Big Lips

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by beejay_bee, May 28, 2009.

  1. beejay_bee

    beejay_bee New Friend

    May 28, 2009
    Hi There

    I've been playing trumpet since I was 10 - am now 25 - but over last three years my playing has got seemingly weaker - especilly with stamina and high notes. As I have got older my lips have got thicker and now I find when I play if I want to make sure i'm not playing on the soft part of my lips I have to roll them over my teeth - which means i'm biting down on them. The one teacher i've been to see about it gave the useful answer of 'you should have taken up the trombone'! Is it simply a case of sucking up the pain. I'm always a bit dubious of playing on the soft part of the lips cos i've had a lot of coldsores over the years and it's fairly weak skin there now.

    Any Suggestions would be most welcome and appreciated

  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Maybe you can try to find a different teacher who is willing to work with you on this? If you don't know of other teachers in your area, maybe someone on TM can suggest somebody with experience in this area.
  3. Blind Bruce

    Blind Bruce Pianissimo User

    Apr 17, 2009
    Winnipeg Canada
    Perhaps a different mouthpiece?
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Lip size is not a limiting factor. 2 things are pretty standard: the red of your lips belongs in the mouthpiece and you should NOT be biting down on them. Look at your face in the mirror, purse your lips like you are pronouncing the letter "M". You should be able to compress your lips to fit the red part vertically in the mouthpiece.
  5. y0da777

    y0da777 Pianissimo User

    Feb 28, 2009
    do i live here?????
    howabout a huuuge mouthpiece!
  6. Ursa

    Ursa Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Maybe, but maybe not.

    I have large and fleshy lips. When I decided to make my comeback as a trumpeter, I ordered a huge Schilke 20D2d mouthpiece, using the (faulty) logic that as a well-developed euphonium player with big lips that plays extremely large euphonium mouthpieces, my trumpet piece oughtta be a big one, too. The 20D2d turned out to be a total mismatch for me. I can get a wonderful tone out of it and it's very flexible, but attacks are not precise, the thin rounded rim beats up my chops, and the low-resistance backbore is inefficient and very tiring to play when paired up with my free-blowing Besson 709.

    As a heavy-lipped player, I find rim contour to be the critical element to my success with a particular mouthpiece. It can't have too much bite on the inner rim, or my chops will get beat up instantly. If it's too flat and/or wide a rim, I can't articulate cleanly. It it's too round and/or too thin, endurance goes down the drain. The rims on the Stork Vacchiano series and the #4 rims from Schilke and Yamaha have worked the best for me so far. And stragely enough, in stark contrast to my huge euph mouthpieces, I find the smaller diameter and slighly shallow trumpet pieces work best for me, such as the Stork Vacchiano 5D, Schilke 7B4, and Yamaha 11B4.
  7. Ursa

    Ursa Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    Northern Michigan
    With properly-fitted equipment and good technique, that area of your embouchure will toughen up very rapidly. :-)
  8. RobertSlotte

    RobertSlotte Pianissimo User

    Jul 7, 2008
    The problem with pursing your lips like you are pronouncing the letter "M" is that one can do that in many different ways and I for sure do NOT play like that. I role my lips more IN becouse I too have big lips, but i do NOT role them over the teeth; NO NO NO I cant NOT play like that, I role the lowe lip in but it stays down LOW and on the outside of my bottom teeths. I´m not saying that is the way to go for all, but it works for me.

    If I do not do that role motion I have a range upp to about D above high C, but when i do it like I wrote; I slowly take in air, compress it and can if I want go way above double C.
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  9. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    Yeah, Ursa, that is a pretty tiny mouthpiece selection for a euph player.

    I have pretty big lips, and I think it's from playing the trumpet, and I roll in when I play.
    I also play a relatively small MP, a Schilke 10a4. I think as long as the outer rim is large enough, there should be no problem. When I switched from a Bach 3C, I instantly found the wider Schilke rim to be more comfortable.

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