Mouthpiece Placement

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BHSBrass, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Chuck, my Band Director told me were to put it - and it's not real comfortable I must say. ROFL
  2. BHSBrass

    BHSBrass New Friend

    May 20, 2008
    For the question about the mouthpiece, I play a schilke 12.

    I think i've pretty much decided about sticking with my placement, while it is possible my playing could in the end be stronger with a change, there have been plenty of players that did not have the optimal setting and still became exceptional players and I'd rather just keep working on the way I have now considering im a junior in high school, and dont want to screw over my last two years of playing during this time of my life.

    Thanks for the help everyone in this decision.
  3. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    Good thinking. The placement depends on many factors - your personal type of embouchure is probably the most important of all. What is optimal is rather relative. There was a huge discussion on the forum about embouchure types, embouchure changes etc. You don't just switch from placement X to placement Y. This is time consuming and risky business. Unless your teacher know exactly what he is doing, it would give you more trouble than advantages. Make sure that you breathing and use of facial muscles is correct and efficient - this will solve probably your problems much better than any possible placement change.
  4. hammer56

    hammer56 New Friend

    Nov 7, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Dear BHS,
    from your dark photo, it looks as though you have way too little of your top lip in the mpc.
    I did the same thing for a while in high school, as a way of hitting some high notes. It didn't last. My tone was thin. Winter break may be a good time to try at least 1/3 top lip.
    I use Schilke mpcs too (15a4). Good choice. Bill Chase used a 6a4a (small!)
  5. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    As I previously stated the top photo is too dark to really see well. it does look like you are playing slightly in the red on the top lip. If this is the case you should put more top lip in the mpc. Exactly how much? It depends on a number of factors and there is no hard and fast rule for placement. But we do know that even a little bit of the rim sitting on the red of either the top or bottom lip will eventually cause problems. The reason for this I'm not going to go into here. It's along explaination. If your teacher has the experience to guide you through this change, it will not take long for you to make the transition. I've helped many students do this succesfully
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The mouthpiece belongs in the case, or between your chin and nose.

    IF you practice longtones and slurs first EVERY day with little pressure and no tonguing, you will be very in tune with what works. The mouthpiece will wander all by itself to the most efficient place. Those exercizes seem to take the need for intellectualizing the process away. Playing slurs makes you press your lips together, getting the red inside of the cup.

    I have never needed to give my students mirrors to check up on their faces. Their daily routine gives them all the necessary information.
  7. hammer56

    hammer56 New Friend

    Nov 7, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    rowuk, thanks for the reminder about a thorough warm-up. I stress it to all of my students. I offer a variety to keep it interesting, but always long tones, low notes and lip slurs.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I wasn't talking about a warmup. I don't need one and my students perform equally well without one too.

    I am talking about a daily routine - you know like a shower and shave in the morning. It doesn't build muscles or educate you, but it gives you a frame of reference (I feel good!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or not so good or terrible........)
  9. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    There is an old book call The Art of Brass Playing by Phillip Farkas which has numerous pictures of brass embouchers. There is a wide variation among very good players. (late 1950's Chicago Symphony). Everybody's physique is different.
  10. trumpetlore

    trumpetlore Pianissimo User

    Apr 14, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    at the risk of intellectualizing what rowuk says, there are certain factors that tend to have an effect.
    The mouthpiece should be situated on the front four teeth. These four (two top, and two bottom *shocking*) form a platform for the mouthpiece to sit on. Since every person's teeth are different sizes, shapes and angles, the teeth themselves will determine many things (such as the vertical and horizontal angles of the horn).
    With regards to the percentages of upper or lower lip in the mouthpiece, again, everybody's lips differ. Some people have a larger top or bottom lip than others. Some people's top lip rolls in when they play higher. All of these things (among others I'm sure) affect the look and feel of mouthpiece placement.
    So, I guess the point still comes back to what rowuk says, play where it's comfortable...

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