Help?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by LostTrumpetPlayer, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. LostTrumpetPlayer

    LostTrumpetPlayer New Friend

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    Jun 23, 2015
    I'm sure you guys probably get a million threads like this a day, but here it goes:

    I have been playing trumpet for about 8 years, I'm about to go into my second year of college. Last year I played in college marching band/pep band and throughout the year my mouthpiece continuously slid off my lips and without realizing it my embouchure began to slide lower and lower until the point where I was mostly playing on the pink part of my upper lip and using most of my bottom lip to play. Part of my top lip would also stick out of the mouthpiece. That embouchure worked fine for a while I could play high and loud, although my tone quality suffered a bit, but I would have periods where my chops would completely suck and I wouldn't be able to play even an E on the staff.

    Obviously, this isn't ideal, and I realized that I needed to fix this recently. But now, I can't remember where my natural placement used to before it started move lower, and with every position I try, I can barely get out any note above a C on the staff. To top that off, it seems like I can't even go back to the low placement a few days ago.

    This is really frustrating and it feels like I can't even remember how to play trumpet, even though I work hard and practice every day.

    Any advice to help me find my embouchure? I really need to get back into shape before band camp starts in August.
     
  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    Put the mouthpiece where you know it should be and realize you're kinda starting over. Just guessing but you'll probably get that C by the end of the day. Just sayin
     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to TM, LostTrumpetPlayer! The problem, as I understand it, is that the mouthpiece will slide down your lips despite your best intentions, and I'm guessing that you hold your horn straight out when you play. A what mouthpiece are you presently playing on, LostTrumpetPlayer?
     
  4. LostTrumpetPlayer

    LostTrumpetPlayer New Friend

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    Jun 23, 2015
    The problem is that I can't really remember 'where it should be'.

    Vulgano Brother, currently I'm playing on a Faxx 3C, the real problem isn't the mouthpiece sliding off of my face though. It's that the sliding caused me to adopt an mouthpiece placement which was much lower than what I've always played and now I'm trying to find my embouchure again.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    If you can, borrow a bunch of mouthpieces of different sizes for a day. Play each one for about 10 minutes or so. This will confuse your chops. Then plug in your Fazz3C, and in front of a mirror, put it to the old (good) spot. Play a few notes, take the mouthpiece away from the chops, reset (looking at the mirror), lather, rinse, repeat.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    When looking for the real problem, it is often possible to confuse the symptom with the underlying root evil.

    Let's get serious, the mouthpiece doesn't just slide down by itself. The mouthpiece moves as a reaction to something else. From what you describe, that "something" is trying to play high notes without a solid practice routine. Subconsiously you have discovered that less lip at some point in time "worked", at least for a while. If you had built decent chops with traditional methods of a solid daily routine with long tones, lip slurs, breath support development, body use, you would have not needed the slide accompanied by high pressure (you didn't mention it, but it goes hand in hand with the symptoms that you mentioned.

    The road back is easy -but takes months and probably should look like this:
    1) Quit all ensembles that need high notes and endurance for the rebuild period. We automatically do bad things when our chops are weak!
    2) Start practicing VERY softly.
    3) Use lots of long tones and easy lip slurs
    4) get a successful trumpet player to look at your deficient breathing and posture and make recommendations. Follow them!
    5) even if after 4 to 5 weeks things improve ( if you have a decent routine, are playing softly EVERY DAY, things will improve), resist the urge to jump into high notes or into ensembles needing long, loud, fast or high. You need MONTHS of solid development to get chops strong enough to avoid compensation. You need solid habits that replace the old ones. That means hundreds to thousands of repetitions.

    Lips slurs, properly monitored will help the embouchure improve through evolution instead of revolution. A fine embouchure is not a fixed position on the face. It is always fine motor activity "in development" and requires dedication. Bad evolution got you where you are. The reverse process is equally long and will not be something measured in days or weeks, rather months and years.

    Good luck.
     
  7. PelicansRule

    PelicansRule Pianissimo User

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    'You could try a different mouthpiece like the VINCENT BACH 7C which is known for it's "grip". It's what i'm using currently. And for decades.
     
  8. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    I must say that being used to a Getzen 5C on my B47 or a Blessing 1 1/2c on my old collegiate, I'm reall diggin the VB 7c with my collegiate cornet-it's the first Bach mouthpiece I've ever owned
     
  9. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    +1 on Rowuk's reply.

    Mike
     
  10. LostTrumpetPlayer

    LostTrumpetPlayer New Friend

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    Jun 23, 2015
    Thanks. I appreciate it Rowuk and everyone else who commented.

    I don't want to make it sound like I was trying to get high notes without practicing ever. I practice every day with long tones and slurs, and before this year in college I had a decent chops where I could hit high notes. The problem is that I was coming off of a long break until a few weeks before I went into band camp and I really couldn't keep up with everyone else in terms of endurance, so I compensated and found an easy way out. At this point I can't really back out of doing marching band, but I may try to switch to 2nd/3rd trumpet.
     

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