Horrendous Embouchure....

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mrhello, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. mrhello

    mrhello New Friend

    Apr 16, 2010
    You know those high music school kids that play trumpet terribly and don't really care?

    Hi, I'm one of them, and I used to kind of not care, so I really have no impression on what I've been doing with my lips for the last 4 years.

    But now... I do know that I have this awkward embouchure so pitifully wrong and bad, that I can't find anything even close to it on google.

    My bottom lip is basically OUT of the mouthpiece. Someone asked me how my lips even vibrate. Apparently, like 1/8 of my bottom lip is actually still stuck inside the mouthpiece, which vibrates with my top lip. And the top lip is halfway in the mouthpiece. It looks disgustingly weird. Produces very bad playing results.... sometimes good sometimes bad + horrible endurance.

    The really bad thing is that I have problems getting into a proper Farkas embouchure. I've tried to completely relax, assume an M-shaped embouchure, buzzed and put the mouthpiece on (1/2 top 1/2 bottom) I can play a really nasty sounding low C, maybe a low G............ Any higher and it sounds as if I'm either not blowing air through the mouthpiece or that my lips simply stop vibrating. Yes I'm relaxed, yes I tried pivoting up and down, tried adjusting up and down, left and right, not pinching, not squeezing, tried from no pressure to lots of pressure. I'm sure a 6 year old who has never seen a trumpet can start playing a simple scale (which I seem to not be able to) after being taught how to properly set up an embouchure?

    I know you can't really help me, but has anybody got any experience with seeing some pitiful person with similar lips?

    (And I've had braces, I've a slight overbite, my lips are slightly on thicker side..... I dont think thats affecting anything?)
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I think that an internet forum is not where you need to search for guidance, unless it is for a teacher who can look at you, and hear you.

    You may or may not have a problem - but only working with a real teacher who can listen and work with you can fix it, or decide there isn't one
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I play over 2/3s on top lip, less than 1/3 on bottom. After several trys guided by some top trumpet teachers but with results that ended like your change, I have kept it. Biggest problem is range -I'll never be a screamer -but someone has to play parts 2-5.
    God made everyone different. It may be that you can find a placement that works better for you. If you don't, enjoy what you have and make the best of it. While the embassure experts often post as if everyone can be Maynard -well, I've only seen one Maynard.

    Note, my post is not intended to keep you from getting good advice and finding a better placement, it such is possible.
  4. a marching trumpet

    a marching trumpet Mezzo Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Murfreesboro, TN
    agreed, but you sound like how I was when I first started, I play with a more traditional french horn embochure (2/3 top lip 1/3 bottom lip) in my mpc. Now it really sounds like a pressure problem, my trumpet teacher told me to lay my trumpet on my kitchen table and play into it, dont hold onto it, and it should try to help you get out of using pressure just keep going and once you get out of using pressure to achieve notes then progress is alot easier to achieve. Change is slow at first
  5. mrhello

    mrhello New Friend

    Apr 16, 2010
    well i do have a question: can you people (or most trumpet players) lip buzz and then while buzzing, move the mouthpiece on to the lips (with a trumpet attached) and create a normal sound?

    if i tried to do that, the sound simply stops, it feels as if the metal of the mouthpiece blocks the vibration no matter where i put the mouthpiece - up, down, middle, tilted. it seems like i can't buzz then seal a mouthpiece over my lips with a bit of gentle pressure... without completely changing my embouchure into the bad one i have currently in order to make a sound.

    im guessing this ISNT normal?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2010
  6. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Your over-analyzing everything. You really really need to find a good trumpet teacher who can look at and hear you in person.
  7. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    Farkas, M-shape, pivot?????

    You've been reading too many internet forums. If you can't play the horn well and your embouchure setting is really screwed up (not just a little high, low, off-center, etc.) and you want to change then you need to find a good trumpet teacher and make a change.

    Get off of the forums, and spend time with a teacher and develop a game plan for success. Doing this yourself will do more harm than good.

    Come back in 6 months and let us know how you're doing, but there are so many different schools of thought here that any advice you get will just confuse your situation even more.

    I don't think the OP is referring to playing in the stratosphere here. He seems unable to play the horn well at all. His current setup doesn't allow him to do anything well. Sounds like what he's doing won't let him cover those 2 - 5 parts.

    And I respectfully disagree with you about range. Barring any facial abnormlities I think anyone with the right instruction, patience, and practice time can play above high C.

    I AGREE that there was only one Maynard, but in my opinion his range was only part of what made him unique. There were screamers before and after Maynard, but his sound, style, and music are what separates him.
  8. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Agreed. I reread the post and didn't pick up on how bad the playing is with the current embassure-only spotted what he said about trying to model a classical one before. Best thing he could go is get advice and guidance from someone who is good with working with chops. It is almost impossible to offer meaningful suggestions without seeing it. More than likely, he could see improvement with some experienced help.
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    mrhello, do you have a web cam. I've had 30+ years helping students with bad playing habits. The first session is free.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Farkas was a horn player. That is not a good place to start to look for help. Get local help. I am not criticizing internet help, but the guilty consience when you see the reaction not having done what your teacher told you to a week earlier is one of the most significant benefits of a real person instead of a webcam. There simply is no cheating with a live one on one student/teacher experience..... It is like getting a ticket from a real cop after speeding instead of a fine in the mail based on a photograph. The live situation has a better chance of changing your attitude..........
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010

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