Upgrading Range

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trmpt_plyr, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I can play a solid high C sticking my tongue out over the bottom lip and forming the embouchure with the upper lip and tongue.

    I simply don't buy most of this embouchure "crap", especially when it is not qualified by what is wrong and what needs to get better and why a different geometry should help.

    This does not mean that the essence of any of the "reasonable" methods is not valid. That essence is: PRACTICE what is good for you.

    Maybe we need to define embouchure and what justifies a change, as ANY player that practices diligently will change embouchure through natural development of the muscle tissue and coordination between air, tongue, brain and chops.

    To me, an embouchure change is a significant change in the geometry of lips to mouthpiece (proportions upper to lower or angle of the trumpet respective to the jaw) or a signficant change of the position/use of the tongue in relation to pitch/volume.

    Again, addressed to all that do not want to mess themselves up: for players with reasonable breathing and body use, the mouthpiece can be in a variety of places and still get a decent sound and range. If there are deficiencies in playing qualities, the embouchure will not fix that, just like a diet consisting ONLY of low fat food will not improve our health.

    you made a decision for yourself. After 14 months you don't even have your range back, but you claim endurance and control. I have never heard you play, but I would still label this escapade as a failure. Why? Quite simple. In 14 months of doing enough of the right things, your range should be essentially unlimited - albeit with the sound just getting thinner the higher you go. I am not saying that the change in lip position was wrong, I am saying that you have not identified the true problem that you have.

    For those of you living in London, you can also get to Manchester by travelling south. You will just get wet and it will take a lot longer. Embouchures are no different!

    Without a clearly defined picture of what is exactly wrong, what is possible and how to get there, most players are just going south.

    Progmac, if the lip position was the lions share of your change, you may never get where you want to be. There are most definitely issues with your body use, perhaps tongue position too. NEVER can deficiencies be caused by a single factor as we learn to compensate over time. No solution can be changing one thing.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2009
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I'm not sure what an embrochure change is. Did you trade your lips with Angolina Jolie?
    Just kidding:
    Do lip slurs and play them softly but with a good unstrained sounding sound. You might want to use a mirror (in the beginning until you get the hang of it) to look at your facial expressions. You don't want to look like you're straining on the toilet.
    Slur as high and low as possible focusing on THE SOUND
    There are seven slurs that I have my students do:
    1) 0
    2) 123
    3) 13
    4) 23
    5) 12
    6) 1
    7) 2
    good luck
  3. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    The problem with some private teacher they believe that there is only one correct embrochue. That everything is centered. Let me tell you that is not correct. Some people just cant play like that some professionals play to the side of the lips. Most people that have success stories from embrochue changes is because they started practicing more than they previously.

    Take me I play with a little more bottom lip in the mouthpiece. I continue to improve at a steady rate but still have a decent tone and it doesn't(as of now) limit my technical ability.
  4. trmpt_plyr

    trmpt_plyr Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2009
    I used to play with the side of my mouth, and the vibrations that it gave me were not big enough. I would tire after playing even a little bit, even when playing quietly. After making a change (centering the mouthpiece), the endurance is definitely a lot better. There's more heavy lip tissue in the center, too, so the vibrations are stronger. Even though my range is bad, it's slowly getting better. I'm personally happy with my embouchure change. I don't know about anybody else.
  5. lakerjazz

    lakerjazz Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 10, 2006
    trmpt plyr,
    It seems that you made the change for a valid reason, and it's working out in all the important places. Just stick with it and your range will get better.

    One trick that's been helping my chops recently is this: let your trumpet rest on you left index finger and NOTHING ELSE. Play until your chops are tired. This helps you build corner support, and doing this conscientiously everyday will help your range.
  6. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    This is, in my opinion, a great litmus-test of whether you should continue to work with that teacher or not. If the teacher immediately tells you your embouchure is all wrong and that you'll have to change it to be like his, most of the time you shouldn't continue to work with that teacher.

    The same goes for teachers who insist on a particular brand of trumpet -- that was one of the determining factors in my son's decision not to attend our local state university but instead chose a more expensive out of state university. The trumpet teacher at our instate school insists on Bachs for his students but the trumpet teacher at the school where my son attends only cares that the trumpet and the student match well and he doesn't care what make trumpet it is. So there are bachs, yamahas, conns, schilkes in his studio and his students are all doing very well.
  7. hichez

    hichez Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2009
    Well I have learned to trust the advice of my teachers ,but I do ask for a second opninion from either muscians at my chruch or my private teacher. It never hurts. No one has found the formula to perfect trumpet playing. If they have give it to me.
  8. JCampos

    JCampos New Friend

    Sep 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona

    a lot of guys on here have given some wonderful information. one aspect i have learned is not to change your embouchure, just slightly alter how you are using the current one. meaning, find the easiest, most relaxed possible way to produce the desired sound.
    me and my applied teachers have done this by using David Hickman's four p's:

    i don't feel that it is appropriate for me to go into depth and tell you specifically how to apply these to your playing. simply because i have never seen or heard you play.
    but if you sit down with your own respective teacher, checking out David Hickman's pedagogy book might be helpful

    Just remember, we can never end our search for the best sound and the easiest way of producing it. always strive for a more relaxed approach.


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