Involuntary smile embouchure forming

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter3197, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    A sharp inner rim edge or "bite" isn't always a bad thing. Depends upon the trumpet player. I have noticed that on the more forward jaw trumpet player the inner rim edge does not contact the skin at a harsh degree. The upper lip sorta floats right on the flat rim of the m/piece. In fact he may prefer the sharp bite because he'll get more definition between the part of his lips that vibrate and that which doesn't.

    The receded jaw player on the other hand is likely to have his upper lip contact the inner rim edge at a much more pointed connection. For him a sharp bite is anathema. It sure was for me. The idea of playing a long lead gig with lots of high notes in similar league (to me) as walking on glass.

    I don't even like flat rims for the same reason: The flatter rim causes my upper lip to bend more severely at the junction of the "bite" or inner rim edge. Thus I use Al Cass pieces for EVERYTHING I do. All his pieces from tuba to French Horn have a continuous radius from outside the rim to inwards. A well rounded bite and neither too wide a rim contour nor too thin. Just about right.

    If it weren't for Al Cass I'd be just another run of the mill trumpet player. Or I might even have quit playing except as a hobby. I hate to think of how depressed I might have become had I never found his pieces nor took his brass clinic way back when.

    Ya know from that angle i suppose you could say that Al Cass may have saved my life. We met back in 1976 over a six pack of warm Esslinger beer. A six pack EACH lol. He always drank it warm God knows why.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  2. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    Hi Local,

    I hope you don't think I'm argueing or doubting you I was alluding to a discussion we had a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to reinforce to the OP that you know your stuff. (Oh and there's nowt wrong wi Waarm Ale)

    Cheers Pal

    Andrew
     
  3. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

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    Oh god know you're cool. Always nice to me and i appreciate that. Just wanted to clarify in case someone made the assumption that I always dislike the sharp edged m/pieces which isn't exactly true. In my case I rarely use them but they can work well for some other cats. And the symphony players use them exclusively.

    I've considered getting one with a fairly sharp bite just for those cases where I gotta come in cold on a lead chart. You know like after a ten minute layoff and something like a High D in an exposed places must be played out of the clear blue sky. And then only play the sharpie until I'm re-warmed up. Would have to duplicate my main piece in rim contour, cup depth etc and then just make the inner rim edge like the Bach pieces all are.

    In his talk about equipment Maynard mentions that the sharp inner rimmed mouthpieces do make your warm up quicker but "you'll pay for it at the end of the evening".

    "that'll be comfortable for about eight bars" lol


    see about 3:15 here Maynard Ferguson on Equipment - YouTube
     
  4. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    Yeah I've seen that Maynard Ferguson clip its one of the reasons I'm carefully looking at mouthpiece choice for non symphonic work where I would like a bit more "spheroidal objects" to my playing.
     
  5. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    Hey trumpeter 3197, looks like you’ve been given a LOT of great info here. I changed from a smile to a pucker set years ago. The benefits of the change were quite rewarding for me I must say. But for me, it took a lot of serious concentration practicing in the studio to make the change, and even months after “Getting” it I had to stay very centered mentally on it while performing before it went to muscle memory. After playing with a smile set for so long it took a lot of work to break the old habit. During this change I found that getting the air stream “Centered” in the mouthpiece was the huge key to making the change. If I was not centered in that sweet spot of air flow to the horn my upper range dropped as you say yours does. So I just wanted to put this bit of info. out to you to think about while practicing, to make sure your air is centered to flow into the horn with the least amount of disruption. You can tell when your there, your sound will open up with no change in the amount of air you move. When it does you have found the “Sweet spot” of your air flow. And it all comes down to air flow : ). Good luck with your playing !!
     
  6. Trumpeter3197

    Trumpeter3197 New Friend

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    Thanks for all the replies. I just wanted to ask now, since many of you are telling me a pucker embouchure is more beneficial, how do I physically set this embouchure? Like I said, when I try, I don't get a sound out. I must be doing it wrong.
     
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Un-pucker the wallet and find a good pucker teacher!
     
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    You can work at the involuntary smile embouchure, try and figure out the science behind it .... OR ... just read a few posts by Gmonady. Same deal.


    Turtle
     
  9. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

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    If at one point you could actually play a strong double high C then you shouldn't make any major changes to your embouchure. You can't play a good high G+ without having chops that are more or less doing the right thing. So if what you've said is true, you are definitely not "doing it wrong" with regards to your chops... You're either simply over-practicing, or some bad habits have crept in and are hurting you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
  10. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

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    I wanted to post some pictures of an example of "bad habits creeping in". This is what happened to me. I was playing on a pucker type of embouchure with all muscles pushing in towards the mouthpiece. Then, for whatever reason, I developed a really dramatic "smile" on one side. So all muscles on the left were pushing inwards, but muscles on the right were pulling away. This completely killed my power and endurance. It took several months before I looked in the mirror and noticed that my embouchure was now completely different.

    Don't know if this is what is happening to you, but fwiw:


    Before:

    [​IMG]


    After:

    [​IMG]
     

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