Embouchure Change Gone Wrong

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chopshop3625, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
  2. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    Lots of people have changed embouchures. Go to the one of the best college teachers in your area and study with them for a couple of months. If you listen to them and do what they say, and not try to fix things all yourself, everything should iron itself out in the end. There's no need to worry. I think you've heard and said all that can be said about embouchures on an Internet forum, but it is something only a live teacher can help with.
  3. Nikv

    Nikv Pianissimo User

    Jun 20, 2009
    Santa Barbara, CA
    I would just like to point out here:
    I really love this website.
    I love the access to good information from more experienced players.

    What I don't love, is some of the more experienced members' ways of dealing with kids. Embouchure changes are extremely difficult. He's probably having a lot of trouble, and frustrated that he can't play like he used to.

    Kids like these, that are willing to go through this process of embouchure change for their love of the trumpet, are the next generation of great trumpet players. He didn't come here expecting that much help, he came here looking for understanding.

    What he's experienced with professional trumpet players so far (his teachers) has been open-arms and understanding. He expected to come here and have a conversation like that. The fact that that wasn't the way we acted was probably painful for him.

    Now with that said, let me offer my opinion on what you should do. I went through an embouchure change. An extremely drastic one. But it might not take only a few months. Be prepared to possibly accept going to a CC for a year, before attending a music school.

    Here's what you should do. First off, I liked your original set up better. 75:25 sounds perfectly fine. But since you've already started the change, just compromise. Move it up on your face a little bit from 50:50, so now it's like 60:40.

    Practice whatever you have to practice for an hour every day, until summer. Then bump it up to an hour and a half.
    Make sure you have exercises that focus on a good warm-up (using long tones or mouthpiece buzzing with books like James Thompson's The Buzzing Book), basic flexibilities (very, very important), a few more difficult flexibilities (like Arban's page 42 or Bai Lin's book Note: these should also be practiced softly every day if you want to build your range), centering exercises, tonging (very, very important), scales, and transposing (bordogni etudes). Also make sure that 30 minutes of your time (of the hour and a half) is spent on music. (Etudes will suffice for now, until you get some chops back.)

    There will be a long period of time that will feel blank, and very frustrating, but just pull through it. This is why having a teacher can be good; to keep you on track and excited every week.

    Now, just be smart, and periodically bump up your time spent practicing. Just never have to wake up and play tired, that means your playing too much.

    I hope this helps,
    good luck to you,
    and I hope to see you at an audition one day.

  4. chopshop3625

    chopshop3625 New Friend

    Feb 28, 2010
    Thanks Nik. Embouchure change will always be a controversial, touchy subject. And everyone is entitled to their opinion. But thanks for coming to this forum with an open mind and heart. Trumpet players should be brethren!!
  5. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    If you have a web cam I would be glad to take a look at you. the first session is free.
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    You didn't say where your from , but if you can ,find a teacher that knows and understands different embouchure's . Unfortunately there are too many teacher that don't .They think the only correct way to play is the way they do. If you examine pictures of different players you will see many different mouthpieces settings and lip formations, what may work for one individual might not work for the next player, my point is to try to find a teacher to work with you and turn you into a clone of him.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    insolence? If you are having such a bad time, why do some of your other posts here at TM recommend mouthpiece switches? You talk about them as if you have the answers. What is going on with you? Switching mouthpieces will get some players into exactly the same trouble that you are whining about. Maybe it isn't your embouchure at all.

    The more I read, the more I am sure that I hit the nail on the head.

    If you are really having such serious problems, I would not in your case be telling others how to get better. You would be better off listening a bit more.

    As far as my students go, yes I give them the story straight. If they practice what they are supposed to, they get better. If they don't practice, they can cancel the lesson up to 5 minutes before it starts. If they show up unprepared, I send them home. If they call and explain the problem why beforehand, we play duets to work on "non-lesson" things. My students do not whine or brag. The horn does the talking for them, some weeks better than others. No disasters, no mouthpiece recommendations.

    I have only needed to "teach" 3 embouchure changes in 35 years. Everybody else got better through evolution.
  8. Nikv

    Nikv Pianissimo User

    Jun 20, 2009
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Please stop compounding the problem. I think he's heard enough.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am not so sure. If you read some of the other threads, it sounds like he has never had any problems at all.

    As far as compounding the problem, what problem? If what he says is true, there were quite a few good pieces of advice (including my first post). Giving them a shot would have been no issue, then he came up with this hot band thing and all of a sudden the story started falling apart. That paired with his mouthpiece advice to Passion shows yet another facet that doesn't fit. Let him squeal. Once he starts telling us the truth, he may be able to get out of this rut. Projecting it on a couple of teachers and other pros that he consulted, doesn't cut the mustard.

    There was an offer of a free internet lesson from someone who very knowledgably posts here. That would also be a step in a direction that could lead to relief. Let see if CS is even interested.................................
  10. Nikv

    Nikv Pianissimo User

    Jun 20, 2009
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Kids aren't always that coherent. Heck, adults aren't either.
    Maybe he was having a particularly bad day when he posted this in the first place. I wouldn't get too hung up on this. I think if he has the "sickness" in his dedication to trumpet, he will always end up with a solution.

    As a side note, keep in mind that although someone might be a professional trumpet player, they might not be a good teacher. He could very well have talked to some professionals and have them give him lousy advice.

    Edit: I went back to look at the thread, and not to make it seem like you're being a villain or anything, but it does seem like you prompted the anger a little Rowuk. His comment about his band seemed very innocent to me. In high school, bands can put a lot of pressure on people's lives. He would feel guilty, and be given a hard time by his peers in the band if he were to leave. In the US at least (I only say that, because it says you're from Germany), band, in many areas, has become nearly a handicap for the serious students.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010

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