Both John Malam and
Stan Cooper both have much experience as trumpet players, whilst John
has had embouchure and teeth problems, Stan has had many years away from
trumpet playing. They both have a sound technique on their instruments
and understand the theories behind brass playing.
Stan is 71 at the
time of this dissertation and played with the R.A.F. Fighter Command
Band. He started playing at the age of 14 using a silver band method. He
was not told how to play and was given no books. He has only in the last
few years begun to take it seriously. He has told me of email lessons
with Roddy Lewis of the TPIN and other Internet groups from which he has
Stan says that
Claude Gordon, in his book “Lip Flexibilities” states that the
diaphragm and not the stomach muscles are used as bellows. Stan feels
that this is wrong as he uses his stomach muscles in order to play. He
feels that different methods are used by different people, with
John Malam, Stan
and myself play in the same “big band” we hold similar views on
brass playing which helps this study immensely. John is brass co-ordinator
for the Thurrock Music Service and former trumpet player with the
Pasadena Roof Orchestra. He is 43 years old and began playing at the age
playing the cornet using the “Tune a day” book (Belwyn Mills).
He had no real tuition and played in a downward fashion with a
“bunched” embouchure but had no major problems.
At the age of 19
John says he became more serious and read about the pivot system This
means that the angle of the embouchure directs the air to the top and
bottom of the mouthpiece and manipulates the lips to find the different
ranges. He soon found that his sound was full and relaxed.
Whilst studying at
the Leeds College of Music he was first chair in every group that he
could play in, then he read Roger Spalding’s book “Double High C in
37 Weeks” and increased his range.
In 1991 John had 12
teeth capped whilst at Colchester Institute. He now thinks about his
embouchure but lets his breathing do the work.