Embosure Help

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BobtheBigFoot, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

    May 15, 2011
    My embosure is a real pain. I have been in this two year stump with my embosure. Everytime I go high (like to a high f or g and above) i put pressure on my top lip and this makes my mouthpiece slide down a little bit so it goes way down in the pink and it feels like only a little part of my lip is vibrating. Then when i decend im fine but my mouthpiece dosent go back it stays in the pink and its playable, but i cant go back up to a high f or above because my top lip just stops vibrating and this has been the worse thing ever. It has caused some terrible endurance issues and i am going to bring it to my teacher's attention asap, but i was wondering if anyone else has had this issue and how you fixed it.

    And ive been playing for 8 years and i play on a Bach 3C, so i dont think there is anything that the mouthpiece is doing wrong.

    Thank You for any Help!
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I hope your teacher is a private teacher and a trumpet player. If so then they can probably help you. The only other advice to be given is practice. Some people here may try and help you, but without seeing and hearing you play no one can be of much help and they are only guessing.
  3. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Thanks for the link, man; interesting.
  4. wilktone

    wilktone New Friend

    Jul 18, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Re: Embouchure Help

    Hi, Bob.

    None of us have seen you play, so you should take all our advice with a grain of salt. Based on your description it sounds like you have some issues causing problems, but it may or may not be related to your mouthpiece placement.

    In spite of what is commonly believed, there is nothing inherently wrong with placing the rim on any red of your lips. First of all, there will always be rim on some red, regardless of how how or low you place the mouthpiece. Secondly, other than the epidermal layer (the skin, which is thinner on the vermillion) there is no anatomical difference at the red. You won't cut off the blood supply or damage tissue using normal mouthpiece pressure. Although it's not so common, lots of very fine players place on the red of the upper lip. I happen to have the same placement.

    You say that your mouthpiece placement wants to slide down as you play high. There are two reasons I can think of for this. One is that it might happen be the best placement for you. The other is that you might have one of the embouchure types that naturally pulls the lips down with the mouthpiece slightly to ascend and you're allowing the mouthpiece instead to slide to a lower placement. Perhaps both. Or maybe I'm way off base, remember I haven't watched you play.

    Many brass teachers are unaware of basic embouchure patterns that are correct, but work in different ways. One of the less common types includes a mouthpiece placement with more lower lip inside (sometimes even placed on the red of the upper lip) and also uses the embouchure motion to pull down to ascend. Because this "low placement" type is less common, and because it doesn't respond very well to certain types of instructions that work well for other embouchure types, many people simply assume it's wrong. Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, Dennis Brain, Doc Severinson, J.P. Torres, Kai Winding, and Dick Nash are just some of the brass players I can think of that have a "low placement" embouchure type.

    Your mouthpiece placement and embouchure type is selected by your physical anatomy, not by how your favorite player plays, how your teacher plays, or how you choose to play. You can learn to play, to a certain degree, on an embouchure type that doesn't match your face, but it won't work as well as playing in a correct way for your anatomy.

    Again, I haven't watched you play, so I can't really say that your embouchure issues are related to placing the mouthpiece lower. Wherever it happens to be where it works best, then try learning to play your entire range with that placement so that you're not allowing the mouthpiece placement to slide around on the lips. Keep a little more of the weight of the mouthpiece on the lower lip and make sure you feel a good foundation of teeth and gums behind the lips. Keep your lips firmed, especially at the corners, so that you don't end up pinching or twisting up your lips with the rim.

    Again, treat all my advice with some skepticism. Talk to your teacher about this when you can, be patient, and have fun.

  5. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    This is definitely a private instructor issue ... my guess is you are pointing your horn downwards and as you curl in your lip to play higher the mouthpiece naturally slides down ... onote: if you start playing around with your horn angle or lip placement without seeing your instructor first you will probably make things worse ...
    The Good .. you seem to know what is happening
    The Better... you have an instructor
    The Bad .... well no bad as long as you don't start screwing around with your embrouchure.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    IF we have a decent daily routine, we are building positive habits that improve with time and are suitable for our level of development.

    Issues like the mouthpiece sliding around are very indicative of simply practicing too little and too brutally when we do get around to doing something.

    We do not need any intensive analysis here. The thread owner needs to spend more time building strength through many (100s) low impact repetitions instead of trying to bang out higher notes. The real winners for firming things up are lipslurs and long tones.

    Google is often our friend when it comes to spelling. We have chops and embouchure to build.
  7. wilktone

    wilktone New Friend

    Jul 18, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Sure, but I would qualify that with a big "it depends." It's not uncommon to find players who slide the mouthpiece around on the lips to different spots for a lot of different reasons, not always because of a lack of strength caused by not practicing enough.

    Although the analysis I'm encouraging is not widely understood, it certainly isn't "intensive." The link I posted in my earlier message should be have enough info to give anyone curious enough to look at embouchures around them in person the background to discover its validity (or lack thereof) for themselves.

    Take a skeptical attitude to my suggestions and confirm for yourself. Ask your teacher for help with this, for anyone who doesn't have the experience yet to put my resources into context.

  8. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    Those are good posts Dave.

    Again all pure speculation but could this cat possibly be a dry lip player? It would be a question of interest to me.

    I know Reinhardt generally discouraged a dry setting so long as it was possible for the trumpet player to blow wet. And it makes sense. Of course it is a digression from the topic.
  9. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

    May 15, 2011
    I totally understand this is a difficult topic to discuss since like pretty much everyone has said, you haven't seen me play and I truly do understand that it is hard to give someone advise on something that you have to see to critique. I am going to see my private lesson teacher soon, so maybe Ill begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon! I do thank everyone for their input and support, it really has helped, and that is deffinentaly what I need right now! I think anyone who has had lip problems before know it kinda sucks!
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

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