My embouchure problem

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by lawrebea000, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I refuse to comment on the embouchure. There is no way that I could offer any advice anyway. Without being next to the player, I see nothing about body use, breathing, tension or anything else. Without that info, no comment is helpful.

    Even with a completely messed up face (like after a stroke), consistent attention to the things that do help will help let the embouchure gravitate to its most productive spot. This is the fastest and least frustrating way.

    When we change the embouchure by revolution, we can write off range and endurance for quite a while. Well monitored daily routines have many advantages as we do not lose what we have and with small steps our body lets us know what is best. We learn to listen and react. We play with ever decreasing pressure and that alone tightens things up.
  2. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    I generally do not comment on embouchures, but I have a student whose embouchure makes this one look high. Really! He plays very far into the red and at the first lesson, I realized he had a problem which could only be fixed by completely changing it. That would take this junior in high school back to the beginning stage and at this point would not be the best thing for him.
    Actually, his biggest issue is lack of breathing support which I have worked on with him for months. I use various exercises from the Arbans, scales, slurring exercises, and Chicowicz flow studies to get him breathing properly and moving the air through the horn. When he does what I've instructed, his playing and most of all, his sound improves exponentially. I try to make it as simple for him as possible yet explaining in as much detail as I can. He does not practice enough which is another issue, but he can be a competent trumpet player if he follows my instructions.
    As he is not considering music for a career, with proper work now, he can join community bands as he gets older and do a decent job.
    If I had begun teaching him just a few years earlier, I could have fixed the embouchure with less issue.
    As Rowuk points out, without an in-person assessment, advice for this poster is just not possible.
    By the way, there is a splendid young player Melissa Venema, who I have seen up close. A few years back, she was at a brass fest in Chicago and came into the GR room. She wanted something along the lines of the mouthpiece she was playing and I handed her GRs comparable model. To say the least, she has an unusual off to the side embouchure, but the sound she makes is splendid! Sometimes odd looking embouchures work very well.
    Rich T.
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    That advice seems like total bunk.
  4. lawrebea000

    lawrebea000 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2014
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I can't see any benefit to the excerecises they suggest, especially the plastic over the leadpipe, or removing the tuning slide.

    The most important part of learning to play an instrument and correcting your playing is actually PLAYING the instrument. No amount of simulation can make up for the real thing.

    I also don't agree with their suggestion to practice moderately loudly. Building fundamentals should be started at a quite volume. As you become comfortable with the muscle movements and air control etc, you bring the volume up to push the limits.
  6. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    Because you can't see any benefit does not mean that the exercises can't work. Some people see no value in free buzzing but it works miracles for some people. Reinhardt disciples see no value in pedals and even find them detrimental yet they are an integral part of Gordon teachings which produce wonderful players. I'd advise the OP and any student to be pragmatic and ignore dogmatism
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    What all authors of music texts present are what works for them ... and may never work for a student unless they adamant and persistent about emulating the author. IMO the most important factor to learn is to read music! Next, is to feel the rhythms ... and to this day even I'm lax at many rhythms.

    In time, about equal to that spent in courses of instruction, if one persistently plays and listens to a variety of music one will improve these two skills and along with such develop the embouchure, wind, and lip/facial muscle control to accomplish such with less and less effort. Above all, I firmly believe they'll enjoy music more.

    Please do not misconstrue my statements. The purpose of an instructor, teacher, or tutor is to provide you guidance on your quest to become a musician, vis don't climb the unknown mountain without a knowledgeable guide.
  8. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    What this says to me is that you played a lot more at jazz camp than you were playing before it and you probably strained something. It suggests to me that you need to stop struggling to play and take some time off. (I don't know how much.) After taking time off, try the Rowuk approach to the other fundamentals of good embouchure.

    Whatever you do, approach it slowly. There is no immediate fix, just the usual boring hard work of making gradual changes.

    And, take all of this embouchure advice with several grains of salt....
  9. MFaddicted

    MFaddicted New Friend

    May 8, 2014
    Per my teacher, I do quite a lot of long tones and lip slurs...that does the trick for me
  10. MFaddicted

    MFaddicted New Friend

    May 8, 2014
    per my teacher, i do a lot of long tones and lip slurs in the staff...that does the trick for me

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