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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetaddict, May 18, 2012.
Ugg, no. Do not change mouthpieces at a time when you are changing embouchure!
Try experimenting with mouthpieces - 3c for a guy with "robust chops" seems to be a bit on the small side. As one of my teachers (Leo Kappelmeier of Munich State Opera) always emphasized: "Get the biggest mouthpiece and the deepest cup you can possibly control. And then go bigger." I know that mouthpieces are supposed to be expensive; but there are cheap alternatives. Arnolds & Sons make very decent and exact copies of Bach mpcs - I play them myself, even on the high-F and picc - and if you want to go even cheaper and transparent (so you can watch what your lips are doing) go for Kellys. They produce all the ovious sizes and are pretty decent in quality. Not as long-lasting as a metal mpc, but you only want something to tide you over. But I concur with all the other people - see a good teacher even if it is only for half an hour or so.
My tone is okay but it could be way better in my opinion, occasionally I have problems with airy tone, bad attacks and my tonguing is sloppy but the guy that looked at me said those problems are caused by playing in the red.
I was considering switching to a Bach 1C Megatone because the 15C4 feels slightly small and the 3C feels really small. I'm scared that I'm going to waste $70 on that mouthpiece and it'll be too large an there's no music stores near my area where I can test mouthpieces
IF you get a steady diet of practice stuff that is good for you, your chops can "migrate" to a more efficient state WITHOUT having to mess around with a dedicated embouchure change (with uncertain results). Most of the time getting a new student to slow down for the first hour of practice during the day solves most of these issues.
I do NOT recommend changing chops DIY. Change your daily routine:
after some breathing exercizes (google for my "Circle of Breath")
1) 10 minutes soft long tones
2) 10 minutes soft lipslurs
3) 20 minutes of easy tunes (like out of a hymnbook or fake book)
No range or technical studies until the rest is stable. The longtones and lipslurs when played properly allow the lips to actually "move" in the mouthpiece. The contraction of the embouchure pucker will probably move all of the red inside the mouthpiece rim if you have not anchored it with excessive pressure.
There is no correlation between lipsize and mouthpiece. There are teachers that handicap their students with the biggest mouthpieces possible. Generally this causes the student to immediately play with more pressure. I have found a correlation between quality of breathing and the bigger mouthpieces.
In the "old days" it was accepted fact that only a few would make it into the pro world. Those were the ones lucky enough to have talent, a good teacher and opportunities. Today is not much different as there are way too many teachers that never made it into the playing world as well as "lucky players" without a strong education background that are messing students up with myths and lack of work ethic. Lack of common sense seems to be the biggest issue that I have to deal with - even here at TM.
Check out some pictures of players who played on the red. Some look like they were hit in the face with a brick! Don't play on the red!
Some of the players cited had lifetime chop problems. Don't play on the red!
None of my students play on the red, nor do !. Don't play on the red!
Would rolling my lips in help?
Make no changes without consulting your teacher. Lee and Freddie had teachers that watched them.
I believe rolling the paper you put between you lips that contains wacky tobacky will benefit you more than rolling your lips. And it's safer too... Assuming you don't get BUSTED!
No, rolling in the lips does not help. A size 46 shoe could however..............
Why does there have to be a silver bullet embouchure? Why can't some of you guys understand that the process of DEVELOPMENT alone leads us to being better. Children do not stop filling their diapers up or learn to speak coherently overnight. Alcoholics are not dry overnight. Smokers suffer for a long time until they kick the habit. You will not fix your embouchure with a tweak from the internet recommended by people that have never seen or heard you play! The longer that you have been playing, the longer it will take to unlearn bad habits and learn new ones. If you lay off for a while, the bad habits come back first. This is simply how the human body works - it applies to the most intelligent and most challenged equally. Welcome to the human state.
Start practicing the stuff that I wrote down and lets talk again in 8 weeks - the smallest unit of time for real improvement. Everything else wastes your time and actively keeps you from your goal - that is unless your real goal is not getting better, but getting someone to agree to a tweak.................
Now that I have calmed down a bit, lips have a very interesting biological construction. The lip mass can be stretched or compressed, altered into thousands of shapes, they are unbelievably sensitive to body hydration and THEY ARE NOT THE BOTTOM LINE WHEN IT COMES TO EMBOUCHURE! The physical act of playing has been described here hundreds of times, but because your posts in this thread show that you haven't bothered to look them up (or don't want to believe what has already been posted), I'll go over it again.
The lips do not vibrate. They open and close like a valve. Only a small part of the lip is involved regardless of the size of the mouthpiece. Check these videos out:
IWK Brass Research
The lips are controlled first of all by the air pressure that causes it to flow out of our mouth. Air pressure is based on the quality of our breathing.
The tongue can influence where the air "hits" (roof of mouth, teeth, lips themselves). This causes various things to happen depending on the individual player.
The muscles surrounding the lips move the lips into the proper playing position. As these muscles were not designed for this specific activity, we train the fine motor activity with hundreds to thousands of repetitions. The muscles must learn to coordinate based on airflow, the amount of pressure that the player uses and the amount of tension present in breathing and articulating. This is a very complex process and cannot be "intellectually" achieved. Habits must be built. Other bad habits can destroy any hopes of improvement.
The obicularis oris is not the lip. It is our "pucker" muscle.
During the development procedure, our brain learns to interpret what we play and sends subconcious signals to change the balance of everything that I mentioned to meet expectations. If for instance, the chops are weak from lack of practice, the brain tells armstrong to help. The better "practiced" player would inhale more deeply and support more conciously.
So, while playing in the red is suboptimal, you just brainlessly changing something is even worse. There is no formula for our faces. We build embouchures by repeating things that are good for us for a long time. If your breath support sucks, no amount of embouchure work will help your playing as armstrong will destroy any advantages. There is a big picture, even if you only want confirmation for your current beliefs.
Exercizes like longtones and lipslurs help our bodies to get the time that they need to develop intelligently. Just changing lip position simply throws everything out of sync.
There is no short cut.
Disclaimer: I have only dealt with the basic mechanics here, none of the applicable body use issues have been mentioned. Posture, jaw position, teeth regularity are all further things for observation by the qualified teacher!