Muscles of the embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Terrizzi, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    +1 - Ok the trumpet isn't like weightlifting? high notes are easy - it is just good breathing, etc.
    ((so in a couple of months I am going to my old high school and revolutionize their music program -- all of the trumpets are soon going to play everything from the low F# to the double high C's -6 spaces above the staff - with ease -- cause after all high playing is just good breath control - and it's easy!!!!!!!!))ROFL
    So I agree with the quoted posts because --- at some point you need to strengthen the embouchure in order to hold the aperture in place. I am a comebacker in the 31st month -- I still get soreness, then I rest, the trumpet is still getting better. Mostly near the corners, near the jaw -- the lips are free to vibrate in the center ---and that is the part that I am trying to hold together ---- and it does not happen with a weak embouchure:thumbsup:
    if it does --- then everybody can pick up the trumpet, learn the simple motor controls of the lips, and the breathing --- and wah-lah -- instant trumpet players with a year or two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. DaveH

    DaveH Piano User

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    Playing the trumpet and lifting weights are not comparable activities as it relates to the principles of practice and training and development involved. To promote this idea and to attempt to draw conclusions therefrom is to promote a spurious and false analogy.

    I will not post further on this because so doing would tend to hi-jack the thread.

    Back to the issue of soreness.The issue of soreness is, IMO, a phenomenon that should not be experienced. Fatigue and tiredness, perhaps...pain, no. Playing and practice principles and techniques need re-evaluated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011
  3. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

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    Look don't put too much thought into this. If you play more the longer you can play. Same goes with running and other activities. If you are using the proper amount of pressure the soreness will go away with more practice. Your body will naturally do the right things if you are actively listening and practicing properly. Don't think about it too hard it really doesn't matter in the long run the audience just wants to hear good music.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    After a good work out you should feel "toned". I am not sure this is what you mean by "soreness". Toned should feel tight, like you know the lips are there. But you should not feel pain, like you have been punched in the mouth.

    Pain is a result of injury. It is amazing how "Mother Nature" wired us up with a nervous system to detect this. "Pain is our friend." Say this three times and commit this to memory. Listen to pain. When it comes to muscle, pain is telling us injury is happening. The warning sign before pain is loss of control. The time to stop working out your muscles is when you start loosing control (or accuracy) of hitting notes. Either STOP here. Or back down to a comfortable level where accuracy is maintained.

    If you feel pain. Stop. Message your lips, suck on an ice cube for a few minutes or better yet message your lips with an ice cube for a few minutes. Then put the horn away for a day.

    There are three main groups of muscles controlling the LIPS, each contain 2-3 muscle groups. It is hard to control which of these groups are at work as they coordinate among each other with very little ability to focus control for one group over another.

    There are additional muscles that control the jaw. The function of the jaw also comprises part of the effect on the overall function of what we call the embrouchure. You do have a little more control over the use of these muscles. Such as you can control opening up the jaw (embrouchure) more with the lower jaw muscles, or thrusting out the jaw more with lower groups (and neck muscles) to help "tighten" the embrouchure.

    So unlike in weight lifting were you can isolate out flexors and extensers (as you are working an a different set of pullies against a simple lever) with puckering the mouth (lip part of the embrouchure) there is not the simple muscle groups that work as "oposing forces". So the weight lifting analogy does not work for the lip embrouchure.

    Muscles that open and close the jaw as part of the embrouchure apparatus can be isolated out for a work out. Again these sets of muscles are working against a folcrum called the TMJ.

    Finally, to truly optimally tone muscle, they must be used AT LEAST every other day (for the average person). If you wait a week between practices, the lips will never be otimally toned. Oh sure, you can play, and perhaps to a level you are comfortable with playing, but you will be holding yourself back in so doing, to reaching an enhanced performance level that you are capible of reaching.

    Muscle is muscle is muscle. Whether it is your biceps/tricepts that are used in weight lifting, lip muscles used in playing an instrument, cardiac muscle developing preload/afterload for optimal cardiac ejection fraction, or smooth muscle lining arteries to provide elasticity to assist in easing the cardiac function, if you wish to enhance ALL these muscles, you must excercise them each in a unique fashion to keep them toned to optimize their performance.

    I hope this perspective has helped in answering or addressing all the posts I have read up to this point.
     
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    you are free to not post -- it's your choice -- hey have a great day -- play, be happy and enjoy the trumpet and your silence on this thread ---
     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    yes - doc -- that is a lovely and accurate description -- mostly I feel the "workout" in my jaw -- so I must be compensating in the jaw instead of my embouchure --- so I guess that is all good.ROFL
    not pain -- but a touch of "I can feel it - and it feels so good":thumbsup:
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    That's the feeling KT. You are in the ZONE!
     
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Gmonady,

    Great post! Coming from an M.D, it has added weight. Words to keep your face alive and well by.

    My personal recipe for organic face protection:

    1. More loose lip flapping.

    2. More water.

    3. More rests during practice.

    I like to keep things simple. That works for me.

    Turtle
     
  9. MVF

    MVF Pianissimo User

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    So do you guys prefer the "ripped and shredded" look or go more for "bulked up and huge" when it comes to embouchures? (sorry- for some reason I couldn't find any good pics to illustrate)
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I prefer a keg to a 6-pack ANYDAY!
     

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