Mouthpiece pressure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by djserrant, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. djserrant

    djserrant New Friend

    Dec 13, 2008
    I was playing exercise 22 in the H.L Clarke book yesterday and I felt a slight increase in mouthpiece pressure as I scaled up to high A (the one just above the staff). The resulting high note sounded airy around my second repeat of the exercise. I understand that some mouthpiece pressure is needed as one ascends to higher registers, but exactly how much is enough? Should I possibly consider learning how to buzz into the mouthpiece? From what I read on a number of sites regarding it, mouthpiece buzzing is an ideal way of minimizing pressure on the mouthpiece, however there is much debate on its effectiveness.:dontknow:
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    we use pressure because it works faster than any other method. If music is the goal, there is no problem with that goal coming before a perfect embouchure or breathing.

    The idea is to get musical and work the rest out later. The longer the gig, the more pressure that I use. The right amount is that which gives you the most musical results.

    Theory is for geeks without jobs. Those of us that have steady gigs do what works: practice hard and sensible to minimise the destructive forces in our playing. The music ALWAYS comes first.

    Get a real daily routine. The rest comes by paying dues!
  3. bobmiller1969

    bobmiller1969 Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2008
    Mays Landing, New Jersey
    An old trumpet teacher of mine showed me a trick for using less pressure. Instead of moving the trumpet towards your face, hold the trumpet a couple inches away and move your face towards the mouthpiece. It's almost like you're going to kiss it. I try to set my embouchure that way every time. It also forces your neck a bit forward which helps to open the airway. It took some getting used to, but really helped me to relax. It definitely improved both my sound and endurance in all registers. Hope that makes some sense.

    I never had a single teacher that wanted me to buzz in my mouthpiece, so I really don't have any opinion on how that would help.
  4. edcon1981

    edcon1981 Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 25, 2008
    Central Jersey
    that's a good idea, i think i may try that.
  5. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    Hi Djserrant, The main Idea of these exercises is to become adept at an extreamely relaxed and economical way of playing.Chris Geker (exceptional player an teacher)states that you shouldn"t be to concerned with tone since you are playing these much softer than normal playing.Dont advance on these until you can play them the recommended 8 to 16 times each.Just make sure you monitor your volume and keep it as soft as possible to get the recommended benefit.I"ve been doing these every day for the past 2 weeks and already see a difference in my playing!These are part of my New Years Resolution.I use to be able to get through the etude with the repeat and it woun"t be long untill I can again.
  6. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    Hi Djserrant,

    My two cents:

    Cent 1: Listen to Rowuk. He's a pro and a moderator here, and I've yet to see him be anything but spot on.

    Cent 2: I think it is good to be mindful of the amount of mouthpiece pressure you are using. If I get too much, it's like a tourniquet on my lips and my endurance goes out the window. I'm always trying to find that balance to get just enough pressure to get a good seal and good tone, but no more.

    My own technique is to hold my horn lightly by the bottom of the valve casings. That way I don't have the leverage to press too hard against my lips.

    BTW, though I haven't tried bobmiler1969's technique, it sounds reasonable.

  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land

    I too once used this as a technique, but having analysed David Monette's mouthpiece and body centering techniques, I found that this "kissing the MP" led to tension in the neck - meaning the Monette system that I tried to adopt, didn't work. My approach now is to deliberately push my head backwards at address and then kiss the MP - this puts the head over the shoulders, the shoulders over the hips, the hips over the ankles, and meets the needs for body centering while minimising the pressure on my lips. Mind you, if you follow the Monette Method and relax, truly relax, no - truly - truly relax, then all the other problems disappear. ;-) How I wish I could consistently follow my own advice - ahhh well?
  8. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    ROWUK make a good point in doing what you must to make it through the gig. Always try to practice with next to no presure ie light presure and with the best technique and form you have! On the job though you do what you have to do and worry about technique latter the next day when you have the time to do something about it!
  9. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    If you used only slightly more pressure it shouldn`t affected your tone that much, your lips could have just been tired.I`m not a advocate mouthpiece buzzing, 1. it tends to spread the embouchure if over done 2. buzzing without the trumpet changes the angle of the mouthpiece on your lips. Try using a minimum amount of pressure, there is no such thing as no pressure, only equal pressure of mouthpiece and air pressure, when practicing rest as long as you play 5 or 10 on ,5 or 10 off , if you can eliminate bad habits in the practice room you can carry good habits on to the stage, if you start using too much pressure early just to make the note you won`t last till the end of the gig. Building endurance is just doing a little more today than yesterday , it takes time ,practice softly and happy new year!
  10. bobmiller1969

    bobmiller1969 Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2008
    Mays Landing, New Jersey
    I always had a tendency to tuck in my chin, which constricted my airflow. I'm not sure what technique I'm using anymore. I really try to concentrate on the speed and consistency of the air, rather than apply more pressure. I've never really checked out David Monette, but I've always been curious about his approach.

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