Air pocket

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Double_G, May 23, 2005.

  1. Double_G

    Double_G Pianissimo User

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    May 4, 2005
    Gordonsville, TN
    Hey Manny! I'd like to say it's an honor to me you. Now that thing up is over with, I got myself a problem.

    I have an air pocket in my lower lip that goes all that way across. It just puckers a little bit. Due to this my tone, range, endurance, you know all the important things (which would mean everything), are suffering greatly from the re-adjustment. And a lot of people think it because my embouchure is attempting to compensate for my braces I got off not to long ago. But, it puffed before then so I don't really know. But, recently my lesson teacher...you may know him as Van, gave me a different mouthpiece to learn to play on over the summer and it has help immensely, but the pocket is still there. So, was the problem simply incorrect mouthpiece selection and will the pocket decrease as I play on the mouthpiece longer. Or do you think there is some other reason for it and have an explaination for me.

    Thanks, Andrew
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Andrew,

    I can't address the mouthpiece issue because I wouldn't have tackled it that way based on what experience I've had with air pockets. Although, clearly, if a mouthpiece is too small the presure will build up and your mouth will look for a release which is likely why Van had you go to a larger mouthpiece: to relieve the backpressure. Makes sense to me.

    But since you still have the problem, I want you to try a few things, first conceptual then practical.

    1) blow through a tiny hole your lips can make and actually create an airpocket. This is what you don't want, right?

    2) take your fingers and create an artificial support for your bottom lip and blow as hard as you like, using those fingers to keep your lip from ballooning outward. That's what you want, right? What you don't want is an assistant for life holding your bottom in place forever, however.

    3) here's where you have to work a bit: Blow out again but with a larger hole to blow through. Very gradually make the hole smaller and as you do, notice where the pockets want to begin to start. That's the point where you want to focus your attention and use your muscles to clamp down and resist that ballooning. This will take some sensitivity on your part and persistence. You need to be able to blow through the tiny hole in your lips without ballooning. Got it? Do this away from the horn, PLEASE!
    That doesn't mean stop practicing, it means it's an unmusical conditioning exercise that's meant to replace an old habit over time. When you've done a bit of that grab your horn and practice scales starting in the low register and ascending. Please use a nice vibrato or some dynamics if you don't yet play with vibrato.

    You'll be fine. Between a caring, committed teacher like Van and some sensitivity to your playing, you'll be like new by the time summer's over.

    By the way, you should know that there are a number of good and great players that play with air pockets. There are, however, more good and great players that don't play with air pockets.

    ML
     
  3. Double_G

    Double_G Pianissimo User

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    May 4, 2005
    Gordonsville, TN
    Thanks Mr. Laureano! School just ended officially today, so I have until July when band camp starts for the fall to get it right...talk about pressure. Two months to change my embouchure...curses :x
     
  4. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    You're not changing your embouchure, just stabilizing it. You're young, there's plenty of time to do many good things on the trumpet. But what you do must be right.

    ML
     

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