Embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

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    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    Has anyone ever experienced an unintentional embouchure change as they get older? I've been playing for the better part of 18 years, the last few years playing professionally. I turned 26 in November. For some reason my embouchure just doesn't feel the same as it used to. I am using the same exercises I've always used and am playing the same amount as always. At first I thought it was a problem with Air. I am loosing range (something I prided myself on). Then I realized that my embouchure looked different than it used to. I thought about a lesson I had years ago. The teacher told me to try and use more upper lip.

    I've been really paying attention to my embouchure lately and noticed that there are times when I use more upper lip than usual and times when I don't. Could this be a result of a sort of "natural embouchure change"?
     
  2. Firestas'1

    Firestas'1 Piano User

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    Dec 21, 2006
    New Jersey
    I don't know about natural change, but I noticed a decline in my playing. I decided to start taking lessons again and it was discovered I had just developed some bad habbits that I had not noticed.
    An observer may be able to shed some light on what you are doing.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Every minute that you practice "changes" something. Every new experience also influences your entire being. Those changes are so gradual that you will not notice them.

    It is entirely possible that you have built some bad habits. This is why I have posted hundreds of times about each of us having a daily routine. Then we ALWAYS have a point of reference and such things do not go unnoticed.

    I can only suggest to getting back to the basics: Body use, breathing exercizes, long tones and light slurs until you have that point of reference. Changing something now is just a stab in the dark and you can't be sure of where it will take you!
     
  4. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    I agree with the above advice. Find a trumpet teacher with experience in assessing playing habits. Esp. fundamentals. A consistant smart daily routine has alowed me to play professionally for 40 years. It helps to establish a healthy consistant embouchure.
     
  5. Hoghorn

    Hoghorn Pianissimo User

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    Dec 30, 2008
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    OK Espirl,
    YOUR 26 Yrs Old ?????? AND saying you have a change in your chops, (God if I could only be 26 again !!!!! )
    QUOTE: "I've been really paying attention to my embouchure lately and noticed that there are times when I use more upper lip than usual and times when I don't."
    DON'T PAY SO MUCH ATTENTION TO YOUR CHOPS. Relax Bud !! 2/3rd bottom and 1/3 rd top MINIMUM as a lead player.....put MORE bottom in than top....relax and BREATH from your Knees !!!!!! Find your "SET" again and don't over think it. Rowuk is correct here !!!! As you improve and grow on the horn you change...it's up to you to play smart, by using MORE AIR than chops !!
    I just got done with a bunch of shows, with 3 different bands, my body is tired and so are my chops, but I STILL am playing "SMART".......understand, it's what got me through it.

    Hoghorn
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    At 26 yrs. old you shouldn`t be losing range but be gaining power, most likely you have developed a bad habit or two since leaving school. If you teach students ,then get in front of a mirror and teach yourself, I know there were times when teaching students ,I would remember things that I do subconsciencely after seeing the student doing them wrong , don`t be afraid to be critical of your bad habits.
     
  7. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Michigan
    Have you noticed any other changes?? 26 is a bit young still but your hormones could be off. I would have you Doctor check your Thyroid T3/T4 Check TSH, Testosterone and Estrogen levels. If any of those are off you will notice things like thining lips, hair loss, skinn changes in thickness and elasticity, body weight changes, cold or hot more easily or often, mental fog just not as sharp as you used to be, lose of drive and libido etc....

    Their are a whole host of issues for men if their estrogen levels get too high and testosterone too low or their thyroids go's under or over active!!!! You
     
  8. willbarber

    willbarber Piano User

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    Nov 22, 2008
    Medina, NY
    When I just started, I was doing fine, but after about 3 years of playing, the mouthpiece drifted down, because it was easier to hit higher notes.
    Luckily, after 7th grade, my director got me to fix it, and I play the way the Arban's book say, 2/3 top, 1/3 bottom.
     
  9. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

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    Nov 5, 2008
    Michigan
    I play about as close to 50/50 maybe 60/40 top lip to bottom lip. I tried playing 2/3 upper lip and 1/3 lower before when I was younger but it did not work no matter how hard I tried. My upper lip is just too full. I think this is why I favor larger flattter rims with medium to deep cup's. I know this is why I hate Bach rim profiles they just pin my lips to firmly in place and cause my lips to pucker more then what is needed. I do know though that just about all your well known players that play regularly in the upper register on stage usualy play with 2/3 upper lip and 1/3 lower. Their are exception to theis rule andmost of the exceptions tend to be players like me with rather full lips especily towards the middle. Some players have full lips from side to side mine start out rather normal and get thicker towards the middle then thin again as you approach the edges.

    In watching Video's of some of my favorites I noticed "Cat" from the Duke Ellington band and Dizzy Glisspie both appear to play more 50/50 then anything else but that is just opseration not fact.
     
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    Your mouthpiece should not be moving up or down on your top lip when you play. It needs to stay in one place. Why is it moving? can't tell without watching and listening to you play. If you have a web cam, I would be glad to take a look. If not find a pro teacher who understands embochure problems. I've worked with players with this same situation. I can tell you you don't need an embouchure change.
     

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