The perfect embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mctrumpet, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    Absolutely not! It's simple common sense. Look at the variety of faces, mouths, lips, teeth, etc. in the world. It's simply not possible that only the one's that can physically conform to a particular embochure could be able to play well.

    Look at 100 different trumpet players and I guarantee you'll see all kinds of different embochures.

    bigtiny
     
  2. hagertheherald

    hagertheherald Pianissimo User

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    How many people can play in tune consistently anyways, regardless of where the tuning slide is? Just play into a tuner with an analog scale and try to make the needle stay on dead center pitch of same note in all octaves all the time. Not the easiest thing to do consistently, because we are breathing human beings, and not machines.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Before we get on somebodies case, let's examine the statement. There is Nothing perfect in this world, and the measure of an incredible embouchure would be based on the music that comes out of the horn, not some technical trick.

    That being said, MANY players have their tuning slides out too far and play with too much embouchure tension. Very often it is possible to push the slide in a bit and force the player to relax, thus reducing the effort needed to play and producing a fuller sound. Dave Monette does cover this point on his website.

    Pushing the slide all the way in would cause the player to play low on the pitch, thus losing control, tone quality and accuracy. I think you probably did not get the quote from the director or player right - or in context. Nobody in the business would come up with something like this - but I know of plenty of high schoolers with great imaginations.................
     
  4. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    =:-)

    bigtiny
     
  5. iainmcl

    iainmcl Pianissimo User

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    Actually, I have a slight aside to this topic:
    One of my students plays a Bobby Shew Z horn, and plays with the slide waaaaaaay out (about 5cm). He doesn't play very in tune and I've tried pushing it in a bit, but he then just plays sharp.
    Am I correct in thinking that he's probably playing with too much tension (he does sound that way) and playing for a while with the slide in will help him relax and open up his sound?
    He kinda sounds like he's playing "against the grain".
     
  6. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

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    If the student plays with the slide too far in or out, I would suggest positioning the slide at a reasonable (you'll have to use your experience as a teacher to make a judgement here), then have the student play long tones using a tuner (or a digital piano) to train herself to play in tune at that slide position.

    I would only recommend this kind of exercise in really extreme cases such as a student plays with the slide all the way in and still can't get sharp enough, or plays with slide pulled to an excessive length.

    In these cases it's probably necessary to do something like what I've suggested to retrain the students embochure.

    bigtiny
     
  7. screamingmorris

    screamingmorris Mezzo Forte User

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    You seem to be stereotyping both professionals and high schoolers,
    the former as though they can do no wrong,
    the latter as though they can do no right.

    I have seen evidence of many professionals and educators saying foolish things,
    such as ones who insist that all brass players should play with a down-stream embouchure type,
    that all brass players should play in exactly the middle of the mouthpiece,
    that all band members should use the same mouthpiece,
    "experts" who said that a person should smile to form the correct embouchure,
    professionals who taught that the tongue should protrude through the aperture during tonguing,
    an "expert" who said that Maynard Ferguson was a "freak" rather than a "real musician",
    an "expert" who said that practicing long tones is bad because it interferes with flexibility.

    You claim that "nobody in the business" would say something so foolish, but I have heard many foolish things said by people who are in the business.

    - Morris
     
  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    A "perfect imbecile" - now that's an oxymoron.

    I know of such a moronic ox if anyone would like an introduction - but you would never ever forgive me. Have you ever met that sub-species that always know everything about everything - but are 'bl**dy useless' at everything? (Bl**dy - Aussie slang, not intended to upset anyone, not rude in Australia, sorry, should watch myself). Blast now I've spoilt this thread. Mr Administrator - take me off.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Morris,
    you are of course right. I have to admit that I hear more quotes ill-quoted than rubbish from the working population though.

    A stereotype is very bad and I apologize to any high schooler that "gets it right" and curse anybody of any age or profession that preaches BS.
     
  10. Phil

    Phil Pianissimo User

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    Actually, I have been told playing with the slide all the way in and lipping down during a few minutes each practice session (using a tuner obviously) helps the trumpet player adjust to a darker tone. I have found that while that isn't necessarily true about the tone, it has helped me to use my ear more for pitch and make my embouchure tell the trumpet what to play rather than the other way around; in other words, it's easier for me to play in tune in any situation.
     

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