comeback player... maybe

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LeatherLips, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. LeatherLips

    LeatherLips New Friend

    Dec 22, 2008
    Hi all,
    I haven't really played in 20+ years. I've started/stopped a couple of times before, but am looking to start/stay playing.
    My biggest concern is getting my embouchure correct to start with. I don't know that I would be able to get 6 months into playing and then restart with an embouchure fix.
    I live in Central Florida and am hoping someone out there has a suggestion on a good teacher near me that knows their stuff when it comes to fixing a poor embouchure or getting someone started back on the right foot.
    In general I'm not looking to make a living with my horn, just to have fun and maybe play with some local community groups.
    Thanks for your help!
  2. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.
    The shape of your face, primarily, the shape and size of your lips, in conjunction with the shape, size, and layout of your teeth will dictate your embouchure. In my case, I have a slight overbite and my upper left incisor slightly overlaps the tooth to its right, makes me mount the mouthpiece about in a 2/3 upper lip and slightly to the left of center. This also means that I play a bit 'downstream'. This all works well for me, but, I hear and read about newbies and comebackers who pay attention to so called 'experts' who dictate that the mouthpiece "must be perfectly centered on the lips". This is balderdash!!! Many of the famous and extremely talented pros that we all wish to emulate played with an off center embouchure, either to one side, or, higher or lower than some others. If the mouthpiece is comfortable on your face, that is where it belongs.

  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I'm not sure how this stacks up technically but it was suggested to me, when I came back after 37 years between gigs, that I lie down, place the mouthpiece on my lips in a comfortable position for me and with my hand in front of the outlet of the mouthpiece try and direct air through the mouthpiece and out the backbore such that the air comes out straight. reposition the MP just slightly until the airflow is straight.

    It's not as hard as is sounds, and it is possible to feel the directional differences - and with numerous hundreds of dollars in lessons in my recent past, none of my tutors have challenged my MP position - recommended changes in MP sure, but not a repositioning.

    There is a raft of posts here on TM which talk to the positioning of the trumpet and MP combination while listening for the centred tone - the sweet spot, if you like - that too works but basically only when you know what a good note sounds like.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011
  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I see everyone is talking to you about embouchure, but of course the advice doesn't mean a lot when they can not see or hear you play. I want to address the teacher situation with a suggestion. I would call the nearest university to you and talk with the trumpet professor. The prof. may have an opening and be willing to work with you or the prof. may know of a grad student or whoever who can help you. Only a teacher seeing and hearing you play can really help you.
  5. JimCulp

    JimCulp New Friend

    Dec 13, 2010
    Mr. Coomer here just gave you good advice, in my opinion.:-)That's how I handled my return to playing after a nine year layoff, and it really helped, big time. There is no reason in the world that your best playing days are not ahead of you. Go for it.:-)
  6. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    The more you think about your embouchure the more you might paralyze yourself. Sound is what matters. Air is what produces it. Let the ears be your guide, strive for the best sound, a sound supported by a massive airflow.

    The embouchure does little more than just responding to the airflow. As to how it does that, there are so many ways to describe it, I'm not sure you'll ever find one that will prove truly useful to you in particular. Trying to make what you play really sound like music is the best way to discover/develop your embouchure.
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    This is exactly how I found my teacher after a frustrating search. Great suggestion!

  8. Ric232

    Ric232 Pianissimo User

    Apr 30, 2009
    Coastal GA
    If you're in the Orlando area, Google "John Almeida UCF". He's a trumpet professor at the University of Central FL. You'll find his UCF bio and an email address. I took lessons from John back in 1980 - 1984. He'll probably be able to recommend a teacher, or perhaps one of his students.
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I'm a comebacker --- put the horn where it plays best -- and, well play. I am NOT saying don't get help from a teacher. BUT ultimately it is your lips, you playing, so just be aware of "everyone has their own idea of what is right" --- and that could actually be wrong for you.
    In other words --- you should be aware, at some point, what is helping your playing --- and what isn't working --- hopefully a good teacher will be as flexible as you need him/her, so you can reach your potential.

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