Embouchure Question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Joe N., Apr 1, 2007.

  1. Joe N.

    Joe N. New Friend

    Mar 22, 2007
    Before I ask, I'm 15 and a sophmore in high school. I've studied privately for two years, and right now I'm in the process of moving my mouthpiece placement up to a more centered position because when I played with an embouchure that was dominated by the bottom lip, it caused problems. As I'm getting used to this lip placement setting, sometimes my tone loses its resonance and becomes nasal sounding in a way. Do you have any suggestions about this or on working on a new embouchure in general?
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    I could only guess at what's going on and I have to depend on your description being accurate in order to guess properly. There should be no reason why a good embouchure would sound as you describe, so, i have to assume something isn't being described properly. Are you going to ITG? Maybe I could have a look at you there.

  3. Joe N.

    Joe N. New Friend

    Mar 22, 2007
    I'm really not that concerned as I have only been experimenting for a couple days so I'll keep fooling around with lip placement until I find a spot that I like and sounds good.
  4. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    You could literally go on forever trying new places until you sound good. Any new place is not going to be "trained," if you will, to play the trumpet. It's an unnatural act to blow into a tube, buzz our lips and sound great, so it takes time for the chops to learn how to sound good. There are lots of great teachers who can give you exercizes to do that will train the chops without your concious knowledge of exactly what the lips are doing, so the only advice I can give to seek one out. Most often a change to the chops will result in some losses before the eventual gains.

    Many times a "change" isn't even needed as the right teacher can "evolve" an ineffiecent embouchure into a functional one without having to restart. Again, consulting a great teacher in person is the way to go...

    Changing you embouchure without continued guidance is kind of like performing surgery on yourself. Not the easiest thing to do and not usually successful.
    Good luck!

  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Uhh, is the mouthpiece ring in the "red" of your upper lip by any chance?
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    What problems do you think you had before?
    Moving the mouthpiece around is probably not the answer. If you need to change then only once - and don't look back. Incremental changes do not help you build habits that are required to play consistently!
  7. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    See the attached photo.

    This guy is a hard working and successful pro and his mouthpiece placement is totally mad.

    Attached Files:

  8. tpetplyr

    tpetplyr Pianissimo User

    Dec 15, 2003
    My freshmen year of college my teacher (at the time) advised me to move my mthpce up out of the red of my top lip. Now, I'm glad I did it.

    Anyway for a few months, I really sucked. Range, sound (sound was much better after the first couple weeks), articulation (still working on that one but its pretty good now), all of it. Beginning of Sophomore year, I won principal in orchestra, and started getting better. Heck, now I'm almost respectable! Part of the reason it took me so long was that my teacher wasn't terribly good about showing up to lessons...I've since switched and my current teacher has helped me do wonders for myself.

    Anyway, my point is, sometimes you have to take a step backward to really improve. I am far and beyond a better player now than I was before the switch. Whether I'm better now than I would have been had I not switched I can't say for sure, but I've made more progress in the last 18 months than I had all through high school, so I'm happy with it in the end.

    So, if you trust your teacher, I'd say go for it. I can't tell you whether you need to or not, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. Just make sure you do it on sound advice and with good support.

  9. MLanghardt

    MLanghardt New Friend

    Apr 7, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    I'm basically in the same exact position. I'm 15, a sophomore in high school, and play off to the side with mostly my lower lip. My private teacher has just started me on an embouchure change to a centered position. I gotta say, it's been hard. It's been about four days now. My tone is weak and I can only play to about a C in the staff. I had a G above high C before. What it comes down to is, I trust my teacher and he has said I'm not going to be very successful without this change. If you think you have a good teacher and are willing to do anything, I think you should keep with it. Maybe we should keep in touch through PM's and see how things are going. I hope things work out for the both of us.
  10. Principaltrumpet

    Principaltrumpet Pianissimo User

    Nov 7, 2006
    north texas
    My teacher had me move my MP out of the red of my bottom lip in December of 06. I graduate soon and plan on going to grad school. He told me I would have trouble making it with my current set up. So I changed and I am so happy I did. I agree with Manny it is imposible to tell you exactly what to do with out knowing you, but this is what I did.

    After months of fighting him I finally gave in. I went in a practice room and put the MP exactly where he said it should be. (He claims 50/50 is perfect, i dont know that there is a "perfect") Anyways, I started on a second line G and played long tones alternating between going up and down by half steps. When I reached my range limit I did the same thing with some clark studies making sure to work the low and higher registers evenly. I practiced for a few hours a day and b4 long I was on my way. I also found that a LITTLE lip buzzing helped tremendously. I used to use a ton of presure, and when I practiced lip buzzing all I had to do was put the horn to my lips wherever it should be, and the sound came out easier. It was a long meticulous process and what worked for me may not be right for you. I just thought I would give you the details of my experience. I also did alot of the work over Christmas break when I had no other playing obligations and I could just concentrate on fixing it. Hope it helps a little.

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