Corners of your mouth? [w/video]

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JackTheMusician, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Queens, NY
    "My suggestion would to play smart and NEVER shatter your lip. It would also be to get some good lipslur exercises like those by Earl Irons or Max Schlossberg. Long tones and lipslurs along with playing smart EVERY DAY generate a solid stable embouchure over time. It is evolution not revolution and instead of looking at ourselves, we concentrate on the task at hand: making music instead of posing for a beauty contest......."

    Although I actually COULD win a beauty contest, it's because I collect amazing aloha shirts and wear them every chance I can get - but Rowuk is right, it doesn't have to do with trumpet playing - except it will help you pick up babes after the gig if you're single - which will relax you for the next gig;-)

    Listening to your playing I would say do this exercise: take simple lip slurs in eighth notes - low C to G below high C - and go up and down for 1 minute. Then go to 123 valve combo and do the same. Then 13, 23, 12, 1, 2. This is pretty taxing because it is 7 minutes of continuous playing. After a few weeks - go to low C to high C.. and then all 7 positions again for 7 minutes, 1 minute in each position: 0, 123, 13, 23, 12, 1, 2. Some call this exercise '7 in 7'. This will develop great endurance and range for you. Also, make sure you are playing a mouthpiece that is shallow enough and has a comfortable rim. Looking at the type of playing you are doing in the video I assume you do some outdoor playing and overall have to be producing some volume. A shallower mouthpiece for that type of playing you're illustrating will help. A recommend a Warburton 'SV' cup in your rim size for you as it is moderately shallow and should give you the sound you are working for. Make sure you're trumpet has middle of the road specs - meaning a ML bore would probably be best with a bell that is between 4 3/4 - 5 inches. Best of luck dude! Lex
    p.s. - Irons and Schlossberg are fantastic staple books - it's just that the '7 and 7' exercise is particularly powerful and efficient because of how it works the chops. But you would do very well to work some Irons lip slur exercises and make sure you can play them quickly and easily with a good sound.
    Sethoflagos likes this.
  2. JackTheMusician

    JackTheMusician Pianissimo User

    Aug 14, 2013
    Thanks a lot! Funnily enough I recently bought a Warburton haha, as for a new trumpet that'll take some saving ;-)

    Although it is annoying, because as I do go up the horn my airstream starts to go down (By about 4th line D) I'm trying to solve that haha!

    Thanks for the advice :)
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    I've been holding off any real work on range development until I was happy with tone and tonguing.

    But I decided to give this a go, and though very early days yet, it seems to be a very effective exercise for turning a thin, airy note into a solid clear one. I'm not sure it actually adds totally new notes, and I'm really only working the notes close to top of stave. But I've a good octave of thin, airy whistles to come, and now fairly good hopes of turning a good few of them into something usable.

    One proviso: I'm getting these results with a Wick no letter, so I don't see a shallow cup as an absolute necessity.
  4. redintheface

    redintheface Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2010
    Bath, UK
    I'm assuming that you mean to start at low C, and then rather than use 123 starting on even lower Gb (have no sharp sign on my keyboard!), you would progress to C-sharp 123 and then to D, etc?

    Seth, I have also found that depth of cup does little to affect range, but width of cup does. I used to play on a Bach 1C, and switched to a more comfortable Kanstul 3-equivalent. If I now play on the Bach 1C, my range diminishes by a note or two up the top end. If I play on a deeper Kanstul of the same rim size, the tone changes, but not the notes that I can comfortably play.

    When playing on the Bach 1C, I always seemed to be stuck with a usable D above the stave, but never any further, it just never ever came out as even a whisper. Since doing specific range work, and in addition to switching mouthpieces (which I don't credit for the range increase really, only comfort of playing), I have built a usable range to G, and whispers and squeaks up to and beyond DHC. But for any newbies reading this, it took years to do, I started rangebuilding in 2012, and switched mouthpieces in 2013! Don't think it happened all one magical summer between band camps hahahah!

    Let me know how it goes!
  5. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Queens, NY
    Seth - Cool deal man. I would give it at least a month before looking for actual change in your usable range. Yes, it makes sense that your current range would be solidified and more powerful. This exercise works the tongue, lips, and air in an excellent way and it give me the feeling of a 'relaxed grip' in my chops when I play. I am not sure of the mechanics of what is actually happening when we do a lip slur exercise like this, but I know it works really well over time. BTW - I would only do this exercise once day as it's surprisingly taxing and you want to give your playing mechanism time to rest and rebuild.

    Redinface - Yeah start with open position 0 on low C. Then, for the next position, go down to the low F# at 123 and work your way up - 13, 23, 12, 1, 2 - so at 2 your at low B right under low C. This makes it more challenging then just descending from the low C.

    Mouthpieces - The depth will effect your volume. I can play my same range on my deepest flugel piece, but the volume is different. If your playing lead trumpet or loud high notes in a big band or latin group, you'll want a shallow mouthpiece. Depending on how much lip intrusion you play with, one person's shallow piece may not be another. Because I play with little lip instrusion, I have no problem playing extremely shallow pieces. But I use a piece based on MF's from the 50's and early 60's which is a shallow V cup with a very soft bite on the rim

    The diameter is about what fits your physiology. A 1C diameter is quite big for a lot of players but if you have very thick lips and big teeth, it could be the perfect diameter. Trying to play a diameter that is not close to the right size for your chops can lead to bad habits and can inhibit range, power, endurance, and sound. Because I have thinner lips and smaller teeth, I can use very small diameters - but I function best with diameters from .590 - .630. If I go much bigger I start to lose range, power, and sound. If I go smaller, the power starts to go down and the sound starts to 'narrow'. Hope this helps! Best, Lex

    p.s. - I highly recommend John and Phyllis Stork's excellent book, 'Understanding the Mouthpiece'. There is an excellent article here about what I am talking about:
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