smiling embouchure?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by daniel117, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. daniel117

    daniel117 Pianissimo User

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    Jun 28, 2012
    ive been practicing using less pressure on my mpc and i thought i had a breakthrough 2 days ago.

    i sounded clearer, my range felt easier (didnt increase), and my endurance felt longer
    i no longer had a ring around my lips after only 10 minutes of warm ups

    i showed my director(she is a trumpet player) and she said that my new embouchure wouldn't work out well for me in the long run

    she called it a smiling embouchure, because the higher i go the more i tighten my corners and it starts looking like a smile :D


    she didnt explain to me how it was bad tho :huh:
    anyone here know what she was talking about?
     
  2. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

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    She means if you're "smiling" as you play higher, you're thinning out the vibrating surface of your lips, making it harder for them to vibrate easily, which could actually lead to your using more pressure eventually, to try to play higher. A "smiling" embouchure can also cause you to have a weak, "thin-sounding" tone. Having said all that, there is an exception to most rules--who knows? maybe you're it....
     
  3. daniel117

    daniel117 Pianissimo User

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    so.... i guess this mean i have to go back to my old way of playing then?
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    What happens to your tone when you tightenand go higher?
     
  5. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

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    I can't say, because I haven't seen or heard you. What I posted was general advice--sort of the "conventional wisdom" concerning embouchures, not just for trumpet, but all brass instruments. Your best course of action where your embouchure is concerned is to get together with a private teacher, whether that's your director or someone else. I don't know what your old way of playing is, and as I wrote earlier, you may be an exception to the rule--someone for whom a "smiling" embouchure works well. I can't stress enough that the best thing is to play for a teacher in your town, who can correct any flaws in your technique in person.
     
  6. daniel117

    daniel117 Pianissimo User

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    i can hit a G above the staff fine then going higher it starts to sound lighter and then there's no buzz

    personally i think this is better than before where the G sounded strained and every note above to the high c sounded strained then above high C it sounded like i was shredding metal inside the mouthpiece
     
  7. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

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    Don't Smile
    If you draw the lips back in a smiling position, you will end up with a weak, thin tone, lack of endurance, and awfully sore lip. Instead of this, the lips should draw towards the mouthpiece as you ascend.

    Get / find under Bill's Books: "Getting Started Right on Trumpet"
    Listen to Bill's recording: "The Secret Of Becoming A Great Trumpet Player"
    http://www.latorremusic.com
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  8. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

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    You mentioned that your tone starts to sound "lighter" when you play higher than the G just above the top line of the staff, then eventually, your lips won't vibrate ("there's no buzz"). That's in line with what my original post said happens to most players who use the "smiling" embouchure. My general advice would be to work on NOT smiling as you play higher--rather, work on keeping the corners of your mouth firm. That way, you'll have more of your lips inside the mouthpiece, which should allow them to vibrate better, improving your tone. You should also not overdo high notes. If that G is your range limit right now, don't play above it yet. Work on "owning" the range you can already play first. However, like a good doctor who won't prescribe a treatment without seeing a patient, I'm not saying my advice is a formula for success for you--I don't know, not having seen you. Get together with a teacher who can watch and listen to you play. They'll know better than I can know what will work FOR YOU. That's important.
     
  9. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

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    I believe the issue at hand is all down to corners. Daniel, can you isolate the muscles in the corners of your mouth? This is actually a common issue, we are always taught to keep them firm but are never taught how to utilize the muscle itself.

    The Pencil Exercise for trumpet players - YouTube

    Watch this video and then try the exercise, that should help you learn to feel and use the muscles in the corners of your mouth.
     

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