Embrouchure damage from switching mouthpieces

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    I have been playing on a bach 1c mouthpiece for over a year now, and then one day I decided that maybe the higher notes would be easier to hit if I swtched to the Back 5c. I started playing on the Bach 5c for a few weeks after that. But then, I had a hard time with the 5c mouthpiece because the sound was always really small, so I decided to switch back.

    But after switching back, my lips are always unstable and end up acting like loose rubber. I can barely hold a note steady for 3 seconds before my lips start flabbing around making the tone out of tune and unstable. Does anyone think that this problem will solve itself as the days pass?

  2. DanZ_FL

    DanZ_FL Pianissimo User

    Jun 16, 2009
    Clearwater, Florida
    I would say yes. But, in my humble opinion, the road to solving the problem is practicing a strong embouchure that will stand up behind a large cup like a 1C.

    Early in HS, I got the "embouchure makeover" from my teacher, Delbert Dale, in Indianapolis. He was a taskmaster of epic proportions and was, in no way, going to go past week one of lessons without me getting rid of my dependence on the mouthpiece alone for my playing. Buzzing w/o mouthpiece was encouraged and done in lessons early on. He pushed for a 60% upper lip -- although I think he only did that hoping you'd get at 50% to 40% and away from 30%.

    Anyway, I'm getting off point, but I do not believe that the trumpet mouthpiece itself can damage the embouchure (unless, of course, someone slammed the front of your horn while it was on your face). What is perceived as damage is bad habits or lack of good habits. Practice buzzing w/o a mouthpiece. Use your "frown" muscles and not your "smile" muscles and you will eventually find you can play a range of mouthpieces and the reason for using a different one will be more of a musical one and less of a physical one.
  3. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I don't think changing mouthpieces can damage your embouchure. It's likely that whatever problems you are having now were already there. The mouthpiece change just helped bring it to the surface.
  4. cbdmd

    cbdmd Pianissimo User

    Dec 31, 2007
    East Coast
    Well said DanZ.
  5. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I would encourage you to work for having strong tight corners when you play. It sounds like you were relying on the 5C to do the work rather than your lip. If you feel this is causing really big problems that you can not solve, I would urge you to get to a good competant teacher and work with them.
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I have a lot of trouble switching mouthpieces. I have two that I use all the time and they are very close in size. I think that a 5 to a 1 is a big jump. You just need time to get used to such a big mouthpiece again.

    I will share some advice that never worked for me but it came from one of the best trumpet players in the world. I was having trouble playing on my lead mouthpiece. When Manny was posting here, he told me to practice on the lead piece more and the problem would go away. The problem never went away so I bought a bigger mouthpiece for lead. The point is that he thought it was OK to switch.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    No embouchure damage. It is brain damage (no joke).

    When we play, we blow to get started, the sound is produced and travels to our ears, is processed by the brain and then the fine adjustment takes place. If we switch mouthpieces, what we hear is different and how the chops react to what the brain tells them is different.

    Once we have succeeded in confusing the entire process, we essentially start over again. The only way to use multiple mouthpieces is to find ENOUGH time to practice with all of them.

    My suggestion to you: long tones and slurs with the 5C (not a very good choice for lead type stuff with most players though). and your COMPLETE routine with the 1C. You probably have 4 weeks worth of work to get back to where you were.

    If you think that the 5C sounds small, you likely have a problem with your chops with any mouthpiece though. That is a pretty FAT sounding piece in my opinion.
  8. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    it happened to me when I pulled that a few times, in my opinion just make a less drastic change, I have a loud 1.5 which is similar to a bach 1 1/2 C, but I tried my 5C bach, and I had the same problem, but hwen I went to a 3 I didnt have the same problem, in my view the 5C is to small to jump suddenly to, try a 3C I can jump back and forth pretty well on my 1.5
  9. deadicon

    deadicon New Friend

    Jun 11, 2009
    the world
    I switched to a larger rimmed mouthpiece to fix my embouchure problems...
    like trumpetmd said, it has really helped in exposing my deficiencies...(problems that were already there)
    I ran all around changing this mouthpiece, and that, then i realized a couple hundred bucks later that, like rowuk said,
    it's more mental than physical.

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