Side of my mouth or center

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Scottyent, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Scottyent

    Scottyent New Friend

    13
    5
    Feb 28, 2013
    Well, I'm a bit confused about whether you understand my situation.... I did play with the center position for 1 year while in school, I practiced everyday 1-2 hours. At the end of that time, I would say the G above the staff was my reproducible range.

    It was a bit confusing how I explained it, but basically I was without a horn for the last years, and had my mouthpiece for the last 5 months. I buzzed and practiced that way for 4 months, and have only gotten my trumpet about a week and a half ago. Since then, i have been trying to really test what my range and endurance is. It seems to be about around a D in the staff, though I have started squeaking out some E's and F's in the staff. Seeing as how that is only a short amount of time with the horn, and 4 months with the mouthpiece may not really "count" I am basically trying to decide wither to continue with this center position
     
  2. Scottyent

    Scottyent New Friend

    13
    5
    Feb 28, 2013

    I have been taking a look at the P.E.T.E, and I think I will give it a shot (why not right?). I'll order it when I get the money together. There is a silver plated, gold plated, and plastic version. The silver and plastic is only 5 bucks separate in price... any difference that is worth paying for?
     
  3. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    1,859
    1,044
    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Scottyent - My experience was similar to kingtrumpet's. My mouthpiece placement was off center throughout elementary, junior high and high school and was a source of much frustration. When I began my comeback, I centered my mouthpiece and have had no regrets. However, I had no dental issues that prevented me from using centered placement either.

    Too much pressure on the lips from jamming the mouthpiece into your chops is bad, but some pressure must be present for a decent seal to be created between mouthpiece and lips. Off-center mouthpiece placement may complicate things for you as you advance.

    Jim
     
  4. Scottyent

    Scottyent New Friend

    13
    5
    Feb 28, 2013
    I wouldn't say that I have dental issues Jim, just a few teeth that push out a bit further than others. Nothing extreme though, so I think it wouldn't be much of a problem!

    I try to find a good spot with my mouthpiece, but I can't tell what is or isn't comfortable. What kind of things do you judge by? How comfortable the buzz feels? How comfortable pressure feels? How good the seal feels?

    I'll be ordering the P.E.T.E tomorrow (hopefully), and that can be a nice supplement to my workouts. With that tool, plus continued work, perhaps I can start to see some decent progress for my centered embouchure!
     
  5. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    1,859
    1,044
    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Seldom is there a "one size fits all approach" to addressing your questions. I will briefly share what I did 2 years ago when I began my comeback.
    - As you know, trumpet playing is not natural, but becoming as comfortable as we can is important. Standing in front of a mirror now and then to check centering and level could be helpful.
    - Common mouthpiece sizes roughly equate to Bach sizes 3C, 5C, and 7C. The lower numbers represent larger inside diameters. If you can obtain a sample of each experiment with them. This is merely meant to get you in the ballpark. One of them should select itself by way of sound, comfort and quality of seal after some experimentation. Use recordings of yourself or a willing listener to affirm you in your choice if you can.
    - Once you've made a well-considered choice, stick with it so your musculature can adapt.

    This was the process that worked for me. Two years in, my range is solid to D above the staff with decent endurance. I have experienced plateaus, but I just keep working. Others may also weigh in with additional, and perhaps better, advice. There is no end to nuance and opinion when it comes to left-to-right mouthpiece position, vertical positioning, and mouthpiece characteristics. You must simply identify a course that seems to make sense to you and stick with it. A good teacher could be immensely helpful, too, perhaps one that has a sterling reputation as a "chop doctor". Good luck!

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    7,797
    2,356
    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
  7. Comeback

    Comeback Forte User

    1,859
    1,044
    Jun 22, 2011
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Nice video, Ted. The young lady has a great sound.

    Concerning mouthpiece location and whether it matters, might it be an individual thing? The OP is at least conflicted in this regard. Others may be completely comfortable with off-center placement or may be compelled to be off-center due to physical characteristics. What is important, it seems to me, is that a trumpeter is comfortable and confident as he/she learns and grows as a player. I suspect that none of us are perfectly symmetrical in our placement just as none of us is perfectly symmetrical in other features of our bodies. For me, rebuilding my embouchure more or less in the center as a comebacker has been a good thing. Certainly, others experiences may be different.

    Jim
     
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    16,389
    7,503
    Dec 22, 2008
    Virginia
    There are players that can play two trumpets at once and sound fine. Obviously, both horns can't be center positioned. Conformity to uniformity can have drawbacks and it appears yours is just such a case. I would "dance with the one that brung ya". If I understand the P.E.T.E method, it should be positioned the way you place the mpc. Use it that way and don't overdo it and you will reap some benefits.
     
  9. Scottyent

    Scottyent New Friend

    13
    5
    Feb 28, 2013
    so much conflicttttt :dontknow:

    well, since there is indecision on here, and I will be meeting up with my trumpet teacher (I don't pay him, just was a student of his for years, and now we meet up to have a beer and catch up etc, and will be playing trumpet this time), and since he was pushing me towards stick with sideways, I think I will give that a shot for a month or so. If I can get a good amount of practice and improvement going on, without feeling like there are many limitations or downsides on the side of my mouth, then I suppose I will keep developing from there and throw center mouthpiece out of the window.

    If I feel there are limitations, and immediate pain on my upper lip, then perhaps I will throw myself into the long haul for center. I don't mind the work, it's the possibility of it being all for nothing that really bothers me. If I can get a great sound on the side (like the video above made clear it's possible) then that should be good enough for casual playing! I am drawn to the idea of the center embouchure because so many people claim to have better range, better endurance, and better tone. However, it's hard to say when exactly to call it quits of those things just aren't coming together :roll:

    Thank you all for your advice! I will let you know how things go down the road!
     
  10. Stefen

    Stefen Pianissimo User

    Age:
    57
    100
    26
    Apr 1, 2013
    Sutton Bridge, LINCS. UK
    i play off to the right but it centred with my teeth not my lip. consider looking at your teeth as you say when you go right over to the side your teeth hurt your lip.
     

Share This Page