"Rolling in the top lip" into the mouthpiece

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JustinG007, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. JustinG007

    JustinG007 New Friend

    May 14, 2009
    Metro Detroit
    Hey everyone.

    I have been told by two college professors that I play with too much of the lower lip and not enough of the top. So, I have to modify my embouchure to use more upper lip; I have to "roll the top lip into the mouthpiece."

    So, what can I do to accomplish this? I cant't stop playing because I have many performances coming up. One professor told me to try and use 1/32 of an inch more of my top lip every week and I really want to know how I can do this and what I can practice to help this. Would Schlossberg help?

    Thanks SO much for your help.
  2. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Mirror Practice

    Hopefully, you will get lots of well-informed responses from experienced expert teachers and players. When I first started cornet and trumpet as a kid, decades ago, I somehow developed a lousy embouchure. Years later, as a comeback player, I was determined to establish and develop a good one. Practicing in front of a mirror was helpful.
  3. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    Mar 4, 2005
    Find a teacher you trust before screwing with your embouchure
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    You're from Detroit?

    Who are your professors?
  5. 7cjbill2

    7cjbill2 Pianissimo User

    Mar 18, 2012
    Athens, GA
    I think it's personal preference. I had an instructor who tried to tell me how I 'should' play, only because I didn't seem to play exactly as he did. It screwed me up big time. When I came back and started to practice in the mirror, I found that the most "comfortable" way for me was a pretty good-looking embouchure, according to what I witnessed in very good players, and needed just some minor tweaking. Ideally, so long as the top and bottom rim of the mpc are on the white part of your lips (not the pink part), I think that's a good start and you can achieve a really good aperture that way. I play probably 5/8 lower and 3/8 upper, and I do OK with it. Some of the way you position the mpc also is based on the physical characteristics of your lips, which you can't change....LOTS and LOTS of variables. Play comfortably, and have fun!
  6. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011

    TAKE NOTE HERE everyone:

    Look at how this poor guy's teachers pay no attention to his performance schedule! I would refer to each of these cats as QUACKS if they were doctors. Glad the poster didn't mention them by name otherwise I'd be open to libel simply for telling the truth about them...

    Next: Neither teacher has a single clue about embouchure function. If they did they would not have discussed the poster's embouchure with this purely one dimensional analysis. I say "one dimensional" because that is exactly what you have when someone discusses only the position of the mouthpiece on the lips without regard to the amount of flesh hanging below the upper teeth.

    Also there are other factors missing in the one one dimensional analysis besides the upper lip below upper teeth function. The next one would be jaw angle. If this trumpet player plays with a more forward jaw angle as evidenced (usually) by a perpendicular horn angle? Then the advice to "stuff more upper lip into the mouthpiece" is EVEN MORE REMISS. Seriously negligent would be the better term actually...

    Also what is the advice really? Does it mean he should set his mouthpiece higher on the upper lip OR pooch more flesh inside?

    See? The advice is ambiguous and likely detrimental. Not to mention that it doesn't take into account the student's upcoming performance schedule. These crack pots suggest that the student DROP EVERYTHING HE'S DOING AND MAKE A RADICAL EMBOUCHURE CHANGE PRIOR TO THE START OF A MAJOR PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE...

    And you wonder why so many trumpet players quit?

    Still reading? OK good. Now watch as the resident goon squad may try to defend the quacks I've described meanwhile dissing my thoughts.

    (smacks head with palm of hand causing additional hair loss...)

    This post and the original thread topic should be a "How To" book on "How to Avoid REALLY BAD INSTRUCTIONAL ADVICE"
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
    codyb226 likes this.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Justin, Sound like they are giving you lip service.
  8. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    hmmmm ... is there a reason your instructors told you this?
    Some players sound like a duck because they are ... well playing like a duck ... lips forward and way inside the mp.
    I dare say a bunch of us could move the mp around and still be able to play ... so perhaps there is a little bit more to the OP's dilemna then just "blue socks".
  9. Local 357

    Local 357 Banned

    Jul 1, 2011


    The key ingredient to understanding this matter is the "why". Why do the poster's instructors insist he must use more upper lip in the mouthpiece? Just saying "well you need more upper lip in the mouthpiece because this works" isn't an explanation.

    It would similar to the doctor telling him "take these blue pills twice a day. I don't know what they are or what they do but they seem to help some people".

    Advice calls for explanations. Always! and the facts are that trumpet playing instructors can not explain the reasoning behind their ideas other than very glib, general statements.
  10. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    yep.. actually agreeing with you here Local .. I think since two instructors mentioned this to the OP perhaps there is something else going on .
    Help us here OP ... is there a tone or dexterity issue involved?

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