Looking at Pros' Embouchures

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rockwell, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I'd rather look at back up singers and dancers for commercial acts. Mmm...
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  2. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Looking at pictures CAN be helpful sometimes... I learned my first embouchure off Maurice André (RIP), simply by looking at how he formed his lips and then copying that on the mirror. Since that day in the grey beginnings of time, I have always styled myself "Student of Maurice André", and when I first met him (in Munich), I told him that story. His reaction was: "Well, we'll have to have a lesson together - you to learn some trumpet, and me to learn some swaggery." And gave me a date for next morning, and we had a wonderful three-hour session together. We met several times afterwards, and played together in a family circle. He was a great man!
  3. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Stop. IMO.

    The paying attention to embouchures part, I mean. Get the best teacher you can.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The real problem is the definition of "embouchure". For those interested in viewing muscle activity, welcome to the dumb leading the blind. As I have so often explained, everything is connected together. The necessary muscle activity is based on amount of practice time, pressure, support, posture, concept, tissue hydration, tooth formation, amount of rest, use of the tongue,........... Even if we could "copy" one or two of these facets, we still know NOTHING.

    I do not teach over the internet for that reason. I have to experience what the students whole body is doing.

    So, if our observations are part of a "bigger" plan, then we may see something. The only thing that I learn from a YouTube video is if the player is having fun. THAT is a valuable lesson.
  5. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Wow! What a cool story! For a trumpet player, that's got to be the memory of a lifetime. I just wish I could ahve heard him live. Uplifting.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    I’ve gotten a “Ton” of info by watching the pros play. Yeah, yeah I know it’s just a small part of a much bigger picture, although when your working on playing with minimal pressure, relaxed upper body and little to no movement on the chops, ( just “part” of a bigger picture) watching someone else do it correctly is invaluable, as you cannot accurately describe what you see to someone else, it just has to be seen, and paints a informational picture for you. I have a poster I made of Doc playing an “A” above a high C hanging in my studio. Not just playing it..."NAILING IT" !! That one pic has given me more info on correct mechanics than any written or spoken word. The pic is taken from the same video that gbdeamer posted in here. Looking at the pic, you can’t tell if he’s on an A above high C or an A below low C, that’s the beauty of the poster, but I took the snapshot when he was on the A above high C, it shows me how relaxed you need to be on the trumpet. Chin placement, dropping the shoulders, mouthpiece set, breath control, relaxation, it’s all there. I think this video of Doc is playing perfection and one of the best vids to illustrate playing form. Doc does it with ease ! Good Video gbdeamer !! Watch the pros play, they have it down to an art and will teach you a small part of correct mechanics, IF your willing to learn.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  7. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    This is what I call the "one dimensional analysis" and very common. Even among instructors who truth be told really ought to know better. So don't feel put down by having a mistaken opinion of what constitutes a proper embouchure from the outside. Is a bit like judging an iceberg by what appears above the water level...

    What we don't read much about is what goes on inside the mouth. Such as how much upper lip flesh hangs below the upper teeth.

    Typically when we read or hear of someone being instructed to "not play in the red" the instructor is trying to increase the vibrancy factor of the student's embouchure... Well he probably doesn't know of or use those terms but that is his goal: Create more sound, control and endurance.

    The thing is however that by putting more upper lip in the mouthpiece (or setting the piece higher) it doesn't necessarily address the problem of inadequate upper lip descending below the upper teeth. Or if this does help the problem still remains. The reason you see pedal tone players with lots of air in the sound. Or lead players whom while possessing a loud High f or so can't play softly up high.

    Now had they learned to drop their upper lip a little lower over the teeth (using the correct three dimensional analysis) they would have almost instantaneously fixed all sound, endurance and range problems. Or within a few weeks anyway if patient practice is developed. That and being careful to avoid over training.

    You will find lower lip dominant trumpet players with great range who play in the red. So the idea that one must avoid "playing in the red" is a common inaccuracy.

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