Jeff Smiley´s "Flat chin"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sofus, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Mike, you have just started. Keep us informed in maybe 3 month intervals about your progress. It would also be important to know if this change is accompanied by more daily hours behind the horn.
  2. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try to post updates about my experiences starting with why I opted to go this route. At the same time, let me add that I like what you said about this.

  3. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Ok, I've always played with a flat chin. I find all the negative comments to be wrong. No "stretching is going on or anything else that impedes my playing. Playing with a flat chin and stretching the chin muscles are two entirely different things. I do believe that some players do it naturally and some players don't. a good friend of mine who is one one the best lead players around does not play with flat chin. I do agree that a lot of players have been destroyed by a teacher who thinks he knows the one true way to play and makes all his students try to fit this rigid format. Also reading about different methods is risky because the printed text is open to interpetation and misunderstanding. This is not to say that they are not very imformative but they should never be used as a"Bible" for playing. for that you need a "good private teacher or mentor that is not rigid in what they teach ie. no one method is the be all and end all.
  4. TheRiddler

    TheRiddler Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2006
    To me - p.s. I don't think about any of this - I'm a chicago school/Bill Adam cat...but I have read every method I can incase it comes in handy for a student or something later...

    When I make a flat chin it means i am dropping my jaw a little bit -- notice what this does to the inside of your mouth. By moving your jaw down - it opens up the inside of your mouth... atleast that what it does with me.

    I jus put the damn thing up there and play - but this is my reasoning, atleast.
  5. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    The way I see it, so far there are two posts saying something about what a Flat Chin actually is:

    TrumpetMD said:

    This sais something about what happens when making a flat chin.

    TheRiddler said:

    This also sais something about what happens when TheRiddler does what he thinks is making a flat chin.

    There is also this statement by Bob Grier:

    Althoug it doesn´t say what a flat chin actually is, I feel confident that Bob knows what he means, so, please Bob, explain further!

    The next statement from Bob is SOOO very true:

    Every time the meaning of an often used expression like "flat chin" or "open embouchure" etc. is discussed, MANY opinions about what the words should mean are presented!
    So, please, Bob and others who have knowledge/experience about this "flat chin", please give all the information you have!

    :think: :think: :think: :think: :think:
  6. RobertSlotte

    RobertSlotte Pianissimo User

    Jul 7, 2008
    Flat chin I do not think will be an issue if playing with the horn pointing down (like I use to loong time ago...not any more as I now point the hor slightly upp) But now I practise to NOT flatten my chin becouse IF I DO it makes my lower lip curl out and also get thinner due to streched ( I play wiht the lower lip slightly curled in all the time as I use the Stevns emb, "type IV according to Donald S. Reinhardt")
    Im talking about my experinses here...not saying anything how others should do. Conclusion: If my chin goes flat when I play then I have pulled DOWN (and slightly out like a smile) my LOWER lip....If fighting to hold the lower lipp firmly against the upper lip (almost pushing upp) and NO smiling what so ever then my chin is NOT flat.
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Thanks for asking, If you can get a copy of "the Art of Brass Playing" by Phillip Farkas look on page 13 at fig. 9 and 9A. It shows a partial scheme of the facal muscles we use when we form an embochure. When we pucker (like a kiss) the single muscle that runs around the lips contracts. When we smile or yawn the facal muscles in the cheeks, chin and side of the face contract. When most people smile their chin is flat. To form an embochure (tension in the lips) that will vibrate when air passes through it these two opposing sets of muscles contract at the same time. this creates tension in the lips so they can vibrate. They create an isometric effect like cupping your fingers together from both hands and trying to pull them apart. feel the tension in your hand and arm muscles? the pucker muscle keeps the smile muscles from stretching the lips. the trick is to learn to balance this tension to produce a resonant sound with minimal effort. this is also why we try to keep the center of the lips relaxed and the corner muscle firm. this lips tension must also resist normal mpc pressure so the mpc doesn't push into the lips cutting off the blood flow.
  8. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    Thanks, every one of you!

    I will try to get a copy of that book, Bob, but since I live in Sweden things are not as available as I would like.

    I anyone else have things to add, PLEASE do!
  9. nordlandstrompet

    nordlandstrompet Forte User

    Apr 5, 2008
  10. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    Inyerresting, nordlands!

    I´ve seen it before but never connected it to the question of a "flat chin".
    What would you say that the connection between these exercises and a flat chin would be?

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