lips puckered or curled

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by songbook, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Hi to all my brass playing family. I was wondering what your thoughts are on what exactly the lips are doing when playing a note. Some mention puckering, while others say the lips should be curled in slightly. What are your thoughts, and if you have some photos to share, It would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    My answer to your question is a hesitant "yes." The idea is to get a workable vibrating surface within the mouthpiece; for some players that means a pucker, for others rolling in. Find out what works for you--a few minutes should suffice.

    Have fun!
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Compare it to writing right or left handed. One of the two is often easier, but you can be functional with either if you work hard.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    When in doubt ask your teacher. I can do both but sound better curled. You may sound better puckered. Try both and see which works best.
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Or, you can develop both to expand and widen the variety and texture of your sound. Kind of like being ambidextrous. Man, I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
  7. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    OK. I know the difficulty or confusion that you are facing. I grew up a lip curl player. Over the past 18 months of learning pedal tones, I have also read that the intent is to teach us to vibrate on the softer tissues creating a warmer sound. Not sure if this is the actual case BUT I do know that pedals have changed the way I play in terms of lip formation as I go above the stave.

    By coincidence, I found this website which explaines what is happening. I think the picture and free video explanation is great.

    Greg Spence offers free trumpet lessons on how to play the trumpet. The articles are based on a variety of trumpet techniques used by professional trumpet players around the world.

    I would love the TM community to review and comment.

    Best Wishes,

    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  8. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Thank's once again to all of you for your great answers and for your video BrotherBach.
  9. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I used to unfurl my lower lip from age 9 through the first year of college, but didn't know from puckering or pedals or anything but a strong left arm. I had a huge sound which got me places, but I died after an hour no matter what I was playing, never caring for my upper lip, which had a nice white scar on it all the time (our hi school band once held the world record for longest playing band, and I cut myself got during that fundraiser).

    In college, my teacher recommended tucking the lower lip in some, still no pedals or anything else to keep things supple in the aperture, and to use less pressure. This bumped my range up but left my tone something to be desired. I could play longer, but coupled with a mpc with a sharp bite and bad practice habits, I cut myself regularly and quit for over 15 years. It took at least a year for the scar to dissapate.

    During this last 4 year comeback, I found my old, better sounding embouchure and started on Maggio, now using Stamp, both of which incorporate pedal tones, and use this just enough to get that inner aperture going, and I pucker slightly more than I used to and use a mpc with a softer bite. Pressure? only enough. I can play 2 hours in the morning and do 3 hour gigs at night. Still not a workhorse like some cats I've seen, but I don't play all day either-- got a day job-- and the pros I've met personally, and many I've met on line here and elsewhere pointed me in the right directions. I can't recommend Stamp, Maggio or Gordon's methods enough, but instruction is paramount, even if it's just an occassional tune up. Experiment and use your sound model as a guide.

    good luck!
  10. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Ed, I'll definately take your advice. Thank's for your tips.

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