Mouthpiece Pressure..?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by VarsityTpt, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. VarsityTpt

    VarsityTpt New Friend

    Oct 11, 2009
    I've read quite a few threads on here about mouthpiece pressure, but I have some questions of my own regarding specifically the pressure I apply to my upper lip. My private lessons teacher has given me some warm-up sheets that are supposed to help me reduce the pressure and such. In the warm-up, I am to keep the horn on my face at all times, no adjusting the embouchure or moving the horn. I can only relax the embouchure.

    Although I've only been doing these warm-ups for a few weeks, and I'm sure it'll take more time to show more improvement, I wanted to know how bad the amount of pressure I am applying is.

    I'm a sophomore in HS, and first chair in the second-to-top band in the school.My range, on my best days, goes up to high E above the staff, but I consistantly get to high C and usually high D.

    Here are the pictures to shopw the pressure I apply:
    Low C below the staff: low C picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket
    G on the staff: G picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket
    C on the staff: C picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket
    G above staff: G above staff picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket
    high C above: high C above staff picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket
    I have a couple notes above that, but just look in the album for those.

    Also, I was wondering if braces would possibly help with this at all? And is the formation of my teeth fine for trumpet playing?
    upper teeth: upper teeth picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket
    lower teeth:lower teeth picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket
    smile: smile picture by VarsityTpt - Photobucket

    sorrythis is kinda long.. I just really want to know this stuff because it's beginning to get on my nerves a bit.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Pressure is only compensation for other things that you are not doing correctly. Replacing bad habits takes time (months). Just do what your teacher says. Don't "check up" on him here. The more advice that you take from various sources the more you endanger what he is saying! I think what you describe as warm-ups sounds sensible!

    I have crooked front teeth and never got braces. Braces can destroy your playing for a year or two. The success stories are as prevalent as the failures.
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Those warm-ups your teacher has you playing should help ,they seem to be very similar to Caruso's " Calisthenics for Trumpet " which has helped countless players.
  4. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    as someone said earlier I do not want to dispute your teacher, but OMG that embouchure looks well, not good. not good. You are destroying your lower lip, it is absolutely way too much pressure.

    My advice; build some muscles, It looks as though your chops are weak.
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Listen to your teacher and stick with what he has you doing. A teacher who can sit next to you will be able to give you better advice than anyone on the internet.

    Picture your progress as a marathon, not a sprint. There are no overnight fixes or gains...
  6. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    My teacher taught me one very good technique. It's nothing fancy, but very effective.

    Set your horn on a surface with comfortable height and blow it without it moving away from you. This forces you to find a way to place your mouth over it so you could get a tone out of it without applying much pressure. (key factor is a solid air flow. If you can't breathe, don t even dream about playing)

    Also when you play, atleast what I used to do when I was getting rid of my pressure, you use the same embochure (as you used when trying the previous thing) and force the horn away from you when you hold it.

    I've been doing that since always, and well, what can I say, I can reach 2nd G and even 3rd C without much pressure.

    So try that and tell me how it worked - don't expect much results after a week or 2, just keep doing it and eventually your muscles will re-evolve and you'll have no probs playing no-pressure style.

    Of course there are other methods aswell, maybe better ones, but that's just what I've been taught.
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Rowuk says:
    "Pressure is only compensation for other things that you are not doing correctly".
    Damned, that sounds like one of those zen life sayings. I like it.

    However, I'm pretty sure that a certain amount of pressure is needed to create a seal between the lips and the mouthpiece.
    There's a device (Trumpet Mouthpiece pressure adapter) that can be purchased through Osun that really works well as a training device. The device goes in the reciever and the mouthpiece goes inside the device. Its expensive but it works.
    Lack of ability in just about any area of playing usually manifests itself in the form of too much pressure on the lips. Hey! that's what rowuk just said!!
    Listen to rowuk.
  8. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    Well to get the maximum benefit from an excerpt you must to it for weeks to months. Like rowuk commonly says success cant be measured in days or weeks ,but only in months and years.

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