Crooked embochure?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by youngswede, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. youngswede

    youngswede New Friend

    Oct 21, 2010
    Hi everyone, new to this site but I'm liking it!

    My embochure is crooked-when i play, the right-hand corner of my mouth is higher than the left and further out towards my cheek-i'm "smiling" more with the right half of my mouth than the left...
    What's more I can feel that the embochure of my right corner is better than my left-tighter, stronger and playing better! My teeth aren't crooked or anything like that. All in all I think I'm playing worse with a crooked embochure. Can anyone suggest a few exercises for straightening my embochure and getting it symmetrical? perhaps i should try one of those PETE things?

    My general practice routine is long notes, breathing, flowing air, then a few scales and exercises but pretty quickly onto the day's work.

  2. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I used to have similar problems using one side of the face more than the other.

    For me it was a coordination problem. It was mentally easier to hold one side still and flex and relax the other. I would fall into that pattern especially if I were mentally tired. Now for the most part I don't really relax the muscles as much so I don't have to think about it.
  3. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    Trumpet playing is not a beauty contest. Not a lot of players play dead center. I think that Byron Stripling has a one sided cheek puff and he plays fine. Worry about your sound, your articulation, your endurance, all the things that count. There is probably a reason that trumpets are usually sitting in the back row
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I used to play off to the left side of my mouth -- eventually I reached a plateau in my playing. I switched to the center, and repositoined it there.

    to be honest -- it was dreadfully awful to do that, and I sucked for a year --- but at 45 and a comeback player -- looking back -- it was the best thing I ever did --- to straighten that issue out when I was young, and could bounce back faster then.
    good luck in whatever your decision is.
  5. youngswede

    youngswede New Friend

    Oct 21, 2010
    Thanks for the thoughts. I know it's not about beauty-my teacher plays crooked, because of his teeth, but he's very good.

    But I think it is affecting my playing having one side tighter than the other. Can anyone suggest some exercises that are not to demanding to perhaps relax my playing and I can concentrate on just allowing my embochure to sort itself out?
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Try the pencil exercise (find it on You tube). Just don't overdo it. You can also find a soda straw with as small a bore as possible and do the pencil exercise AND blow at the same time. Again, just don't overdo it. It's not a contest. Properly done, it takes less than 5 minutes. :play:
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    +1 ha ha!! Roflrofl
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I do believe a lot of players get into the habit of a crooked embouchure simply from looking at their music at an extreme angle, as in sharing. Teachers, please try and correct this among your students at the onset ! Really, P.E.T.E. will do little to correct this.
  9. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Significant changes in one's embouchure should not be made without the direction of a qualified trumpet instructor giving you weekly (at least) lessons. The risk of ruining what you have is too great to attempt it yourself, especially if you are a young player with only a few years of experience.

    I (ignorantly) did this the summer after my 10th grade because I noticed my mouthpiece was right of center on my
    lips. My playing suffered greatly for over a year. Don't try it alone like I did.


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