What happened to my embochure?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Persian, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Persian

    Persian New Friend

    Nov 28, 2011
    I have been playing trumpet for around 5 years now. At my old high school, I was always 1st chair. I was a decent player aswell. I came over to my new school and everything is fine. The trumpet players here are no lifes (their entire life is devoted to trumpet, I don't mean as in playing for a living, I mean as in spending 8+ hours a day every day playing trumpet..) so I'm third chair now... Anyways I am leader of the third chairs and I was getting along fine until November. We had a 4 day weekend, I come back and my trumpet isn't sounding right. I try to play a 3rd space c and a high e comes out. I try playing a low c and a low f comes out... I can play a g just fine but when I try to play a c it skips straight to the high E... I thought this was my trumpet at first, but I've been playing other people's trumpets and I have the same problem on theirs. Today in class I had trouble keeping up on the lip slurs. THE LIP SLURS... I have no idea what's changed... I have tried using faster air, that just makes it sound more retarded. I know its my embouchure but I don't know what's changed about it. I can't just go up to our instructor and be like, "Hey I just happened to forget how to play an instrument I've been playing for 5 YEARS" I'm seriously considering dropping band because of this, I had better tone quality in the 6th grade... (I'm in 10th) My embouchure was just fine before... My beautiful embouchure... years of technique lost... I don't know what happened over that weekend, I've gone summers without practicing and still been fine. As a result of all this, I have much lower self-confidence in my playing, if the music says ff, I'll play ppp so that nobody hears me fail. Oh and btw on an off-topic note, I've never been a die-hard fan of playing trumpet. It's a limited instrument, and note quality depends heavily on the user's trumpet quality (mine sucks) and the lessons taken (If you haven't figured it out by now, if I can't afford a new trumpet I can't afford lessons either) I've always wanted to play percussion or alto sax, but my first band instructor said STFU and CHOOSE BETWEEN FRENCH HORN AND TRUMPET. I decided on the trumpet... Then again, I don't dislike playing it either. It's brass, and I like playing brass..:-(

    EDIT: Also every day I have to tune my trumpet differently, apparently I sound different every day. And I don't mean slight tuning, I mean like at least a good half inch or more of adjustment on the tuning valve.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  2. trumpeterjake

    trumpeterjake Pianissimo User

    Aug 5, 2012
    Connersville, Indiana
    I might not be right... but to me it sounds like your embochure isn't set in stone yet. Something like this is a shot in the dark for us, because we obviously can't actually see your face. I wouldn't call trumpet players no lifes because of how much they practice though, maybe they just have awesome goals and dreams. It's about that time of year in areas of the states where people are getting chapped lips. Is that maybe part of the problem? I have to say I have never had a low F come out of my horn when I was aiming for a middle C (assuming the low c you're talking about is just middle C). It could just be that your are over shooting notes in your attempt to force notes out.

    My teachers and a lot of good players on this site would likely say to practice more commonly, with a hint of private lessons. Not playing for summers is never good, because you start forcing things later on due to lack of stamina of your chops.

    One last request, the whole giant bold print deal hurt my eyes so if you answer back, make it alittle smaller! haha :)
  3. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Dude, seriously, adjust your font size, feels like you're shouting throughout the whole post.
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Did you live on pizza and chips over the weekend?
    too much salt does wonders for the embrouchure ... so don't do that
    Is the competition at your new school making you feel like quitting and you are not practicing .. so you practice less?
  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    If I lost my embouchure, I'd be shouting too.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    First question I have is: What happened over this 4 day weekend? This is the best place to start and do not leave out any details. For instance, what did you notice each day when you first awoke? What did you have for breakfast when you ate day 1, day 2, day 3? Are you allergic to peanut oils? Anything different in interactions you had with friends, family, pets? Any stressful events over those 4 days.

    Sudden change like this is either related to physiology or psychology, and answering questions such as this is the place to start if you are looking for help.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    By the way, welcome to TM, unfortunately under these circumstances, and hopefully with time your anxiety will resolve, and your font will become smaller.
  8. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    Like when the swelling (of the font) goes down?

    Seriously, I have had times like this when I was dehydrated or overtired both from lack of sleep and from over-practice.
    Also, the salt thing is really true- it can really mess with your embouchure.
  9. mchs3d

    mchs3d Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 30, 2005
    Provo, UT
    I'm not sure how to respond to a post like this. Oh wait, I am sure...get a private teacher.
  10. watchguy44

    watchguy44 Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2010
    That has only happened to me once in my playing days, and too much sugar caused it.
    Also, being overtired and stressed didn't help much either. Perhaps you've changed
    your emboucher without realizing it?
    If your horn checks out, then maybe its your warm up? Quite a few things could be the problem.... and mchs3d is on it, "Private Teacher" is always a good thing.

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