Embouchure types.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RobertSlotte, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    There are many good reasons.

    Among them, just as has already been shown in previous threads, there are so many downstream teachers who force all their students to play downstream, which totally destroys the embouchures of those students who were born with upstream embouchures.
    (If 60 percent of all players are downstream, while 40 percent of all players are upstream, that is a huge minority of players at risk of being forced to play with the wrong embouchure because the teachers don't know any better.)

    It is amazing that there are trumpet players who think that it is good to analyze their trumpets and good to analyze their mouthpieces but it is somehow wrong to analyze their embouchures.

    If a trumpet player has never had any embouchure problems and will never have any embouchure problems, then he is lucky and he might get away with not knowing his own embouchure type.
    But if a trumpet player is one of the many who has had embouchure problems of some sort, then he had better know what his embouchure type is because there is a good chance that the solution to his embouchure problem is dependent upon knowing his embouchure type.
    Trying to fix an embouchure problem without recognizing whether the player is upstream or downstream is like a doctor trying to treat a patient without recognizing whether the patient is male or female ("Your problem is either prostate or menopause, I'm not sure which...").

    - Morris
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  2. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    Feel free to show us exactly which embouchure types identified by Reinhardt are "fairy tale" and do not really exist.

    - Morris
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Morris has provided us with some excellent first hand info from Reinhardt.

    If this thread stays as the owner intended "for informational purposes" only and not turn into a debate if it matters, is good or bad or any other sidetracking, we may all learn something.

    Most of you know ho critical I am of DIY embouchure, but that is not where this thread was intended to go.

    I agree wholeheartedly that knowledge of all the types of ways to get a noise out of the horn is not destructive. If more teachers were embouchure saavy, we would have a lot of even more current info than Reinhardts. Unfortunately, this type of research can dengenerate into "embouchure methods" that have more financial interest for the author than help for the reader.

    In any case, bring on the Firsthand Experience and leave the conjecture for the lounge!

    New research should include embouchure, info about breathing habits, info about jaw geometry, tonguing practices and for professional players perhaps useful range. For the amateur or casual player, range is not consistent and therefore a worthless statistic!

    I think it would be cool to know how many symphonic players are upstream and how many lead players downstream.

    Thanks in advance for not trashing this thread!!!!!!!!!

  4. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    I believe that Maurice Murphy is an upstreamer. But I have never seen him play a kelly crystal mouthpiece ROFL


    My point was, that teachers do need to know about, but students and even more begginers don't need all about those types...So I guess, that if needed, a competent teacher may have to explain in simple terms to the student how to get most of his embouchure without making a huge case of it. I don't think that we have a disagreement whatsoever.
  5. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    We can't. It is an obsession with trumpet players so we go along with it.
    Participate in the thread with some idea of what you do and it will go away, eventually.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  6. drncollazo

    drncollazo New Friend

    Jul 26, 2008
    ha ha ha ha...my goodness...Nice going Freedman...

  7. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    "OK, I know I'm going to go against the grain of some people's thinking, but there really is no such thing as an "upstream" player.
    Scientific tests utilizing clear mouthpieces, high speed cameras, and colored air show that ALL trumpet players tested (hundreds) actually blow down into the mouthpiece."
    Forum: trumpetherald.com

    David Hickman is wrong.

    I am an upstream player.
    When I place my lower jaw in playing position and buzz my lips without a mouthpiece, all of the airstream goes right up my nostrils.
    That is about as "up" as "up" can be.
    The same happens when I put my lower jaw in playing position and I buzz my lips on an open metal ring.

    If I buzz my lips without mouthpiece and without putting my jaw in playing position, I will have an airstream which is projected downwards.
    But that in no way demonstrates what happens during my actual trumpet playing, because in my actual trumpet playing my lower jaw is thrust far forward and my airstream is projected almost straight up.

    When an upstream player has 2/3 lower lip and 1/3 upper lip inside the mouthpiece, it is physically impossible for the airstream to go any direction other than "up".
    To go downward, the airstream would have to pass right *through* the fattest part of the lower lip inside the mouthpiece, which is a physical impossibility.

