Question about mouthpiece placement

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    Should the bottom of the mouthpiece be resting on the red part of the bottom lip, or should the bottom of the mouthpiece be below the red portion of the lip?

    I tried it both ways, and it feels easier with the bottom of the mouthpiece slightly lower then the red part of the bottom lip.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The generally accepted method is to get ALL of the red in the cup. This even works with VERY thick lips as they are "compressible".

    Exceptions always confirm the rule.
  3. markquinn

    markquinn New Friend

    Jun 9, 2009
    Trumpet playing is a relationship between Teeth, Lips and Jaw. The mouthpiece should be into the whites of both the lower and upper lip. There is no muscular contact in the reds.
  4. TisEkard

    TisEkard Pianissimo User

    Jul 28, 2006
    L.A./Orange County CA
    There is no right or wrong way. If it works, its works. I have seen so many different embouchure types.
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    We all have a muscle that goes around our lips, when you place the mouthpiece on your lips you should be able to feel this muscle as it's what push's the mouthpiece either high or low on your embouchure, you should try to get this muscle in the mouthpiece.
  6. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
  7. markquinn

    markquinn New Friend

    Jun 9, 2009
    That is a really high res photo of Wynton's playing. Thanks for the detail.

    People are not understanding what I mean when I say a combo of teeth, lip and jaw. Each person has a unique design of those factors and they must be addressed to allow mouthpiece placement to be discussed.

    Wynton's digging up into his upper lip and has moved his head down to compensate for that in relation to his jaw. Other players with different teeth, lip and jaw configurations trying to do what Wynton does will cause them to have great problems in their playing.

    This question is not as simple as a single answer. Even though I said, MP placement should be into the whites, it still has to take into account the teeth, lip and jaw of the individual player.
  8. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    This is so true, and many method books ignore this fact when they try to state in specific terms where the mouthpiece should be placed.

    For every "ideal" mouthpiece placement that people will explain to you, there are many players with quite different mouthpiece placements playing as well or better.

    The placement should feel as natural as possible, and one method to find this is to form your lips as if you were about to say "Hmmm..." and then blow to make a "P" sound. Do that a few times and then place the mouthpiece against the lips once the "hmmm..." is formed and see where you can get the best "p" sound. Then do the same procedure and get the lips to buzz when you make the "p" sound. Do that a few different times and find where the easiest buzzing occurs, and that's a good starting place for you. It doesn't matter whether all the "red" (the fleshy part of the lips themselves) is inside the mouthpiece or not, whether the mouthpiece is contacting the normal flesh tone of the skin just outside the lips. What matters is where the mouthpiece will allow the best and easiest vibrations for you.
  9. ska

    ska Pianissimo User

    Sep 12, 2009
    There is no fixed way which you have to place it. The very 1st time I laid my hands on a brass instrument (i was 6 then) I took the horn and played a clean tone out of it. It's kind of a feeling-thing. You can't watch how others place it, cause this or that way may not suit you, you just have to experiment it and feel it.
  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I've only done "gut analysis" on this but based on my understanding of airflow and acoustics I've tried to place my mouthpiece in such a way as to "aim" the flow directly and straight down the back bore - that's how I get best tone.

    My rationale is that if I want a consistant clean tone through the concentric system of MP cup, throat, conical backbore (divergent duct) and a controlled expansion of the buzz tone into the leadpipe, then my airflow will need to aimed directly down the throat of the MP - I understand that this will vary a bit as volumes increase - but that's my basic "aim plan".

    If that means I have to do a 40:60 split, or some MP not on the red because of thin lips, or I have to tilt the trumpet down, or maybe play off centre (center) to accomodate orthodontics, then so be it, as long as I blow essentially straight down the throat.

    Just a thought.


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