Function of lower lip

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by frankmike, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    awhat is the exact function of lower lip. My teacher teaches me that it acts only as a support for mpc, that it isnt suppose to vibrate. And that only upper lip vibrates, or acts as a reed.

    Is that really true
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
  3. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Your bottom lip keeps liquid from falling out of your mouth.

    You need a new teacher.

    I would love to see him play without his lower lip vibrating!

    High school band teacher?????
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    here you can see what the lower lip really does:
    IWK Brass Research

    With all of this info available on the web, it is amazing how much "dumb" still leaks through.

    When I was in high school, my teacher had a mouthpiece rim mounted to a metal rod to help visualize the embouchure. This was not a new invention and that was 40 years ago. It didn't help me play better, but it showed me the truth.
  5. Glennx

    Glennx Pianissimo User

    Aug 16, 2009
    <gulp> I can't believe I'm about to write this - and be perceived as gainsaying two moderators(yikes!!) whom I greatly respect - but I was always told by some pretty amazing teachers/players in Montreal that the lower lip serves as a 'cushion', or 'firm pad' against which the upper lip vibrates...and that the lower lip doesn't and shouldn't vibrate.

    A simple test seems to indicate there's a fair bit of truth to this: place the tip of a finger against the lower lip (the part that would normally be inside the mouthpiece) while free buzzing, and gradually increase the pressure; the buzz shouldn't be much affected, if at all. Repeat with the upper lip (the part that would normally be inside the mouthpiece) and see what happens with only a tiny bit of pressure...

    And if both lips are vibrating at the same time, how could it be possible to ensure that both would be vibrating at the same frequency? (ie. pitch) Usually when that happens, one gets what we called a 'double buzz' - and not a very desirable sound.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  6. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

    Jan 21, 2010

    All I know is the American Navy Band that play trumpets with beautiful 'full' tone sounds with correct breathing technique say that only top lip vibrates. Not the lower.

    Since they are proffessional at what they do... I would believe that more so than what you read on here.
  7. Jcoffey

    Jcoffey New Friend

    Aug 20, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    dude, there are a ton of users on here that are "proffessional" at what they do. I'm not going to pretend to know the answer to the question, but I'm guessing that most people who post don't invent what they say. I respect the opinions of these people, and, honestly, is it worth outright insulting them if they are wrong? Be more professional, friend.
  8. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

    Jan 21, 2010
    I didnt mean it that way. I simply meant 'if you had to believe anything anyone had to say... my first pick would be the professionals you can see and hear before a 'name' you dont know on a forum'

    Not saying there are no professionals on here who are genuine people. Just if you had to believe a forum or a professional band that you know and can hear... the logical conclusion is believe them first no?
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
  10. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Whether the bottom lip vibrates or not is easily tested by anybody -- get a buzz going without the mouthpiece and gently put your finger on the lower lip just under the center and you'll find that the buzz in that location stops. Seems pretty clear to me that the lower lip vibrates.

    Just because someone (or several somebodies) are great trumpet players doesn't mean they know anything objective about the mechanism they're using. When something is clearly observable and testable by anybody, there's no need for "expert" testimony.

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