Mouthpiece Moisture

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by brassmouth, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. brassmouth

    brassmouth New Friend

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    Jul 10, 2005
    New Jersey
    Greetings. I've recently noticed that whenever I'm playing a longer piece, like our marching band show, for example, a lot of moisture builds up on the rim and makes it very difficult to play. (As as side note, I play with a "dry" embousure [too lazy to spell that right] so it doesn't take much moisture to throw me off my game. There is simply too much movement caused by the extra lubrication.) I personally think the cup diameter might be too big, the bigger the diameter the more room for moisture build-up right? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

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    Dec 6, 2003
    Toronto
    I too play on a dry embouchure and also experience moisture in the cup. It doesn't tend to bother me too much unless it spread to the rim. That being said, I wipe the cup of my mouthpiece almost every time before I play with either my shirt or just my fingers if the situation dictates it might not be good to wipe my mouthpiece with my shirt at that time.
     
  3. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

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    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    What mouthpiece size are you playing now? It will make a world of difference if you get a mouthpiece thats a couple sizes smaller...not to mention how it will improve your endurance!

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
     
  4. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    2,342
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    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I say with this with the deepest sincerity....but I have to chime in on this one. Playing dry will eventually be a detriment to your playing. I can guarantee it. Unless you never sweat and have no moisture in your mouth, you are fighting an uphill battle. I used to be one of those dry players and I understand why it can feel "secure" when you are in the practice of playing that way......but it will hinder your advancement EVENTUALLY. Playing dry means you are "anchoring" the rim on your flesh to keep it in place. This causes all kinds of problems and some that you might not be aware of yet. To put it crudely, it will eventually bite you in the behind.

    A little moisture is needed so your lips can create a seal with the rim of the mouthpiece. Moisture is also necessary when you firm up the corners so your aperture can adjust. Playing dry makes this almost impossible. For this reason alone, it is worth the change in approach.

    This is very difficult to explain in writing rather than in person.....but I will offer some advice. (if either of you are planning on pursuing the trumpet for many more years to come)

    To begin to wean yourself away from this practice of playing dry....be it tonight...a week....a year... or five years from now....I suggest you begin in this manner. Form your mouth in a slight pucker to the brink of a "kiss" shape, but not quite to that point. This brings your corners to around the area of your canine teeth. This is the general area where they will be firm and against the teeth when you "engage". Right before you would "kiss" you would instead make a soft "m", curling the lips in ever so slightly. Once in this position, all else should be mostly relaxed. NOW bring the trumpet up to your face, take a deep breath and play letting it vibrate where it naturally wants to do so. Use a "puh" attack at first so you know you are beginning the "engagement" with your lips gently touching. It will not take long to realize you want a bit of moisture on the rim and will get into the habit of lightly wetting it. Playing dry will become uncomfortable and moist more natural. The closer you can get to playing in a way in harmony with your body and the with the least "contortions", the easier it will become. It is a matter of the body molding to the trumpet as much as it is molding the trumpet to the body. Finding balance and alignment is the tricky part. It takes time through experimentation and being in tune with ones physicality. Let us not forget, our bodies change over time as well, so it is logical that adjustments will take place in how we approach the horn. It is a frightening thought at first, but once you trust in the process, calm returns. It is an ever-evolving journey bordering on abstract.......there is almost nothing concrete about what we do and how we do it. What guides us is where we want to be, what we want to express and how we want to sound. To get there, we have to embrace flexibility in our process.
     
  5. brassmouth

    brassmouth New Friend

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    Jul 10, 2005
    New Jersey

    My average cup diameter is about 16-17mm, depending on what I'm playing. Also, in my original post, I realize that I said moister builds up in the cup but it becomes a problem when it reaches the rim. I'll make the correction in the post.

    I do the exact same thing as you but when marching, sweat also becomes a problem and I obviously can't wipe the rim in the middle of the show.
     

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