high note embouchure

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

  1. andredub

    andredub Pianissimo User

    Oct 16, 2005
    While it may look like some pros smile when they play high, it is almost always an illusion. It is in fact just the tightening of the corners, while actually they are putting more chop into the mouthpiece. Get a teacher, but for the time being I'd advise against smiling. Go high with air, not shortcuts!

  2. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Try this with your lower jaw jutted slightly foward curl your lower lip over your lower teeth a little, as you try to play higher curl your lower lip and push your bottom jaw foward, this will give you natural pucker in your top lip,experiment using a pivot and lay off the pressure.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    ..........and when you have to play wide intervals you will throw your jaw out of joint! Moving your jaw back and forth only serves to increase pressure on the upper or lower lip - definitely not my take on improving anything. That being said, generally moving the jaw forward does work for some players, turning them from downstream to upstream. The jaw stays put however. The "pivot" is more of a compensation for other things that don't work. Any of the pivotmasters I have talked to could not explain how that would work with the Carnival of Venice - wide fast intervals are almost impossible. In any case learning to pivot needs a good teacher.

    Any of the advice MAY be good or bad and just because it works in one case, it can be poison for another. Changing embouchure is measured in months and years so just "trying" something out is not that easy.

    For a decent upper register, you need to get your breathing and body use together first. THAT is safe and uses your present embouchure. Chopbuilders like slurs, long tones and pencil trick are the next step. That will improve every aspect of your playing. If you still NEED more range after that, specialized help is the only answer!
  4. Bloomin Untidy Musician

    Bloomin Untidy Musician Piano User

    Jan 14, 2008

    Is the pencil trick used for building muscles, or is there another reason for using? If so what is it?

    If it is used for building muscles, how useful is chop "weightlifting exercises"?
    I understand that it is important to build the muscles of the embouchure, but what does this do that doing a good 2 hour rehearsal doesn't do?
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    the pencil trick is used to strengthen the "corner muscles". It is only an addition to an otherwise complete routine. You only need about 5 minutes a day and it does help control. It does not replace anything else.

    The disadvantage of a 2 hour rehearsal is that you have to do what is necessary to get through, and that is not always what is good for your chops. Dedicated practice builds good habits that you can draw on in the future.

    I teach air and embouchure as an entity. That is the only way to get it right!
  6. Bloomin Untidy Musician

    Bloomin Untidy Musician Piano User

    Jan 14, 2008
    Cheers Rowuk, for the quick answer.
  7. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    For me good air support and an well functioning embouchure are just a result of a good mental sound concept. As Bill Adam says it:

    "The sound is the basic thing. If you hear the sound, and then as you practice and work on the sound, then all the other byproducts of the sound become results of what it takes to play the sound."

    You can only develop a good high note embouchure by practicing in the upper register with a good sound concept. No pinching. That will strengthen the all muscles needed to get the endurance. It does the same as the pencil trick but the muscles don't get that stiff, they stay flexible if you do it right.

    Maynard wrote a nice article about this subject:

  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I would say -- the smile enbouchure is great for up to G on the staff -- it is the fastest way to get a band. BUT I thought that advice was good for most of 30 years playing.. but for range and endurance a "pucker" embouchure is what I changed to -- add more lip and small aperture -- and lots of practice, and wahla -- high notes, and endurance, and more practice time with less injury to lips -- long notes, soft notes, scales, lip slurs, and lots of practice -- it all takes time (years) -- so don't give up, be happy and play longer and higher, and better tone
    hope that helps,
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    There are no rules. I have seen huge discussions on here over the years. Pro players that play so well stating how they play and then another pro saying that they do it the opposite.

    My daughter played trumpet in HS. They had a pro come in to give a master class and he told them to smile to go higher. I thought he was full of crap until I looked him up on line. He is a fantastic player. How can you say he is doing it wrong?

    All of that aside:

    When I started I used the smile method. Down the road a teacher changed me to the pucker method. I had better results with the pucker and that is what I teach my students.

    I use the back of the tongue raise method. I try to keep as open as possible.
    I think of yeaa instead of yeee.

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