Toby oft note endings

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JCBone
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Toby oft note endings

Post by JCBone » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:50 am

I was listening to this recording of toby recently (https://youtu.be/Q7LJAYslOUI) And I couldn't help but notice that some of his note endings are really abrupt, almost like they were tounge stopped. This confused me since obviously toby is a fantastic trombonist but here I hear him doing something that not only I have been told not to do but also sounds unmusical to my ears. Not trying to trash talk him but I am genuinely wondering why he is doing this
Last edited by JCBone on Wed Jun 23, 2021 4:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Burgerbob » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:58 am

You're talking about notes before breaths? He's doing (probably) a glottle stop to give it a definite end and get a breath in the small time he's got.

Maybe it's because I'm a trombonist, but they don't bother me. He's got some really great soft-edged note endings as well.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by FOSSIL » Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:02 am

I'd love to be able to play that badly 😂😂.
I really enjoyed that . To me that is masterful playing and musical playing.

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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by JCBone » Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:10 am

FOSSIL wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:02 am
I'd love to be able to play that badly 😂😂.
I really enjoyed that . To me that is masterful playing and musical playing.

Chris
I don't mean to say that I didn't enjoy the performance. It was outstanding. Just that specific aspect bothered me.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by SlideBye » Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:44 am

I noticed that the mic placement is about three feet from the bell. I hear a lot of extremely direct instrument sound without as much of the room. You might not hear it in the same way from an audience perspective.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by robcat2075 » Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:58 am

It should be possible to remark on videos such as this without having to make five laudatory comments for every question.

It doesn't sound to me like he is stopping notes with his tongue but it is fair for the OP to inquire as to what is happening on those notably abrupt endings.

Overall, it would be interesting to hear the other takes and what got them discarded.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by hyperbolica » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:04 am

Yeah, wow, that's some really beautiful playing. I noticed some notes had different endings, not all faded out the way you ideally want to fade, but as was said earlier, that's partially due to breathing, but also phrasing. I think the notes with the harder ends were in the middle of phrases, and the more relaxed longer fades were more possible at the ends of phrases.

Big name players, like the rest of us, often have little ideosyncrasies in how they play. John Swallow had a tendency, especially early on in his career, I think, to lean toward the really "pecky" side of things. If you get a chance to hear his recording of Blue Bells, you'll see what I mean. I can't find that on Youtube. But when you go way way back to say Arthur Pryor, that peckiness was the style, and he might have been influenced by that to some extent.

But I don't think there's any problem with Oft's style. As Chris said, I'd love to play that badly.

That hall brings back some memories, too. Thanks for posting that.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by CalgaryTbone » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:51 am

I love the Toby Oft videos of Bordogni/Rochut etudes. Very fitting that he decided to take on that project, since he holds Rochut's former chair in the BSO.

After listening carefully, I think his cut-offs that are slightly more abrupt are always at spots where the music makes a quick segue to faster, more urgent sounding phrases and the beautiful tapered note ends are where the music is coming to a moment of rest. It enhances the phrasing to my taste, and kind of reminds me of good string playing where they might lift the bow off the string vs. a long slow bow to create the same contrast. Even lyrical playing can sometimes benefit from creating some moments of tension.

Thanks for posting this! Time to start my warm-up with that beautiful sound in my ear to try to copy!

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Doug Elliott
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Doug Elliott » Tue Jun 22, 2021 12:10 pm

I don't think the OP's comments were about the ends of phrases. I think it's about the style of legato, and I hear it. For the other extreme, listen to any recordings of Charlie Vernon.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Posaunus » Tue Jun 22, 2021 4:56 pm

I guess I'm missing something - all I heard was Toby's tasteful, musical playing, and (necessary) breathing in appropriate places. Note that this recording was done in one "take" - after five previous false starts! Even for Toby, such near-perfection is not achieved every time! But I always enjoy listening to him play.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by paulyg » Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:42 pm

Gushing aside, that was a really phenomenal recording.

I can hear what OP is talking about, and if OP doesn't like it, that's too bad. I think many players would benefit from adding cleanliness in their legato playing. I'd also point out that while still present, the same release is much less subdued in some of the more extroverted etudes recorded by Toby Oft, for instance the A section of No. 5:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRZoypzJx7E
I would say that it's a definite stylistic choice, meant to serve this specific etude (No. 23). I don't think it would make sense to play that piece with a full, watery approach- it's kind of a brooding etude.

