Mouthpiece to lips, how often do you relax and reset?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by catello, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. catello

    catello Pianissimo User

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    Greetings, TMers.

    Just looking for what the players are doing naturally - once you've set your embouchure, put the mouthpiece to your lips and started playing, how often to you remove the mouthpiece to relax/reset? Or do you try to keep it in place as long as possible until the larger rests? I've observed recently (maybe just became aware) that occasionally, and not necessarily fatigue related, I seem to be pulling away at any little opportunity. Other times, it's horn-to-lips for long passages. I'm thinking it's unconsciously song-related and how I'm attacking the style, but haven't come to any conclusion on this as to when/why I'm doing either. And not entirely certain of the positive or negative aspects of each.

    Any opinions (I know, silly question - always lots of these)?

    Regards,
    Michael.
     
  2. Msen

    Msen Piano User

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    Never thought of that. Even if I am not tired I'll take the mouthpiece away from my lips at any opportunity.
    Well, except if after the rest comes a high note, then I'll keep the horn on and focus and try hard not to mess things up :)
     
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    First, it's not a silly question ... however it's a fundamental one. Once a strong embouchure is developed from practice it becomes almost natural and is there or not the instant you touch your lips to the mouthpiece. In part, you've answered your own question as it certainly is related to the music. There is a great benefit of relaxation to achieve endurance. Were you to watch and listen to orchestras, note how often the instrument is rested on the lap or in the arms when the music does not call for that instrument being played. These interims are also a good time to clear the water from your instrument if it is one that collects such.
     
  4. cb5270

    cb5270 Pianissimo User

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    In Caruso's "Calisthenics for Brass" and the related book Flexus by Frink and McNeil (disciples of Caruso) you are told to keep the mouthpiece in contact with the lips and even to maintain lip tension during rests to avoid resetting the embouchure. I'm just an old come back but I find this a bit fatiguing, but calisthenics should do that. For myself during normal playing horn off the lips allows a brief time of relaxation and circulation if the rest is over three or four seconds.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I consider trumpet playing to be fine motor activity and as such NOT a workout. I believe in a lot of low impact reps, not weight lifting. I never think about face time. I think about musical phrases and they determine when and how much that I have to play. My teaching and practicing constantly tries to find ways to relieve unnecessary tension.

    Let the music guide you and you will never be wrong.
     
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    How long does it take you to set your embouchure, catello?
     
  7. catello

    catello Pianissimo User

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    Pretty much instantaneous. It was really just an observation that I had, and probably been developed over the past 30+ years of playing. Some things become automatic and yet they still peak my curiosity. And I'm sure it's just song/phrase related. Sometimes I'm taking lots of micro-breaks from the mouthpiece, and sometimes I'm just cooking along - but not so much that it develops into fatigue.

    I often do the Caruso 6-notes exercise in my practice, so I know what fatigue feels like on the lips. This, I've been told, is a good exercise, but I don't usually do more than 2 reps with an equal amount of rest in-between.

    Actually, the "silly question" I was referring to was: "Any opinions?" - on this forum, we have no shortage of people to jump into a topic. Sometimes there's even great advice!

    Thanks, everyone, for the comments so far.

    Regards,
    Michael.
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    My endurance is helped by frequent micro rests, pulling the mouthpiece briefly away while still maintaining contact during short rests. Comes in handy during Bruckner or Philip Glass.
     
  9. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

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    When there are rest in the music I at least re wet the whole area
     
  10. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    I'm with VB I think - don't try to keep the trumpet glued to my face -- though some pieces demand it. I used to use too much pressure, and not back that off when not playing for a few notes, which meant resuming sound production suffered and so did my endurance. Oddly last night things were different and I noticed myself playing all over my range without resetting at all, though I did breathe in through the mouth corners (does that count as resetting?) without lifting the trumpet as I normally do.

    --bumblebee
     

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