puffing the upper lip?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BAM, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. BAM

    BAM New Friend

    Oct 26, 2003
    Does anybody have any thoughts on puffing their upper lip when playing?...It's a habit I have found myself doing more and more lately, and it definately helps with my upper register, but I have a lot of difficulty playing smoothly into the lower range on this set up. I have heard that James Thompson teaches this as a means of providing a cushion for the chops...is this true? Just curious on some thoughts. Now it has become a mind thing for me where before I play i find myself battling with myself on whether I will puff the lip or not.

  2. dbacon

    dbacon Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Scottsdale, AZ.
    Puffing anywhere in the embouchure would seem problematic to me. Control would be iffy at best, the aperture shape would be effected adversley. Tim Morrison is the only player I know that uses a lip puff, but I've seen him firm up on passages that need some serious effort. For my way of thinking it's not neccesary anyway. The trumpet is best played with a well developed embouchure supported by a solid flow of energy. That energy (air) allows the embouchure to function with minimum motion, the most efficient way to play. How it sounds and it's fullest potential are the questions. Are you doing something that will limit future development?
  3. TangneyK

    TangneyK Pianissimo User

    Nov 10, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'd have to agree with Dave on this.

    However (and I think Dave will agree with me on this too), in the end, it's all about sound. I'm actually a former student of Dave's, and I started taking lessons from him right around the time I got braces put on. It REALLY effected my playing, and man, was I ever freaked out. He eventually settled my scrawny-a** down, and we began to work on me replaying the trumpet.

    Throughout those lessons, I learned the fine balance of feel vs. sound. Dave never had me in the front of the mirror, trying to tweak this or tweak that. He just put an Arbans or a Stamp or a Gordon book in front of us and we began to play. He would play each particular passage first, then I would repeat it. This enabled me to hear a great trumpet sound--something I could immediately emulate (or at least try to). I learned that if I was breathing right, and trying to get a good sound, everything on my face kinda did what it needed to. But Dave got me worried about SOUND, which, in my humble opinion is the most important thing about music... A good worry. Over time I unconciously knew what I needed to do to play high(er), execute lip slurs, etc.


    Oh, and by the way, if you would like to take lessons from Dave, his number is 1-800--HOT-LUVN :p

  4. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    First, I feel it is a misnomer to say "Puffing The Lip" whereas the lip is not something you can inflate. As for containing air in front of the teeth, at times I feel that very few of us haven't ... and by that I mean that these few never have ... not even a tiny bit. Don't look at me, and I don't need to watch myself in the mirror to know that I have. Does it affect playing? For some it may, but not all. I'd simply put such in this category: If you believe it is detrimental to you, there is a greater probability that it is. I'm sure that Dizzy didn't give any concern to containing his air in his cheeks or elsewhere while his mind was on his sound. For sure I don't go the cheek bit, nor do I advocate it, but I can't deny that it is workable for some.
  5. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

    Nov 16, 2005
    ed lee, seriously? you dug up a thread that is older than most of the people that post here...
  6. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
  7. CHAMP

    CHAMP Piano User

    Nov 16, 2005
    "Eight-year-olds, Dude."
  8. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    You haven't exactly described a problem. More of a condition. In all likelihood this is simply a transitional stage. Between your former way of setting your chops and the newer one which allows better register.

    I had this back in my early days. Had discovered a way to really let out some NICE High G's and such but couldn't connect all that well with my lower register. So guess what i did?

    I practiced connecting those notes with my lower resister. SURPRISE! The eventual result was an even better sound in my lower register. The lower register always sounds better if it can connect with the upper. because a set of loose, flabby chops played on a too widely open jaw has no resonance.

    Whereas a firm, controlled embouchure will provide a FULL SOUND with control even in the lower register. eventually that is. if you work on it. i would:

    1. Warm up normally,

    2. Practice scales from the middle register up to a High D - F or do.

    2. Practice taking your High D to F DOWN to the middle register.

    3. Practice working your middle register way down to Low F#.

    4. Practice taking the low register up to the G Top of Staff.

    Rinse and repeat but try not to over train. Over training induces a form of depression specific to trumpet players.
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Geez guys (Pete and Champ), I'd hope most that post here are older than 9 years old, vis 2012 - 2003 = 9. It wasn't dated 1936, so it wasn't older than me. However, if it's a problem take it up with the management suggesting they purge and delete the "archives" realizing the website would then operate faster.

    Still, I'm a bit of an afficiano of "oldies" in music study to such an extent that I realize most that I've studied and played, and still frequently study and play, pre-dates even me.

    The very concept of deleting all history is something I would now aggressively oppose. We wouldn't have tamed the beast to carry our burdens nor had a weapon that would "pow". Certainly without history we wouldn't be playing the trumpet we now have or even had electricity to illuminate and HVAC to provide us comfort in our abode.
  10. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    Never ever throw anything away. We should be hoarders and swap old tales. The only thing that could possibly be better than comparing embrochure techniques tonight would be if we answered the post 9 YEARS AGO !!

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