Here are some links to Videos by and about Roy. In 1974 a friend turned me on to Roy's method. I am probably the only, or one of a few, that studied with Roy over the phone. Roy or Bill would answer and give me a call back time, then he would listen, and teach. From the sound I made over the phone he could analyze the situation and make corrections. He was "salty" and often left me with my head full of great tips and words I had seldom heard. Those $50 phone calls over many months brought me back from a separated top lip to a position of strength power, and confidence that have endured to this day.
When I am down on my chops I remember him yelling "open the teeth - they are not far enough apart - you're closing your teeth - if it plays - you got it - if it doesn't it's wrong.
Conversations about Roy and his system: FYI - enjoy
On Mar 24, 2010, at 10:02 PM, Paul wrote:
George as I said in the rather lengthy paper I sent you I have gone back to the Stevens book and lessons I took with him as a result of your CD. When I concentrate on open and aligned teeth, and not distorting the setting as outlined by both you and Roy by breathing not blowing the horn I have had results similar to those I had years ago when I studied with Roy.
I have done some good climbs both as statics and holding the horn conventionally and in general this approach allows me to play above high C with real ease. BUT and this is the 35 year old BUT when I play music it doesn't stay and I end up receding, closing the teeth and losing the high notes all together. Under the gun it starts to feel strange!
I have little to do but practice lately and gigs here and there. Monday I did a jazz gig and after 1 tune I was back to my old ways. How do I get over this hump? I can recede the jaw a little and get around the horn OK but I lose the easy feel in the high register and some of the tonal brilliance as well.
Also I feel that once I recede the potential for real good range is lost. I am convinced the open paralell teeth and jaw is the key to success for me but my body has a mind of it's own when I am under the gun and things slip back. The past few days the new feel has gotten stronger and I have done some climbs to double C with ease but owning it is the issue for me.
Any suggestions? I have been spending a few hours doing first some relaxed yawn/sighs, then I apply that to the statics until the are easy and free, then I play articulated notes horn on palm up to G above high C (hopefully), then conventional arpeggiated climbs, (The first few lessons in Roys book.)
I then rest and I have been working on paying a Bird solo from the Charlie Parker Omnibook but I use the Eb book to keep me in the high end of the horn. Then I find time to just blow a ballad, changes I am working on, whatever or perhaps some St Jacome etudes. Thanks in advance for anything you have to say........................Paul
From: George Rawlin To: Paul Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 12:28 PM
Sure/ I used to have the same issues. When it comes down to it you have to get your focus off the teeth and jaw and on the air flow.
What I do is blow air through my horn with my top teeth down over the outside of the mouthpiece and let the bottom lip roll up over the teeth and rest the rim against the area down towards my chin. This gives me a real great feel of the air supporting the bottom half of my face. Then when I play, I lift my head up a bit, and play long tones feeling that same kind of air flowing along the bottom of my mouth as if my aperture were actually below my top teeth. It's kind of a Maynard flowing sound coming all the from the depths of my body.
A mental image that lets me focus on air flow and as a side effect it keeps my chops open jaw forward and yet relaxed. At times it feels as though my jaw has just locked itself out there and is floating on air. gR George Rawlin
On Mar 26, 2010, at 12:58 PM, Paul wrote: this is interesting a frist for me......... In retrospect do you feel there are any untruths or flaws in Costello specifically as presented and taught by Roy? You are a good guy to take this time to indulge me and i do appreciate it.
From: George Rawlin To: Paul Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 3:22 PM
Yes I found things that were "iffy" in the Stevens method and with what Roy said as opposed to what he "did"
The Book and Roy tell you to achieve a straight line corner to corner across the entire aperture. I believe this only works for a few. Most have to lift corners to make it happen and that employs upper hemisphere (above the aperture line) muscles and leads to an isometric struggle between pulling corners up and depressing the anchors.
I also believe that the statics and climbs should be done very softly so as to maintain and train the chops, not force them.
The concept of air was demonstrated by Roy with such power - akin to a bullfrog - that it caused students to tighten up and push, instead of breathing in a wedge.
The book and Roy really never took pains to establish the embouchure from a relaxed position, which also leads to a firm concept that leads to a shrill sound.
My endeavor in AirPlay is to correct these items
Many of Roy's students and that includes some of the better ones did get very shrill sounds to the point of blatancy. This why the older guys around NY in the 60's and 70's were anti-Roy/Costello generally it was always about the sound.
I never remember him once taking about air with me, perhaps he thought the pencil drill would take care of that?. It was all theory and physics. Carmine was by far the more popular and respected "chop guy".
That said though Carmine's Buddha-like "the body will find the way" approach didn't address specifics and could just lead you to a point of playing your very best on a flawed setup so you eventually hit a wall. I totaly hear you ont the soft statics and general relaxation issues.