Full range of motion

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    Are there any good excercises for getting a full range of motion in the lips.

    Seems like playing the trumpet uses a very small range of movement in the lips, which is typically a problem in conditioning and is a leading cause of muscular damage.

    Naively I have been using an ear plug to squeeze on. This gives me a fairly large range of motion.

    Also are there any excersises for pulling the lips apart.
     
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Do lip slurs using all the valve combinations.
     
  3. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    That still seems like a small range of motion compared to what the lips are capable of.
     
  4. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

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  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The exercizes that you are talking about are essentially worthless. The motion of the lips is minimal - in the range of fine motor activity, not weightlifting. A certain amount of strength can be built with external devices, but none of them contribute to better sound, range, flexibility or consistency. They can only serve as short term substitutes for real playing when life is against you.

    There is only one satifactory method - play the horn, practice intelligently, develop a solid daily routine and don't forget, TUNES are the reason that we make music.
     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I agree - I tried the pencil technique for a week or so, but it actually made NO sound -- so I quit the pencil in the mouth routine and opted to play the trumpet instead
     
  7. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    I have tried that balanced embouchure roll technique from that exact video. I didn't like that at all. I just ended up ruining my seal and jaw position. I don't think the range of movement I am talking about can be accomplished with a horn (unless it was a tuba!).

    I think I mentioned rowuk's point which was that trumpet playing requires minimal movement. My point is exactly that there is minimal movement yet flexing of the muscles, which leads to problems in and of themselves. 1) The muscles could be damaged. 2) The muscles will have decreased flexibility.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been teaching for over 30 years and have NEVER had a student with "damaged" muscles. The embouchure is not as delicate as many would think. When an immature player "beats" his face up, there is no real "damage". It is just overuse that can be cured by a couple of days off.

    As far as motion, chops are synergy between breathing, brains, ears and face muscles. Unless we develop those things together, we have no joy. Throw the isometrics in the trash. They are not the solution, never have been, never will be. Once our playing has become predictable, we can augment certain parts by short sessions with strength building. Before that point, we are only making life more difficult.

    Trying out embouchures is ridiculous. We need months/years to develop or change habits. Anything less means that we were only fooling around and not really trying anything except our teachers patience...............
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  9. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    Not to quibble, but my teacher is a very large proponent of squeezing on things.

    I am just thinking that I need to do it right for it to be effective and not interfere with my playing ;-)
     
  10. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    I finally realized after a couple of years into my comeback that actually playing the horn was the most beneficial thing I could do to develop my playing the horn! WOW!! Who da thunk that!! ROFLROFL What the guy is doing in the video is basically a glissando. If you actually practice it with your lips,mpc, and horn all connected at the same time, you'll improve and you too can make a video and put it on the net. I've boiled down my exercises to:

    1- Play the horn
    2- Play the mpc in the truck ( if traffic flow permits;-)) because I can't play the horn well and drive.
    3- Occasional free buzzing when my hands are busy.

    You can use an earplug, just don't swallow it! My dog ate one and it wasn't a pleasant thing to pass it, if you know what I mean.
     

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