Is There a Universal Mouthpiece Placement

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Dr.Mark, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I believe I could loose my medical license for doing that.
     
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Yep, right at the point of Mary Ann and Ginger. Rowuk was right, trumpet playing is much easier in the shower!
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The lips must touch one another so that they can open and close like a switch. They must be "free" to contract and expand as the range being played requires.
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    No disagreement here. Did you buzz the mouthpiece while looking in the mirror? Does your mouthpiece touch both divots?

    I did look, no, it doesn't, I have thin lips and a big mouth(piece)

    The rim I personally feel is like a good cognac or whiskey - an acquired taste.
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    Before we get to the cognac, let's investigate if having the mouthpiece touching the upper and lower divot is a good general way to place the mouthpiece and a good way to teach how the mouthpiece should be placed on the lips. When I look at pinterest and other images, that's what I see. the mouthpiece touching the divots. Now grantred, you can say "Dr.Mark, you can't tell anything from an image" and I would say "why not?"

    The embouchure as I understand and teach does not really involve the mouthpiece directly. Some would incorrectly talk about aperature and corners. If we view the function of the lips as an air switch - the lip surfaces meet and separate, we see a face/lip pattern that is individual. As long as I don't clamp off the ability of the lips to "switch" everything is OK. Then I apply the mouthpiece to define the switching area more precisely. Depending on the intensity of the pucker, the distance between the divots changes. Higher or softer means closer together, lower or louder means further apart. Perhaps with my lips the divots would touch the rim during pedal tones.

    The acquired taste of the rim encompasses little lips/big mouthpieces (divot free rims?), BIG LIPS/little mouthpieces (divot free rims?) as well as everything in between. With my concept of expanding and contracting (non-static) embouchures, there is no static base for position or contact of the divots.

    "I also do not see any need for additional "grip". I also do not see any relation between lip and mouthpiece size.
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    The thought of the distance between divots and mouthpiece size is for the future and something that can be entertained down the road once the idea of mouthpiece placement is debated. The present idea is, Is there a universal mouthpiece placement.
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    I haven't even gotten into teeth or tongue position yet. I played due to very crooked teeth considerably to the right through most of my childhood. Once I really started to develop my evolution of the embouchure method, it gravitated to a naturally efficient state more in the middle. None of my students gravitate to the same position as I have or any of the other students. For some 50/50 works best, for others ⅓ / ⅔ works better, for others exactly the reverse.

    As much as it would be cool to be able to predict placement, I don't see it happening. Further parameters that play a big role are crossbite, underbite and overbites, the tendency for some to roll the lips in, others to pucker. Body use also determines how much tension is required to compensate for other sins - that too affects the distance between the divots, the pivot, the rivet on the trivet.

    The depth of the cup determines how far the lips can protrude, that too changes the distances and proportions.

    Think about school systems that decided that we should all be right handed - how many kids got really frustrated because their bodies fought back? How natural are models that learn to walk in a balanced way for the catwalk? Even with intensive training, personality always wins out.

    I do not believe in anything universal - except the universality of our individuality. Even if we could get unified mechanics, the creative aspect would still change the requirements.
     
  4. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

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    Hi rowuk,
    You stated:
    I did look to see if it touches the divots, no, it doesn't, I have thin lips and a big mouth(piece)
    Also, think about school systems that decided that we should all be right handed - how many kids got really frustrated because their bodies fought back? How natural are models that learn to walk in a balanced way for the catwalk? Even with intensive training, personality always wins out.
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    You have thin lips and a big mouthpiece (and I do not ask this to be a smart ass at all) so you rest your mouthpiece on the red of your lips? Also, I'm not sure what the story about schools teaching all children to be right handed has to do with a universal mouthpiece placement (remember, this is just about how the mouthpiece sits on the lips). The possibility of a universal mouthpiece is no different than rowuk's circle of breath being a universal or "general" way to use the air (which I wish they taught in schools right from the beginning and I do not say this as a wise guy comparison because the use of air is very very important and is grossly overlooked in schools). Would children benefit if they used this method from the very beginning? I'll bet yes!! Would children benefit if it's discovered that there is a universal or "general" way to place the mouthpiece on the lips, again I say yes. As for models on catwalks, I don't know where to go with that one.
    Never the less, here's what I know. If you go to pinterest or pull up images of famous trumpet players, they almost all have their mouthpieces touching the divots. From an observational perspective, that's kinda hard to argue with. However, I wish more people would just look at some of the images and see if they see what I see. If they do, then maybe getting kids to emulate this would nip a lot of problems in the bud as it pertains to shoddy mouthpiece placement. Maybe if I replace "universal" with "general" the topic might be more palatable.
    Dr.Mark
     
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    I understand -- a pro trumpet player (retired from the armed services) --- TrickG probably knows him --- but I won't tell his name --- he spotted my asymmetric mpc at a recent concert (he was conductor) - and asked to try it. So I handed him horn and mpc. After several attempts he was NOTICEABLY FRUSTRATED as he could not get any of the 9 notes below the staff --- he handed me back the horn --- and said "show me your tone and your low notes" ---- I did, fast, slow, tonguing and slurring down to the low F# (even pulled the slides out for a F, just for effect ----- then proceeded up the scale to a reasonable sounding double G ---- the guy could only shake my hand and say - "well done, thank you for the opportunity to try that mpc --BUT YOU MUST HAVE PRACTICED ON IT FOR AWHILE" - yes he did emphasize the last statement
     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Wow - this means your too young to be Stan Mark --- LOL --- but Stan Mark, Lynn Nicholson, Maynard Ferguson all placed the mpc in the center of their 2 lips ------ not necessarily in the center of their lips from side to side, as anyone can see Maynard was too the left of center --- but definitely center from "top to bottom" -- I'm just saying "GREAT" players seem to have the same placement on top and bottom lips
     
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    Just for the record Dr. Mark - it appears that KT has equal amounts of top and bottom lips in the cup of the mpc (((note here that I play asymmetrics --- so if one sees me play it appears that I don't have equal lips --- but factoring in the large flat bottom rim, it appears equal to me
     
  8. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    On a side note -- I use the same "aperture technique" on trumpet as well as trombone - meaning I'm forming an aperture that freely vibrates while maintaining a rigid outer embouchure to hold it all in place - even for my asymmetric trombone mpc -- placement is the same --- equal top and bottom lips in cup of mpc. ----- my tone is good on both instruments (((I suck on moving the slide on fast music, but that's a whole other brain, hand, air, lip coordinatio thing going on there) ROFL ROFL ROFL
     
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    One other thing -- I tried the (1/3 top lip and 2/3 bottom lip --- asymmetric has this in their directions --- YES YES YES one can get higher notes easier that way ---- BUT I have found, to play all the notes without resetting the lips for higher notes and to have GREAT sound - I need 50/50 top and bottom lip in the cup ----
     
  10. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

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    I don't have to look in a mirror to know that the bottom rim of my mouthpiece rests "in the red" of my lower lip. I don't care. It's comfortable, it works, and I get gigs.

    The thing is, I used to play mouthpieces where I could get all the red tissue of my upper and lower lips within the vertical dimension of the cup. I played a Schilke 24 for years. Then a Bach 1 for quite a while. I kept getting better results as I downsized, even when I couldn't tuck all of my lower lip inside the cup. And so I progressed to a 1C, then a 2.5C, then a 3C, and finally to the Reeves 43W I've been on longer than any of the others.

    So I'd have to say I personally can't agree with your theory.
     

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