Simple Question for Playing Higher

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by john7401, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    Should the lips move close together (while still maintaining an embochure) while going higher? I don't see myself as clamping but I do set the lips closer the higher I go and generally keep it all loose in the center. I asked my teacher and he said he doesn't do it. I hear the higher you go the more focussed of an embochure is neccessary but is this technically the proper way to achieve that?
  2. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Listen to your teacher. He probably also told you the key to playing higher is air.
  3. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    In my opinion, no, your lips don't need to move closer together as you go "higher".

    As I play above high C my chops need more support to deal with increased air speed/pressure and resistance from the horn, but that doesn't mean my lips move closer together.
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi John,
    Here's something I found on the Web and had filed away years ago. Maybe it will help:

    75-80% of all players use this embouchure.
    This embouchure is described FULLY in "The Art of Brass Playing" by Phillip Farkas.
    He told people to blow as if they were trying to cool soup. That is how he set the embouchure.
    Say the letter "M".
    In this embouchure you must Point the CHIN down. It is the pointing of the chin that prevents you from stretching the lips too thinly.
    The skin under your lower lip will be taut with no air pocket.
    Your lips do not over lap nor do they roll in or out.
    The corners of the mouth are held firmly in place.
    Now what they DIDN'T say.
    To play with an extended range you must.
    Use a Pivot
    Use a Tongue Arch
    Remember use compression for range. Like finger pushing against finger.
    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  5. Moshe Mizrachi

    Moshe Mizrachi Pianissimo User

    Feb 17, 2010
    The corners will tighten (more than the center will tighten),
    so that the aperture / opening in the lips becomes smaller
    as you play higher.
    The upper and lower lips also press towards each other harder
    as you play higher.
    That means that as you play higher you have a combination of
    smaller aperture and increased lip compression.

    Because the aperture becomes smaller and the lips press towards each other harder, you will increase the air pressure to overcome that increased resistance as you play higher.

    Explanations and illustrations can be seen at the Web site of Clint 'Pops" McLaughlin
    Trumpet Embouchure

    Also, as you player higher and higher, you will need less air, although you will need increased air pressure.
    Playing Double High C does not rquire nearly as much air as playing Low C.

    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Within a certain range, advanced players do not notice more compression, although it surely happens. Up to C/D/E above the staff can be very low impact. Above that, we have other obstacles to overcome (primarily lip mass which increases with compression). The effort increases at least exponentially.

    Useful upper register floats on your breath support by maintaining the lowest possible body tension for the note being played
  7. john7401

    john7401 Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2009
    Thanks for the replies :-)

    I think Farkas sounds like what I use. Am am not of the age and experience level to say though.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010

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