Jaw pinching

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by stradivarius151, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. stradivarius151

    stradivarius151 Pianissimo User

    Mar 1, 2010
    Lately, I've been pinching off the sound with my lips. My friend realized today that it's not just my lips, its my whole jaw pushing upward. How can I stop this?
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Bad habits are built over time. Unlearning them need even more time. There is a reason that you started to play this way. That is what you have to find to discover the "path to compensation". You see, once you have learned something wrong, it is almost impossible to erase the pattern from the brain. Constant practice can strengthen a better pattern but if you stop playing for a year, you will start with the bad habit first. It is kind of like the virus that causes warts...........

    Normally, we add tension when we try to do things that we haven't adequately prepared for (like high notes or endurance). The secret in that case is to use a decent daily routine to strengthen our breathing and reduce tension while playing. There is no button to "fix" bad playing habits, but there are some fine teachers out there with great eyes and ears as well as a healthy understanding of how the body works. That would be the fastest way!
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    I agree with everything Rowuk says here. I too had this problem, back when I was discovering how insensitive I was when it came to playing the horn. As I was learning how to eliminate muscle groups I was using when I played that did NOTHING productive to assist in playing, I realized that I clenched my jaw very tightly when I played. This took me months of conscious practice, (Notice I used the word CONSCIOUS), to stop using these muscles. Day after day I practiced working into my “Set” NOT clenching my jaw when I played. The word “Set” to me means the repetitious things I do every time I put the horn on my face to get ready to play. I had to add not clenching the jaw into my set and it took a long time to go into muscle memory, Months. I had to learn that I could play better by relaxing my jaw, I had to convince my brain this was OK and clenching was a negative. This is the process of how I eliminated clenching my jaw. This process, once learned can be used for any change you need to make on the horn, hope it helps you.

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