My embouchure problem

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

  1. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    It seems I might have underestimated you and for that I apologise but we do hear this sort of story on an almost anual basis and some of us have had some quite nasty barbs from some of the youth of your country. If you can suffer all of our slings and arrows and come out with the right way forward then you are doing the right thing. I do like Stork mouthpieces as I have said. Good luck with your quest and keep us posted on how (and even what) you are doing.

    All the Best

    Andrew
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    To echo what Andy said, those of us who have been active on these forums for a while (I'm 11 years on this board, and 12 or so on another) have seen this kind of thing time and again. SO many young players want to fix whatever issue they have - be it sound, range, endurance, etc. - with a shift in equipment. Even I went down a that road a time or two, but ultimately I learned that there is no substitute for regular, insightful practice where I wasn't trying to force something to happen that my chops weren't yet ready for.

    In your case, somehow things have gotten moved to an extreme, and although I can understand wanting to get a new mouthpiece to replace the one with the worn plating, I'm not so sure that you are going to get anything out of a Stork mouthpiece you won't get out of a budget level 5C mouthpiece.

    Check this out:
    Mouthpiece Express : Benge Trumpet Mouthpiece, 5B [B3515B] - $10.00

    $10. It's a 5B mouthpiece - well within the limits of something middle of the road, and coincidentally the same size (if it's sized on a Bach MP sizing scale) that I started playing on. That's A LOT less than what a new Stork will cost you, and believe me when I say that if the pic you posted is an indication of what's currently going on with your chops, you need to fix that problem before you spend a lot of money on anything more specialized. That's just my 2¢ on it though.
     
  3. lawrebea000

    lawrebea000 New Friend

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    In reply to trickg
    Thank you for that suggestion. However, do you think I should give the stork a try as well? I have the money saved, and she's giving me a few to try. What have you heard about stork?
    And I'm sorry this isn't on embouchure topic, should I move it to another thread?
     
  4. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    I would't worry about staying too much on topic in a thread like this it has evolved from your intial concerrns to something a bit different, if you move it then we might not pick it up.

    If I may jump in on your questions about Stork I can only generalise from what I know from playing them myself. They are great quality, really well made and very durable mouthpieces and for the price (at least in the uk market) I think they puch well above their price. I find the two that I use (a 2B on cornet and a 3b on trumpet) are more than enough for what I need. The rims for me are comfortabl but some do find thiem a but narrow. What they aren't are any kind of trick mouthpiece like a heavy top or megatone, or wedge or assymetric. What they are are really good solid traditional styled mouthpieces. I like them much better than Bachs or Shilkes and probably more than my Wick 3C heavytop but not by much. If the money is there then you certianly won't be wasting it on a Stork (taking into account of your assertion that you are not using them as a magic bullet and in 3 months you won't be on to the next equipment hunt. I personally like the B cup but that has much to do with my early playing days as a cornet player on a very deep cup.

    So to give you a bit of a rundown on what I use:- on all my cornets Stork 2B, On my rotary, always the Stork 3B, on my other trumpets either my Stork 3B or my Wick 3C heavytop depending on how I feel and what I want from the instrument. I also occasionally use an assymetric but I think for you that would be a non starter they work if you have a low set but I think in your case with that extreme low set it mght end up being a prop for a weakness.

    One other suggestion is to contact our own Ivan Hunter and ask him about his own brand (Jeager 3M) of mouthpiece which if I lived in the states (and had a bit of spare cash I would be looking very closely at. He goes by trumpetsplus on here

    The following is a short piece he recorded about the development of the design.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB2SQWNPsrU&feature=youtu.be

    I hope that helps you

    A
     
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    In a word, NO. No I don't think you should give the Stork a try. Your embouchure is so jacked up, would you really even be able to tell the difference? I'm not trying to be mean - just direct and realistic.

