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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Centering the Trumpet? in the General forums; I have a question and I wasn't sure if it would fit into any of the other forums, so here ...
  1. #1
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    Jun 2009

    Centering the Trumpet?

    I have a question and I wasn't sure if it would fit into any of the other forums, so here it is.

    I've been playing trumpet for about 6 years, and recently I've noticed that when I play my mouth piece is far off center, about 1/2 of the way between the center of my mouth and the right corner of my mouth. I know that this is incredibly limiting to me because my muscles on the different sides of my face grow at different paces. This limits my high note range as well as my stamina for when I'm playing.

    In short, does anyone know any exercises or methods that I can use so that I can learn how to recenter my trumpet when I play?

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User Solar Bell's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Metro Detroit

    Re: Centering the Trumpet?

    Play where it is comfortable.

    Many well known players play off center.

    Nothing wrong with it.

    It depends on your lip, face and teeth structure.
    Chuck Willard
    The Willard of Oz

    "Don't be afraid to see what you see."
    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: Centering the Trumpet?

    It may or may not be a problem. Many very fine players play off center. Since you are concerned I would consult with a good teacher. At least they can tell you it's not a problem. In what way does it limit your range?
    Bob Grier, An Old Pro
    Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons

  4. #4
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    May 2009

    Re: Centering the Trumpet?

    Shuksefuji, my best friend plays off center as well. He does have problems with range, and many times he cannot make a clear sound. However, neither of those problems - in my opinion - are because of where he is playing on his face, only by his level of concentration. I've heard him make a great sound, as well as play High C and above. The only advice I can give you is play where you are comfortable, but make sure you know where your aperture actually is. To play higher notes, you'll want to aim your air down the center of the shank directly into the leadpipe and if you're playing on the center of your face, it'd probably be easier to direct the air towards a centered focal point. However, as long as you can figure out where to direct the air and be able to keep your embouchure firm, you should be pretty set - at least that's how I've always experienced progress in this specific field.

    A clear sound would come with dedication, and a clear start. Don't feel that you are limited in any way by where you play on your face, and you shouldn't let anyone ever tell you so! It's just a matter of preference, and a difference in playing style. (:

  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Centering the Trumpet?

    I play off center. No limitation in range or endurance. I do not believe in the "myth" of pointing air towards anything. I believe this is a lie that most players have not researched so they just keep telling it, even although it is not true. If you look at a cross section of your face, you see that that cannot work that way - the tongue and teeth are in the way!

    If you have a decent routine, your body will let you know what is best.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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