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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip in the General forums; I'm an adult biginner of brass. Started with pocket trumpet and currently practicing with a cornet. I'm playing only some ...
  1. #1
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    Jul 2009

    Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip

    I'm an adult biginner of brass. Started with pocket trumpet and currently practicing with a cornet.

    I'm playing only some monthes now, so I don't think I have fixed 'habits' yet, and still feel I can experiment freely without much risk.

    When my early days with only pocket trumpet, I found it's easier to produce higher tone if I put my embouchure higher in the mouthpiece, and blowing upward against the wall of the cup, so I've been playig with this sertting, 'higher in MP, more lower lip in the cup'.

    Reading upstream/downstream things in forum got me curious and I started to experiment. I played with different setting, 'lower in MP, more upper lip in the cup' way, for some minutes as warmup at practice. I could produce sound but at first very small range. but day by day, I accostumed with 2nd 'more upper lip' way, and started to feel natural this way too. Range cames later, too.

    Now, still I can produce clearer tone with 1st 'more lower lip' way, but feel almost more confortable with 2nd 'more upper lip' way.
    And today, I found that I don't need to blow against the cups wall, Even with 2nd 'more upper lip' way, I can produce better tone when I blow upward 'toward the center' when I go up the registers.

    In both way, lower tone is easier when I put the horn a little downward when I go down to low Ab and lower.

    Now, tone wise, they are becoming close. Since 'more upper lip' way feels more relaxed, (upper lip can vebrate more freely than other way), I think I'll put more practice time of 2nd 'more upper lip' way.

    I wonder where it goes. maybe I'll settle to one way. Maybe I'll learn to control both way, maybe for other tone/effect...or I wish to come to a point that 'i don't care where but I can play anyway'...

    Nirschl A-100 Cornet with Denis Wick 3

  2. #2
    Forte User
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    Mar 2005
    Indianapolis, In

    Re: Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip

    Since you are a comeback player and experimenting with embouchure, why not find a good teacher and let them work with you to find the most efficient set-up for you?

  3. #3
    Pianissimo User skankin'dan's Avatar
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    Mar 2007

    Re: Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip

    As coomer said, a teacher would be best. But if that is not an option right now, I would suggest sticking to an embrochure you are most comfortable with and don't change it (especially if you are only doing so for high notes or anything else that seem as a quick learning advantage).

  4. #4
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    Jul 2009
    New Hampshire

    Re: Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip

    Comfort is very important in forming your embouchure. Don't over-analyze it, but instead do a lot of mouthpiece buzzing, and in finding where it is best to place the mouthpiece form your lips as if you were about to say "hmmm. . ." then blow with a soft "p" sound (p as in the letter p such as "poo" not p as in "piano - play softly"). Do this a few times and then place your mouthpiece where you can do the same thing. After a few tries at such placement, then put more air behind your "p" sound and get your lips to buzz. It should be about a low C or 2nd line G and keep repeating that until you get a good buzzing sound every time easily. That's your embouchure placement which will most likely work the best for you throughout the entire range of your playing.

    And don't worry about the high notes -- they'll come as you get stronger as a trumpeter. Don't try to force them too soon -- you'll be able to start to get them as your whole trumpet-playing mechanism matures.

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    Pianissimo User HSOtrumpet1's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Re: Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip

    If I remember correctly from my book, Arban says the mouthpiece should be 2/3 lower lip and 1/3 upper lip. But, many reputable players disagree, saying 2/3 upper lip and 1/3 lower lip. So, as you can see, there is dissagreement among the best players. I also remember Rowuk telling in a post "An embrochure is as individual as a fingerprint." So no matter how hard you try to make your embrochure like anyone else's, it will never be exactly the same. I would keep experimenting, doing what feels good, but I would occasionally look in the mirror to make sure you're not doing anything really crazy, like playing out of the corner of your mouth or something. At least make sure it's somewhat centered, otherwise you may have playing problems later on.

    Hope that helps,


  6. #6
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip

    I have seen many variations. The problem for DIY is that you only find out what doesn't work after it is too late.
    If you don't have a teacher, you can only use what works, whether it makes medium to long term sense or not.

    Trumpet is not teachable by the numbers.
    Good luck
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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    Jul 2009

    Re: Embouchre with more upper lip & with more lower lip

    Well, I'm not a come-back player. I'm an adult beginner.
    (It's just my "second attempt" to learn... :) )
    And the process of seeking mysef how to improve thing is the most of fun, so I'll continue to seek myself.
    (and being a single father of 3 years old son, just having place and time forregular practice is an effort itself.)

    This thread is for me not about "correct embouchure" but, more about different ways to get various types of sound.
    I tried dhbaily's advise about "p", and it seems I can do it almost "anywhere" in the cup. I found somewhere between the 'upper' and 'lower' seems the best. I'd say this is my third position. And started practicing there, a little comparing with 'upper' and 'lower' postions.

    What I found a little after, is that my lips work about the same with three points in the cup. And going higher register, I'm more comfortable blowing more upward, (not downward, even when my position is low), and the point of my lips that vibrate goes a little inner side.
    So, I found that I don't need to blow "against the cup wall" to go higher.

    then later, (over?)analysing the three ways of blowing, I found that it's not the point of setting the lips that differ the tone...
    ...when I blow more "against the cup wall", the sound is more edgy, with clear core, with some blightness, and when blowing more "into the air (in the openspace inside cup)", I get more fazzy, soft, (subjectively) flugel-like sound. Somewhere between, I get enough clear but soft edged sound, which I'd chose for my standard tone.
    In short, I thank to dhbaily for the suggestion. Now I learn to control the basic tone with same instrument and a same mouthpiece. and I don't settle to one way of (correct?) embouchre, but will try to learn better control these variations of sound I learned so far this way.

    Thank you very much


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