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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Confused! in the General forums; Iv'e recently stumbled across a problem that iv'e never really had before. After about 10 minutes of warming up by ...
  1. #1
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    Jun 2010


    Iv'e recently stumbled across a problem that iv'e never really had before.

    After about 10 minutes of warming up by doing long tones and some C-G lip slurs I feel ready to play. But no matter how long I prolong this warm up, I can never slur up to that middle C. I think the problem may be that My 'Natural' embochure contains very little upper lip. If I just slip in a little bit more top lip I can slur up to that C with ease, but my tone lacks slightly. I think my tone is pretty nice with my natural embochure and the range of which my tone is nice is from a Low F# up to about G/A. After putting in some more top lip my range changes to from about a Low A up to a top line F but my endurance and tone lack ever so slightly. So the question is, is it a good idea putting in more top lip, or shall I just stick it out with my natural embochure?

    Thanks, And I will be getting a private teacher soon!

  2. #2
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    Jun 2010

    Re: Confused!

    Oh and forgot to metion Ive only noticed this in the last few days, before this i could play my full range without noticing anything, all in the best of my tone and with pretty good endurance.

  3. #3
    Piano User Satchmo Brecker's Avatar
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    Jul 2010

    Re: Confused!

    I'm sure some veterans will chime in. I'm a relative newbie (7 months) and when I first read about embouchre I got the impression from a couple places (can't recall where I read it) that the top lip does most of the work, and the bottom lip basically acts as a support or cushion for the top lip. If that's true then maybe you're limiting yourself by limiting your top lip. Experts please chime in though.
    bah do dweeeee bah do bleep blop

  4. #4
    Forte User bagmangood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Bostonish & San Francisco

    Re: Confused!

    I wouldn't worry about lip percentages, plenty of people play with lots of upper lip, lots play with very little, and everywhere in between.
    How long have you been playing?
    When I first started it was actually several months before I was able to "hit" a middle c, much less play one.
    If there is a problem, it would definitely require an instructor.
    In the meantime, try breathing more and supporting the air more fully as you ascend.
    Bb: Courtois 305 "Elite", Holton Al Hirt Special (~1966), Benge 3x with Upturned bell (1973)
    C: Bach C180-239 (Akwright conversion),
    Cornet: Conn Wonder (1900)
    Picc: Selmer Paris, ~1971

  5. #5
    Mezzo Piano User fraserhutch's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    Novato, CA, USA

    Re: Confused!

    Eric Bolvin has an excellent book, "Tongue Level and Air", that I believe would help you tremendously.
    ::: Eric Bolvin Music Studios - Publications ::: TONGUE LEVEL & AIR
    It s based on Claude Gordon principles, and is not expensive.
    Scodwell Bb
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    Wild Thing Flugel

  6. #6
    Piano User
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    May 2009
    Tewksbury, NJ, USA

    Re: Confused!

    Dreads, you should consider that this most likely is a breath support issue, not an embouchure problem. You are right, it is confusing because when you drop a slur, you instantly feel it in your lips, so your attention is focused there. But is is difficult and frustrating to try to fix it where you feel it. The root of the problem is lack of controlled air flow.

  7. #7
    Utimate User kingtrumpet's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    New York State USA

    Re: Confused!

    here is a good synopsis on lip position
    The New Asymmetric Trumpet Mouthpiece

  8. #8
    Forte User
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    Jan 2009
    Clarksburg, WV

    Re: Confused!

    Paralysis from Analysis.
    Stop playing for a couple of days and go back to playing again. Sometimes too much of a good thing (practice) is a bad thing. Give a couple of days for your body to reset itself.

  9. #9
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: Confused!

    A good teacher can tell you if placement is a problem in about 10 minutes.
    Bob Grier, An Old Pro
    Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons

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