    I am, of course, referring to the airstream immediately after it passes through the lips in my upstream embouchure.
    Once the airstream bounces off the upper wall of the mouthpiece cup, the airstream then is reflected downward towards the throat area.

    In the same way, a downstream player has the airstream hit the lower wall of the mouthpiece cup, then the airstream is reflected upward towards the throat area.

    - Morris
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  8. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    Hickman divides trumpet players into two classes-fixed jaw and floating jaw. I don't have the book with me for the exact definitions. It seems that trumpet pedagogues are fascinated by taxonomy. I think I have also seen an open/closed categorization.

    I think Pat Harbison said something about students being much more dogmatic than their teachers.
  9. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Hickman's fixed jaw-floating jaw discussion was a real eye opener. He has some interesting pictures using mouth piece visualizers, not the clear plastic I thought.

    I am wondering what screamingmorris meant about David being wrong?
  10. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 4, 2007
    First, Hickman apparently uses the term "floating jaw" to refer to what Reinhardt called Type 4 embouchure.
    At rest the person has an overbite, the lower jaw does not stick out at all. We look like "Ferret Face" with the receding lower jaw on the TV show MASH.
    But when playing, the Type 4 person's jaw thrusts far forward.
    So the resting position of the jaw is quite different from the playing position of the jaw.

    Second, Hickman said this:

    "What we all consider an "upstream" embouchure is one that is usually caused by an underbite. Many players have been successful in playing this way.......Rolf Smedvig and William Scarlett to name just two. However, the airstream does not actually flow upwards.
    Here is a simple test if you doubt this. Buzz your lips (no mouthpiece) and feel with the back of your hand where the main body of air is flowing. Even though a small amount of air will likely flow straight out, the big majority of it will go downward (like a clarinet angle). Now, jut your lower jaw out as far as possible and buzz again. You will notice that the air still goes mostly downward."
    Forum: trumpetherald.com

    "My earlier point was that (IMO) most of the airstream actually aims downward when passing through the lips. Perhaps it IS possible for some players to angle the airstream upwards, but I think it would be extremely rare. Perhaps people reading this should try my little experiment (earlier post in this thread), buzzing the lips only, or buzzing on a detachable rim only, or visualizer. Feel around and see where THE MAJORITY of the air is angled. I have done this with hundreds of students over my 33 years of university teaching and have never found anyone whose air traveled upwards for the most part. We have even put a small feather taped to a toothpick just past the lips when buzzing on a visualizer. Same results even with Type IV embouchures."
    Forum: trumpetherald.com

    So we see that from that last line of the second quote, Hickman was telling downstream players to thrust their lower jaws forward and he was discovering that their airstreams were still being projected downwards.
    Of course.
    Because they were born with downstream embouchures.

    Then he said that he "even" tried it with people who have Type 4 embouchures.
    Well, I would HOPE so, since they are the only people whose results matter in the upstream investigation.

    He said that he has never found any player whose airstream went mostly upward.
    As I pointed it, if an upstream player like myself buzzes with jaw in resting position, the airstream is indeed mostly downward, but that is irrelevant since that is not the jaw position we use for playing.
    But when I buzz with my lower jaw thrust foward into PLAYING POSITION, then ALL of the airstream goes straight up, right up my nostrils, with no air at all going downward.

    As I pointed out, we upstream players play with much more lower lip than upper lip in the mouthpiece, such as 2/3 lower lip and 1/3 upper lip inside the cup.
    The lower lip projects into the cup much farther than the upper lip projects into the cup.
    That means that the airstream can ONLY go upward from the lips.
    To go downward, the airstream would have to pass right *through* the fattest part of the lower lip inside the cup, which is a physical impossibility.

    As Hickman discovered, if a downstream player thrusts his jaw forward in imitation of an upstream player, the downstream player will *still* have a downstream embouchure in spite of the change in jaw position.
    However, contrary to what Hickman claims, if an upstream player thrusts his jaw forward into his normal playing position, the airstream *is* projected completely upward.
    As I know from personal experience, when all of the air is blowing straight up into my nostrils.

    - Morris
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008

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