Side

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by taterSALAD, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. taterSALAD

    taterSALAD New Friend

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Oklahoma City
    Hello, I have a question about people like me that play Trumpet on the side of their mouth. Is this bad? I can usually bust out a high F to G above the staff on the side of my mouth, but I have trouble getting and E inside the top of the staff on the front of it? Can anyone tell me about this?
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Tater,
    welcome to TM!
    The problem isn't so much with the lips as with the airflow.
    During the renaissance period, the corners were the place to play. There is quite a bit of documentation on this. The cornetts (zink in Germany) and the natural trumpet could be played there. Of course the huge sound required today was not an issue.
    During the baroque period, I have found the first references to "centered". The advantage here is the amount of "lip mass" being used to play. When I use more lip, the chance of damaging it is less.
    The airflow issue has to do with how the tongue naturally guides the air to the aperature (opening between the lips when playing). When you play close to the center, the tongue can help. The further off to the side that you are, the more "unnatural" your tongue action has to be.
    Getting high notes easier on the side has to do with using less lip mass. Almost every other aspect of your playing suffers because of that. The term "bust out" does not sound like consistent, controlled playing.
    If you have trouble with a conventional embouchure, many things can be wrong - breathing, body use, tongue position, pressure, all of which are intertwined.
    It is almost impossible to diagnose this over the internet. A good teacher can figure it out in minutes though. I guess my recommendation is clear......?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  3. taterSALAD

    taterSALAD New Friend

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    Mar 19, 2007
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    Yeah, It really is more like a "bust", it's not really controlled like an high G is.
     
  4. Fredrick

    Fredrick New Friend

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    Jan 1, 2007
    I say, if it works, go for it!

    I view playing an instrument not as having a right and wrong way to play it, but it having a good general way for everybody, and then the best way for each person. So if that's how you play it and you can play it really well, then don't worry too much, but if you feel that you can improve better doing something else, then change it.
     
  5. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

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    Jun 11, 2006
    I played off to the side in high school. When I finally had a good embouchure lesson I was able to almost center the mouth piece. I think the center is better since it keeps all the muscles in your face working on a line of symmetry. There is a natural strength and endurance to my almost symmetric set up.

    I can get a lot more air through the horn playing symmetric.
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Fredrick, with all due respect
    "If it works, go for it" has never and will never be a solution for anybody. If it worked, they wouldn't have asked the question in the first place. I have had so many students in the last 30 years that have twisted themselves around to get things to work - we invest sometimes 6 months to a year in fixing bad habits. That time could have been better spent if the solid basics had not been ignored.
    You can view playing an instrument any way that you like, There are accepted practices, and if you know and use them, you generally get RELIABLE results. Knowledge is power and when you don't know what you are talking about, it is best when you just listen.
    The basic physiology of the face makes playing straight ahead the most effective. I do not know of any reputable trumpet method that recommends playing on the corner and know of plenty that warn against this. If you want any reasonably sized sound, you need lip mass - and the corners have less of this than anywhere else. We haven't even started to talk about how the muscles surrounding the lips fit in here - but you will find that a centered embouchure also fits here much better. The tongue I have already mentioned. Crooked teeth or a disability are 2 reasons where playing SLIGHTLY to one side can be beneficial - if the rest is in good shape.
    SO Fredrick, my response is to get help from somebody that understands body use, embouchure and breathing and do not get your first heart transplant from somebody that that found out that a can opener works too and said - go for it.
    Screw your embouchure up and you have a curse for life! Take lessons from somebody that does not know what they are doing and you might as well take up sports...................
     

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