I'll also point out that while the Rochut/Bordogni etudes are generally referred to as "legato" etudes, they include sections that should not be played legato, and yet some players still insist on applying the same "style" with a broad and undiscerning brush.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by BGuttman » Tue Jun 22, 2021 6:43 pm

paulyg wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:42 pm
...
I'll also point out that while the Rochut/Bordogni etudes are generally referred to as "legato" etudes, they include sections that should not be played legato, and yet some players still insist on applying the same "style" with a broad and undiscerning brush.
Bordogni was trying to write a collection of etudes to train singers for a variety of parts. Not all songs are intended to be very legato. One good use of Bordogni is to work on style and fitting your playing to the music on the page. Sometimes it's lush and romantic, other times it's detached.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Savio » Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:35 am

I just enjoy all the Bordogni recordings he made. Wonderful! When someone play like this it's nearly impossible for me to listen critical. I just enjoy. And want to try it myself. Inspiration! But it's good to ask questions of course.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by harrisonreed » Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:49 am

JCBone wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:50 am
I was listening to this recording of toby recently (https://youtu.be/Q7LJAYslOUI) And I couldn't help but notice that some of his note endings are really abrupt, almost like they were tounge stopped. This confused me since obviously toby is a fantastic trombonist but here I hear him doing something that not only I have been told not to do but also sounds unmusical to my ears. Not trying to trash talk him but I am genuinely wondering why he is doing this.
Who told you tongue stops are bad? They are wrong. I wouldn't be doing too many on a Rochut exercise, but if you think that recording was unmusical, you should go back and listen again. The "abrupt" stops sound great to me, especially considering the crazy reverb time in that hall.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by timothy42b » Wed Jun 23, 2021 5:52 am

If we go back to that James Markey interview again, remember that he talks about stopping the note with glottal stops, and makes a good case for it (as did Farkas, and as supported by the recent MRIs).
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by JCBone » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:23 am

I took another listen and while they don't stand out as much as I thought at first, I'm still not a fan of the way it sounds. Maybe it's just personal preference
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Basbasun » Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:48 am

Absolutely beautiful playing! If you listen careful you can hear that he has a tongue. Like you can hear that a violin or cello player has a bow.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Posaunus » Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:44 am

Criticizing Toby Oft for employing somehow-forbidden "tongue stops" is akin to carping about Joe Alessi's eyebrow raising. :idk:

As for me - I love the virtuosity and musicality.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:47 am

Again... No tongue stops here. You'd hear those. They're glottle stops.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Basbasun » Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:10 am

I don´t know if the glottis stops are the OP.s problem, they don´t sound anything but fine, I think he is talking about the legato? Am I wrong?

Hes playing is beautiful. And he is in tune to!
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by VJOFan » Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:55 am

JCBone wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:50 am
I was listening to this recording of toby recently (https://youtu.be/Q7LJAYslOUI) And I couldn't help but notice that some of his note endings are really abrupt, almost like they were tounge stopped.
The OP made a comment about the ends of notes, not the overall legato.

The large periods are tapered and rounded off beautifully. The more “abrupt” note endings happen inside longer phrases. Not tapering before every breath keeps a forward energy to a phrase so the listener knows you aren’t done yet.

I think it is just a musical decision to not let up intensity until the major musical sections are complete.

Those endings could probably be done differently, but the performance is consistent with itself so for me it works very well. (Including the legato- not the most liquid ever, but pretty consistent within the performance.)
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Basbasun » Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:17 am

The abrupt endings are good. That is how good trombonists sound. How he does it could be something to talk about, it sounds good. Glottis stop? Tongue stop? (tongue stop can be very good, listen to Timofey Dokshizer whou told us how it can sould if done with perfection) I think he just stoped blowing and breathed.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by baileyman » Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:38 pm

Guy spends time in the gym.

I hear no stops other than taking a breath. All is otherwise connected.

If it's the character of the connection at issue, I can easily aurally imagine the intra partial slurs snapping in time, but a nice tongue needed intra partial.

None of this illustrates the really big issue with note stopping, and that is the rhythmic placement of the stop. It's easy to do. Start a metronome. Play connected quarters. Then move the stop gradually shorter every eight beats or so. Some of those quarters will be regimental. Others ragtime. Others swing like hell.

Likely Bordogni didn't want to swing like hell.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by timothy42b » Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:56 am

I finally listened on good speakers. I think that is glottis.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by baileyman » Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:56 am

Notice also how he breathes, sets chops, brings the piece to the chops, and blows, almost simultaneously. I dunno how anyone can make that work, but he does.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Kbiggs » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:25 am

baileyman wrote:
Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:38 pm

Likely Bordogni didn't want to swing like hell.
:lol:
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by FOSSIL » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:31 am

baileyman wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:56 am
Notice also how he breathes, sets chops, brings the piece to the chops, and blows, almost simultaneously. I dunno how anyone can make that work, but he does.
I don't see that as unusual. It's all working as he wants. With students, I find the ones with production issues often have the mouthpiece on their faces for ages before they play... and hold their breath.....then panic...

