Stevens embouchure and volume??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trrumpetman, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. trrumpetman

    trrumpetman New Friend

    Nov 4, 2009
    I am 15 and I have recently went through a full embouchure change about 4 months ago. My range is so much better, (double F), but there is one really big issue I'm having trouble with, and that is VOLUME.
    Fully utilizing a Stevens embouchure, I can put all the air in the world through my trumpet, yet I can't get above mezzo forte. In fact, I once put so much air through the instrument (which gave me about mezzo forte, maybe forte) that my lips just blew out and I couldn't play for a few days. Unless I am truly missing something, it's definately NOT an air problem. My mouthpiece size is an Bach 8 1/2 C. This problem I am having now put me on 4th trumpet in the jazz band, when I know I could easily be playing 1st if I had the volume I needed!

    Comments, suggestions? So far, some have suggested me a Schilke 18 and 15. Do you think those may solve the problem?
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    you need to learn the names of the notes. A double F is 2 octaves above the staff. If you had one, you wouldn't be playing 4th. If you blew your lips out, your chops are weak which means that you aren't fully utilizing anything except your imagination.

    If you did the embouchure change yourself, at 15 you are not even close to knowing what is really going on. Who knows what the real deal is! If a teacher changed your embouchure, then they need to give you the real scoop on what is wrong. No teacher that I know would claim that anybody after 4 months is fully utilizing anything after an embouchure change. Most of the time they are happy if after a year things are as good as they were before the change!

    My suggestion is to get professional local help. Only a good teacher can work this out with you.

    Lots of air and no sound means that your lips are easily blown out of shape: no muscle strength, no coordination, no real embouchure. A bigger mouthpiece will make that WORSE. You need to get your act together before considering hardware. Very soft long tones, quiet lip slurs are safe and efficient things to get your face together. Forget the Stevens crap. What you think it is is not working for you anyway!

    Sorry if this sounds tough. We get stories like this all of the time. I can only remember 4 TMers that actually went on to fix the problem then proudly and rightfully post here. All of the other desasters dissappeared into obscurity after an initial complaint about how mean we are.

    The solution is intelligent hard work, preferably with guidance by someone available to listen to and show you. The internet is great for getting confused.
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I don't think it's your mouthpiece,going bigger would only darken your tone and take more air without adding volume, at four months your embouchure is still a baby, so give time to learn how to adjust , practice soft long tones with a crescendo as loud as you can comfortably play and then decrescendo back to a whisper, practice lip slurs softly, and Clarke's Technical Studies starting each line soft and crescendo to the top and decrescendo to the bottom, give your new embouchure time to develope . If you can find a teacher who uses and understands the Steven's method would help a lot ,as this type of embouchure is not as common as other types, but I have played with some who do use it with great results.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009

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