Not wasting time with introductions; let's talk mouthpieces.

Discussion in 'Mouthpieces / Mutes / Other' started by butxifxnot, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    150
    1
    Jul 10, 2004
    Here...
    Hello. My names Peter, I play trumpet, and I'm probably better than you. :D Just kidding. I do have some questions for y'all fellow trumpet players, and my first question is about mouthpiece exercises.

    I just got a BERP. It's wonderful. However, about mouthpiece exercises: I've got a little predicament. A few years ago, I had the thing where my embochre was very much off its center. I started over. Now everything's good, save a little air-support problem, but I can deal with that. With that, I came up with a method for playing the high parts that are delt to me, now with decent endurance. However, while my range is good up and down, my problem is with transitioning between the high and low register of my embochre. I watch myself in the mirror and feel what's going on and I can see that I cannot go from my low to my high. I can go from my low to a strained high, not at all beautiful, and I can go (better, in comparison) from my high to very nearly my low. How can I fix this? What kind of exercises (specific) can I do to help it along? (If sirens, howso?) Feedback much appreciated. :)
     
  2. trumpet blower88

    trumpet blower88 Mezzo Piano User

    Age:
    30
    640
    3
    Jun 15, 2005
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Well, if I read all that right, it sounds like you may have the same problem as I do. I find that in the lower register I have one emboucer, but then in the upper register it's a litle bit differant. On my high register the corners of my lips start to get pulled back and begin to flatten out the front and middle of my lips, where on the lower resgister it's just the regular way most people play, with the corners tight and pulled twoards the front. They both work fine for playing, but I can never play a nice smooth and pretty chromatic scale or anything like that.
    So what I do is just concentrate on keeping teh corners my lips forward and tight when playing in the upper register and just keep practicing it that way untill it becoms a habit and you memorize where the muscles in your lips should be at the right time.
    It sounds like you did the same thing I did and fell into this bad habbit. My private teacher always tells me that in order to fix a habbit you need to play it correctly 3 times as often as however many times you played it wrong. For example, if you play a Bb when it should be natural 4 times, then you need to play it the right way 12 times. So if you've been playing like this for the last, lets say, 2 years, then it will take 6 years of concentrateing on playing the right way untill its sticks and you've created the new "good" habbit.
    Thats what I think about it, but I might have read your question wrong, so I don't know, maybe this whole post of mine was pointless... :?:
     
  3. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    150
    1
    Jul 10, 2004
    Here...
    :D I think I can help you out, here. Pulling the corners is a no-no. That was another thing that I had to fix with my embouchure, though it did not take as long to fix as you suggest. I am one to testify as to how total reconstruction from square one can benefit. I do not pull either with my high embouchure for B above the staff and above, my middle embochre pretty much there down to bottom staff F, or there downward. However, I have trouble transitioning between the different ranges. I can see that I am not the only one with this thought. How about those who have not undergone total reconstructions? Do you have the problem? If so, how did you overcome it?
     
  4. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    150
    1
    Jul 10, 2004
    Here...
    :shock: Right. :) Sorry. Man! I've been spelling it that way for years!!
     
  5. mattdalton

    mattdalton Pianissimo User

    144
    3
    Apr 30, 2005
    Newcastle, WA USA
    Peter -
    It sounds like mouthpiece buzzing has helped you thus far. You don't say what exercises you use with it, but it sounds like you need some that help you eliminate the 'breaks' in register. Do these breaks happen near E (either or both the first line E and top space E) or high A? If so, the exercises in James Thompson's The Buzzing Book may help you. You mentioned 'sirens'...I don't think any old glissandi gets one past these 'breaks,' but the Thompson exercises use glissandi in a very structured, intentional manner that really works well for many people.

    Proper use of James Stamp routines (which aren't oriented around glissandi) can also work very well.

    These are two proven resources. You should keep working on air support too (we all should). Beyond that, it's nearly impossible to give specific advice about using them without seeing you play. Be patient, and don't go overboard on the buzzing exercises -- i.e., if you use Thompson, stay with exercises 1-4 for many weeks until you really master them. They will work in time. You can follow the instructions in the Stamp and Thompson books carefully, but you really should get with good private teacher to help you get the most benefit from them and address any other related issues.

    If you don't have good private teacher already and don't have local references, create a post telling TM members where you live, and I'll bet someone can make a recommendation for a good teacher or two near your home.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

    Age:
    32
    1,329
    1
    Jun 17, 2004
    Lebanon, TN
    I went from bizarro embouchure (far right corner, far lower lip) to perfect center seven months ago. I still have trouble with my lower register, but I am slowly improving.

    Long tones are essential, IMHO. G,F#,Ab,F,A,Fb, etc. till you're up to high G and down to low Gb. If you cant do that, you need to stop and build that up.

    Clarke #1 builds on this.

    Slurs also help.

    Then do Arban. Takes you through the register that gives problems. If you cant do everything out of the Art of Phrasing perfect, theres no need going forward.



    ABOUT THE BERP: I've got to where I'm not that fond of it. I prefer regular mp buzzing. Try and buzz through everything you play before you play it. Warm ups, etudes, whatever. Even do dynamics, as well as VIBRATO!!

    If you cant play softly on mp, you really cant on trumpet. If its hard on mp, its worse on trumpet. Stop letting the trumpet cheat for you!

    Of course, I sometimes need to remind myself to buzz everyday... :oops:

    Play low register softly with vibrato to grasp that register. Same for upper register. HECK, all of the register! Thats whats been working for me...

    Van
     
  7. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    150
    1
    Jul 10, 2004
    Here...
    Yes.
    Out of curiosity, how in-depth is this book? Is it like Arban's Complete??
    :-) Absolutely. FYI the break is about the flat side of the high C, though it is a wimpy one. My register prefers to be set at octaves, though two octaves is possible. I want to be able to 'set' myself into those different registers without physically taking my lips off and resetting. That would be a momentous first step for me.
    That's why the BERP is great! You play on the mp and still act like you're on the trumpet. I've got the vibrato, my accuracy is helped...
     
  8. mattdalton

    mattdalton Pianissimo User

    144
    3
    Apr 30, 2005
    Newcastle, WA USA
    Peter -
    The Stamp book is nothing like the Arban's Complete Conservatory Method. It doesn't need to be, as that is not its goal. Instead, it focuses on Stamp's warm-up and study routines. The book has 32 pages, but it's plenty of material to keep one busy on the things it covers. To get the most out of the Stamp book you might want to get Roy Poper's companion book. Poper studied with Stamp and wrote his book to help explain the exercises in Stamp's book better.

    You seem to be wanting to get to a single embouchure (no significant shifts), which I think is a good thing for most people. Buzzing exercises can help with this, if you don't overdo it and give it time. You might also try 1.5 or 2 octave scale patterns (chromatic, major, minor, etc. - doesn't really matter) at moderate-to-soft volumes to the mix. Go up from the middle and back down, or down from the middle and back up, keeping nearer to the middle register setting as you do. This gets you playing through and past the breaks.

    Best of luck with this, and keep on BERPin' ;-)
     
  9. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    808
    49
    May 15, 2005
    Scotland
    Part of the issue is making the aperture small enough and then training yourself to play in the lower register well with a smaller aperture.
    This was the key for me anyway.
    Once I had got the low register sorted out the top end was much more stable.
     
  10. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    150
    1
    Jul 10, 2004
    Here...
    Thanks for all the input, guys. I'll see about that book and keep these things in mind. :-)
     

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