Thoughts on embouchure

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by KennyW, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. KennyW

    KennyW New Friend

    Feb 11, 2015
    Since I was playing from fourth grade to eight grade, I never thought about my embouchure, I simply focused on the music I was playing and the tone I was producing. I was always a little above average, and when I started practicing for hours consistently in eighth grade, I had a very consistent high Eb with good tone and control. My lip trills and slurs were also very proficient in all ranges of my instrument.

    However going to a jazz camp that I attend every summer, one of my instructors pointed out that I smiled when I played (pulled corners back), and that this was bad and should be corrected immediately. I did more research and found out that many highly acclaimed high note players, Arturo Sandoval, Maynard, etc. don't infact smile and that was shocking to me. It was very emotional to me that I had worked so hard for so many years, but I was just perpetuating a broken embouchure. My teacher told me that because I was doing so well, he didn't want to mess with it, however now that I had brought it up, he suggested I look into the Maggio method.

    That summer of eighth grade I worked diligently to reconstruct my embouchure so that it would be more correct. It was extremely hard and troubling hearing my tone and range go down the toilet, but I told myself it would be worth it.

    Fast forward to present, I am half-way through my freshman year. I have made no noticeable improvements certainly I have not succeeded my previous accomplishments range wise, though my tone has improved. However, as I practice more I find myself resorting to the smiling method once again to reach higher notes, and like before they yield a high register with good control and tone.

    I ask you guys, as I am very confused and somewhat depressed with this issue, what should I do?
  2. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    As with all things in life, do what works for you.
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown

    As long as the lips are not stretched, there is nothing wrong with a bit of a smile.
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I sort of agree with do what works for you. I see James Morrison use all sorts of embouchures as he plays, and it is always his sound.
    I have seen him play with a Dizzy blown cheeks embouchure, a smile embouchure and a few more.

    If you get the sound you want, and maintain your tone and control, and have endurance - tell us how to do it!!

    BTW: Kenny, Welcome to TM
  5. Dean_0

    Dean_0 Piano User

    Jan 21, 2013
  6. Dean_0

    Dean_0 Piano User

    Jan 21, 2013
    This guy will never be a top player ..........he is using too much top lip and he's off center .

  7. Tjnaples

    Tjnaples Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
  8. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    I don't get what the big deal is with certain teachers/mentors trying to get students
    to have the "perfect" embouchure. We've seen a number of examples throughout
    history of great players using a variety of embouchures and many players have had an
    obvious idiosyncrasy in their mechanics that did not affect their playing quality at all.
    According to the OP, he/she had "good tone and control," "proficient lip slurs and trills"
    and "high Eb" range. I'm trying to figure out what the instructor could have seen that
    would result in him recommending reforming the embouchure.
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I changed in junior year of high school - from offcenter smile to a centered pucker --- sat out Sr year band cause I sucked at trumpet for 1.5 years -----now I'm 50 next month ---- and still glad I changed --- BUT YOUR going to havd to decide this one for yourself
  10. KennyW

    KennyW New Friend

    Feb 11, 2015
    I really appreciate the overwhelming support. I guess Ill just figure out what works for me.

Share This Page