The lips

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by YTR-2335, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. YTR-2335

    YTR-2335 New Friend

    Mar 25, 2006
    Do the lips themselves get conditioned with practice or is it just the embouchure?
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    "just the embouchure"? The lips are part of the embouchure. The entire embouchure is strengthened with the right practice.
  3. MrLT

    MrLT Pianissimo User

    Jul 12, 2005
    Manchester UK
    the lips themselves play a fairly passive role - they just need to be held in such a way as to vibrate freely and thats the job of all the muscles surrounding the mouth and face - the embouchure
  4. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    What they said.

  5. trjeam

    trjeam Pianissimo User

    Dec 5, 2003
    damn, that was nicely put....
  6. Fudleysmith

    Fudleysmith Pianissimo User

    Jan 5, 2006
    Niantic, CT
    I have found that since my comeback started (14 months) that the soft, moist tissue just inside the visible pink part of my upper lip has changed very slightly in texture. I liken this to the repetetive stress reaction of skin thickening on the palm from hammering, shoveling, etc... You guys that have been playing for a long time probably don't notice this anymore, but I can definately notice it. I kinda think of it as my "guitar fingertip callouses". It is not an external lump. or a dead skin patch, just a different texture right at the vibrating part of my upper lip.

  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    My wife has said that my lips got softer when I took a year and a half break from playing trumpet and that they hardened back up when I started playing again - kind of the difference between muscle and flab. Two people can both have 16" biceps, but the guy who lifts weights all the time is going to have a harder bicep than the person who is simply overweight. I don't know if this is an applicable analogy or not.

    Just a thought.
  8. YTR-2335

    YTR-2335 New Friend

    Mar 25, 2006
    That makes a lot of sense. After all the lips are being put through a great deal of stress and I think that it is a part of getting a better tone as we progress.
  9. fredthewhale

    fredthewhale Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2011
    New Jersey
    I’m sorry to keep reviving old threads, but I’m the kind of person who likes similar information in the same place … and I’ve been searching the site as I think about my playing / performance for old discussions and “new to me” information. Plus, who needs yet another thread covering the same question.

    I’ve been reworking my embouchure (I’m about four months of the rest of my life into it). It’s a far superior approach and I’m very happy with the results so far. During the process, I’ve learned a LOT about how I play well and what I shouldn’t do. I used to think that playing high, long, and well was primarily about building muscles (the embouchure) and everything else follows. Now, I’m realizing that it’s all about the airstream. If I can master my air support, stream, and flow, I can play way more relaxed than I ever could before. I also have a lot more control over my dynamics, tone, and clarity.

    Simply put, a lot of my new approach mirrors whistling. I don’t need pressure, to whistle well or high – it’s all in my airstream – and my embouchure simply creates the aperture.

    I suspect that I’m well behind the curve, but, like many things, eventually getting “there” is better than not.

    If my theory / discoveries are correct and on the right track, for me, then this should greatly increase my endurance because I’m stressing my embouchure far less than ever. My new embouchure is far too young to say whether this is the case or not. But my question is, if these theories ARE correct, then why would my embouchure ever really tire?

    Yes, it’s buzzing and minutely changing its aperture, but is that so stressful that it wears down the muscles quickly? I can feel that I’m building new muscles in my face as I work through this. When I whistle for a long time, my jaw gets tired. I can’t think, right now, if I lose tone, flexibility, or range over time … I’ll have to consider it.

    Any gentle and constructive thoughts are appreciated.
  10. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

    Apr 26, 2011
    Interesting, my GF says my lips are REALLY soft after I play.

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