Holding embouchure in place

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by stradivarius151, May 15, 2012.

  1. stradivarius151

    stradivarius151 Pianissimo User

    Mar 1, 2010
    Hi everybody,

    I can't seem to keep my embouchure while I'm playing. It will change shape sometimes to hit or hold a note. I think this may be hurting me alot, because instead of working one embouchure I'm working many. I've been doing long tones lately, which have helped a great deal, but they haven't completely fixed me. What else can I do to get rid of this? More time?

    I'm kind of interested in Wedge mouthpieces, but I'm not sure I want a mouthpiece to be the answer.

    If it helps, my embouchure is kind of open and kind of puckered.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I agree. Do not change your embouchure. You are confusing your muscle. Stick with the embouchure that works best at a comfortable range (like within the staff) and work on long tones, scales and slurs that build on this comfort zone.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You know, this question is NEVER asked by students that have a decent daily routine. The steady diet of breathing exercizes, long tones and slurs then easy tunes builds a foundation that allows for continued progress.

    If you had such a routine for the first 30 minutes of play EVERY DAY, you wouldn't have to think about this.

    Your footer
    is a BIG part of your problem. Loud does not build control until soft is solid. Pressure works. Becoming one with your horn also makes no sense. The horn is only metal and needs grease and valve oil. All of the creative ability is between the ears and only when the player is one with themselves can that creative energy escape through the lips and fingers. Decent hardware is INSIGNIFICANT until the player actually has reached the point that shading is more important than developing basic skills. Successful basketball players don't wear one pair of shoes for their entire careers. That is about the requirement for hardware with trumpet players too.
  4. stradivarius151

    stradivarius151 Pianissimo User

    Mar 1, 2010
    That signature was just a joke.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    To echo Rowuk, playing softly requires more muscle strength from our embouchure than playing loudly, and might provide the wonders for your playing that you are looking for. Adolph Herseth used to move placement around if he started feeling tired, but he had the basics down, and while he could play wicked loud, he also could play wicked soft. Would a Wedge mouthpiece help? Maybe. Just as a Schilke, Bach, Curry, Reeves, Parduba et al mouthpiece or a new horn or yoga or TM (Transcendental Meditation) or multi-vitamins or a new philosophy on life might help.

    Good luck!
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    All of the above would help for sure. The rest - probably not!
  7. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    That's lunacy. Clearly a mouthpiece change is the only answer.
  8. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    How would a mouthpiece change help .....if the ops doing something else wrong. .....It would only create a honeymoon effect.

    The old adage ...........there must be something wrong with my equipment.........its certainty not me.....I'll just go out a buy myself a a quick fix.

    Rome wasn't built in a day and anything worth while doesn't come easy...

    Kind of agree with Rowuk here .........

    If you a beginner I would recommend that you see some who will be able to help you.
  9. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    Sarcasm alert.

    To the OP: Your embouchure isn't a fixed thing, set in stone. It's always changing, based on the demands of the moment. You can play all the long tones you want, but if you're obsessing about exactly what your embouchure is doing while you're playing them you're pretty much missing the point of long tones, and at best are only practicing how to play one note for a long time. As I said, your embouchure is constantly changing as you play, but the changes are too small to consciously track. So don't try.

    You need to adopt a routine like Rowuk described and concentrate on what's coming out of the bell, not what you're doing with your lips.
  10. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    In one of my recent lessons I was having trouble with playing a passage softly and accurately. My teacher asked for my horn and played it as he had instructed me to play it. He then handed me the horn and said, "it's a good horn, it's not the horn." We play on very different equipment. He plays a Bach. Not sure what bore and bell. Most likely it is a .459 bore. My horn is a lightweight .470 bore horn. He got the same results out of both horns. His next statement was, "what plays the trumpet is in the head".
    Spend your money on a good teacher. You will get a much better return on your investment. I promise.

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