leaky lips?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by equivariant, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria

    I don't think that you are wrong. I've seen good trumpeters who leak minor (understand negligible) quantities of air and still sound good. However, I guess that even such a leak would make your playing less efficient - means that you probably put more efforts than necessary. As the quantity of leakage grows, the necessary efforts to keep the sound and pitch up grow up to the point where it may get impossible to compensate. I would agree with the above, that if the leakage is significant, the soft long tones and slurs may help.
  2. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Actually . . . leaking at the corners isn't much of a problem, if it is a problem at all. It's not a sign that something is "wrong" with your embouchure, nor is it a sign that your embouchure is weak.

    The late Louis Armstrong leaked copiously from the corners. In old photos of him playing on stage under the bright lights, at the right angle you can see spit spraying from the corners.

    This is a guy who could play all night, whose embouchure was extremely strong, and who had a usable range up to about double F, and this despite not having the best technique.

    As to playing, most of the stuff concerning corners is a lot of stuff and nonsense. I was taught the "smiling" embouchure many years ago, and was taught the "pencils in the corners" silliness, which was a fad at the time, and I guess still is in certain circles. However . . .

    The corners have nothing whatever to do with playing. Tightening them up does nothing for playing, and in fact is a bad habit. The corners should be loose and relaxed. If they leak a little, it's no big deal. I've known a number of very good players over the years, some of them middle and lower brass players, who leak a bit.
  3. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005

    I'm always amused that when somebody is having a problem and is doing something that 99.999999% of trumpet players recognize as a problem and DON'T DO, there's always a few guys who know better and declare that this is 'not a problem' because of a photo of a famous player, or some anecdote...fine. Playing with air leaking out of the corners of your mouth is fine...go ahead, it's not a problem...after all Louis did it. That's why MOST of the players you see do it......

  4. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    You know, I try so hard not to get pissed off on here but it's just so hard.
  5. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I posted the question in Tony Kadleck's forum.
    We will see what an expert says.
  6. Skiingfool

    Skiingfool New Friend

    Jul 9, 2009
    First of all, don't tighten your corners. That is the worst thing you could do to your playing. You need to do lots of slurs and remain relaxed. If you have been playing for only 10 months than don't sweat it. It's normal.
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Uhhhh, Tony may not want to jump into the middle of this P...'ing contest!
  8. wolfpacker93

    wolfpacker93 New Friend

    Aug 3, 2009
    i agree practice does it...if you wanna help it without playing, take a pencil, and close your teeth and put one end right up to your teeth and try to hold the pencil straight out using your lips...its tricky and really works your muscles in that area...some people can actually do it for like 15 minutes!! my max is like a minute, i just have it sitting at my computer and do it when im bored, and sometimes if im bored i'll even do it in class! lol.

    good luck!
  9. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Ah . . . selective reading . . .

    Armstrong was but one example. Want lots more? I did mention the fact that some very high fliers I know leak air, not just trumpet players but trombone, Horn and tuba.

    I've been playing professionally since around 1970. Guys who "recognise leaking corners as a problem" either don't know what they're talking about, or else were taught some old-school stuff that was disproven a very long time ago, but haven't managed to keep up.

    I have noticed that a good many educators are taught to teach their brass students in band class to tighten up the corners. This is a case of outdated advice that was given a very long time ago that is still taught to Bach. Ed. students.

    As a player I was originally taught what was in Arban's, which is the "smiling" embouchure. This is where the "pencil trick" nonsense came from. When Adolphe Scherbaum's influence was finally felt in North America in the form of the "no- or non-pressure method or system" (of whom Maynard Ferguson and Doc Severinsen were proponents), most of this nonsense was shoved aside.

    Apparently it manages to persist . . .
  10. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Tell him to wear a raincoat! :-P

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