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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cmcdougall, Jan 15, 2006.
Manny, what is the ideal placement of the aperture within the cup of the mouthpiece?
Practically speaking, it's the one that gets the clearest sound in all registers.
I have always advocated the largest one you can get away with PROVIDED you get as vibrant a sound on a high C or D etc. as you do on a low G or F#. This is where chromatic studies are invaluable to us. If you're going on an embouchure safari, the place to start is the Clarke techincical studies. The sound you get in the most complimentary register is the one you want in all registers. It takes a strong embouchure, consistent, focused practice, and a good ear to accomplish this.
One has to resist the temptation to allow the embouchure to buckle when you reach a break (a point where the lips want to shift position in order to continue upward or downward). The jaw must stay stable and the wind very constant. Sound , sound, sound.
The nice thing is that one discovers that when you stabilize the embouchure, one is also using less pressure. It's a balance that you achieve through a clear concept of what sounds good. It may mean dropping what is familiar and comfortable in order to find something that has greater substance after a while of working at it.
Don't freeze your embouchure or aperture into place artificially thereby robbing it of the chance to be flexible. That's just as bad as anything else you might do.
Having said all that, the aperture is probably the part of the embouchure that you want to try to control the least. It should be something that responds to a musical command from the brain of a talented student or professional. The outer muscles are SLIGHTLY easier to deal with BEFORE you play but I would be very wary of trying to control the aperture for more than just one note at a time.