Trumpet Lessons By Kurt Thompson
How does your program compare to the B.E. approach?


On Jeff's website, he somewhat plays devil advocate with himself by stating he is not really a player nor does he have demonstrations. He states primarily that he is a teacher. I don't really include techniques from a "GURU" that cannot practice what they preach, because after all, why wouldn't he be chomping at the bit to show everyone how wonderful his method works? It is the nature of a trumpet player to do so anyway.

Another problem is that he mainly touts his $50 book. Books are great and I have written one, but nobody will learn my techniques better than working with me personally or via my DVD series. It is the rare trumpet player that will become a huge success working out of a book  alone with no personal instruction from a real teacher.

So, although not being able to demonstrate his own technique is definitely a major deficit, I will still keep an open mind regarding Jeff Smiley's B.E. or Balanced Embouchure Method.

I make the above comment about Jeff because unlike Claude Gordon, Roy Stevens, and many others....Jeff is still alive and could utilize current technology to demonstrate how effective his own method is.....ON HIM!

Jeff focuses a lot on Pedal Tones in the 4th Tier and the ability to get a full, resonant sound. I like that. He also advocates "popping" the above partial in any given series of lip slurs. I like that. He talks a "bunched" chin vs. a "flat" chin. Although this is a logical argument, logic has little to do with Embouchure and especially....The pursuit of  high range, high notes, and great endurance.

Since I don't advocate either the bunched or flat chin, it is a non-event in my opinion. I do also like the "LIP CLAMP" too. Personally, I can tongue on my top lip, bottom lip, and my teeth and Jeff Smiley seems to make a big deal about tonguing on the top lip. This is great for a tool, but not practical for real life, Double G action. 

Yes, some of this 16 WEEK BRASS UPPER REGISTER COURSE has a few B.E type.inspired techniques in it although they may be slightly different than what you might find in Jeff's course