Aperture of the teeth

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BackInHanoi, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    An "Aperature" is ONLY the lips. It changes in size based on how high/low and loud/soft we play. That being said, the lips do not create a "set" sized hole. The lips flap to open and close the hole. It is purely the strength and agility of the muscles controlling the embouchure vs the breath control that lets us get good. NO AMOUNT OF READING OR ADVICE WILL HELP YOUR CHOPS. MONTHS AND YEARS OF TRAINING ARE REQUIRED TO GET EVERYTHING IN SYNC! Check this out:
    IWK Brass Research

    As far as the teeth go, they are a bit of support for the lips when playing. When the teeth are further apart, the geometry of the face changes. That is why we should not need to "think about this". With enough practice (that you need anyway), the face will gravitate to a favorable position.
  2. Alex_C

    Alex_C Piano User

    May 30, 2010
    Gilroy, California
    I was being silly, I was talking about a gap in my front teeth, kinda like Arnold Schwartzenegger has always been famous for.
  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Gliss Girl. You have a good head on your shoulders. Sounds like you've got a good teacher. keep it up.
  4. Gliss Girl

    Gliss Girl Pianissimo User

    Aug 31, 2009
    Portland, MI
    Thank you for the compliment Bob - a good note to leave the day on - looking at the clock, seeing that I've stayed up way too late getting carried away practicing playing along to "Spinning Wheel" - Lew Soloff is a god (lower case, of course)! I'll get there! And, I didn't think once about my aperture, just how close to Lew can I get?


  5. BackInHanoi

    BackInHanoi New Friend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Gliss Girl! Your advice was to the point and very helpful. I’ve been practicing since I read your response with the idea of keeping my teeth set at one aperture. So then, the question became, how to get the high notes? I realized I’d been using my lower teeth to push the lower lip up to close the lip aperture to go higher. Once I stopped doing this, I realized that it’s all about the UPPER lip. After all, that is the ‘cord’ that is vibrating. Its relative tension and thickness relates to the frequency at which it oscillates. I can now go from middle C to above high C without changing my teeth and with very little pressure from the arms, and a loud, on pitch, clear sound.

    Different strokes, right? Some people take an analytical approach, and of course run the danger of getting too up in their heads. Some people take a more intuitive approach, but when things go wrong, what do they do? They analyze the problem, of course!

    I find it impossible NOT to think carefully about the physics of sound production. But if it satisfies your curiosity, gives you more things to try out, and adds a bit of fun to your practice session, seems to me that’s a good thing. But then, one needs definitely needs to stop thinking about all that stuff and let the mind/body do it’s thing without conscious interference, as Gliss Girl points out.

    ComeBackKid also makes a good point. I’ve read dozens of articles on embouchure, and yes, they sometimes differ wildly. But that probably means that any embouchure that feels right, does the job, and has potential to be developed will do.

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