A 'new' theory on the off-center brass embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by zorrosg, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. applianceguy

    applianceguy Pianissimo User

    May 22, 2012
    San Antonio Texas

    There are many different takes on this.., the best, is to have a Teacher. other than that, I have found, in my experience, I have more duration when I use more upper lip. I can get an awesome sound when I use barely any upper lip, but it plays out in no time, and then I am just blowing air. Not to mention, it begins to hurt.., a lot!.

    Everyone is different. Get a Teacher, if that does not work, try a different one, but at least look in a mirror, have someone else listen, and make some recordings, and check them periodically. Especially when you feel that you are not making any progress. This will help you continue, otherwise you may become discouraged.


    Supposedly there are more muscle groups in the upper lip? That is why they suggest using more upper lip. There are good embouchure tips on Youtube. I like the one where you look in a mirror, to find your apperture. This was a big help for me. Instead of "Buzzing the lips" you just blow , and as the air seperates the lips, this is the "aperture" Center the mouthpiece there, and this is where you get the best "Clean" sound. (As long as your dental configuration allows it) Try not to use excessive pressure!
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    It only makes a difference if you lips are not in the cup.
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Lots of good thoughts here. I do think there is something to the idea that in many people, their face is not symmetrical -i.e., one side even looks stronger than the other. When they smile, one side of the mouth even pulls back farther. There may be something to this with left-right brain hemisphericity. Add to that gum and teeth issues and it is understandable why some people play off center. I have always had a problem of playing 2/3 top and 1/3 bottom. As one poster commented, endurance has always been a problem. Still, it is the only thing that has worked for my personal physiology. Yes, I have tried changing numerous times, even under the guidance of a private teacher, now dead, but very well noted. All it did was take my playing to zero. And yes, I gave the changes plenty of time. In fact the last time it messed me up so much I put the horn up for 20 years.

    My own advice would be to find the best spot on the chops that works for you under the guidance of a teacher or two. There is no perfect setup and those that say so just don't understand the human body. There are mouthpiece placements that work for a majority, but not all.

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