Mouthpiece slipping

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BobtheBigFoot, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

    May 15, 2011
    Hello everyone, I have been having some issues for a couple years now. I have terrible endurance problems, but my trumpet teacher and I have no idea whats wrong. I believe that the endurance problem is just a side effect of another problem. I know I do play a little bit in the red, but not much, that is until my mouthpiece starts slipping downward. It only happens when I play a G (the one just above the top ledger line) or higher. I also have some flexability issues that I believe are also side effects of the lip slippage. I know I dont have to be playing long for my cheeks to start burning like you wouldn't believe. I do practice regularly by the way. Has anyone had a similar problem?? I don't want to lose my ability to play the trumpet! I'm willing to work like a horse to fix it.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    A couple of things to fool around with--

    You may be holding your trumpet at an angle that is unnaturally high for your mandibular configuration. You can try pushing your jaw our, or tilt the horn down.

    To some extent, we need to be able to "grip" the the mouthpiece with our lips. I had a Doctor friend in Germany who played trombone and I mentioned something about "lip muscles." His reply was: "Lips aren't muscles, they are meat!"

    A good exercise from John Glasel to train the muscles that control our lips:

    Play a long tone, and while doing so reduce pressure; it will start to sound "bad." With this same pressure, do whatever it takes with the chops to make it sound "better" (not perfect or normal). In a short time you should notice some muscles being worked (a big ring or circle around the mouth.)

    This will allow us to train some muscles that don't normally get worked; when somewhat in shape it should require somewhat less pressure to play.

    Good luck!
  3. study888

    study888 Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 22, 2005
    Darlington S.C.
    The Warburton P.E.T.E. is a good embouchure strength building tool.

    What brand of mouthpiece are you playing on at the moment? You may need a mouthpiece that has more rim bite or a higher Alpha angle or less. This might help you to get better control and lip support. It is possible,the mouthpiece rim could be to small or to big or the cup depth to deep or shallow. Back bore to tight or open.

    So many variables. By the time we get through advising you. You may wish to take up the Piano. HaHa Have you talked to a local Pro Trumpet Teacher. See what one recommends.

    The Carmine Caruso Embouchure building book may help. I hate to do this,but what have you got to lose. You may soon be off on a mouthpiece safari. Most of us on this site have been there done that.

    Go to the Stork Mouthpiece internet site. Study the various picture lip type charts. Use a hand mirror and see where your type lips line up with the Storks info.

    If you find a good comparision match. Note the recommended MM rim size,see where you are at, with the rim size on the mouthpiece you are now using. If you are in the ball park. May just need more rim bite or less etc. A local Pro trumpet player/teacher is still your best bet. Good luck
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Proper body use insures that everything stays put. If your mouthpiece is slipping down, you don't have your BODY under control. We do not anchor anything at the lips.

    We all have choice available to us in everything that we do. As the human state is based on habits learned, much trumpet playing is determined before the first note sounds. Standing up straight but relaxed, feet about shoulder width apart, chin tucked slightly in, bringing the horn to our face instead of destroying our stance by moving our BODY to the horn. Big relaxed breath that does not change our balance or relaxed state. This is all stuff that belongs in the early stages of playing to make sure that it is not in the way later. It needs to be perfected without playing and then with the horn. Simple routine stuff like long tones and slurs give us a wonderful opportunity to strengthen the good habits daily.

    Your solution is a series of small steps and will take maybe 6 months to train. It will require you to play "awake" instead of your current "however". Awake starts when you touch the horn in the case. Your attitude at that point in time determines what happens next. Your teacher will have to really pay attention. This can't be done on the internet.

    Good luck!
  5. Gary Schutza

    Gary Schutza Pianissimo User

    Apr 6, 2007
    Kansas City
    this is good advice from all, I hope you pay attention to it.
    I would like to offer one more bit of advice concerning what you said about the mouthpiece being a little bit in the red. A lot of teachers would tell you that this is probably too low a set, and I tend to agree. Some would encourage an "embouchure change" to get the set higher. This I don't like to advocate unless their are other problems. I would never suggest an embouchure change unless I was face to face with a student and I could see everything that was going on.
    What I will suggest is a simple thing that will help the mouthpiece set to very slowly (over weeks) creep back up into the non-red area.
    Each time you put the mouthpiece up to play, set it very high on your upper lip, just bumping up against your nose. Then, simply slide it down to your normal set as you breath in. Over time the set will start to creep back up. Make this an every time you bring the horn up thing, make it a new habit. This way you shouldn't need to ever do an embouchure change, which are evil.

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    To add a litte here, and by the way I agree whole heartedly with Rowuk, I need to play with an almost "Dry" set, so when practicing, (and performing at times) I keep a small
    towel on my shoulder to help keep a "Dry set" it helps keep a comfy set on those long passeges and in my upper range. It might be worth a try.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    To OP. If you have a mustache, may I suggest lining your mouthpiece rim with velcro.
  8. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I don't know about the slippage. The burning may be from practicing too much without enough rest. Or it could be from trying to keep the corners to stiff. Flex your bicep muscle and hold it for 45 minutes. Tell me how it feels the next day. Same concept in my opinion.
  9. BobtheBigFoot

    BobtheBigFoot New Friend

    May 15, 2011
    I currently play on Bach 3C but in the past i have played on a 7C, 5C, and a Schilkie 12 and 14 A4a (the schilkies were one of my biggest mistakes of my trumpet playing career).
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Bob, you don't have a career. You are still toying with the basics. The Schilke mouthpieces shouldn't be put down by someone at your stage of development. I don't think that you have the chops to tell yet.

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