Transversal movement of the lips

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    Recently I have been modulating my attacks while playing softly be ever so slightly moving my lips to the side and back, sort of like spreading lip balm around on the lips, only on a smaller scale. I am not sure it is orthodox, but it seems to help with continuity and general smoothness. My thought is that transversal movment serves two functions the first being the lips sort of stick and moving them transversally seperates the lips for the attack, second is that finding and maintaining a straight flow of air needs some movement in the lips.

    Any thoughts, is it worth practising this more or should I forget it, its the wrong direction?
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I think you are crazy --- moving your lips like that -- -don't you know that is not textbook lip placement??? How dare you post such silly stuff??
    NOW truthfully, if it helps you, why be concerned about what some of these knucklheads say or think. Be innovative, find stuff like this that helps you and run with it.
    This is similiar to the "doubling" on instruments questions --- people are so worried about screwing things up, that they "listen" to what everybody else tells them, instead of being like you and trying something -- and having it work --- I think the post should be --- I DO THIS AND IT WORKS AND EVERYBODY SHOULD TRY THIS ALSO!!!!!!!! confidence my friend, confidence
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Instead of commenting on every idea out there, YOU stick with it for the next 6 months and then you can tell us. I hope your chops don't balm out in the process.

    What you do is nothing any of my students ever have needed. Continuity and smoothness are based on stable practice habits, not spreading the balm.

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    As long as it works for you, it's good.
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Chris Botti would not agree. He states he would let nothing to get between his lips and his mouthpiece on a link to a recent interview posted here on TM. I tend to agree, as I like to keep the lips firmly planted and in control for optimal flexibility. I do use balm when NOT playing, especially when going out in the wind and cold (such as when I walk my dogs). Anything that keeps moisture in is fine. But again, I try not to use it several hours prior to playing, as I do not want an artifician substance to get in the way of a natural ability to play. If God intended lip balm to be applied, s/he would have designed little balm dispensors (with caps when not required) into our lips.
  6. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    I don't believe the OP is actually using lip balm, but rather he is mimicking the motion of spreading lip balm while playing.

    Personally, I try to keep all extraneous movement to an absolute minimum, but that's just me.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  7. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I agree. It sounds like the OP is manipulating his/her lips.

    Is the OP talking about something similar to the Walter Johnson "high gear" setup or the balanced embouchure "roll in/out" technique?

  8. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    Hmmm. High Gear? Hi Gear Lo Gear - YouTube

    I am not rolling in and out so much and I am trying to avoid "squeaking" by opening up the embouchure a bit and get a nice smooth tone.
  9. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    I asm so not sure what transversal means in this context... I'm used to it in a mathematic context, but not with lips.....

    I sort of get the lips as two parallel lines, but what represents the transveral?
  10. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    I guess if you were thinking of lips as two parallel lines, then semantically I would mean motion parallel to the orientation of the lips but in opposite directions.

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