otherwise apply universally?"

As far as I'm concerned, there is no reason why.

"Give me the best
swimming/track/wrestling/you-name-it coach in the world and 100 eager
youths ready to give a 100% effort for six or eight years. Does
anybody think all of them will become olympians merely by combining
(1) great coaching with (2) disciplined, patient practice over a long
period of time?"

Claude Gordon apparently, according to your statement.

"Isn't it obvious that a third thing comes into play?
Isn't it obvious that the different inborn, genetic characteristics of
each athlete will play a huge part in the equation? Isn't it obvious
that there will be quite a few hard working, intelligent, well-coached
students for whom no amount of good instruction and dilligent work
will produce an Olympic Medal? Or even a spot on next year's local
college team?

OK back to trumpet. I think Claude was too confident that the only
reason somebody isn't a good trumpet player is that he has been poorly
instructed and/or hasn't practiced enough..."

Do you agree with your own words or not? According to you, he felt
anyone could be an elite player simply by practicing hard enough, you
say no they can't, that there are other factors involved, which I
agree with completely. He's either right or he's not. If he's wrong,
the only way this can be so is if he doesn't have complete information
regarding the subject which he's addressing, information that would
logically lead one to the correct conclusion.

Unless you're going to do a complete 180 and retract every word you
said, then clearly you believe some players have problems that can't
be corrected simply by diligent work and that CG was all wet on this
point. I'm taking it a step further and saying that some of these
problems might BE correctable, but that the already stated position of
a teacher who takes such a stance demonstrates that there are
technical, mechanical issues related to playing the horn that he's
unaware of. There is no other logical conclusion. Those reading this
who choose to vilify me over it knock yourselves out but you're doing
so on an emotional basis, not a logical one.

And while I'm at it, I'll point out other examples of over
dramatization I've seen expressed on this topic. Such as when someone
said they were "talentless" yet, now they make a living playing the
trumpet thanks to Claude Gordon, as if he had some magical ability to
turn lead into gold. That's movie-script hyperbole and nonsense, meant
to put someone on a pedastal. If you're truly talentless, no amount of
coaching and instruction will change that. You clearly had the raw
material to work with or it wouldn't have happened.

Greg Evans

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Mar 4, 2003, 2:50:24 PM3/4/03
to
Robert DeSavage wrote:

> >> >> Anytime I hear any of them as well as others too
> >> >> numerous to name, my respect and envy turns
> >> >> into one big humongous orgasm.

> >Oh I dunno, I think any of the guys you mentioned would cringe at the
> >thought you deriving pleasure of "that nature" over them.... ;-)
>
> Nothing surprises me any more. 8-)
> Even though I 'speak' figuratively, I'm sure they'd rather have that
> reaction than for me to throw rocks at them.

Gee whiz, whatever happened to enthusiastic applause??


Robert DeSavage

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Mar 4, 2003, 2:51:44 PM3/4/03
to

I can't give a fair answer to that. Everyone has their own particular
strengths and weaknesses. What is the standard in which we judge a
person's abilities? Doc is a great player. Armando Ghitalla was a
great player. Can Doc do what Amando did? Could Armando do what Doc
does? I'm sure that they would say 'No'. There are too many variables
and functions that few trumpeters (or other instrumentalists) have a
complete handle on. Just because one can do something better than
another, doesn't mean that he or she has a monopoly on greatness. The
term 'greatness' is at best arbitrary and a matter of opinion. As in
many things, this kind of issue will never draw a conclusion. It's
like athletes, where today the fans call you a hero. But screw up
tomorrow, and they're bums. Come what may, however you or I wish to
define him. CG was one hell of a trumpet player. Even though there are
a zillion as good or as great or as excellent as CG, the man should
get the credit he is due.

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 4, 2003, 2:56:11 PM3/4/03
to

I'm sure if the trumpet section worked for Phil Spitalney, they
wouldn't cringe. 8-)

Lawrence V. Cipriani

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Mar 4, 2003, 4:32:04 PM3/4/03
to
In article <riv96vsuuhaupgmi2...@4ax.com>,
Robert DeSavage <alle...@attbi.comnospam> wrote:

>CG was one hell of a trumpet player. Even though there are a zillion
>as good or as great or as excellent as CG, the man should get the credit
>he is due.

Exactly. We should be objective about his playing, nor slavisly in
favor or opposed to it. If all of us could play as well as he did the
trumpet world would be a better place.

Let's be completely honest here. There's a certain amount of what I'll
call political support, or opposition, to musicians and other artists,
for things such as race, gender, creed, national origin, sexual
orientation, drug use, political affiliation, philosophical beliefs,
etc. that have nothing to do with their musical abilities talent.

