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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mud, Jul 6, 2012.
I agree with Mike 100%. And by the way... Santa Claus is not a myth... he's a mythter!
In high school I played way off to the right, and everybody and their brother told me to re-position to the center as well. Not because of a fear of ruining my embouchure or anything like that, but the idea was that with there being more "meat" in the center of your lips my endurance would be much improved.
Now that I have began playing again after a few years off after high school I decided to re-position to the center of my mouth like my insructor had always suggested. While I have yet to recover the range that I once had, I have noticed that my endurance seems to be improved. It is a continuing story for me at this time but for now it seems to be working well, for me.
Ahh read what you just wrote. Your endurance seems to me to have improved because you are playing at a lower range. Of course your endurance will improve by playing lower. And what was the sacrifice? Your range. So how is this an improvement? You will build endurance no matter what range you work in... by practicing... not by the position of your mouthpiece on your lips. Your high school insructor brain washed you. Should not have let this happen.. as that person was an idiot.
By the way, come hear my band, The Eddie Brookshire Quintet, when we play at the Nighttown sometime around October. We can have this discussion in real time. In the meanwhile, play with what feels comfortable, not with what "looks" like being perfectly centered.
In High School I didn't spend every waking minute playing high, I spent a good deal of time playing in lower registers, where I am playing now, and I noticed that my endurance appears to be improved from where I was then. Playing in the same register. My range has been improving since I made the change, I expect it to fully recover. Time will tell, but for the time being it appears as though this change will be worth it to me in the long run, just my opinion based on my observations of what will work for me in the long run.
I'll have to come check your band out, by that time my opinion on this matter might be changed, or more firmly planted, like I said, time will tell.
Time does tend to heal!
Maynard played off to one side. It didn't seem to hurt him at all. Lin Biviano who played lead for Maynard, Buddy Rich and Count Basie plays off center as I recall. I also noticed that Harry James and Charlie Shavers played off center. Mother Nature dictates that!!!
And we should always listen to our Mother! Well stated peanuts. - Dad
For an example of a fantastic young trumpeter who plays a long way off center, check out the various youtubes of Mellisa Venema. Listen carefully to her absolutely gorgeous tone and her range and articulation on Buglers Holiday.
Everybody has a different mouth and teeth and head and ears and whatnot. There is no 'correct' place to put the mouthpiece. I've always played on the side myself. Just get on with practicing and having fun....
Playing the trumpet is a process. At early stages of development, many are looking for a silver bullet to get better. All sorts of things are mentioned as possible problems. That magic embouchure is mentioned more than anything else.
It is all major BS!
Playing well happens when your mind, ears, body, breathing and face are synchronized. It is only possible by many, many repetitions to commit patterns of movement to your brain. As our muscles (face, fingers, breathing, posture muscles) become "aware", we reduce effort and tension in our playing. We move from conquering the notes to living them. All of the focus on one thing means that you are missing the boat on 100 others. We do not need to be "symmetrical" to play well BUT as we advance to the point where tension is reduced, things automatically shift to a more resonant position because we "feel better" when playing that way.
Bad body use is probably the greatest evil that I run into. The brainless application of the trumpet to a completely unprepared body and face results in a lot of wasted time. Things like yoga or martial arts get you more in tune with your body and then other things become apparent. If we set up our posture and breathing to offer a proper foundation for trumpet playing, very often we have great leeway in the positions where sound comes out, but not so much flexibility about where it really resonates most. Each of us must find that natural center. No one can move us closer over the internet.............