Mouthpiece placement

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by WarrenG, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Friend

    Nov 2, 2010
    Hi all

    I've got a bit of a problem, and its going to be a bigger problem since I don't have a tutor.

    My mouthpiece placement on my lips is as per below. Off-centre and most of the mouthpiece is on my bottom lip. (yes, those little red blocks are my lips) :-)

    Am I headed for disaster here?

    If its goign to hamper me in the future then I'd best move my mouthpiece into the "right" position and suffer now right?

    Any thoughts?

  2. drmalbak

    drmalbak New Friend

    Aug 6, 2010
    Thoughts, er yes. Keep the mouthpiece , get new lips :: but I'm no expert ~~~~~~
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    If you think its a potential problem then its a problem, right?
    Here's what I recommend:
    Purse your lips as if you are blowing out a candle. Nothing fancy, just a typical blowing out of a candle. Now blow.
    Next, do the same thing and put the trumpet to the lips.
    That's your embrochure.
    Remember, only use enough mouthpiece pressure to create a seal with the lips.
    You might want to read Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment.
    Hope this helps.
  4. WarrenG

    WarrenG New Friend

    Nov 2, 2010
    To change embrochure or not to change..I need a good tutor...
  5. lou gonzalez

    lou gonzalez New Friend

    Feb 18, 2009
    henderson nv
    35 yrs ago, a greatn trpt plyr who went out w/raycharles (for life almost) ran into claude gordon/this cat played way way down on the red meaty part of his upper lip, had gone to 5 or 8 great teachers, all of whom told him to "just reposition the mp, form an embouchure and blow. every time he would make some progress, and develop a thin, raspy, inflexible set of great lookin' chops-useless for work. a few months later, he was back at the beginning, frustrated.
    claude told him to do everything in the books, exactly like he described, and leave the lips out of the discussion, period. a year later, this guys chops were hard as iron, and he had great endurance and accuracy, and was doing arbans pg. 126-7 etc way up to Eb and F above hiC. claude would never, ever talk embouchure, lip positions, shifting, pivoting...he would just pile on the work and let the body and ear decide.
    if you blow the air, listen for a fat open sound, do the pages, listen to sounds you like and aim for them, claudes methods will be a great foundation, even with no teacher.
    he said look for a good feel, get a good sound, and let the air do the work. watch the guys who can really play on the you tube. almost all of them have some idiosyncratic twist or displacement to accomodate uneven teeth, or a stronger side of their face. good luck, i think hours & hours of hard work can pay off-look at claudes stuff-rest as much as you play, build slowly on a solid foundation, and add a bit more work over time. back off when you think you are overdoing it, "err on the side of caution" whenit comes to building chops...mostly, watch what the great players do-look carefully, they seem to not be doing much, but there's a lotta action going on in the corners, cheeks, throat, and chest...
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  6. rettepnoj

    rettepnoj Fortissimo User

    Feb 22, 2009
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Playing a little off center is no problem.Playing on the red of the top lip might cause endurance problems in the future. There are always exceptions. The formation of our front teeth determines where the mouthpiece sits as far as centered,left or right goes. The way to go would be to find an experienced pro whom also teaches, and really understands embouchure's and how different ones work for different individuals.
  8. leftmid7

    leftmid7 Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 21, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    Warren, I agree with Al, it has to do with your teeth position UNDER your lips. If you look at my embouchure while playing, it may look like the mp is on my lips a BIT to the left, but where the alignment is, it is correct over where my top and bottom teeth line up(slightly more over the top than bottom). Does that make sense?

    If you're off center because your lips and teeth are a bit off, fine, if you're playing to the side and under where your teeth line up as well, I'd say you have a problem.

    I played with a guy in college(unbelievably a major) who played really off to the side. When he'd get nervous or get 'show' anxiety, he'd pinch off and just get air, I felt so bad.
  9. Iceman444443

    Iceman444443 New Friend

    Sep 29, 2010
  10. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Harry James wrote that in " the 8th Wonder of the World"...the Benny Goodman trumpet section all used different placements.

    He said, "I use a 2/3 top and 1/3 bottom, Chris (Griffin) uses a 50-50 and Ziggy (Elmann) is 1/3 top and two thirds bottom and dangerously close to his right ear."

    And they switched the lead parts as they were handed out. No one was THE lead player. They all played all the parts.

    No one can tell you where to put it. Play the horn where it's comfortable.

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