When you hear some one excessively praise or criticize an artist, or
other person, without sound reasons about their music or artistry
there's probably something else going on. I suspect that's what's
going on here.

Some people are blinded by the fact that CG was devoutly religious.
They praise or criticise his playing because of his religious beliefs
not because of his musical abilities.

The vast majority of the music listening public never heard of the
name Claude Gordon. They may even have heard him play on TV or
movies but they don't know his name. Only trumpet geeks know his
name. Maybe that says something too.

Robert DeSavage

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Mar 4, 2003, 5:23:44 PM3/4/03
to
On 4 Mar 2003 21:32:04 GMT, l...@ww3.lucent.com (Lawrence V. Cipriani)
wrote:

Many consider Louis Armstrong as being great. By trumpet performance
standards, he left a lot to be desired and wasn't what you could call
a 'great' trumpeter. However, being 'great' goes beyond playing where
one's presence of influence, unique character, and the legacy and
memory of his or her contributions is a major part of the equation. By
those virtue alone, Armstrong will be considered 'great' as well as
the many others that have come and gone and remain with us. Like you
say, mention CG, Uan Rasey, Bobby Shew, Bernie Glow and others to the
average Joe and you'll hear a big 'Duh' but he just might enjoy and
appreciate their work. Sure enough, that says a whole lot. When you
come right down to it, the world wouldn't be the same if any of us
weren't here.
BOB

David C. Stephens

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Mar 4, 2003, 6:01:06 PM3/4/03
to

"Robert DeSavage" <alle...@attbi.comnospam> wrote in message
news:sq8a6vsnagt9k4rfp...@4ax.com...

>
> Many consider Louis Armstrong as being great. By trumpet performance
> standards, he left a lot to be desired and wasn't what you could call
> a 'great' trumpeter.

I think that you've not listened to Armstrong at his best. As a young man,
his power and range were almost without peer. Of course, his incredible,
ground breaking musical interpretations are what made him an icon. Watching
him on tv in the '50s and '60s I'd think that we wasn't so hot (as a trumpet
player), but since I've listened to his earlier work I've realized that he
had it all as a younger man. Same goes for Dizzy. If you only listened to
Dizzy in his last couple of decades, you'd say that he wasn't so hot either,
but in the late forties and fifties, he was astounding.

Dave


Bill Bryant

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Mar 4, 2003, 8:32:37 PM3/4/03
to
HiC,

I'd bet that in person you aren't really a condescending, sarcastic
martinet. But that's certainly the way you come across on this thread.

Telling me that words have meaning? Asking me if I agree with my own
words or not? Talking about bland concurrence and group hugs? Putting
'[sic]' after my spelling errors? Telling me I'm back peddling [sic]?

Back off, pal; there's no reason to antagonize somebody for no reason.

Bill Bryant

HiC

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Mar 5, 2003, 12:31:58 PM3/5/03
to
bbr...@rapidnet.com (Bill Bryant) wrote in message news:<a7e7bb74.03030...@posting.google.com>...
> HiC,
>
> I'd bet that in person you aren't really a condescending, sarcastic
> martinet. But that's certainly the way you come across on this thread.

In person, my normal modus is to call a spade a spade and don't tend
to let what I perceive as b.s. slide, *particularly* when it's said in
the context of what sounds like an insult toward me - you said
something about "statements being made out of ignorance" which I
perceived as being directed at me since I was the one making the
commentary about CG. I'm a big boy and can take spirited banter but
felt I should emphasize that I was basing my comments on what *you*
said. I said nothing to belittle your abilities or character. I don't
believe earnestly outlining my perceptions and the reasons for them
about a teacher's shortcomings constitutes an insult. I can't help
that people tend to get pissy and react non-objectively when someone
says something they don't like about a teacher they have fond memories
of. I think it's particularly out of line for you to jump on my case
when at root, I'm agreeing with you.

The problem you seem to have with my commentary is that now you seem
to want to ignore the implications of your own statement - i.e. that
he was off the mark on his beliefs, because you don't want to be seen
as saying there was a flaw in his methodology, though that's exactly
what your statement says.

My previous post was to analyze your statements on a conceptual basis,
and to demonstrate why I felt I was correct in my assessment of it and
that your dig at me was unwarranted. True, I never took lessons with
CG, but have seen his SATDP book and was taking your comments at face
value.

I also recall seeing a post by someone who stated the he didn't teach
the way the SATDP book was written, which begs the obvious question,
if he didn't teach what was in his book, then why did he write the
book that way?

> Back off, pal; there's no reason to antagonize somebody for no reason.

I've already stated my reason above. If you feel I'm the one doing the
"antagonizing", so be it.

etmusic

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Mar 5, 2003, 1:11:00 PM3/5/03