    Yes, I've heard of Stork mouthpieces - I even had one once, and it was a decent enough mouthpiece, but I ended up giving it away to a kid who needed a better mouthpiece (actually, I don't think he even had a mouthpiece of his own) because I was using something else.

    If you are bound and determined to buy a Stork mouthpiece, be my guest - it's your money. However, I honestly and sincerely believe that you will be spending money unnecessarily for something you really don't need and are not yet in a place to take full advantage of. It's like putting a 6th grader behind a pro-level horn that's designed with a specific type of playing in mind, such as lead playing for a big band. It's probably not going to hurt them, but they won't be able to take advantage of what the better horn has to offer - they just aren't ready for it yet.

    My advice stands as it is - buy the $10 mouthpiece from Mouthpiece Express, and spend any extra money you have on something else you want, or on lessons - what you need lies in time in the practice room, not with new equipment.
     
  6. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    Sorry Trickg for once I have to disagre with you. I've had some of the £10/$10 type of mouthpiece and although they do do a job they tend only to do it for a short while. The plating tends to wear within a few months and you end up buying a new piece before you have really got used to the one that has just started to turn green (yes I have seen it happen within months of them being bought). There is a saying buy cheap buy twice and although in principle I do agree that the OP will get nothing out of a Stork that they wouldn't get out of a budget mouthpiece now with dilligent work in three or four months that might not be the case.
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    It's a Benge mouthpiece, produced by Conn-Selmer - it's not going to be low quality - this one just happens to be on sale for $10 is all. Considering that Conn-Selmer makes Bach products, I'd venture to guess that it's likely going to be exactly the same as a Bach 5B mouthpiece with the exception of the roll stamping. Did you click the link before you decided to disagree with me?

    There is absolutely no reason to buy anything else, and for that matter, finding a good used Bach mouthpiece on eBay would be an equally smart decision.

    Again, the OP can do what they want - it makes no difference to me. If they want, they can buy a Monette mouthpiece for all I care, but I know that's not going to solve a problem that needs to be addressed in the practice room.
     
  8. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    As much as I do admit I missed the link but only saw the reference to a budget mouthpiece I still think there is nothing wrong with shooting for quality within reason and it even if it doesn't help it certainly won't hinder. Reading the OP's posts I think they have got the idea that the paractice room is the place the problem needs addressing and if I was advising any serious player to look for a new mouthpiece Stork would certainly be on my list of ones for them to try.

    My point was not to try to insult you but to try to present the view that cheap isn't alway better and if you feel insulted by my not seeing things the same way you do then we must agree to differ on that point. I would hope that the right Stork would serve the OP for many years (chosen with the help of a teacher and Phylis Stork together with the emphasis on the teacher) a cheaper mouthpiece may not. The Benge you mention may be a good bet but I would be wary of suggesting a B cup to someone not used to the shape. I find the C cup and the B cup shapes need very different aproaches to tongueing and i don't think Laurebee000 needs that as well as a radical change in placement.
     
  9. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    ok, i expect to take a beating for this, and that's ok. everybody who tells you to go to a teacher is absolutely right. if you buy a new mouthpiece, look at the comparison charts and get something similar to what you have. brands do differ, but after you move your embouchure, which you should probably do, the subtle differences among the major brands are not going to be all that apparent to you. a 5B is a good mouthpiece, and you wouldn't be all that far off if you just bought another one. don't get anything weird or too expensive, because its not going to help you. stork makes very good stuff. just don't expect it to be a magic bullet.

    this is only my understanding. but i'm just going to give it to you, because you asked an honest question, and i don't think you deserve to be publicly humiliated for asking a question from your own perspective, which is necessarily limited by your experience.

