Help Needed With Embouchure Stability

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpetplayer24, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Trumpetplayer24

    Trumpetplayer24 Pianissimo User

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    Hi,

    I have recently been playing the cornet a lot more due to a brass band contest and also have been having a go at the french horn. About three weeks ago I noticed that my lips didn't feel right when playing anymore and also found that I was moving the mouthpiece around on my lips while playing.

    I used to have a good embouchure. I usually play slightly off centre and the mouthpiece sits more on my bottom lip than top. I have great stamina and endurance. After having a lesson with my teacher last week he noticed that I didn't quite sound like 'me' anymore. I have lost my big sound and my notes tend to 'wobble', not by pitch though.

    He has told me to work on my lip buzzing, which is something I have never been able to do before but have noticed an improvement over the last few days. Long tones is also something I have been working on.

    Now that the band contest is over, I will be moving back to playing trumpet more and leaving the horn for now. I would just like some advice on any other ways to improve my embouchure as quickly as possible. I play for around 2 hours each day and plan to put in a lot more work over the next couple of weeks to improve as much a possible.

    Thanks :play:
     
  2. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

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    Hopefully you will get some responses from others more knowledgeable. Your teacher is in a far better position to evaluate and suggest than any of us. Did your teacher suggest you "put in a lot more work"? I refer to to this phrase because sometimes more is less in trumpeting, in my limited experience. Your mouthpiece squirming around on your lips leads me to think this might be your circumstance. Settling in with one instrument and mouthpiece while you work through your present issues is a good idea - no use dealing with more variables than you have to. Are you able to take frequent breaks during you practice time? Good luck!

    Jim
     
  3. Trumpetplayer24

    Trumpetplayer24 Pianissimo User

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    Thanks for the reply.
    He didn't mention anything about putting more work in - I already do a lot of practice and always make sure to take regular breaks. He has just told me to go back to basics. He said that this might have highlighted an underlying issue.
     
  4. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    What band and which area was that in I was at Darlington on Saturday for the third section (Wilby's Partita). Could be simple fatigue I suppose there is an awful lot of playing to be done in contest and in rehearsals for them. Your teacher is the best place so listen to him/her
     
  5. Trumpetplayer24

    Trumpetplayer24 Pianissimo User

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    1st Section London and southern counties area. It's definitely not fatigue I did a lot of playing last week but I had been feeling problems before this mainly when switching to the cornet. Now my trumpet playing has been affected.
     
  6. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    It sounds as though you have lost what I call "the sweet spot" on your lips throught a lot of switching and are subconciously trying to find it. I used to do that until I changed my mouthpiece to a pair of Storks 2B on cornet ad 3B on trumpet. Not a huge difference between them but both sit comfortably and mean I'm not trying to fight one with the other. I would go back to basics, long tones etc but above all I would listen to your teacher he she is the one on the Coal Face along with you as it were
     
  7. Trumpetplayer24

    Trumpetplayer24 Pianissimo User

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    I use 1 1/4 C on my trumpet and 4b on cornet. They have very similar width but I have been struggling with the depth of the cornet mouthpiece.
     
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    I would do what your teacher recommended. You might also try mpc buzzing in conjunction with free lip buzzing. That's a lot of switching around. I agree with Andy and Jim. You just need to get back in the groove.
     
  9. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    I concur with what several other posters have already hinted at: Switching between cornet, trumpet and French horn can get you into difficulties - if you use different mouthpiece sizes (i.e. rim sizes) on these different instruments and especially if the rim sizes are not too far apart. Switching between, say, cornet and euphonium is no problem at all - witness my late friend Alex Melville (RIP), who won a band contest on euphonium and then went to take the solo championship on cornet the same day. But there, you might in fact develop two totally different embouchures that don't molest each other. But with mouthpieces that are fairly close, things can get wobbly. And of course a French horn embouchure is a dangerous beast at any time.
    My suggestion would be: Leave off the French horn for a time. Concentrate on getting one mouthpiece to work on the cornet, and then get yourself exactly the same rim for your trumpet work. Need not be the same cup.
    I had similar problems, until I found the Stomvi Mouthpiece System. One rim (and you can get almost any rim size and shape you want), two shanks (they give you trumpet and cornet as standard, and you can add flugel and a lighter picc shank and different backbores) and eight different cup sizes to play around with. I've been using it for the last six years now, and apart from picc (which I now play with a Stork Custom Vacchiano 4E), I haven't found anything to beat it.
     
  10. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi trumpetplayer24,
    Just like most problems trumpet can be traced to air usage, Most problems concerning sound can be traced to listening.
    Some things to ponder:
    How do you sound?
    How do you listen to your sound?
    Do you know how you sound in different rooms?
    Do you project when you play?
    When you practice, what target do you play to when you play?
    When you play, do you maintain a good fat (spectral) sound?
    ---
    If this were my situation my recipe for myself would be:
    "I need to get the sound of the French horn out of my ears and get the sound of the trumpet back in my ears."
    I don't say this to be rude what so ever, but if you need info on targeting and projection, just let us know.
    Hope this helps
    Dr.Mark
     

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