Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cloudnine, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. cloudnine

    cloudnine Pianissimo User

    Jun 5, 2008
    Thought I'd ask for some advice on a problem I've been having lately.

    Recently (3-4 weeks) I've been having an issue with the upper register (above approximately G above the staff) where my lips are being what I can only describe as "blown apart". I'm getting an awful flapping sound with most of the notes up there. Like I'm flapping my lips, but in the upper range and with the pitch sounding.

    I've tried to fix it (including taking a couple of days essentially off) to no avail. I haven't been playing all that long (2 years) and I've just recently started to try to develop my high range, but since it's a relatively recent phenomenon I'm concerned.

    What could this be? I feel like the air support is there but the lips are unable to "handle" it. I don't think chop strength is necessarily the issue - I play a lot and have since I picked up the horn so I feel my strength should be adequate. I don't want to try to put pressure on the mouthpiece or clench the lips either. Could it be a mouthpiece issue? I play on a standard 3C.

    Any ideas?
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    IF you had a decent daily routine, you would already have the answer. We have no way of knowing over the internet what that high range stuff has done to waste your chops.

    Get back into what worked BEFORE you started messing around with high notes. Get that solid and focussed again, then get a program worked out with your local teacher for "specialty" playing.

    There are hundreds of stupid things trumpet players do to get high notes. Picking out which one applies to you is really the needle in the haystack.

    That all being said, I know of no pro that claims their breathing or chop strength is 100%. Even Maynard Ferguson was a devout yoga fan.
  4. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    It sounds like you may be trying to push too much air on the high notes.Try practicing your high notes very soft, let the lips develop the strength for those notes before going for volume, rest often before you start to feel tired.Remember to still use breath support , but not for volume.
  5. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    The flapping sounds odd, though. Like your mpc cup is too big for you or something. Do you have access to others?
  6. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    This is not an uncommon problem for newbees looking to push their limits or comebackers like me who wish to do same. The infrastructure is just not always there, mpc placement can shift, maybe you were listening to too much Maynard that day. Mpc size may play a part, but I've had this happen to me in the not too distant past on the smallest of pieces. Rowuk, as usual, hits it on the head-- could be a number of things-- but this, along with pretty sounds like airballs, double buzzes, rasp tones happen when you don't stick with a routine and play under control. Use common sense, and think music, not notes. Swelling and fatigue can creep up VERY fast. Rest often.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010

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