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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:30 pm

baileyman wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:56 am
Notice also how he breathes, sets chops, brings the piece to the chops, and blows, almost simultaneously. I dunno how anyone can make that work, but he does.
That is the way I was taught it is supposed to happen. Holding anything in place, especially holding your breath even for a small fraction of a second, only introduced tension into your playing.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Doug Elliott » Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:47 pm

I totally agree about the inhale-exhale with no hesitation. But combining the chop set, mouthpiece set and breath into one simultaneous motion is exactly what gets a lot of players into chop trouble. If that works for you, great.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:02 pm

I have never thought about the timing of a "chop set" before. This is because I always believed that putting the embouchure into formation automatically works with the breathing. In other words, a person should not hold their embouchure in place (in the formation that they use to play) ahead of time before playing. Doing this introduces tension into a person's playing, just like holding your breath adds tension to playing.

Observing my playing today, I did notice that my embouchure automatically sets into place a very short fraction of a second before I do an initial articulation. It is probably only a couple hundredths on a second. I have reservations about teaching the TIMING of a "chop set" because I think it could seriously mess with a person's natural and instinctive process of breathing and playing. Are their really brass teachers that teach the TIMING of a "chop set?"

In terms, of "mouthpiece set," I have always preached that there are two primary ways a straight-stream or down-stream embouchure person can set their mouthpiece during the inhalation: 1. Both lips making contact with the mouthpiece and the player inhales through the corners of their mouth. 2. Upper lip makes contact with the mouthpiece while the jaw drops down and slightly away from the rim of the mouthpiece. This enables the player to inhale through the corners of the mouth and from under the mouthpiece. From what I can see, #2 is the technique that Toby Oft uses. It may be hard to see, but I believe his upper lip maintains contact with the mouthpiece.

I do not have much experience with teaching upstream embouchures. I imagine that there is another option for those players that involves maintaining mouthpiece contact with the lower lip and inhaling through the corners and across the upper lip. Doug, is this something that you have seen or taught?
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Burgerbob » Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:52 pm

I can only say that Doug's method (and Markey's, which is the same in this regard) of being set in advance of playing has solved basically most of my fundamental issues. I teach it as well- Set, Breathe, Play.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by BGuttman » Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:19 pm

Burgerbob wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:52 pm
...Set, Breathe, Play.
To that I would add in time.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Doug Elliott » Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:35 pm

It solves problems, it doesn't create them.
And no, I don't add "in time.". The order is important, not the time. You can do it slow, medium, or fast. Related or not related to the music.

1. Form embouchure
2. Set the mouthpiece (on both lips and leave it there)
3. Inhale (through the corners, maintaining contact top and bottom)
4. Play

Yes I do teach that and it does fix problems.

I wasn't going to get into it here, the topic is not about my teaching.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:34 pm

Doug Elliott wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 7:35 pm
It solves problems, it doesn't create them.
And no, I don't add "in time.". The order is important, not the time. You can do it slow, medium, or fast. Related or not related to the music.

1. Form embouchure
2. Set the mouthpiece (on both lips and leave it there)
3. Inhale (through the corners, maintaining contact top and bottom)
4. Play

Yes I do teach that and it does fix problems.

I wasn't going to get into it here, the topic is not about my teaching.
That sounds like a great system to me! Your definition of "chop set" makes sense to me. I thought that people were suggesting that we reset the embouchure AFTER BREATHING and freezing in that position before playing. In other words, I was concerned about the notion of stopping everything to do a "chop set" AFTER BREATHING and before exhaling.

Sorry that I took things off course even further. Didn't we start with a focus on the ends of Toby's notes?
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Basbasun » Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:11 am

About Tobys note endings.
They sound absolutely fine,
Glottis stop? Maybe, I don´t think so, that would take to much time I think.
I bellive he just stop blowing and instanly inhale and play. Like most of us do.
I think this long thread is a sign of boredom from corona, to little playing.

A very fine trombonist demonstrated glottis stop on the youtube, and also demonstraded how it sonds when just stop blowing. It did sound exactly the same.
Years ago I tried glottis stop, it did not do anything good for me, I dodn´t use it.
I don´t think Toby do that.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by timothy42b » Thu Jul 01, 2021 5:42 am

Basbasun wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:11 am
About Tobys note endings.
They sound absolutely fine,
Glottis stop? Maybe, I don´t think so, that would take to much time I think.
I bellive he just stop blowing and instanly inhale and play. Like most of us do.
Maybe, but Markey argues that the good players use the glottis and don't know it. What he demonstrated made sense to me (though not to a couple others in the audience).
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Basbasun » Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:25 pm

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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Burgerbob » Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:37 pm

Basbasun wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:25 pm
check it out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4MJUi03GHM
This is a glottal stop in speaking (or sometimes singing). I think in the context of a note release, it's just the folds coming together to stop the sound. She demonstrates the first part very well, it's just the second part with the air coming through again that we don't use in the same way.

