Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JMYSL, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. JMYSL

    JMYSL New Friend

    Jun 2, 2012
    hey guys, to say it bluntly. My embouchure has turned to lets just say..bad. I cant play with wet lips very well..my top has a massive pressure ring but my bottom lip has nothing and I fill very uncomfortable when playing

    any suggestions
  2. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    Not much we can do over the internet, however I'll do my best.

    The best thing you can do is get a good private teacher who can fix you up as best as he or she can.

    Try dry lips. It gives you more grip to play, however some people (like me) just can't buzz well with dry lips. Just test it out, see how it feels.

    Getting a faint pink or red ring on your lip is just normal after a decent blow on the trumpet. However I've seen people play with so much pressure this faint red ring has turned purple and bruised. So I can't believe I'm saying this, but don't practice too hard! If you're playing unnecessarily high (which I assume you are doing as it is natural to play with pressure when you play high), just stop. I used to be super concerned about my range, but then I had an epiphany one day that range is but one aspect of the trumpet. There are so many more aspects to the trumpet - articulation, dynamics, expressiveness and style are all equally or more important than a good range.

    Want a good range? Google Range of Complete Control and click on takata-trumpet.com. It takes a few months with the daily exercises but it really builds your range quite well. Also, pedal tones... i.e. the C below low C, B below low B, etc until F# below low F#.

    Consciously take the pressure off your lips when playing, even if this means physically pushing the bell away from you with your hand. Make sure you've got enough air, use it, support it, and you'll find everything just works.

    Again, take it easy when you play. Get a private teacher, they should be able to look at you and find out what you're doing wrong and fix it up ASAP.

    Good luck!
  3. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Just a couple of questions..
    How long have you been playing
    Did you change anything since this happened ..mp ... trumpet.. practice routine
    Did you have any dental work recently done
    Is your trumpet cleaned ( the inside)
    What is your practice routine
    Do you get private lessons?
    Breathing and breath support can cure alot of issues.
    You might try this warm-up routine ....
    start on 3rd space C ... hold it for 30 seconds ... take the horn off you mouth for 30 seconds ... then play 3rd line B ..30 secs ..rest 30secs ... do this all the way down to low F#
    Don't play too loud... listen to your tone and let the horn resonate.
    It's a great warm-up and will also help build up your air support.
    I almost forgot ... before each note... inhale ..exhale ...inhale ( do this nice and easy taking a full inhale and exhale) ..then play
    and as was stated...private lessons are the way to go.
    hope this helps ...keep us posted
  4. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    The more you develop your wind power, and through practice increase your facility in finding the right tongue level for each note, the less mouthpiece pressure will be necessary.

    1. LIP ALIGNMENT: The lips vibrate best when they are in line vertically with each other. If a player has an overbite, this may require extending the jaw a bit, or angling of the horn.
    2. THE CORNERS: In my opinion it is not necessary to have "tight corners" as some maintain. Firming the corners excessively will only cause unnecessary tension in the lips, the sound, and the player.
    3. THE PUCKERED EMBOUCHURE: The corners, rather, should in most cases be drawn towards each other, forming a "semi-pucker." With more lip in the mouthpiece the player will experience a bigger sound and more endurance.
    4. MY SPECIAL EMBOUCHURE: It is called " The Semi-Compression-Pursed-Pocket-Embouchure." This is a name I have coined to describe the type of embouchure I use when having to play for a length of time in the extreme upper register. For me it results in great endurance. Let me describe this embouchure in detail:
    A. Semi- compression: This means that the lips are pressed firmly together, but not "pinched."
    B. Pursed: To counter the possible pinching effect of the " semi-compression" the corners are drawn in, like you squeeze a plastic coin "purse," creating a small pinhole aperture in the center.
    C. Pocket: To increase endurance, I allow air pockets to form between my lips and my teeth. The mouthpiece, then, is not pushing the lips directly against teeth, and this is what gives greater endurance.

    I do not necessarily recommend this embouchure for every player, but rather I have described it as an answer to the many times I have been asked the question: "How can you play so high for so long?"

    Just before you play, stick your tongue into the cup of the mouthpiece. (Then articulate with the tongue inside your mouth, as usual.) this little habit will accomplish two things. It will keep the lips moist, and it will keep the aperture from pinching together.

    I think of my upper lip as the main source of vibration, and the lower lip, along with my tongue and jaw, as the main source of flexibility. Remember, when the tongue moves to the "EEE" position, the jaw moves with it. Being connected to the jaw, the lower lip moves too. The three work together. Herbert L. Clarke points this out in his book "Setting Up Drills" on page 5, and uses Arban exercise number 11 as a example.

    Bill Knevitt
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  5. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Worth repeating.

    A good teacher along with a consistent and well-designed daily routine is what you need.

  6. Rickyroughneck

    Rickyroughneck Pianissimo User

    Apr 22, 2012
    I notice that I have fallen into a similar camp to the original poster (OP). I have recently undergone an extreme mouthpiece position change, as previously I played "in the red" with the mouthpiece below the line of my upper lip and pointed further downwards than any other trumpeters I had seen which caused long term limitation to range and endurance.

    I am undoing bad habits by jutting my lower jaw out to provide support (whereas previously I drew it in) and rolling my tip lip in to get it inside the mouthpiece as opposed to outside, and moving the mouthpiece upwards so it goes above the tip lip. What happens is that as I start playing my top lip extrudes and the air stream (measured with my hand) goes from travelling forwards to travelling almost straight down. The notes I produce are extremely crackly, lacking in control with a pitiful range.

    I've identified my main problems as:
    -Direction of airstream
    -Overbite causing excessive pressure on the top lip

    My main query is about the mouthpiece positioning with regards to the position inner cup. The ring I get on my top lip does not extend above the lip, so the vibrating portion of my lip inside the mouthpiece is still entirely red.

    My questions are:

    -Do most trumpeters have white lip as well red inside the mouthpiece?

    -Do many trumpeters roll their top lip in to get it within the mouthpiece? (In videos I noticed Wynton Marsalis does this).
  7. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011
    I'm starting to redefine in my own mind what really constitutes a "bad embouchure". That many really strong players have developed despite having less than picture perfect looking settings.

    The O/P mentioned that he feels "very uncomfortable" while playing.

    Is he uncomfortable due to pain? Or due to insecurity about missing notes?

    We used to stick these kinds of trumpet players on on an Al Cass mouthpiece and tell them to go out there and "just tongue and blow". Winning major brass band competitions on a regular basis.

    Another cat i know locally is a fine lead player but his mouthpiece is in my opinion a little large for the kind of work that he does. My own being very small when on lead. At our last gig his endurance was cooked by the third set. Matter of fact I was the only one running with anything left in the tank at the end of the gig. And I played most of the lead book the whole evening.

    So: A lot of minor embouchure issues can be helped by proper mouthpiece selection. Choosing the right tool for the job.

    Beginners should consider a soft edged piece that won't cut off circulation. They also should look into a slightly shallower than normal depth.
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    If you can... try to find a good instructor to help yo uwith this.. someone you can trust .... once this stuff gets into your head it can really mess with you.
    I would practice long tones and listen to your tone... across all registers ... if you are in the red the lower registers will probably not be as full .
    Rowuks circle of breath ... basically inhale...exhale .. inhale play .. and stay relaxed.
    In answer to your question .. the top of the ring left by my mp is just in the white dead center across the two little parts of the lip that stick up ... I have no idea if that means the white is actually in the mp.

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