Changing my embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 1stTrumpet, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. 1stTrumpet

    1stTrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2009
    So at my school we had a brass instructor come in and he told me that I played too much to the right side of my lip. He said that if I fixed it my range, endurance, and tone would be much better. I've been trying for a while to change but whenever I do I basically have to start back to step 1. My tone soulds really airy and I have to struggle to get a G out, I really want to work on it but the music that we play I constantly have to be in the upper range like high Bs and Cs and ect. so I can't find time to do in all around. Can the wise men at help me out? Please and thank you.
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    You don't say if you have a private teacher and if this is something that you are concerned then you need to find a good teacher. Talk to them about it and then do what they tell you to do.
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Play however it is comfortable to you!

    He had NO business coming nto your school and telling you anything like that.

    I am really tired of these clowns that show up and try to fix people they have never seen before.

    Did he examine you? Check your teeth? Jaw structure? Anything?

    It is a good thing no one to a young Maynard Ferguson that he shouldn't play off to the side of HIS mouth.
  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    First, how you sound is the way you judge a trumpet player, not how it looks. Second, someone hearing you once (and probably knowing nothing about your practice habits, be they good or bad) can't give you a meaningful recommendation about moving your mouthpiece. Play the way you play, and if you're having trouble, seek a teacher to help you learn how and what to practice.
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  5. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2009
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    If an embouchure looks good, but doesn't work...then it doesn't work.

    Most of the "play in the center" advice, I've discovered, is not set in stone. I play off to the left because my front teeth overlap. It works *for me*. There's a limit to how far off you should be playing, I think (if you're in the corner, that seems like it would be bad...), but every embouchure is tailored to fit the trumpeter's teeth and jaw structure.

    I would say don't sweat it. Find a teacher if you think this worth looking into.
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    As a general rule, playing in the center gives you a better chance of playing well. Both sides working equally. If I had a chance to start a player, I wouldn't start him/her on the side.

    As said already, there are reasons to play off center and there are people that do it and play beautifully.

    If you're young and still learning and can give up playing at your current level for a short time and it's comfortable, I wold try moving to the center. There is no fast way to do it. It's kind of like starting over but, you get to know what you have already learned along the way.

    If you move it:

    Play a lot in the middle register and rest a lot. Don't push your self and don't use pressure to get high notes.

    Good luck!
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Changing the mpc position requirs the help of a knowledgable teacher. Someone with experience in embouchure changes. This is NOT a DIY project.You have to retrain your embouchure. That said, playing in the center is not neccessary to achieve good results on the horn. I would say don't change. The only time I change a students embouchure is after I've spent a lot of time with them and can address a specific problem that is standing in the way of any improvement. In 30 years of teaching I've had to do this only a handful of times. I have had to fix students who were messed up by "brass experts" who lacked the knowledge and experience to correctly assess the problem. In music a degree doesn't bestow expertise.
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    You might want to try this:
    Have someone take a picture with the camera pointing towards the bell so you can see how your lips are on the mouthpiece.
    Then look at other great trumpet players and see how their lips are on the mouthpiece.
    For the most part, I think you'll find that the mouthpiece placement is fairly in the center of the lips. If you decide to change to the center, just go slow and use a mirror to check your progress. As with most things, it'll get worse before it gets better.
  9. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Just like that I can think of 2 players who have off center embouchures: Sergei Nakariakov, Joey Pero, the latter somewhat more pronounced. How good are they? Beyond most of us' wildest dreams. If you sound good, why change? This guy doesn't know you or your playing.
  10. dani021

    dani021 Pianissimo User

    Aug 16, 2009
    never change embouchure without a teacher! I lost 1½ years of playing because of my stupidity. don't want anyone else to do the same thing. so first off call a teacher..

    and.. try putting the trumpet against your lips without playing. which position feels the best? and then try just breathing out a tone. put your lips against the mouthpiece and say .. "hooooo". that way I got an embouchure more comfortable than before.

    although I don't know everything so I might be wrong.

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