Placement of mouthpeace

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Hans larsen, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. Hans larsen

    Hans larsen New Friend

    Dec 9, 2006

    I am a 15 year old boy from Denmark, and i have played trumpet for 6-7 years. At the moment i can play a high F but i would like to play even higher notes. So i got 2 questions.

    1. One of my friends have noticed that i place the mouthpeace a bit to the left on my lips. Does this have an effect on playing high notes?

    2. Are there any exercises that which could help me play higher notes?

  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    due to some crooked teeth, I have been playing about 1cm off of center for over 40 years. I have had a double C for the last 30, so off center doesn't have to limit range.
    What exercises are useful depends on many factors. If you have an F above the staff at 15, I think you are probably on the right track. Your trumpet teacher should help you with this one.
    I use slurs to build range.
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Don't forget to work on all the other parts of playing the trumpet while you learn to play high.
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    If you watch the German Brass DVD you'll see some placements that are right off the side so far that you'd think it was off stage! I wouldn't think a little right or left is going to hurt. More important is to watch the "up" and "down" placement.
  5. Hans larsen

    Hans larsen New Friend

    Dec 9, 2006
    Thx for the help... the up and down placement should be 1/3 up and 2/3 down or 2/3 up and 1/3 down right?
  6. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    up down placement can vary. i play pretty close to 50/50 which can work fine too. remember if it ain't broke don't fix it.
  7. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Here is a quote from Harry James about mouthpiece placement, while with the Goodman band....

    ".....the funny part is, though, that most people can't tell by listening which one of us is playing lead. And it seems funny that we should have such similar tones and style when we play so differently. Chris (Griffin) has a one third top, two thirds bottom embouchere, Ziggy's (Elman) is two thirds top and one third bottom and dangerously close to his ear, while mine's a slightly off-center, half and half, puffed out cheek affair."

    Three great trumpet players in the Goodman band and each had a different way of playing, yet all sounded alike.


    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
  8. trumpetdiva1

    trumpetdiva1 Piano User

    Jun 6, 2004
    According to the ring around my lip right now, it shows that I play off to the left--just like you. I can honestly say that my lip placement never hurt my range. I also have an overbite, which does not seem to impact my range. Range has always come more natural to me than other aspects of my playing and now I am focusing more on all those other aspects and putting off any range building for quite some time. Some of the greatest trumpet players of all time never had your range or maybe a little more than what you do have now. In thinking of the best trumpet players, they think all notes are important, from bottom to top. They have what is called a consistent range and produce a nice sound in all registers.

    If you want to work on range, here is what I suggest. Continue to strengthen the notes that you already have in your repertoire. When trying to add any additional notes to your upper range, play it softly at first and then add more volume later. Your lips need to become accustomed to where the note is at.

    Caruso did wonders for me, giving me some added range as well as improving other aspects of my playing. I used to play half the Clarke Technical Studies one day and the other half the next day. This book is valuable and added a third to my upper register. Play scales up and back down several octaves. Work on pedal tones. Play simple melodies in the upper register. Work on interval training in the upper register such as fourths, fifths, etc (C-F, C-G) in the upper register. You will need to train your ear to hear these notes.

    One of my trumpet teachers told me this story about Bud Herseth. When asked where he had placed his lips on the mouthpiece, he responded with “anywhere it doesn’t hurt.â€

  9. John P

    John P Piano User

    Jun 16, 2006
    Camp Hill, PA
    I play off to the left with about 1/4 upper lip and 3/4 bottom lip and it doesn't hurt my playing whatsoever. I've been playing that way since high school and I've been progressing steadily. I've yet to hit any kind of a wall with range, tone, or endurance. Although I could stand to use a little less pressure. It's all about sound, who cares how it looks? :)

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