Mouth Piece Pressure & Leakage

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ruralist, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. ruralist

    ruralist New Friend

    Nov 27, 2009
    Thermalands, California
    I am a return player and have a lot of practicing/learning to do.

    I am currently using a 7C Blessing mouth piece because it is what came with the student trumpet I am currently using. It seems to work just fine for me, I have what I would surmise as average size lips and normal facial structure. I am being very diligent on not using too much mouth piece pressure and developing an embouchure which is consistent with what I have read thus far. There is so much literature on the web, I am a bit tired of searching for my answers.

    When I play notes and have leakage, I am unsure what is best to do. Should I use more pressure or keep practicing and build embouchure structure until it goes away—will it go away? Will a more defined and strengthen embouchure structure eventually stop the leakage? Should I stop the leakage now by applying slightly more pressure with anticipation that as I develop in all areas the mouth piece pressure will decrease as proper embouchure is developed?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  2. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    Are you leaking at the corners or between your lips? from under the mpc rim? If between the lips you need to bring your lips together to form a better seal between the lips. If from under the rim. use enough pressure for the leakage to stop. be sure you're not blowing with a lot of force.
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I think this can help:
    Its a simple exercise but it is the type of exercise that separates the children from adults.
    Practice playing lip slurs with all valve combinations.
    The combinatiuons are:
    Start with open (0) and play as low as you can (should be C just below the staff) and slur up as high as you can without your lips leaking and then back down in one breath. When they start to leak, tighten up the corners and do what rowuk says, "don't use more pressure".
    Remember, you want to stenghten your embrochure, not your biceps from pushing the trumpet against your face. When you notice you're using too much pressure, don't stop playing!! Just back off the mouthpiece pressure and gorilla grip with the left hand and continue to play softly. Most trumpet players use far too much force and tension than is necessary. Learning to play with minimum force and tension is the goal.
    Once you work on open lip slurs (0) do lip slurs with 123, 13,23,12,1,2.
    Be sure to play soft and controlled. Be careful not to sound blatty.
    If you do these exercises just 5 minutes a day(yep, just an honest 5 minutes a day), you will see great improvements by the time the Easter lillies come up.
    Oh, did I mention, this exercise will kick your butt!!!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Don't use more pressure! Just practice more. It takes time to build good habits and strong chops. Just keep up the good work!

    Lipslurs are one part of my daily routine. They and longtones will provide a stable base for the rest.
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    When you play a note and get leakage ,try playing the same note very soft. By practicing at a low volume your developing more lip [embouchure] strength , trying to muscle the notes with too much arm or wind power only compounds the problem. As the notes become more secure and easier to play,you should be able to increase the volume to a full sound, just give it some time.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  6. ButchA

    ButchA Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Richmond, Virginia
    Let me chime in here... I am a returning player too (even at age 48!). I have wicked embouchure leakage in the corners of my mouth whenever I try to go above a "G" (the one above "C", on the top of the ledger line).

    I found that if I use my Bach 3C I can play a lot longer and don't have as much leakage. If I use the original Conn 4 (it came with my old Holton Collegiate), I can't play as well. I don't use the old Conn 4 anymore because it's horribly tarnished, dinged, and well, it's ancient. I also have an older Bach 9C that I used in jazz band back in the 70's. But, I can't play well with that mouthpiece either, as it is really small compared to the 3C.

    I'd follow the advice of Rowuk and Al Innella. It's a long road to travel as a "comeback player", but, with practice and more practice, you can get your chops back in shape. That's what I am doing! :cool:
  7. ruralist

    ruralist New Friend

    Nov 27, 2009
    Thermalands, California
    Thanks for the quick replies. This site is great becuase of the thoughful responses. I will be chiming in after I play and learn more. I think my knowledge this time around will prevent me from using too much pressure which I believe I did as a younger player.

    Thanks again to all of you--the ruralist.
  8. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    I agree totally with Rowuk, but if I was really serious about becoming the best I could be I would get a good private teacher and have them work with me.
  9. ruralist

    ruralist New Friend

    Nov 27, 2009
    Thermalands, California
    Thanks again, I will be finding a teacher and other brass players to play with after I regain a few skills and fulfill my self commitment—that way I get to purchase a new horn; circumstance prevent me from securing a teacher or buying a new horn at this time.

    Ok, until the next time...
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2009
  10. lewi1410

    lewi1410 New Friend

    Dec 7, 2009
    Portsmouth England
    Excuse another chipper in. I'm a not so young (51) restarter after about 14 years out and would like to maximise my ability this time round. I'm playing a Xeno and a Vincent Bach 3c, I've picked up the Arturo Sandaval books and CD's which are excellent.

    What I'm not sure about is a practice regime especially the lenght of time to rest after some playing upto G 1st space above the stave, not the extra high G's that the pros get.

    If anyone can recommend a teacher in the Portsmouth area of the UK as well that would be great.

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