Okay, my first chop problem question.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Seafra, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Seafra

    Seafra New Friend

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    Sep 28, 2012
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    There are similar threads but I hope you don't mind me asking for some advice in a new discussion.

    I'm a fairly advanced player but I think I should be much more solid. I have a good concept of air and staying relaxed but my embouchure is holding me back. I have really thick lips, and the inner rim of my mouthpiece sets on my vermillion (the pink or red part of the lips). It seems that most people say this is bad, and I can see why. It seems to constrict the flexibility of my lips so that I have less control of my aperture. I can't manipulate the aperture without adding pressure in the upper register, which causes me to go sharp, crack notes, pinched sound, when I get up to F above high C. I'm not even happy with my high C, the tone is usually bad and unreliable.

    Any recommendations on getting "out of the pink?" I feel if I place the rim any higher, I'll just be playing on the vermillion of my lower lip and have no support on the bottom. And I'm not thrilled with the idea of rolling my chops in. I know it's hard to diagnose these problems on a forum but any recommendations would help me out. Or even just words of encouragement!

    Thanks
    Jeff
     
  2. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

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    Jeff it sounds like you need a teacher that can stand in front of you and see what your doing with your "Set" in order to
    help you. Thick lips, thin lips, it should not matter.
     
  3. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

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    I notice you live in Colorado. Bill Pfund, who lives in Greeley, has spent 30+ years of his life solving issues like this. He helped me a while back. Just look him up and give him a call!
     
  4. Seafra

    Seafra New Friend

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    Sep 28, 2012
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I've actually had a lesson with Bill Pfund. And, I lived in Greeley for two years when I went to UNC. He's a great guy.
     
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Jeff what you are feeling is a natural physiological process. Everything you describe can by understood by looking at the basic histological and anatomical structure of the lip:

    [​IMG]

    Notice in this illustration that the muscle (M) sits between (OM): oral mucosa (inside part of the mouth) and (S) skin. The Vermillion boarder (V) is at the interface of these two components (OM)/(S). The best control of muscle on the mouthpiece is when the muscle band is inside the cup. That only can happen when the entire lip is inside the rim of the cup. Flexibility is increased, muscle force is most efficient. Now is it possible to play with the muscle outside the cup, the answer is yes, but with more of a challange to achieve control and force. So it's not impossible to achieve force and control playing in the red, it just places more work on the lip to achieve the same level of control and force.
     
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

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    actually --maybe get a bigger mpc --- so the lips fit COMFORTABLY inside. Play this way, until your muscle memory (and YOU) have the lips in the proper place --- once this happens, and you are feeling good about playing!! then you can try to downsize the mpc, if you like --- or stick with the big bucket mpc ---- and play and be happy!!!!!!!!!
    (((and be patient with YOURSELF in the process)))
     
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    The lower lip does very little to contribute to the tone of the note or to the vibratory motion of the top lip ... I'd just call it a static "anvil" upon which the notes are formed by the vibratory "hammer" of the top lip. In written discription of preferred mouthpiece placement there seem to be a misunderstanding of "inside the cup". Yes, we can rationalize the lip part in contact with the mouthpiece has a small amount of curvature into the cup, but with excess pressure in shallow mouthpieces the extensive protrusion of the lip into the cup may fully lock and stop the vibratory motion of the upper lip and / or fully clog the mouthpiece ... what is commonly refered to as "bottoming out".

    As for the OPs thick lip dilemma, it will take extended conditioning of the upper lip and extra effort while minimizing the area mouthpiece contact with the lower lip but it can be done. To prove this "anvil" concept of the lower lip, lay a moistened tongue depressor on top of the lower lip and attempt your upper lip vibration on it and buzz away gazoo style ... an exercise that strengthens the muscles in the upper lip.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  8. Seafra

    Seafra New Friend

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    Sep 28, 2012
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    Thanks for the comments. I agree with the suggestions and feedback. I'm actually playing on a fairly large mouthpiece, at least for the type of playing I'm doing (jazz, but not lead). I'm on a Monette B2S3, so I'm definitely not bottoming out, just not fitting my lips in the cup. Gmonaday, if you don't mind could you explain the orientation of that diagram? Not really seeing lips when I look at it. :lol:
     
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    The OM side is INSIDE the mouth. The S side is you face skin. Playing "in the Red" keeps the muscle entirly outside and around the mouthpiece, kind of splinting the muscle's ability to vibrate the entire lip. By putting the muscle IN the cup, vibrating lip (from muscle action) will now hit the top and bottom surfaces of the mouthpiece, tranmitting the vibration more effectively onto the metal and air column within the mouthpiece.
     
  10. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I know what Gmonady is saying, but I hope to clarify that he is saying inside the rim edge of the mouthpiece from left to right rather than protruding into the the depth of the cup. Yes, you want to fill the cup with a vibrating air column and not the flesh of your lips alhough we realize a slight curvature of lip intrusion.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012

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