    when you blow out the candles on a birthday cake, you instinctively form an aperture in the middle of your mouth that makes a fast moving well directed airstream. this is the airstream required to play the trumpet, incidentally. the point is that its in the middle of your mouth. that's because the muscles around your lips form a circle. the supporting muscles in your face are bilaterally symetrical. in order to have the greatest amount of control over that aperture, and to evenly distribute the work load, it makes sense that the embouchure would operate from the center of that structure. obviously you don't play the trumpet in literally the same way as blowing candles. but your mouth is the interface with the nouthpiece. so you put the mouthpiece in the middle. this interface does several things. first of all, it functions as a sort of gasket around your embouchure, or the part in the middle that vibrates. the mouthpiece is round. the gasket, in order to be evenly distributed, which creates a good seal without using excess pressure, should be evenly seated around the rim of the mouthpiece. of course, this is theory, and people play all over the place. but if your embouchure was working, we wouldn't be here. so let's forget the idea for now that you should be able to play the trumpet from anywhere. at jazz camp, you forced a faulty structure to withstand excess pressure, and it failed. the rounded rim of the 5C probably facilitated that because it didn't actually cut you, but the force you used tore you down. in order to work properly, a gasket needs to maintain a certain firmness, but with flexibilty. if its hard, excess pressure will be needed in order to form a seal. so you don't want to "harden" your chops, or mash the trumpet onto your face.

    a well centered structure should produce a top space G, or thereabouts, if nothing else. and without too much strain, either. if not a G, then maybe an E a 3rd below. put your mouthpiece in the middle of your mouth and try for that good note. keep trying, and rest a lot. a few minutes at a time. i know that without seeing you or hearing you, that's a guess. but its not a bad guess, and once again, you're asking a reasonable question, and its not an answer to say i can't give you an answer, or you don't deserve an answer. a teacher should be able to give you a better informed answer than i can, but if you can get that G or E out, even if you can't do much else, work with it. taking it down from there will probably be harder than taking it up to the high C. that's where the bulk your work is going to be. you are not going to be a beginner, eve though at first, you may sound like one. certain muscles that you have been neglecting are going to have to be brought up to speed...those muscles might be beginners. but you have developed strength in other places that you will be able to use once the opposing muscles that you haven't used at all catch up. this is what takes the time and the patience. all the good breathing advice that you have seen here is certainly valid. but no matter how well you breathe, its unlikely that what's in your picture is going to stand up to any more abuse.

    play simple things, starting with that good note. that's your home base. you will probably notice that it might be easier to form another place on the staff as your home base to play simple things in the low register. that's true. but to play above the staff, a low home base will probably not work very well. its a compromise. you want your set up to accomplish the more difficult thing efficiently, and develop the control to do the less physically demanding things. that's where your long tones will come in, and that's excellent advice too.

    sometimes i notice when a person asks a question around here, the responders, are mostly responding to each other. i'm sure that nobody means to be unkind. it is quite true that an internet forum is not the very best place to get advice on developing a complex skill. there is too much individual attention needed that its simply not possible to provide here. but we're all already here, right? so while i wouldn't expect you to take any advice on an open forum to be the last word or the only word on your problem, its possible that short of actually going to study with some of the fine teachers represented here, you could get an encouraging word or two. that's all i'm trying to accomplish. so good luck and best wishes to you.

    ok boys, have at me.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    WHOAH!

    If an embouchure is messed up, what is the right mouthpiece to change to?

    Thank you.

    If brass is showing on a mouthpiece there is no IMMEDIATE need to do anything! It will not poison you and you really do need to get your face together before doing ANYTHING that costs money.

    If you can afford an embouchure specialist, great. If it IS a real specialist, be prepared to only play what they tell you for at least the next 6 months. They MAY let you play in ensembles, they may forbid it if they see no realistic chance to fix what is broken when your time is divided.

    I have posted what you need to do. It doesn't require an embouchure specialist, it requires a young adult with more ears than mouth. You need to listen to YOUR playing. A good teacher may not change your embouchure by force. I wouldn't. A steady diet of the right stuff also works 9 times out of 10 if the player is really interested in success instead of posting feelgood stuff.
     

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