Lip doesn't vibrate

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by cubeguy314, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. cubeguy314

    cubeguy314 New Friend

    Jan 27, 2011
    I have a frustrating :bash:problem with my trumpet playing. First, let me say that I have switched to a bigger mouth piece no more than a month ago (Bach 7c to bach 5c) and I have and abnormally larger than average upper lip :dontknow: and I have been playing for 5 years and can now play the first C (if I'ma bit lucky) above the staff but I my lips are not flexible enough to come down.
    So the problem is that my lips stop vibrating when I play pieces that require flexibility within the range of a B flat and up. I have had this problem before using this mouthpiece but it went away for a week and a half and suddenly came back this past Friday (2/11/11) I'm thinking that it's either my upper lip or I'm still adjusting to the new mouth piece.

    I am really frustrated right now :bash:<- this smiley literally represents how I am feeling right now
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    Honestly, I'd suggest relaxing (in general) and stop trying to control the trumpet with purely your lips.
    Use more air and I'd suggest thinking about using different vowel sounds as you go higher (from tah-tee, etc.)
    However, what you need most is to take some lessons with somebody and have them diagnose your problem in person. My advice won't necessarily help, but it shouldn't hurt :)
  3. Kujo20

    Kujo20 Forte User

    Sep 29, 2010
    Agreed bagmangood. The upper register is not just chop strength. AIR is going to be your biggest ally! Just try to relax, play some range exercises and remember to use more air.

  4. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Read the Jens Lindemann sticky in the mouthpiece forum then watch the same conversation on YouTube. It has taken me nearly 18 months to finally understand what he means by "mouthpiece size depends on how you focus your air".

    Like you, I started out with a 7C then went to a 5C as my chops developed (as, recommended by my teacher). When I got above the stave the 5C "seemed" to close-off on me, which I interpreted as a mouthpiece problem not a "me" problem. I thought the mouthpiece was "cutting off my lip vibrations" and moved to a 3C where I did have success. However, in the interim, my embouchure finally settled down and my skills have improved to the point where I can focus my air MUCH better than before.

    With the encouragement of my teacher, I tried to go back to the 5C. He subscribes to the same philosophy as Jens and others that many players are using a mouthpiece that is too big for them. Well, I have returned to the 5C and it has been wonderful. No more problems with the mouthpiece closing off above the stave. In fact, with a "right-sized" mouthpiece certain aspects of articulation are easier.

    We all get very frustrated. I do all the time. Getting a teacher is probably the advice. I hope that helps.

  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Cubeguy, welcome to the forum. Here is a link to some more info about mpc/lip combination possibilities. It is some eye opening material and was helpful to me in finding the right mpc. As has been already said, too big is just as bad as too small. There could be a number of things that need attention that ALL contribute to your issue. I would also venture a guess that you are using too much mpc pressure which is cutting off your blood flow. This has the effect of putting your lip to "sleep", so it won't vibrate.

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  6. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    Tobylou is on to something here that I forgot to mention. Sometimes transferring "some" of the pressure to the lower lip does help free-up the upper lip to vibrate. I have been guilty of this, so I know.


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