Embrochure issue

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Musochasle, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Musochasle

    Musochasle New Friend

    Dec 24, 2009
    I am 60years old and have come back to playing brass some 3 years ago. One issue I can't resolve is that my notes don't always start when I tongue and then when I have been playing for 30 mins, I develop a buzz which seems to be produced in the centre part of my embrochure. Sometimes if I have a break for a couple of weeks, I play better .....??? Any thoughts/ advice please? Am I too old to get any good?
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Go easy and play a lot of low, soft long tones, as well as a lot of tonguing exercises down low until your chops start to focus better. That's what I'd do.
  3. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    I would play plenty of soft melodies, lips firmly together, without tonguing.
  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I'll address this only on one point. In May of this year (2015) I'll be 79 and began my comeback after a 40 plus year lapse in 2006 when I was 70 and sitting in a wheelchair due to back injury ... and since have undergone multiple life saving surgeries and a complete dental rework and re-build of my embouchure. Still daily, I practice 1 to 2 1/2 hours of actual lip time in increments of 30 minutes with 15 minutes rest between segments of lip-time. Beyond that, I now play trumpet, cornet, mellophone in F, euphonium and bugle in G, the latter to occasionally sound live TAPS locally, and seasonally play with a local weekly gathering of musicians of all levels. Oh yes, I no longer sit in a wheelchair following back surgery, but have days that I utilize a cane and can drive again. I'm now also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and COPD, the latter from a smoking habit. Yes, in college many years ago, I did attain a minor in instrumental music with my B Ed. Occasionally now I solo in church and record, but mostly just enjoy my instrumental music during my retirement.

    Yes, go soft and slow and listen to your tone. Scales and Arban's I recommend.
  5. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    Am I too old to get any good?............The answer is no! unless you have any severe health issues.

    My experience of notes failing to start is mostly due to related issues of chops too tense and lack of air support, search for Rowuk,s posts on circle of breath and relaxed chops, this is what has helped me become from a mediocre 3rd trumpet player to assistant first chair in an amateur big band.

    I have just returned from an 8 day music camp, playing up to 6 hours daily, physically very tiring, chops in good condition at end.

    I will be 77 in 2 months.

    Regards, Stuart.
  6. Tjnaples

    Tjnaples Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Here is a link to Adam Rapa discussing many things trumpet, one of those is the embouchure. In my lessons with him he's suspended his trumpet up by the finger buttons and played a double C. Using as little pressure as NECESSARY is key, along with playing relaxed. The tongue and air direction into the mouthpiece all play into this as well. Start on page 5 and keep reading, saying "err" is a good starting point!

    tjcombo likes this.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Here is my take, one issue at a time:
    Generally, most players use too much "force" to get the sound started. They tense the abs to increase pressure and tongue very strongly to force the lips to vibrate. They NEED this force because the chops are not well developed and they mash the mouthpiece into the lips to get range. As the strength of all muscles is finite, after a while something gives.

    My solution is to take a major step back and build a foundation that allows the lips to vibrate freely. You can google "circle of breath" for more details on this. I advocate a daily routine designed to build good habits where playing becomes a much less forceful activity. Long tones exhaled into the horn with no tonguing is a start. The goal of this first step is to let us experience how little force is required to get the lips to "ignite". The long tones also give us a chance to work on sound.

    My first recommendation is to take a 20 minute hot shower BEFORE your next practice session. Notice what is different about being more relaxed. Over time try to identify where you are using excessive force. Post about your discoveries. The internet cannot replace a good teacher, but if you are more on receive than transmit (and your post seems to indicate this), there is quite a bit that you can interactively experiment with and benefit from.

    So, shower, then practice 20 minutes of long tones in the low to mid register. Do not use any tonguing to get the tones started, just try and exhale in a relaxed manner through the lips into the horn. Come back after a couple of days of this and you can get part 2.
  8. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria

    I had very similar issues last year. Six months of just playing simple hymn tunes without tonguing worked wonders. Get your lip working right first. Add tongue later when your embouchure has a solid foundation. I'm 56 and consider myself one of the young guys. ;-)

    Edit: But do the Rowuk stuff first!
  9. Musochasle

    Musochasle New Friend

    Dec 24, 2009
    Thank you...
  10. Musochasle

    Musochasle New Friend

    Dec 24, 2009

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