Embouchure Change - Building Range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpetplayer24, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Trumpetplayer24

    Trumpetplayer24 Pianissimo User

    Apr 3, 2013

    I have been working on changing my embouchure for the last 6 weeks with guidance from a private teacher.

    I have gone from a very off center placement with very little top lip to a center placement. It feels very comfortable and although I have been making progress with developing tone and my lower register, I have seen very little improvement in my upper register since I started - I can't get past an E on the top space of the stave and even then I'm using too much pressure. I have been working on all the fundamentals - lots of long tones (in my comfortable register), lip slurs and scales.

    Can anyone give me any guidance on whether this is completely normal or suggest any further exercises I can do to see an improvement? I have been working hard every single day and it's beginning to get frustrating to have not seen an improvement.

    Thank you.
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I know a guy who at one point decided upon embarking on an embouchure change. According to what he told me, he was a typical player who had range to 2nd ledger C/D. From what he told me, this process took him almost a full year, and it initially resulted in a total breakdown of his chops and ability to play. By the time I met him, he could pick off a double C on a bugle with a 1.5C mouthpiece. I'd say to give it time to let the process work. At this point you are completely retraining your embouchure to work differently and to vibrate in a place where it never really did before, and that takes time. It doesn't surprise me at all to hear that at 6 weeks in you are still struggling with range.

    Here's a current vid of my friend - he has absolutely no limitations where range and endurance are concerned.

  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    It sounds like you're in the same place I was about 20 months ago.

    What has your private tutor advised you to work on? Six weeks is really very little time to gauge progress so far.
  4. redintheface

    redintheface Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2010
    Bath, UK
    It does take a long time to build embouchure strength, especially after a change in playing position, or so I found. One thing that helped me was remembering to have easy days and hard days. I still do that - I'll have days where I do a lot of heavy work, and then just take it easy the next day, keeping a good sound. The day after, I almost always get a semitone higher than usual, with less effort than before.

    I (used to) run half-marathons, and in training I was advised to vary my routine, doing days of sprints, and other days of long distance. Eventually I would vary the speed of sections of the long distance, so that my body never got stuck into one way of running only. This was helpful when the half-marathon had any major hills up or down. What I found was the same - days after I had done a lot of work, my muscles were tired, and I needed to take it easy, to let them recuperate. If (and when) I let them rest by having an easy day, the day after that was much easier! I'd be fresher, faster, and fitter.

    I hope you find your own solution.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    When I moved my mouthpiece down to center, it took about 6 months for things to normalize--well, actually better than the previous normal. It is a process, and it does take time.

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