Embouchure. Natural or Tweak.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by AndyC180chicago, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. AndyC180chicago

    AndyC180chicago New Friend

    May 1, 2009
    I know that this is kind of a broad question. But IN GENERAL, do you think it's better to leave someone's embouchure to naturally develop? or to tweak it into working the way that it should?

    B15M likes this.
  2. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    It's not just a broad question, it a loaded question. It certainly depends on what you mean by "should" - who is deciding what anyone's embouchure "should" work like? And what exact changes would be made to make it work like it "should"? Certainly there are principles which can help an embouchure "naturally develop" in a more effective manner but without someone who is very knowledgeable observing the current direction of development, there is no way to say that any sort of "tweaking" could help someone. So, in general leave it alone. It could get tweaked in the wrong direction.
  3. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Yeah, I'd say that if you have to ask the question here, you ought not be changing folks embouchures.
  4. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    Well, in about 6th grade mine was developing in such a way that it began to become detrimental to my playing (i played with almost NO top lip, it was horrible). I tweaked it, and now I play pretty close to 50/50, and 5 years later I'm better that I ever would have been with that old embouchure.
    Strange thing is, my sister had the same problem on horn.

    I I say let it go to a certain extent, but if it's totally off the wall weird and is making negative progress, fix it!
  5. Phil

    Phil Pianissimo User

    Jun 7, 2009
    Read Trumpet Technique by Frank Campos. He devotes an entire chapter to the embouchure, its problems, and solutions. In general, DON'T touch a working embouchure. If it is necessary to change, the student needs to work one on one with a pro for the entire duration of the process and thensome on a weekly basis.
  6. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    A teacher of mine said that embouchure "change" was evolutionary, not revolutionary. Almost everyone's chops evolve over time depending on what and how you practice (and yes, you can evolve badly with bad practice). Of course, every rule has it's exceptions, sometimes an intentional tweak is called for, but only with guidance. As with any chop question, there isn't one ironclad answer.
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Evolution is better than revolution.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    In general, it is best to mention embouchure ONLY to your teacher. Putting anything embouchure in public just highlights the fact that there is no single road to success and equally as many ways to destroy it. It also brings out advice from players that have no idea what works and what fails.

    I will say that "tweaking" is impossible because embouchure is fine motor skills and they are developed by repetition. That only leaves naturally develop and that means there is no short cut.

    Even for the player that has been supposedly doing everything wrong and finds the optimal teacher, there is no "overnight" fix.

    That all being said, it would be ignorant to assume that anybody has a static embouchure. We learn or unlearn things every day. Our total experience reflects itself in everything that we do. Surrounding ourselves with good, gives us plenty of opportunity to get better, just as surrounding ourselves in bad gives us other role models. Life is change, it is OUR responsibility to make sure that we are moving forward.

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