How to break a habit?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mamba21500, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    just to follow up on what Rowuk has stated ... you probably do see something but you are more likely missing something else that is causing the lip tightening ... or are doing other things in concert. Which is not possible to see over the internet.
    I do like Gary's comment about build up chops in the lower register first then the upper register won't require as much percieved effort.
    I have found practicing interval jump exercises keep my embrouchure more quiet ... which is possibly something that could help but if you can swing a lesson with a reputable instructor it certainly would speed up the process.
  2. Brad-K

    Brad-K Piano User

    Jun 18, 2011
    I also recommend a good teacher.....a good teacher, with an electric cattle prod....every time you do it..."ZAP!" ...I promise, you'll stop.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I made the same recommendation in a prior post, but left out the electric cattle prod... perhaps a hypnotist, tall slanky blonde in a tight fitting little black dress may be a better approach... I know my inhibitions would be cured by such a session.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    YOU have inhibitions!!!??? :shock::shock: ROFLROFL
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Hey! I've got problems, major problems ... Send the slanky blonde around to the Turtle Shed, I'll tell you if she is a better approach.:D

  6. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey

    You can't break a habit; you can only replace a detrimental habit with a productive habit.

    There will be a short term loss that will enable you to make a long term gain.

    In some respects it is easier to change an embouchure than it is to re-educate muscles as, at a subconcious level, they will want to do what they've been conditioned to do.

    Stretching and smiling are frequently associated lots of pressure, "upstream" embouchures and/or small proportions of top lip in the mouthpiece.

    I would not recommend changing your embouchure without watching how things function. You'll want to find a decent teacher who really knows how to reset an embouchure if that is your goal.

    Regardless, the Turtle makes a good point about use of a mirror and the kind of feedback that it provides. Watch carefully as you ascend and see exactly at what point the stretching begins. That's your baseline. You can begin to push on that envelope using harmonic slurs, slurred scales and chromatics daily - flirting with the next semi-tone above the baseline watching for stretching. In the short run, your range might diminish by about a fourth. Diligence and time will help you re-educate the musculature that you can achieve higher notes without reverting to your old way (consider reverting "cheating").
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Did you say you have a teacher? What do they recommend? Instead of stretching your corners back you need to tuck the corners of the embouchure. try this, tuck the corners back like you are making a dimple in your cheek. this is how the corners feel/move when they are working correctly. Now this feeling when you make a dimple is tighter than they will feel when you are playing. In fact most of the time you won't feel the corners working at all. But as you approach the upper register you want the corners to work that way. Not stretching back.

    When you start to approach the upper register and you feel the lips stretching back, STOP> try again with out stretching them back. Try to tuck them instead. This new habit should be worked on early in your daily practice. say in the first 15 minutes. Stop when you start to play the old way and start again the new way. Over time the new way will replace the old way.
  8. groverdot

    groverdot New Friend

    Aug 27, 2010
    I used to have a bad double buzz and also had the habit of applying extreme amounts of pressure to my face going up past C. For both of those, I had to recognize when they happened, stop, and reset. With my double buzz, it took me a few weeks of stopping whenever I heard it and restarting with a clean, crisp articulation. It worked though, and now I'm double buzz free!

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