ways to get a smaller apeture?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by the trumpetguy, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. the trumpetguy

    the trumpetguy New Friend

    Feb 21, 2008
    anyone know any good effective ways?
  2. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    Long tones played softly holding whatever note is just at the top of your middle range (for many players it might be top-line F).
    Playing the long tones softly is important since loud notes tend to blow the aperture wider open.
    The slightly higher note is to encourage tighter embouchure, since some players tend to adopt a too-loose embouchure for playing lower notes.

    Alternately, have you tried the "pencil trick" in which you exercise the embouchure by holding a pencil in your embouchure sticking straight out for as long as you can hold it?

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2008
  3. scottcgr

    scottcgr New Friend

    Mar 13, 2008
    Thompson buzzing book p. 12-13.

    Actually, probably the rest of the book, too.
  4. BergeronWannabe

    BergeronWannabe Piano User

    Feb 6, 2007
    Playing scales and holding the top note. Make sure you play soft and don't use
    too much pressure. This will let your lips adjust without unnecessary tension.
  5. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    Agreed regarding minimal pressure and playing softly and holding the top note.
    I failed to mention the minimal pressure part in my post.
    One should use just enough pressure to make a good seal, which is not much pressure at all.

  6. the trumpetguy

    the trumpetguy New Friend

    Feb 21, 2008
    i have been doing the pencil trick for a while now
    one of my friends thats in a senior on college told me about it
    and said its realy effective
    and hes to the point were he can hold a mouthpiece in his lips out straight which is truely amazing
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    In many cases, even worrying about the aperature is not helpful.

    The best way to keep the mechanics of playing together is not to try to play in the super analytical mode. It is contraproductive. This is why I advocate finding a decent teacher. You then get a routine that will build and maintain the mechanics and aperature, breathing, body use are managed externally - therefore not robbing YOU of creative energy.
    A decent daily routine will take care of everything - if you stick to it. Get a teacher!
  8. duval

    duval New Friend

    Aug 29, 2007
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    How can I reduce the pressure I am using? I don't have great teeth, and they are getting worse as I use too much pressure on my face? I try by simply pulling the horn off my face, bur then my sound goes awful...
  9. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    If trying for a smaller apperture, another "trick" you may try is to start from a closed set. This means, keeping the lips in contact with each other as you start blowing and letting the air create the apperture to start the vibrations. Not a fan of that, but there is another "way". Take care.
  10. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    Using too much mouthpiece pressure is a sign of trying to use mouthpiece pressure to compensate for weak embouchure while trying to play one's highest notes very loudly. Because your embouchure is weak, you are using the mouthpiece pressure to pin your lips together when the muscles are unable to hold the lips together.
    Suppose your highest note is a High F, but you can play High C easily with minimal mouthpiece pressure.
    Try playing scales very *softly* up to High C using *minimal* pressure, even holding those notes for long periods (long tones).
    You will probably get the same muscle burn in your lips that weightlifters get in their arms and legs. Rest a while when you feel that burn.
    After a few weeks of that your embouchure should be much stronger.
    Then you can gradually increase how high you play and how loudly you play, because your embouchure will be strong enough to play high and loud without needing increased mouthpiece pressure.


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