A.T.V. - Advanced Training Visualizer - French Horn
As Horn players know, incredible proficiency from below the bass clef to above the treble staff isn't just admirable, it's a requirement. There are many orchestral pieces that ask for fluidity in all registers, but many horn players suffer from areas we call "breaks" where the embouchure doesn't quite transition from a low setting to a high setting.
The Horn A.T.V. addresses this issue. Not only does it allow visualization of the embouchure for examination, it can also be used for a raw assessment of a player's aperture control and breath support. The A.T.V. provides an isotonic workout in order to create a relaxed, even buzz throughout all registers. Use the A.T.V. with the horn giving the player an accurate resistance that you cannot get with just a visualizer.
The objective is simple: To create a strong vibrant buzz across the entire width of the aperture (rim to rim). The A.T.V. provides an unadulterated raw assessment of the state of your buzz and becomes the ideal tool for making improvements in that area.
The results are stunning: In addition to muscle conditioning, the A.T.V. will help you learn to maximize the quality of your buzz in the lower, middle, and upper registers - which will translate into very substantial results when playing your trumpet.
The Warburton A.T.V.:
- Engages the full range of motion of your embouchure muscles (relaxed to full contraction).
- Improves control and power of both breathing and buzzing.
- Is suitable for use by all players. Don't let the "Advanced" part scare you away - the low-intensity buzz improvement exercises are well suited for ALL players!
Ken Titmus Explains the A.T.V.
Instructions for Use - Warburton A.T.V. (Advanced Training Visualizer)
Use the A.T.V. to develop a relaxed aperture
A relaxed aperture will greatly improve tone and efficiency.
Start a buzz on the A.T.V. in a register where you can get a full, naturally loud buzz.
Buzz a descending scale while trying to maintain a full buzz along the entire width of your aperture (from rim to rim).
Hint: Do not relax the support muscles around the aperture.
During the following days, try to work down to lower pitches. If you can buzz down to a low C on the A.T.V., you are doing great – into the pedal register, fantastic!
When first starting out, even many experienced players cannot do this exercise well at all. They quickly improve and then are pleasantly surprised to hear an amazing improvement in lower and middle register tone quality.
Use the A.T.V. for a high intensity workout
These advanced exercises will push the limits of your physical capabilities.
Advanced Exercise 1:
Start in the middle register. Ascend upwards in siren-like glides extending your reach each time. Go for the highest pitch you can reach without a thinning of the sound or excessive arm pressure. You may be surprised at the amount of resistance that is created with this exercise. The A.T.V. will not allow you to have success until your breath is highly compressed and solidly supported and your aperture is relaxed!
This is a very intense exercise intended for advanced players. Avoid pushing yourself beyond natural limits. You wouldn't go into a gym and begin with the heaviest weights without warming up, so likewise, don't attempt these without a good warm-up first.
These ascending exercises are ISOTONIC, because they involve an active use of the muscles from relaxed to fully contracted. Our good friend and dealer in Japan, Taijiro Takeura, has published some good information about isometric vs isotonic exercises which can be viewed here.
Advanced Exercise 2:
This exercise combines Isometric and Isotonic techniques to build powerful control.
Quickly ascend to the highest pitch you can achieve without strain or excess pressure. Immediately begin a slow, siren-like descending glide. Time your descent so that your entire air supply is depleted when you arrive at your target pitch.
As you gain strength over the following weeks, the parameters on both ends will increase.
This exercise can be compared to curling a barbell to your chest, and lowering it back down very slowly. It is very challenging and very taxing because you're focusing on TWO things simultaneously:
- learning how to maintain a proper buzz across the entire aperture throughout the exercise
- learning how to adjust embouchure muscle contraction as needed
- all while getting the workout needed for the muscle conditioning process.
Remember, your muscles will only rebuild and gain strength during the rest time which follows - Please allow this process the time it needs to work. Regular practice will not interfere with your progress, but wait at least 48 hours until your next attempt at this exercise.