Trumpet Rehab

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Xelex, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. Xelex

    Xelex New Friend

    Nov 19, 2008
    So, with school finally out, I set out to fix my embouchure to one that feels more comfortable and minimizes the use of my corners and any injury I manage to sustain (my private lessons teacher helped me, he took from Don Jacoby and the method is similar to spitting out a seed). But unfortunately, as it is Summer, I haven't been able to get together with my teacher. So I've been using a regiment of long tones, scales, and tonguing exercises to get used to this new embouchure before marching band comes around in August...

    It started off rather shaky - I had a bit of a problem sustaining notes. Granted, it was much easier to play notes, when I would try to play a G on the second line I ended up with a middle C, so it became more of a struggle to play lower rather than higher....

    But here's my problem. I can play an F scale two octaves at this point, but I noticed that even though my upper register is progressing at a speed I'm very satisfied with, I still have this awkward double buzz around G to Bb in the staff. It's been there for the longest and I've been trying to do long tones every day to stop it, but I'm not sure if there's another way. When I get above the staff my tone clears up and the double buzz is gone, but in the staff it's an ongoing battle...

    I think it's because what I'm used to setting my embouchure for is different from the way my embouchure is now, so maybe my tongue is in the wrong position since this new embouchure takes so much less effort. I'm not sure.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to remedy this and what I should do to keep progressing?
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am not happy with anything that you have posted. You make a decision to fix something and don't even explain what is broken. You want to minimize the use of the corners which is contrary to anything sensible. Now you have a buzz in your tone that could come from a variety of places - including your new "weak" perhaps "messed up" embouchure.

    You made the decision to go at this without guidance. How can we determine anything?

    Nothing against you personally, but I consider embouchure changes to be the single most serious thing in brass playing. Going into modification brainlessly, will generally produce similar results. I have been teaching for over 30 years and only 3 times was a real embouchure change necessary. It took a couple of months of working together to determine exactly what was not working and then we made the changes during summer vacation. We had a road plan and it worked. Getting a sensible, reliable daily routine helped all the rest (hundreds) get their faces together - without a mirror, or other transition necessities. They just learned to blow instead of wasting time and energy on the unknown.

    I can't help you 6000 miles away, and suspect that any internet advice without working with you personally is as risky as what you are doing right now.

    You can show up to drivers ed in a Captain Hook costume. They will MAKE you remove the eye patch before getting in the car. The same is true with a decent trumpet teacher!
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2009
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Try Clarke's Technical Studies especially the second studies and Colin's lip flexibilities, remember your using different muscles and they need to be strengthened so play these at a pp or mp only.

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