high note embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by j4k8, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. j4k8

    j4k8 New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    the band stand
    hello, im not new to trumpet playing but i am to high notes. i, at this time dont have private teacher (im working on it) and my bd says to pull the corners of my lips back and raise the tongue....so is he right or not??:dontknow:
  2. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Whom is a bd? He/She/it is wrong. You need a teacher.

    The origin of this error goes back to the Arban manual in which the publisher misinterpreted setting of the corners. The new Arban has been edited by a panel of educators associated with the international trumpet guild.

    One more time. You need a teacher.
  3. patdublc

    patdublc Pianissimo User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Salisbury, MD
    That pulling the corners back recommendation by your band director (bd) sure isn't something that I would advise. Some people can play successfully with that type of embouchure, but it is not what I would call normal. That's my opinion, others may disagree.

    I also agree with stchasking on the private teacher part. Get the best private teacher that you can afford and let them help you develop all the facets of your playing.

  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    High notes are not a function of your embouchure alone. Reliable high notes start with superior breathing habits. That is not self help stuff. Once your breathing is together, then there are exercizes to strengthen your chops. Pulling the corners back is a very easy way to wipe out your chops in very short order.
    Getting good is much easier when you have experience on your side. Get a teacher!
  5. pipedope

    pipedope Pianissimo User

    Sep 2, 2007
    Pulling the corners back (like in a smile) is generally a bad thing.
    Raising the tongue is good for higher notes, think Eeee or Tee and push the air a little harder.

    A good teacher will save you far more pain and suffering than the cost and work of the lessons.

    Remember, a good teacher will direct you as it will help you best with your strengths and weaknesses now. Anyone online is guessing and/or giving very general ideas for you to consider.

    While you are looking for a teacher (preferably one who plays Trumpet) I suggest going to Eric Bolvin's web site and watching all of the videos there. Some are just fun and others make things easy to understand that are not always easy.
    Especially watch the videos for the book, "Tongue Levels and Air."
    ::: Eric Bolvin Music Studios - Publications ::: TONGUE LEVEL & AIR
    I don't know if you are ready for that book or not but the video might help you understand the use of the tongue and air as you move up or down in range.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    "Pulling the corners back" may be good advice in your specific case, or it may not. Generally, the resting position of the lips is like they are when humming with an open jaw. To this we'll add tension by tightening the corners, bringing them toward our eyeteeth, and use the surrounding muscles to keep the embouchure formed under the stress of blowing/playing.

    To use the ancient rubber-band analogy, we can get a higher pitch out of a plucked rubber-band by stretching it (which pulling the corners back, as in smiling usually does) but this makes the rubber-band thinner and more likely to break. We can also get a higher pitch by using a shorter rubber band. To do this we use the muscles of our embouchure; as it has been so often repeated in this thread, a good trumpet teacher can work wonders not only for the upper register, but all other aspects of trumpet playing, and this will make practice really, really fun!

    Good luck!
  7. AamirH

    AamirH New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    call me crazy but i stumbled upon this post while practicing my high notes. I tried pulling back my lips, left my tongue where it was however, and I found that it was much easier to play higher notes.
  8. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Congratulations. You just implemented a bad habit.
  9. AamirH

    AamirH New Friend

    Oct 7, 2007
    Thanks for the head's up. I'll stop immediatley.
  10. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Pianissimo User

    Jun 23, 2006
    I have heard some say "smile" but I have heard more negative things about it. Personally, I loose all cushion when I pull my corners back and cant play high. Especially for extended periods of time.

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