What happened to my embochure?

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

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    AND forget not to mention... Your blood pressure too!
  2. BinaryHulledIon

    BinaryHulledIon Piano User

    Nov 23, 2012
    Spartanburg, SC
    I'm just going to throw this out there because it's really helping me out with rebuilding after several years of my trumpet doing nothing more than filtering sulfur out of the air...

    Amazon | Lip Flexibility on the Trumpet

    (And I was shocked when I looked this up and found a grey cover version similar to the one I have going for nearly $100. Huh?)

    It's 49 studies that might seem very elementary, because all you're doing is going back and forth across the harmonics in each finger position, but it's actually quite a workout. The book says to start with exercises 1-4 until you can do them without difficulty, but if you're anything like me you'll be sticking to 1 & 2 to avoid tripping over Bb trying to get to high c and explaining to people what a "tea ant" is.
  3. Persian

    Persian New Friend

    Nov 28, 2011
    Yeah I had great embouchure for a long time, no idea what happened. My playing has gotten slightly better now. I can play most notes very easily except for the middle g and c. It seems like everyday I use a different embouchure, I can't remember what I used before... It's really embarrassing because when we tune, our instructor asks us to play a middle c (in front of 70+ other students) and I can't hit it without hitting a high e or medium g first. I'm not sure what's wrong, If my embouchure was really bad I should not be able to hit the high notes so easily and the low notes easily as well. As I said before it's very embarrassing as I've been playing the C perfectly for years, as a matter of fact it was my favorite note.
  4. Persian

    Persian New Friend

    Nov 28, 2011
    Haha, I wish I could afford that luxury. Like I said the people at my school have no-life. They have arranged for a private instructor to come to the school 3 times a week and take them out of class so that they can practice with them... ($25-50 a lesson... and all he gives you is chromatic exercises)
  5. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

    Oct 20, 2010
    First, a private instructor doesn't need to be that expensive, unless you live in a well-to-do area of the country.

    Next, how do you get a low F with open fingering? It really sounds to me like you've switched your valves around. Check them. They might be numbered, which makes it easy (1 is nearest to the mouthpiece).

    Lastly, you don't need to have "no life" to be a decent trumpet player. All you need is the desire to play. 30 minutes daily should do it - but make sure it's productive practicing.

    If you can't afford a private teacher, I suggest:

    1. Hiring a teacher for just a lesson or two. This should fix or at least identify the problems you're having
    2. Purchase a decent method book. I suggest Clarke or Arban's books. Arban has everything. You'll have it forever.

    Good luck,

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Recent episode with cold taught me a lesson. I sucked on some Sucrets for my sore throat which, unknown to me, contains a mild topical anaesthetic. This paralysed my lips; couldn't play a note and had to cancel a gig.:-P
    Dr. Mike
  7. turbomacncheese

    turbomacncheese New Friend

    Nov 6, 2012
    Dude, quit saying they have no life. I knew a kid when I was in band, and trumpet WAS his life. I was better at some things than he was, but wanted to spend more time pursuing friendships, dating, judo, and work, so now he's a band director (perfect fit for him by the looks of it) and loving life. It's not the path I would have chosen, but neither would have been giving up on a career in restaurant management to end up as a machine operator, which is what I currently do. Sounds like you're upset that they outperform you on account of practicing more. I know it's tough to go from being among the best to "not so much." My senior year I took second chair in the county band while a guy that sat 3 chairs down from me took first. Why? Because he practiced and I didn't. I also said some things that took years before I apologized. Being "that" guy sucks, and a lot. Just work on your issues and evaluate your own performance and talent, and how important (or not) that is to YOU.
  8. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    Do you warm up before band and practice? Some basic long tones and lip flexibilities every day should really help, if not cure this sort of problem.

    One thing that'll help your pitching is if you hum/sing the upcoming note in your head or very quietly before you play it, which is particularly important if you start the phrase in the upper register - you don't want to be squealing a Bb above the staff when you need to hit C to make the chord.

    Try to hear the next phrase in a piece of music before you play it. If your brain knows what it sounds like, you won't even need to think about what you're doing on the horn - it'll just happen.

    Most of the time as third, you're there to colour the harmonies, which makes things particularly difficult when trying to hear the notes in your head. Don't shy away from it! If anything, you need to be sitting on a dynamic just as loud or louder than the firsts - their sound will naturally project further, especially if they're up high.
  9. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    First -- you need to RELAX -- hey did I say RELAX??? ---yes, I did -- as a comebacker for 4 years now ---- I go through periods like this, they can last as little as 4 days, or If frustration sets in ---- I CAN MAKE THEM LAST LONGER!!!! For me, last week, I pushed too much on "high" notes and/or length of practices (cause everything was going GREAT) ------ so that stressed my embouchure ------------LOOK I WAS TRYING TO MAKE A VIDEO FOR A FRIEND (who can play way better than I) (((YES GM, ole buddy, ole pal, I am talking about you))) ------ so for KT here, I need to PUSH the envelope -- a little higher, a littel louder --- NO PARTICULAR REASON except mach guy stuff. the next day the embouchure is tired, weak, --- I start missing notes, easy notes -------SO DO YOU PUSH HARDER, usually YES. So my embouchure is resting a bit these past few days --- and things are getting better (((they always do given enough rest, and the PROPER MINDSET)))) ------ and in the last week or so along with my pushing too hard, there was some swellling in my mouth do to a Wisdom tooth, and some awesome Christmas cookies at work (loaded with salt and sugar I might add) ---totally foreign to my body!!! --- and that's the story -- and that is what I believe you got --push too much and get frustrated
  10. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004
    Sadly we can't help you get your old embouchure. None of us ever saw or heard you play. We can't lead you back to it.

    We can maybe help you get a new one and recover from this.

    1st you have to know what the note that you want to play sounds like. Not close but exactly. Close will often get you the next note with that fingering. That is what you are doing now.

    2nd when having these problems it helps a great deal to play the tuning C on your mouthpiece. If you play a B, C, or C# then sort of a C will come out.

    If you missed the pitch by more than a half a step on the mouthpiece alone then you get that "I don't know what is going to come out" problem.

    With some ear training and mouthpiece playing, you can get past this in a few days and prevent it from coming back.

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