Avoidance of being too "lip conscious"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Local 357, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    once again, I am sorry to get so confused --- but the lips always had a sweet spot that would conform to a metal mpc (even a plastic one with the trombone) --- it just took me many years to find where it was!!!!!!!!!!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The only time KT, my lips HAVE a sweet spot is when my love kisses me... which also causes a sweat spot... do I have my spellings correct on this one BigDub... my trusty editor?
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Horses sweat - gentlemen perspire - ladies glow.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Ooookayyy Willllburrrrr
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I thought it was "horses lather, men sweat, and women perspire"??? and the lips vibrate to make the "sweet sound" that every trumpet player desires!!!!!!!

    but hey if GM's significant other makes his lips sweat ----- to each his own, maybe that helps him to be "NON LIP conscious!!!!!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    KT you really got to work on your reading comprehension. Read my post carefully... the kiss ON MY LIPS is sweet which makes me (every other glandular part of my personage) sweet. Again... Read the post carefully.
  7. Janet Lee

    Janet Lee New Friend

    May 1, 2011
    There are 2 general rules.

    1. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    2. If it is broke, you better fix it.

    If a player has great range and great power,
    then nothing is wrong
    and he doesn't need to focus on his embouchure and his jaw and his breathing.

    If a player does not have great range and great power,
    then something is wrong
    and he does need to focus on his embouchure and his jaw and his breathing to fix the problem.

    A range problem usually means that there is something wrong with the embouchure or the jaw or the tongue.

    A power problem usually means that there is something wrong with the breathing.

    I hope my post doesn't sound arrogant or dictatorial or preachy.
    I don't mean it that way.
    I am just speaking in a matter-of-fact tone regarding what I know to be fact
    from 40 years of experience and training playing up to Double C.
    I mean no disrespect to anyone who disagrees with me.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  8. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Nah don't worry about that. The truth can alienate any given trumpet player just because he gets exposed to it. The brass world is stuck in old ideas. Couple that with the general tendency of trumpet players to think they know everything? Well one can't help but upset others.

    You seem to have more on the ball than the rest of this crew. There are only a few teachers on this forum I tend to agree with on a regular basis. You're one of them and you're kinda new. A welcome surprise. Dr. Dave* (mouthpiece maker) is another.

    Now having gotten the greeting out of the way I might question your idea of the tongue having much to due with range. Not that I believe the tongue has no effect at helping range but because i believe that its purpose in assisting range is usually inaccurately defined.

    Typically we hear or read phrases like "faster air" or "arch your tongue higher in the mouth for range". While if practiced and put into use these concepts probably can't hurt anyone i find them inaccurate as i'll explain.

    I've learned to play with some authority on three radically different embouchures.

    1. My natural one a receded jaw setting typical of probably close to 50% of all trumpet players and the great majority of low brass players. Decent usable High A range. Sonorous tone, good accuracy.

    2. A slightly rolled in forward jaw setting capable of sustaining clearly slotted Triple C's as decent volume.

    3. A heavily rolled out lower lip setting also with triple C sustainability.

    I don't mention the extreme range in my two alternate embouchure chops set-ups to either brag or recommend these settings. Nor even to suggest that the average trumpet player should or should not experiment with chop settings other than the one they feel most natural and competent with. Instead I speak of these chop settings in order to establish some credentials in usage of the tongue, air etc. As demonstration of knowledge that I'm in a unique position to understand that what may work well for one player does not necessarily help the next. That there are specific advantages and/or weaknesses to one setting vs another.

    From this vantage point and from other study and research I have learned that "faster air" caused by the tongue arch is an invalid concept. In fact what seems to cause an improvement in range from a tongue movement (in some players) is not the condensing of the mouth cavity but the fact that a forward tongue movement will touch the lower lip or the sides of the upper and perhaps lower lip. That this touching the lips by the tongue STABILIZES one or both lips and allows a clearer tone in the upper register. Gives the chops "another leg to stand on".

    And again on some trumpet players a forward movement of the tongue will not help at all. This due to certain difficult to explain matters of muscle usage and physiology.

    In most cases a forward tongue movement can not hurt anyone although at one time i thought otherwise. Some forty years ago I learned from Roy Stevens that he believed that a restricted mouth cavity (by the tongue arch) could contribute to the development of a neck puff. However I no longer think this way. Reason?

    A restriction of the mouth cavity from the tongue arch is unlikely to hold back/bottle up air as air is such a "slippery" medium: ie it seeks any opening available and exits quickly as lightning. I've also done experiments on the PSI developed in the mouth cavity of a strong lead trumpet player. This coupled with a general knowledge of how pressurized gases work in a closed tube has helped me understand that a restriction of the mouth cavity would be unlikely to build up excessive air pressure. Because at the point where it might do this the trumpet player would notice an unusual feeling in the mouth.

    This leaves one last area (I think) where tongue movement and development) might help or hamper range: the attacked note itself.

    As some of us know there are all sorts of ways to use the tongue to articulate. Some tongue behind the teeth (either upper or lower) This is the Reinhardt recommendation. Another is to actually penetrate the lips with the tongue. Took me a while to believe in this method because in my early days i was an avid supporter of Dr. Reinhardt. Tongue penetration being anathema to his system.

    Then later i changed my thinking. i now believe and know that the penetration of the lips by the tongue is probably the preferred way to start a note. The tongue can not only start the air but help form the aperture the air will pass through.

    There is also a very helpful tonguing technique known as "Clearing the piece". Uses the tongue to intentionally clear out unnecessary lip flesh that weakens tone, and volume. This is an especially useful trick for shallow mouthpiece users. They are recommended to blow many repetitions of loud eighth note bell tones in the lower register. Trying to to force the tongue through the lips and down nearly to the bottom of the cup bowl!

    After continued practice for several weeks a trumpet player can make a shallow Schilke 13a4a sound like a 13B or C. The extremely shallow Schilke 6a4a? More like a 10B.

    Anyway thanks for reading this late night explanation and wordy post. All on a topic designed to suggest we use less emphasis on our lips. But as you say: If it is broke? We gotta fix it...


    *I probably should buy a mouthpieces of Dr. Dave's one of these days. Dave is interesting not only due to the depth of his knowledge and brilliant research but because he knows his limitations: He doesn't claim that his mouthpieces work for everyone and is more than willing to prescribe other company's mouthpieces if he feels they should.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  9. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    Just as there are a many successful approaches to trumpet pedagogy, there are a lot of successful approaches to the psychology of trumpet players. Some don't want to hear about pivot, tongue, lips and care only about sound. Others like to hear about every physical detail of playing. Whatever works for you but don't generalize.
  10. Janet Lee

    Janet Lee New Friend

    May 1, 2011
    The receded jaw playing position is used by a majority of players.
    The forward jaw playing position is used by a minority of players.
    Players should go with whichever is natural for the individual player rather than imitate the jaw position of another player.

    "Faster air" is an erroneous teaching.
    Many experts teach the higher tongue arch for playing high notes.
    "AH" for low notes and "EE" for high notes.
    For years I never paid much attention to it, then I finally noticed that I do naturally arch my tongue for playing high notes.
    I discovered that I even arch my tongue for whistling high notes.
    But "faster air" is a misconception.
    However, a player should use abdominal muscles to increase air compression for playing high notes.
    Not straining the abdominal muscles, just firming the abdominal muscles more the higher you play.
    Although playing high notes requires less air volume being used, playing high notes does require greater air compression for the smaller air volume bing used.

    I've gotten insulting private message from someone named "Dr. Mark", so I'll probably just stop posting and go back to reading only.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012

Share This Page