Problem with Playing out of side of mouth

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JonJo, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. JonJo

    JonJo New Friend

    Apr 4, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey trumpetmaster-ers.

    im an "intermediate" player of the trumpet, been playing for 10 years, and will be 15 soon. I've never really had a teacher before, so my playing methods/techniques may be a bit unorthodox.

    My band conductor recently brought to my attention that i was playing out of the side of my mouth, and suggested that i get my teacher to help me correct it.

    Now , i find that i have pretty good endurance with my current embouchre , and can hit Bb above the staff with ease.

    I know i should probably take my conductor's advice, but do i really need a teacher to help me with it? How could/should i redevelop my embouchre? What are the pro's and con's of playing to the side , and on centre?

    any help would be great :) , and pardon my longwindedness

    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Welcome to TrumpetMaster Joe.

    Could you post a picture?

    Playing off center is not a bad thing.

    Many, many players and many, many top professionals play off center.

    If you are playing well, and your endurance is good there is no reason to change, just for change'sake or because your teacher doesn't like it.

    Because he suggested a teacher I assume that your "band conductor" is not a trumpet player.
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Hi Joe. There are plenty of successful players who are a bit off-center, so I don't know that you automatically need to make a change. IF you are considering an embochure change I wouldn't recommend doing it alone. There are a lot of variables that could get in your way and make things worse for you.

    If you're serious about playing the trumpet then I think it makes sense to check in with a competent teacher from time to time (if not regularly) particularly when you're considering something big like an embochure change...
  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Many people play off center, but if you are considering an embouchure change then get a good teacher. If you don't try the change how do you know if it will help or not? You are young and if you are going to try something new now is the time.
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I played for many years seriously to the left. It had no real effect on my range, at least I had no trouble with lead in a big band or symphony trumpet. I have crooked teeth and centered the mouthpiece on the one protruding forward. As a child I also had no music stand and laid the music on the bed next to me. My posture was crap to boot. That all got fixed during private lessons in high school - except for the mouthpiece angle.

    About 12 years ago I bought a Monette trumpet and the mouthpiece to go with it. The position of the mouthpiece centered within a year without me doing anything conciously. My range did not increase or deteriorate and other than the change of sound brought on by the mouthpiece, nothing else there seemed to change either.

    I wouldn't worry about it
  6. Heidi

    Heidi New Friend

    Mar 27, 2009
    Southeast, GA
    I play left of center and I don't think it's a problem. I've a tooth that sticks out a bit on the right side, so that's probably why for me. Anyway, I don't think it's a big deal. I also have a slight over bite or under bite (I don't know which is which), which caused me to point my trumpet down a lot more than everyone else did. My band director tried to get me to change, but that was just the way things were and it didn't bother my playing and eventually the director got used to it too.
  7. JonJo

    JonJo New Friend

    Apr 4, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for the advice guys

    I gather from what people have said, that there isnt much need to correct it?

    its just funny how everytime someone approaches me after a gig, theyll invariably ask, "Oh. are you supposed to play out the side?"

    and @ Solarbell , ill try to post a picture when i get hold of a camera.
  8. The Dutch Guy

    The Dutch Guy Piano User

    Sep 22, 2008
    how much off center is your mouthpiece? a bit off center doesn't really matter. if everyone notices, it might be a lot.
  9. Publius_

    Publius_ Banned

    Jan 21, 2009
    Yes post a picture, it is easier to see what the problem is... (A picture of a thousand words) Or I say a video of well a million but playing out of the side doesn't give you as much control, if you switch it will take some time but eventually it will help you in the long run
  10. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Where did you come up with this misconception ? Maynard Ferguson played dramatically off center. Raphael Mendez could and on some ocassions played way off to the side. In my personal case, because of a protruding incisor, I play right over that tooth to the left of center with zero problems. In my experience I have known more players who are a bit off center than those that are spot on in the middle. Everyones tooth structure is different as is their lip musculature.


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