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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart" in the General forums; Thought I'd ask for some advice on a problem I've been having lately. Recently (3-4 weeks) I've been having an ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart"

    Thought I'd ask for some advice on a problem I've been having lately.

    Recently (3-4 weeks) I've been having an issue with the upper register (above approximately G above the staff) where my lips are being what I can only describe as "blown apart". I'm getting an awful flapping sound with most of the notes up there. Like I'm flapping my lips, but in the upper range and with the pitch sounding.

    I've tried to fix it (including taking a couple of days essentially off) to no avail. I haven't been playing all that long (2 years) and I've just recently started to try to develop my high range, but since it's a relatively recent phenomenon I'm concerned.

    What could this be? I feel like the air support is there but the lips are unable to "handle" it. I don't think chop strength is necessarily the issue - I play a lot and have since I picked up the horn so I feel my strength should be adequate. I don't want to try to put pressure on the mouthpiece or clench the lips either. Could it be a mouthpiece issue? I play on a standard 3C.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Fortissimo User bumblebee's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Great Southern Land

    Re: Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart"

    Have you been getting enough sleep? Your chops may be strong but will flag when you're tired I think (happens to me).

    This sounds a bit like the problem reported in another recent thread: ("Leaky" lips?)


  3. #3
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Re: Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart"

    IF you had a decent daily routine, you would already have the answer. We have no way of knowing over the internet what that high range stuff has done to waste your chops.

    Get back into what worked BEFORE you started messing around with high notes. Get that solid and focussed again, then get a program worked out with your local teacher for "specialty" playing.

    There are hundreds of stupid things trumpet players do to get high notes. Picking out which one applies to you is really the needle in the haystack.

    That all being said, I know of no pro that claims their breathing or chop strength is 100%. Even Maynard Ferguson was a devout yoga fan.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  4. #4
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Levittown , NY

    Re: Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart"

    It sounds like you may be trying to push too much air on the high notes.Try practicing your high notes very soft, let the lips develop the strength for those notes before going for volume, rest often before you start to feel tired.Remember to still use breath support , but not for volume.

  5. #5
    Mezzo Piano User leftmid7's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Franklin, TN

    Re: Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart"

    The flapping sounds odd, though. Like your mpc cup is too big for you or something. Do you have access to others?
    one that works with his hands - laborer
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    one that works with hands, head and heart - artist

  6. #6
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Los Angeles

    Re: Embouchure Issues - lips being "blown apart"

    This is not an uncommon problem for newbees looking to push their limits or comebackers like me who wish to do same. The infrastructure is just not always there, mpc placement can shift, maybe you were listening to too much Maynard that day. Mpc size may play a part, but I've had this happen to me in the not too distant past on the smallest of pieces. Rowuk, as usual, hits it on the head-- could be a number of things-- but this, along with pretty sounds like airballs, double buzzes, rasp tones happen when you don't stick with a routine and play under control. Use common sense, and think music, not notes. Swelling and fatigue can creep up VERY fast. Rest often.

    Last edited by EdMann; 11-23-2010 at 01:13 PM.

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