Embouchure Help!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by barnaby jones, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. barnaby jones

    barnaby jones New Friend

    Feb 17, 2015
    I started an embouchure change recently (few weeks ago) and I'm seeing development but my tone, but I'm not sure why. I remember my band director once mentioned something about the sound being subject to which part of the lips we're vibrating. I asked my teacher how to improve upon my tone and he told me i have to find out how to produce that nice sound, as if i was doing something wrong and my embouchure was already developed. (I've been playing 7 years now) I would really like to figure out what exactly makes a "good tone" so i can hammer out whatever needs to be done and get back to really enjoying that beautiful trumpet sound. Thanks
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Welcome to TM, barnaby jones! Yours is a really tough question to answer without hearing and watching you play. At most we can offer general stuff: good use of air, the lips together, corners firm are all universal to a good embouchure. A good way to improve our sound is to listen to good (and great!) players and try to emulate that sound. (For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhHWscj_1vs).

    Your best help would to have some private lessons from a good teacher.

    Have fun!
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is no "intellectual" approach to playing. The tone that we produce is a combination of things: storage of "energy" covered by our breathing, the control of pouring that energy through the lips into the horn, registering the sound with our ears and then letting the brain tell the lips what to do.

    I teach a lot of students in exactly the position that you are in - played for a while, had what they had by "accident" or by "luck" and a desire to get it under control.

    I don't know who recommended the embouchure change or why, but that is generally the WORST place to start. My experience is that when we focus on body and breathing first, the embouchure usually regulates itself when we overdose on longtones and lipslurs. Far less babysitting is necessary and the path is much less frustrating.

    You need to get the basics down, the rest then will line up and the following steps become easy to identify and implement.
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    wow - is that your real name or do you have some affinity to the American television series ("Barnaby Jones" that aired in the 70's??

    embouchure changes take work, and time, and patience with yourself during the process ----- check with your teacher and see if both of you are up to this task
  5. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    To the OP -
    I have gone through the exact same thing you are going through. In 11th grade I did an embouchure change. It was the best thing ever for my trumpet playing. The teacher that helped me through it had decades of experience, so he was able to help me overcome some of the initial challenges. I would not worry too much at the moment about your sound not being where you want it to be. It has to grow and develop. I remember, very well, a specific instance when I was playing in a brass ensemble and I though to myself "Oh, that sound coming out of my bell actually sounds quite nice." Until then, I don't really think I had a very good sound. Just keep going and doing what your teacher has prescribed and don't worry about the process -- focus on the RESULTS!

Share This Page