Uniquness of Embouchures

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sungman, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Sungman

    Sungman Pianissimo User

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    Dec 23, 2008
    Delaware
    Well this isn't a question to benefit myself, but more of a question of curiosity...Well I want to know about your embouchure.

    Well I’ll start…I have a 1/3 top lip and 2/3 bottom lip that mostly uses the right side of my face. I’ve gone through countless hours of viewing in the mirror and even tried to change my embouchure by trying to center it more, but then I thought ‘Hey if it works…” Also my embouchure is very flat so I've never experienced bottoming out on any of the mouthpieces I've tried out. I say my trumpet teacher has influenced my embouchure the most, I can link every feature of my embouchure to him except the fact my mouthpiece uses the right side of my lip, which is because a crooked teeth.
    So basically my mouthpiece is south-east

    Like a shoe si....more like a thumb print we're all different and I just want to learn about yours.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Sungman,
    you are right, the embouchure IS as individual as a fingerprint. Very often players think that a concious "changing" of the embouchure could fix something. Many times this is simply not true and only leads to frustration.

    It is a fact that every players embouchure develops (changes) with time. With some decent guidance, those changes bring us to a higher level of playing. The best changes are the ones that occur naturally (without a mirror) when we have a decent daily routine, and can avoid beating our faces up. These types of changes help most when the basic geometry is OK.

    The first real "rule" that I try to follow is that the "red" part of the lip vertically be completely in the mouthpiece cup. Depending on the "consistency" or "size"of the lips, this can result in varied proportions of upper to lower. My second "rule" is to keep as much pressure as possible off of the upper lip. This promotes proper practice habits as the high register disappears without enough strength and breath support. The last "rule" is to not smile/stretch to play higher, rather to compress more. Everything else that I teach is in the routine, not in the mirror. There are exceptions to any rule, but very often those exceptions limit flexibility.

    I also play slightly to one side due to crooked teeth. The proportions vary depending on the size mouthpiece that I am using. With my "big" mouthpiece, the proportions are about 1/3rd upper, 2/3rds lower. With my "lead" and "picc" mouthpieces about 50/50. This is simply due to a bit more compression/rolling in of the chops. This all happened naturally. I have never used a mirror, but plenty of long tones and slurs!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  3. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I stress to my students to never stretch the lips into a smiling position as this tends to weaken the muscles in the vibrating area. Always roll the red part of the lips slightly inward in order that the vibrating area may be developed near the lip line where the greater strength and elasticity lies. Keep the corners of the mouth comparatively loose in order tht the lips may be contracted toward the center in ascending pitches.. The more rapid vibrations are achieved through the muscular thickening of the vibrating area.

    Since the lower lip is more capable of muscular development, it is wise to allow the majority of what mouthpiece pressure is necessary to rest on the muscular pad formed by the lower lip in order to protect the upper lip. The lips should be kept in constant motion (contracting and relaxing) as you play acending and descending tonal lines. The lips tire more quickly when held in a rigid, stationary position and will stay fresh longer if they are kept in motion so the blood can circulate through them freely. A high degree of coordination must be developed between the contraction of the lips and the contraction of the muscles, therefore a practice regiment of serious long tone and slur exercises should be implimented for development of the embouchure.
     
  4. andy-rockstar

    andy-rockstar Pianissimo User

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    Jan 6, 2009
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    I've honestly never looked in a mirror to check out mine, but it feels like it's somewhere close to 50/50 and centered, with a tendency to go heavier with top lip with a larger mouthpiece.
     
  5. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

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    I have been told by many people people that my mouthpiece placement is on my right side. So I checked out myself and sure enough it was.

    But I play with about 1/3 top and 2/3 bottom. And I don't feel comfortable any-other-way!
     
  6. oohhh yeah

    oohhh yeah Pianissimo User

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    Nov 23, 2008
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    It's weird, because most of the players I know who play off to one side, it's their right. Not left.
     
  7. Snorglorf

    Snorglorf Pianissimo User

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    Nov 13, 2008
    Are they right handed?
     
  8. oohhh yeah

    oohhh yeah Pianissimo User

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    Most people are right handed....;-)
     
  9. TheSlur

    TheSlur New Friend

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    I use to have a 1/3-2/3 top embouchure but I have since then moved to 50/50. It was quite an easy transition.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Most people are HEAVY HANDED. That is why embouchure discussions are so interesting.............. ROFL

    Playing to the side usually has nothing to do with right and left handed, it has to do with being able to see the music. Put the music stand right in front of the horn and see what happens. I find that the music stand position changes with musical maturity. Some of the shows that I have played in very cramped pits did not allow me to be comfortable with the stand position.

    ...........Yet another reason to get a good teacher before developing a bad habit
     

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