misinterpreted my directors instructions

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Myshilohmy, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Myshilohmy

    Myshilohmy Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    When I was a freshman in high school probably (i'm a junior now) my directors used to always say open up, but they never said how to do it. I always assumed they meant my mouth so now when I play I kind of plant my top lip on my mouthpiece before I set my bottom lip on, therefore playing with my lips 'open' and somewhat apart. It provides an good open sound for me, but will it cause any serious problems down the road? I have already gotten an embochure change, I used to play with the inside of my lip a little (don't ask how I did it) but I wanted an embochure change because I wasn't consistent enough and plus it was causing problems. Now I still play a little offcenter, but my lips are further apart when I play than most people. I can't buzz without my mouthpiece for example.

    Here are some of my videos of me playing, as you can see my sound is full (what does that even mean, a full sound? i sound a little better in real life, the camera wasn't meant for this)

    YouTube - Sarabande (the beginning is embarassing)
    YouTube - Avon High School Jazz 1 (1) (lead trumpet)
    YouTube - Avon High School Jazz 1 (3) (again, lead trumpet. a D is my top note, so it lacks support and is therefore flat. I am not the soloist, I'm the curly haired kid)
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    The best advice anyone here can give you is to find a competent private teacher and do what you are told. I think maybe I hear some other problems and we can't help you with embouchure when we can't work with you. No one here can really help without seeing you and hearing you without having to deal with a recording and possibly poor microphone placement.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    the answer is not in an embouchure change. High notes are flat when they are not reasonably supported. I think your problem is breathing and not chops. If you follow my usual postings, you know what is coming:

    a daily routine that starts with pianissimo long tones (mouthpiece then trumpet) and easy slurs - then easy tunes - like hymnbook stuff, also very quietly, then technical stuff - also at pianissimo. You can do a search on "circle of breath". That will help with the basics.

    That is what you need. You are an accomplished player with potential. Don't mess that up by trying to fix something that isn't broken. Playing VERY quietly will bring your chops into line. It may just take some time to build new habits. The pencil method is also worth doing 5 minutes per day.
  4. SpiritDCI08

    SpiritDCI08 Piano User

    Feb 11, 2009
    Fort Campbell, KY
    I had the same problem you had not too long ago. Then I meet Ramon Vasquez.

    He taught me alot about how you need a good set of lungs to play your best. He made us do breathing exercises everyday to build your lungs and better your diaphram. IT REALLY DID HELP ME!!!! AND I'M SURE IT WILL HELP YOU!!!

    Start small: Using a metronome breath in for 4 count and out for 4
    In for 6 and out for 6
    In for 8 and out for 8
    and so on for 12 counts
    then go back down

    Then mix it up: In for 4 out for 2, in for 6 out for 3, and so on

    Every once and a while push yourself hard: in for 2 out for 2 and in for 1 out for 1

    put your metronome at 100 on normal days, on hard days put it no faster that 150

    write me back and tell me if this helped you :)

  5. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

    Jul 26, 2008
    I too believe that you should concentrate on you breathing.
    There isn´t a lot of air in your tone (which is good) and I
    therefore wonder why you think that there´s a gap between
    your lips when you play. Could it be that you now play with
    your TEETH wider apart, while your LIPS are still held together?

    Many trumpeters play offcenter. It´s not concidered a problem.

    Buzzing without the mouthpiece is a questionable act. I personally
    never do it since I regard the mp as being part of my embouchure.
    Buzzing WITH the mp is a different matter; I think that has a value
    if not being overdone.

    From what I could hear, your embouchure is OK. Make them happy
    with some additional air support, and things will be just fine! :D
  6. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    I agree with those who mentioned that you need more air support. I will also guess that you're using too much pressre when you're trying to play higher notes. If you feel that your lips are spread apart and you can't buzz from your embochure without a mouthpiece, then you're probably compensating with pressure. You're young now so you're probably getting away with it to a degree, but you need to have someone who knows what they're doing take a look at your setup and see what's happening...
  7. tony h

    tony h Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2008
    I've just found out that my breathing was the cause of a lot of faults I had , bad tone , gasping for air by the end of any piece , my teacher pointed it out ,seems so obvious now and after less than two weeks of practice there is a remarkable improvement in my sound and over playing so get a privet teacher , I for one think it's worth it.

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