Embouchure change?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hoss4476, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Rowuk!
    It's great to hear from you!! Happy New Year!!!
    You stated:
    NEVER can you reduce a playing problem to one thing-NEVER. That does not mean that every position is the same - but I never said that. Everything is connected. Realizing that is the first step to effectively helping someone.
    I have to agree. But just like a heavy footed driver of a car. Many parts are at work but if I can get them to reduce the pressure on the gas peddle, they will get less speeding tickets. Sometimes adjusting one thing can cause a host of other things to align.
    For example, proper adjustment of the horn as we ascend and decend can make a big difference.
    Successful playing is ALWAYS the connection of many factors. Changing the embouchure does NOT connect breathing, hearing and body use - in my experience where most of the sins start.
    Yep, I agree. Unfortunately many people see an embrochure change (along with a screamer mouthpiece) as "the silver bullet" and will turn them into Phil Smith in six short weeks. Proper consistent practice is what's required.
    If a dedicated player does not have range after years of practice, then no silver bullet will cure that.
    That in my opinion is a problem. If a person can not play in the register the music is written (for example E or F above high C), then they are using some faulty mechanic (usually forcing something). High notes are not hard. they just take more focus because the partials are closer together in the upper register. The neat thing is that fingering is sometimes optional when you get that high.
    Range starts with a relaxed body, breathing and well developed habits in the lower registers. It continues with a methodical approach to improving what needs to be and not just beating the chops up.
    The only thing I would add to this is that they need to be able to hear the note in their head and (for lack of a better way to describe it) feel the note in their mouth.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    OK, I think I'm getting it. Of course the embouchure alone does not make a trumpeter good. I would go so far as to say that the connection between the notes matters most. In order to get the sound inside our head out the bell it is imperative that we first have the sound in mind that we want to create. As a testosterone driven teenager I could emulate Bill Chase's sound at a mezzo forte because that was the loudest I could play my stereo without driving my parents crazy. This is one of the reasons I don't trust internet lessons.

    Agreed that trumpet playing is holistic, and requires a good mind/body connection, but I also of the opinion that there are choke points. My high-school way of getting high notes wasn't about air, it was about cheating with my mouthpiece position.

    To play well, we need to eliminate choke points. Good air is not going to fix a bad embouchure just as a good embouchure is not going to fix bad air.
  3. Hoss4476

    Hoss4476 New Friend

    Sep 30, 2013
    Thank you all for the advice on embouchure changes. I spoke to my director at school and based on what's happened, he has referred me to a local "chop doc". I realize embouchure is not the only problem; however, I do practice and I have a general practice routine of long tones, etc and it doesn't get better. So am I just supposed to quit because if I have a practice routine and I can't play well clearly trumpet is not for me? Hell no, I won't go down that path. I'm going to start lessons with a local professional at a local college that has a history helping with embouchure changes. Again, thank you for the help.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The OPs serious problem is he's working too hard. So he changes his embouchure. If he still works too hard, he'll wreck that one too. I agree with Rowuk.
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Testimonial time: I played with the same embouchure my since 8 years old. I did not begin to develop my range (above high D) until Grad School about 15 years later. I could get by with a high G (for most charts). I did it the old fashion way, practice and reading demanding charts. Tonight, 40 years later, I was popping off double high Ds with the same embouchure I had at age 8. What was the difference? Finding a kick A$$ Big Band, working the heck out of the charts, and RELAXING. Cause when you get to be my age relaxing comes easy. You live, you learn.
  6. afp

    afp Pianissimo User

    Oct 9, 2013
    Roseburg, OR
    The OP is most likely playing with too open a setting, which is a VERY common problem among young trumpet players, especially when they are pushed to get a big sound. If your embouchure is too open you have to resort to excessive air compression or mouthpiece pressure. Been there, done that, have the t-shirt....................

    So you are right, the OP is working too hard, but that working too hard is just a symptomof the embouchure problem he has. He needs to find a way to go to a more closed setting. A more closed setting allows higher compression with much less effort. He needs to change is embouchure so he can avoid working too hard...............

    Your personal example is not very helpful to the OP. We all know lots of players like you who figured out the right approach to trumpet (for them) at an early age. When you are on the right track then lots of practice is the secret ingredient that gives you success. If you are on the wrong track then lots of practice only reinforces bad habits which become harder and harder to break.

    It wasn't until I had successfully flown jets and raced cars that I was confident I could figure out trumpet. I was right where the OP is when I was in high school some 35+ years ago. I practiced hard for two years with the wrong embouchure and never improved. In my comeback, I IMMEDIATELY found my upper range by using a different embouchure and a approach to trumpet. I am still using that same embouchure, ripping out High Gs, and am closing in on DHC at 12.5 years into my comeback. Finding the right embouchure is a huge part of the equation...............
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Beware OP... I reviewed this video. It sounds like a shame operation to me. This is the same technique drug companies use to sell medications that have litter clinical value. "4 out of 5 doctors agree"... Buyer beware! All these big name trumpet players made it. If his clients number into the thousands, then yeah, he's going to get lucky now and then and have a student float to the top. What gets these students these kind of gigs is motivation and drive... not chops. Read or listen to some of Chris Botti's interviews and hear it from someone directly from the top. Oh yeah, Chirs never did mention Pops in his interviews.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Thank you for believing me as being young. I play with a very open setting because I play relaxed and let the airflow do the work (Airflow plus Ray of Power = Raw of Power). So this is not the OPs problem.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I agree, but just as headache is a symptom of migraine, meningitis, sinusitis, stress, pseudo tumor cerebri, brain cancer, etc... there are many causes of which an embouchure is just about as likely as pseudo tumor cerebri.
  10. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    As seems usual in this place, no one asked the OP to provide a short video of his/her playing, showing his/her embouchure? Why don't you do that, OP? Might help us to help you!

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