Bottom lip curled in

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    For a long time now I've been playing the trumpet a different way where I curl my bottom lip into my mouth and don't get enough bottom lip vibration, missing out on a lot of possible vibration and tuhs having a weaker sound. Is there a way to make up for this?
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Does your trumpet point down so that you almost look like a clarinet player? Does your chin collapse and your lower lip slide under and behind the top one? If so, and this is a pretty drastic change in itself, you might want to consider pushing your jaw forward and putting more pressure on your upper lip. Don't be suprised if you play more badly for a short time as new muscles get into play.

    Is your mouth open or closed when you play? That is, do your top and bottom molars touch? If so, open your mouth a tad when playing.

    It is really hard to diagnose stuff based on written information alone, so please note that these are only suggestions, and not a miracle cure!

    Dylan is right in that there is nothing inherently wrong with curling the bottom lip slightly over the bottom teeth, but I'm assuming you don't play like Dylan, though.

    Good luck!
  3. aerotim13

    aerotim13 New Friend

    Apr 24, 2009
    Rolla, Missouri
    I do most of the things Vulgano just mentioned, although I have worked hard on making sure my mouth is wide enough open. I used to worry about this a lot, and there are a lot of people who say, "If you don't have the 'right' embrochure, you'll never play well." But there are also a lot of people who tell me that if the sound coming out of your horn is what you want, then who cares? So, I pretended that I sounded good and stopped worrying ;)
  4. loudog

    loudog Piano User

    Jan 4, 2004
    Grand Island, NE
    I play with my bottom lip slightly curled in also....I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    I do disagree, however, with Vulgano (sorry man.)

    I think that pushing the jaw forward can be very hazardous to playing. It's an unnatural joint movement, and can result in TMJ problems.

  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Ghitalla saw nothing with moving the jaw forward, and yeah, if overdone can result in TMJ problems. For the most part, tiny changes can feel huge; if you've ever had a tiny grain of rock that felt like a pebble in your shoe or lost a filling in a molar you can relate. I agree that turning an overbite into an underbite when playing would be taking it too far. I would suggest when changing jaw position lining up the top and bottom teeth, but in the early stages it will feel like turning an overbite into an underbite. massive forward jaw thrust.

    Thanks, Louie, for the good, constuctive, criticism!
  6. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I'm on board with VB. I started the Cat Anderson Method a while ago (no flames please) and one of the first things the method asks is that you line your front teeth up when doing the warmups. I have a slight overbite, so moving my jaw forward wasn't a huge deal, but it helped me to reduce pressure and relax more when playing in the upper register..
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I also play with my lower lip slightly curled over my bottom teeth, what I do is push my lower jaw slightly forward to meet rim of the mouthpiece, and flatten the playing surface as best as I can, any pressure should be off the top lip and on the bottom lip ,the bell still tilts down a little but not as much as before I made this change, practice very soft when starting to do this, and try to get clean centered tone. I used to play with my lower jaw receded , once I changed the position of my lower jaw I gained an octave on my range. At the beginning my sound was smaller than what I had before, but it kept growing, within a couple of months I went from 4th trumpet to playing a very strong lead. As far as TMJ , I made this change in 1975 and never had any problems. the trick, is to not try to over do the push, so the bell goes from pointing down to pointing up . Remember where an ounce of medicine will cure, two might kill.

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