Thick lips, bottom lip not properly in mouthpiece, double on saxophone - help?!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by robininthewinds, May 5, 2013.

  1. robininthewinds

    robininthewinds New Friend

    Apr 14, 2013
    So I've been playing trumpet for 5 years now, I got my Grade 6 about 2 years ago and since then have been working towards Grade 8.
    I've always played with this deformed embrochure, where my top lip is in the mouthpiece but my bottom lip is 'kind of' in it.
    That red ring that forms over your lip when you play trumpet? That's entirely on my top lip.
    My lips are quite big and I'm using a Vincent Bach 1-1/2 mouthpiece.

    To further pile on the problems, I recently started playing the saxophone, which is affecting my playing. Of course the logical thing to do would be to stop playing the saxophone, but it's a breath of fresh air, I really like my teacher, and at the moment I'm having a lot more fun on the saxophone than on the trumpet.

    The only thing that is keeping me from dropping the trumpet is the fact that I'm in a school band, not one of the good ones, but it's not something that I want to stop doing.
    I know that getting some kind of diagnosis over the internet is hopeful thinking, but are there any tips you could give me?

    Would a bigger mouthpiece help? I used to play on a 7C, then got a 1-1/2C and whilst it might have helped, my lips still don't fit properly.
    Is 1-1/2C basically the biggest you can go? I googled it and couldn't really find any bigger mouthpieces.

    I tried forming that 'Emmm' sound and curling my lips, but as soon as I play with that they just go back to my old formation (top lip in, bottom lip kind of in)

  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Have you tried centering your mouthpiece in the past? If so, what happened. Do you have an overbite or micrognathia (small lower jaw)? If so, perhaps surgical correction may be necessary.
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    Doubling on different instruments is a mental thing. Don't play the sax like you play the trumpet, and don't play the trumpet like you play a sax.
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    I re-read your question a few times ... and I didn't see anything about how you actually perform on your trumpet other than working on grade 8?
    Are you just trying to change because you don't think your setup is correct or is it that you feel your current setup is hindering your performance?
  5. robininthewinds

    robininthewinds New Friend

    Apr 14, 2013
    Both. I know my setup isn't correct - and I think that is hindering my performance.
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Here's an old trick I read on here a few years ago. Take a coffee swizzle stick and put it between your lips. Next, with the swizzle still between your lips, put the swizzle down the throat of your mpc.. Now you are centered. Remove the swizzle and blow softly and re-acclimate you chops to your new setting. Be patient as this will take some time to develop. Realize this is internet advice and the best advise is hands on help from a competent trumpet teacher.
  7. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Man, this is tough on line ... what are the performance issues? Maybe you can at least pick up a Skype lesson with a seasoned instructor.
    I have found that concentrating too much on the actual mechanics instead of the desired result can mess with your head.
    Do you have access to "The Inner Game of Tennis" ... one of my instructors had me read that book early on.
    I am guessing Bill is not cheap.. but I douht anyone would arugue with his credentials
    Trumpet Lessons with Bill Hicks
    and I do not know this one.. but he seems credible enough.. maybe someone can PM you if they have some concerns
    $ 30 Webcam trumpet lesson with Clint Pops McLaughlin
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    You've stated you realize RR (red ring on lips) as is indicative of too much left elbow pressure when you play the cornet/trumpet.

    It may just be the wording, but too you state: "my top lip is in the mouthpiece but my bottom lip is 'kind of' in it." Well, the lips SHOULD NOT enter the mouthpiece cup other than the very slightest curve. The volume of the mouthpiece cup is reserved for sound tonation.

    For mouthpiece comfort, you may be seeking a wider and thicker mouthpiece rim.

    In the UK, you may find it more difficult to find a coffee stirrer / swizzle stick as TobyLou suggests and one narrow enough to enter the mouthpiece throat, but the suggestion is good to acquire a centered embouchure for your mouthpiece, both on the X and Y axis.

    I don't consider the thickness of lips ever to be an issue, just to cite one world famous player with visible thick lips: Louis Armstrong.
  9. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    There are larger mouthpieces: Bach 1 1/4, Bach 1, Schilke 16 to 24, Warburton 1 & 2, Laskey 80 and 84. Really anything with larger than a .670" ID.

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