Low mouthpiece placement

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Prozkryptix, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Prozkryptix

    Prozkryptix New Friend

    Oct 16, 2012
    Ive always set the mouthpiece pretty low on my face. In fact I hardly put any upper lip into the mouthpiece. This hasn't become a problem for me as I can play with fairly good tone and I have better range and endurance than my entire trumpet section (high school junior). That said a lot of people say that I am playing wrong and that there should be more top lip in the mouthpiece. I am of the "if it ain't broke dont fix it" mindset but i just wanted to hear your guy's opinions on this topic.
  2. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    That's a very extreme example, I have a very low set but not that low, I roughly sit the Mouthpiece "top edge" only just above my top lip (that's why I like the asymetric so much). Now early this year I went to a teacher who decided that this was so wrong (despite my 30 odd years of playing) that we would have to address it. Long story short I lost control of anything between G on the Stave and B above it (still had plenty above B but) cue six months of frustration and wasted time. I've gone back to where I was and my playing has secured again almost overnight. I would worry if it were as low as yours and really the only answer is to discuss it with a teacher. My thoughts would be to experiment carefully with a slight lift of position and see what you gain and loose.
  3. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    Dear new friend, here's something that will save you very, very, VERY much time and effort, though I acknowledge that this is my opinion:

    If it's not harming your lips (excessive swelling or cuts) or affecting your playing (poor tone and or control usually), DONT CHANGE IT. Especially with mouthpiece placement >.<

    I'm saying this because I have seen all sorts of placement. I've seen off center left, right, very low, and decently high. I see people with different horn tilts too, which sometimes people will make a big deal out of...but you know what? I'd say 90% of the players with off center placements still play well, because everyone's facial structure and musculature is shaped differently and has differing levels of development.

    Another thing -- Commonly it's said that trumpet players may have a "1/3 top, 2/3 bottom lip" placement. I'm sure you're in that direction.

    In the end, you're right IMO -- "if it aint broke, don't fix it". Do your practicing and I'm sure you'll find your playing to develop acceptably.

    PS. Just wanted to add that I play with probably a little less than 1/3 top lip, and for me my tongue and air is a bigger issue than anything to do with my lips. Perhaps these individuals giving you "advice" should consider similar things
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I'm confused??? In your other posts (2), you mention having a problem going from a "screamer" to a 3c and your playing suffers, and you have a "bright" tone even though you use a 1 1/2C. If you sound like Maynard or Phil Smith, I wouldn't worry too much about placement. If you sound "better" than your section.... that comparison could be a mistake. How well do you play and what's the "Mpc Da Jour" ?? Pick a mpc and stick with it and practice. When you reach the proficiency of Maynard or Phil, then you can afford to screw around with mpcs. Personally, I am of the "rubber-faced" embouchure school of thought but that sounds very extreme, but then I can't see your chops either. What does your teacher say?
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Somewhere is the word "accomodate" which I've inferred to "make do" with what you have, but at times there are influences that call for modification. I've told y'all about my health issues, and I won't rehash them, but a minor setback lately has had me wanting oxygen more as means my hook-up to O2 via a cannula placed in my nostrils. I'm sure many have seen such. I first considered laying such aside while I practiced, then thought why not practice with it. It was to some slight surprise that I found I had no problem as there was room for my mouthpiece and the cannula. If anything, I don't feel as tired when I conclude practice. Yes, normally I now sleep with a cannula in my nostrils providing me O2 from a concentrator.


    Yes, now most of the time I can go through a day without O2, but it is always within reach should I feel the need of it.
  6. smokin valves

    smokin valves Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2011
    It all depends really on where you want to take your playing. If you want to become pro, then it might be worth addressing if it is really low, as it could affect performance in some areas later on. Speak to a decent teacher and see what they say. You seem to be doing fine, so I would be reluctant to change in your situation. Try watching top players on youtube and noting their placement and technique, and you'll find a great deal of them do not have the "textbook" technique. Sergei Nakariakov is a graet example of this, as well as Dizzy Gillespie's famous cheeks. My mouthpiece placement is a little to the right, and I have never had any problems caused by this. People before me have said this and people after will probably say this too: every ones embouchure is different, so everyone will play slightly different. Some people will find it beneficial to be left, right, high or low, and some will also be comfortable with placement right on.

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