Right or Wrong Embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

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    Sometimes, it feels as if I could move the mouthpiece into the inside of the bottom lip. This doesn't change any of my sound, so I was wondering if this is okay, or if it's like that for other people.

    I think that there is one correct type of embouchure, and that even though many other types exist, those other types are not as great as the correct one, as other types can give you incorrectable sound, range, or endurance issues.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The further you get away from established practice, the greater your chance of failure.

    Embouchure changes are for those that know where they are today, why they are there, what needs to get better, how to get there and most important, are at the top limit of what is presently possible. Weak players just get weaker with every dumb thing that they do.

    Your opinion is wrong. There is no one best embouchure just like there is no one "most beautiful", "most stupid" or "most ugly".

    If you want to mess around, just do it. The less logical you are about your playing, the greater the chances for everyone around you.
     
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi Rowuk,
    Gotta embrochure question (sort of) I've got this student who, when she play from loud to soft or goes from the upper register to the lower register her intonation waivers.
    I believe I've isolated the cause. She's moving her tongue to the back of her mouth making the oral cavity larger when she goes soft thus possibly effecting the intonation.
    I've instructed her to keep the tip of the tongue touching the back of the upper teeth and work on soft to loud to soft exercises. Any advice (or correction) to assist in this would be great.
    Thanks
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Markie,
    I start somewhere else. I let the students "exhale the note". That way the tongue is where it naturally should be. If one of my students rests the tongue anywhere (some tongues are longer and work a bit differently), it is on the lower teeth. They then use a part of the tongue normally used to pronounce the letter D to articulate.

    The reason that they move their tongues like that is to compensate something else - normally having more to do with breath support and ability to relax the chops.

    I would recommend slurs at a speed where they have no time to compensate. Start them with no tonguing attack, deep breath and exhale.

    Moving the tongue back introduces turbulence which probably reduces the air pressure on the lips. Actually moving the tongue back can't really change the size of the oral cavity unless the tongue swells. It is the same volume, just in a different place. Pronouncing a TEEEEH or TAAAAH will also only reduce the size of the air path if the sides of the tongue "seal" on the roof of the mouth.
     
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Thanks Rowuk, yur the best!
     
  6. jealousofmyhorn

    jealousofmyhorn New Friend

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    Hey Rowuk I had a question about my embouchure,

    Being 16 now, playing for 7 almost 8 years. I've realized that my embouchure relies more on the right side of my face then my left. It seems that I play more to the right and tense that side up as if I an extremely large dimple if that makes sense leaving the left side to do almost no work. Now by playing this I can reach an E above the staff usually hitting it fairly well. I'm wondering though is there some way that I can reincorporate the left side of my face because I'm afraid with using only one side I'm not reaching my full potential in range and endurance among other things. How would I do this if i should?
     
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Markie, if the change in pitch during a crescendo/dimminuendo is consistent and the player is playing "neutral" (i.e. not "lipping" is most likely the result from a lack of "balance" between the mouthpiece and trumpet. (If the backbore is too large the pitch will go up; if the backbore is too small the pitch will go down during a crescendo--try the experiment on her horn/mouthpiece combination.

    David Hickmann advocated using a "flutter tongue" to check if the tongue position was "correct" for a given note. Using the flutter tongue allows our muscle memory to learn the correct position without involving the parts of our brain that mess us up.

    Playing the trumpet is largely a kinetic experience, and in my opinion best learned so; freeing up our brains for the real important stuff: intonation, rhythm and making music.

    Have fun!
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I have crooked teeth and played pretty far to the right for many years. It worked just fine. 1997 I switched to Monette mouthpieces and a Monette horn (out of many others). My embouchure wandered to the middle, where it is today. No effort or thought on my part ever. It just happened.

    I am not a believer in symmetry. If you are playing in a fairly relaxed manner, everything should be fine.


     
  9. Myszolow

    Myszolow Pianissimo User

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    So glad you said that Robin. I'm a comeback player and yet to find a teacher. I quit 29 years ago aged 13 - soon after that I had orthodontic treatment. So I've started from a different dentition perspective. I noticed quite by accident that I have a much cleaner, nicer sounding tone and am much better able to get higher notes if I place the mouthpiece slightly to the right of centre. Having looked at my teeth and lips in the mirror, I figure its something to do with dental & or lip assymetry.
     
  10. jealousofmyhorn

    jealousofmyhorn New Friend

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    Alright thanks Rowuk,

    I was just worried with the fact of I'm having to take over a lot of the heavier playing now in high school, with their being a Latin marching show and taking over lead in Jazz Band. Granted I know it's only high school but being the only person even close to a screamer tends to make you a little nervous to meet expectations. Plus I wanted to make sure I changed it now if I needed to rather then in the future when I'm focusing more on music in college.
     

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