Relaxed embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by reedy, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    My teacher noticed my embouchure change during a lesson last week and isnt quite sure what to make of it....

    basically what happens is I relax my chops at around middle G and bellow and tighten them a little above, there is a bit of a cross over, I can play around a C with this relaxed embouchure but can play with a tighter one down to around a bottom C but anything bellow I cant help but relax.

    I started doing this when I started playing Cat Andersons 20 minute G and just relaxed on it.

    I dont really have a problem with it, the sound is good occasionally tuning is not....
    switching between the two is fine, I can go up and down 2 octive scales fine but seem to have hit a 'brick wall' around top C, Ive been doing the same lip slurs for 6 months and have not really got anywhere, I can scream out top D's and E's with a shallow piece but im sure thats just because I use more pressure and not my technique. could that be my relaxed embouchure or just not enough practice....?

    my teacher believes I should have one embouchure for the whole range

    so what should I do?

    keep this relaxed embouchure and develop it so I have a bigger cross over and so easier to change?

    or should I try and reduce it so I use it less and so have the one setting for everything?

  2. mandyg233

    mandyg233 New Friend

    Jun 4, 2011
    New Jersey
    I agree with your teacher, one embouchure is much better. It might take awhile for you to make the switch (I was doing it incorrectly too and it took me about a month to get back to one embouchure) but it's totally worth it. If you keep switching between the two, eventually you'll start to favor one and the other will weaken.
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I personally think you should have pretty much 1 embouchure for all the notes (with little fine adjustments of course) - and use "air"- more air, faster air -- however one wants to define it to get the higher notes --- and for those low notes below the staff they definitely use a lot of slow moving gentle air -- with lots of volume.

    try looking up Keith Fiala on the following site --- and remember this trumpet playing stuff doesn't happen overnight -- I am a comeback player after 7 years off -- and it has taken about 3,000 hours to have all the notes ((OK I can play all the notes from those below the staff, further down called pedal tones, and those above the staff - till like 6 or so spaces above - which is the famed Double High C) - but I can't scream out a whole song in the upper register -- more like a couple of lines --- and that is not every day.

    so in terms of how much you practice -- I'm saying if it isn't 3 hours a day - then it will take longer -- and that is just life my friend.

    Trumpet High Notes, Trumpet Lessons Online, Jazz Improv, & Trumpet Books ?

    Trumpet High Note Help, Trumpet Lessons Online, Beginning Trumpet Lessons, Trumpet Books,
  4. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Listen to your teacher, I am sure he knows better than you. Why are you going to him if you have decided that you will question what he tells you? He has much more experience than you.
  5. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    maybe not -- maybe he is in a public school system where the teacher is a clarinet player -- or worse yet -- maybe the teacher plays a saxophone or majored on percussion. BUT yes in this case the teacher seems to indicate that one embouchure setting is best --- I concur :dontknow::dontknow::dontknow::dontknow:
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    One embouchure is the goal. Listen to your teacher.

    You have psyched yourself into tensing up when you reach the G. This need to be un-learned. Practice over and over again to run a slow half note scale up to the G and when you hit it, play it exactly like the F before it. If you miss, you miss. Try it again. Then again.

    If you continue to miss, take a deeper breath (to make sure you have enough stored fuel) and put more force behind it WHILE you continue with the same relaxed embouchure you used for the F. Let the force of the air column you expel do the work. If you tighten the embouchure, you make it harder for the lips to vibrate. So relax and maintain a relaxed embouchure.
  7. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    ok great you know the problem now you need to figure out the best way to fix it. You have to make a internal decision whether you want your playing to better in the long run in the short run.

    I remember asking this question to my teacher and he said it would make sense if you can just relax the upper register embouchure to play lower notes and the rest will come with practice. This worked for my because my teacher saw no huge problem with my embouchure reposition when I went higher. To be honest I remember it taking no more than a month to get comfortable with just keeping my face on spot.

    Just do it and get it over with just make sure you ask your teacher what the best approach is.
  8. reedy

    reedy Piano User

    Jul 31, 2009
    Wiltshire, UK
    I have a set program of around 2 hours sometimes more sometimes less.

    haha neh not quite, my teacher is a real trumpet player ( compared to those pretend ones...) they dont hire pretend trumpet players in University....

    Sorry I dont think you guys have understood....

    I have developed a second more relaxed setting which comes into play in the lower register which is the problem not my normal setting. my normal setting isnt the problem, its not tense but secure and have used it for the last 12 years (from what I remember)

    the problem with the relaxed setting is its not 100% secure compared to my normal setting and can go out of tune and can be a little difficult to go from bottom C to Top quickly as I have to move my chops more than they need to.

    My teacher has said to keep a solid embouchure throughout.

    so how can I stop relaxing?
  9. Myszolow

    Myszolow Pianissimo User

    Apr 23, 2011
    Wear smaller, tighter underwear? ROFL

    What about doing a whole bunch of octave leaps? (or even more - something like you find in the Haydn trumpet concerto.) There won't be any chance to change embouchure when you're going quickly from one to the other.

    Just a thought. Sorry about the joke. :evil:
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Do any of us have one embouchure? What happens to our faces when we have a week of heavy playing? Want to take bets how much changes? Take a look at pictures of your playing over time. Like anything else concerning the body, there is development when we PRACTICE.

    I really get tired of the embouchure silver bullet concept. It is a lie!

    The goal of any aspiring trumpeter is to get breathing, tonguing, body use and chops synchronized. The better all of that stuff collectively is, the less we need to think about the pieces. If we have weaknesses, the rest really will never work correctly.

    I NEVER address stuff like this directly in lessons. I just give the student exercizes that makes the face work the way I think it should. If you are playing heavy duty lipslurs, there is no possibility to mess around with mouthpiece position. Once we get it through our thick heads that anything that we can lipslur, we can also play with minimized pressure and maximum resonance, we have removed an incredible amount of ballast. That is the goal.

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