I talked about this in another thread, but here:

https://www.trombonechat.com/viewtopic. ... 88#p151588
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Posaunus » Thu Jul 01, 2021 4:29 pm

Basbasun wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:25 pm
check it out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4MJUi03GHM
In England, the glottal stop seems to be no longer confined to the "Cockney" area of London (if it ever was). I have observed that replacing the "t" sound with a glottal stop is now rather widespread throughout England (though regional and class accents are still rife, and often readily identifiable - though not by non-Brits such as I).
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Basbasun » Fri Jul 02, 2021 3:38 am

Burgerbob wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:37 pm
Basbasun wrote:
Thu Jul 01, 2021 3:25 pm
check it out.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4MJUi03GHM
This is a glottal stop in speaking (or sometimes singing). I think in the context of a note release, it's just the folds coming together to stop the sound. She demonstrates the first part very well, it's just the second part with the air coming through again that we don't use in the same way.

I talked about this in another thread, but here:

https://www.trombonechat.com/viewtopic. ... 88#p151588
To stop the last tone in a phrase is not the same as to end a tone to take a quick breath. You can´t inhale in the same time the glottis is closed.

Besides, not actually belonging to the thread, but I heard tongue stop demonstraded when it sound perfectly good, I also know that it is posibble to end a tone by just stop blowing, and it can sound good, prividing that you dont let the embouchure collaps when the air flow stops.
That said, Mark is a fantastic trombone player, I do respect him very much. But there a many ways to skin a cat.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Doug Elliott » Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:54 am

I never use a tongue stop, for anything. I don't like the sound or feel of it, and I can create the same effect when necessary by simply stopping the air, without even a glottal stop.

For rapid staccato my tongue does stop each note, but only because it's starting the next one.

I hear what Markey is saying, but think the only time a glottal stop has to happen is when you vocalize, as in demonstrating saying Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta. But playing is different, and I keep the air pressure flowing through staccato by letting the tongue be the only valve. I suppose an MRI could prove me wrong, but that's what I feel and what I try to do.

Also, singing is different than speaking - tonguing while singing feels like it keeps the passage open without the glottis becoming involved.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by baileyman » Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:12 pm

Doug Elliott wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:54 am
I never use a tongue stop, for anything. I don't like the sound or feel of it, and I can create the same effect when necessary by simply stopping the air, without even a glottal stop.

...
This is a reason I mention the rhythm of note ending, especially in swing. It may be worth a try to make some swinging quarters by adjusting the timing of note endings, and in this case with both breath stop and tongue stop.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by baileyman » Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:15 pm

Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:02 pm
... Are their really brass teachers that teach the TIMING of a "chop set?"

...
The timing of the set process is a really big deal to the aforementioned Sam Burtis. For him, it's like a standard set of pickup notes, but as a dance, not music.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Burgerbob » Fri Jul 02, 2021 2:08 pm

I think the question I have is... how do you just "stop blowing?" I'm not sure how I would do that without a noticeable taper or a soft glottal stop, especially if it has to be in a short period of time.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Doug Elliott » Fri Jul 02, 2021 3:57 pm

Blow like you're blowing out a candle. How do you stop blowing?

Go through the alphabet, saying each letter and pay close attention to how you start and stop each one. Many letters start with the glottis closed, (A for example) but end by simply stopping the air.

Yell "Hey you" like you're getting somebody's attention across the street. Maybe that's not such a good example...
Both words end by simply letting the vocal chords open to stop vibrating, no tongue or glottis involved. You can also just stop the push of air. You don't have to close the glottis.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Crazy4Tbone86 » Fri Jul 02, 2021 6:40 pm

baileyman wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:15 pm
Crazy4Tbone86 wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:02 pm
... Are their really brass teachers that teach the TIMING of a "chop set?"

...
The timing of the set process is a really big deal to the aforementioned Sam Burtis. For him, it's like a standard set of pickup notes, but as a dance, not music.
When I presented that question, I was referring to the notion of doing a "chop set" AFTER inhaling and before the attack of the note. It has since been clarified that "chop set" refers to forming the embouchure before placing the mouthpiece on the lips.
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Re: Toby oft note endings

Post by Jimprindle » Sat Jul 03, 2021 4:45 pm

Back to the original post. I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about, all those releases sound fantastic. Having worked with and played with Toby while he was here in San Diego, I can say definitely he does not stop notes with his tongue nor do I think a glottal stop. He just stops blowing like most people. Knowing Toby I would think he would complain of this performance about a couple of note combinations that were a little bit clunky in slurring, two at most. But, he is focused on the musical flow more than anything else and I think that is pretty obvious in this playing.
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