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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Embouchure Problem in the General forums; Hello, I am a high school student and I have been having some problems with my embouchure lately. I don't ...
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    Embouchure Problem

    Hello, I am a high school student and I have been having some problems with my embouchure lately. I don't know why but when I tongue, my chin moves and I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to move. I don't know how to fix this and help would be VERY appreciated. Thank you

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    Might I suggest that your breathing is the problem. It may be that you are breathing out by squeezing your lungs which will cause your neck and throught muscles to tighten, thus leading to the tension in your mouth-tongue movements.

    Learn to use the force, Luke. No, sorry. Wrong advice. Learn to use your diaphram and stomach muscles to inhale and exhale. Look in the first few pages of a TuneA Day book and it does explain this quite well.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    Thank you. I will try that and hope it works.

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    As for the chin moving? You have to make a conscious effort to quit this. Look in the mirror when you play. This habit is fairly easy to break. My daughter had this problem last summer and I asked her "why does it look like you're chewing gum when you're playing notes?" Of course she said "I don't know" We then worked in front of the mirror for a while and within a couple of days the nasty little habit was gone. It's an easy habit to break and remember, it shouldn't look like you're chewing gum while you're playing the trumpet.
    Here's what Carl Saunders sez about embouchures:

    What is a good embouchure?
    So what is a natural embouchure? To me a natural embouchure is:
    PLACING YOUR LOWER JAW OUT FAR ENOUGH SO YOUR LOWER TEETH ALIGN EVENLY WITH YOUR UPPER TEETH TO MAKE A WALL where the mouthpiece can comfortably rest without tilting up or down or to either side. 60% of the pressure should be on the lower jaw and 40 & on the upper. With this position achieved, the upper lip should be free to vibrate (of course your lower lip vibrates, too) and your horn should be pointing straight out (even with the ground.) More results with less effort should ensue.
    ---
    I capped the part that pertains to jaw movement. Notice he said to make the upper or lower teeth align to make a wall. Walls don't chew.
    Your situation is really easy to fix. Just make the teeth even and watch yourself in the mirror for a couple of sessions. You'll find that making a chewing motion when you play is a lot harder to do than keeping the teeth aligned and still.
    Last edited by Markie; 01-26-2010 at 11:39 AM.

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    I know almost no trumpeters who play with the horn even to the ground. This is actually not a natural position. I know of no professional players who could do this without tilting their heads back. The lack of players who play even to the ground seems to me to be evidence that this is not natural. On top of that, if we only encouraged those with "natural" physiology to play brass instruments than we will severely limit the number of brass students that we allow to play. Desire and work ethic are far more important than perfect features.
    C: Bach 229 25H/Prana C1-1S1
    Bb: Bach 37/Prana C1-1S1, Prana B4LD

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    Sorry Markie, but I disagree with you too. Although I do teach beginners to hold their instrument horizontal just so they learn to breathe with a clear airway, and to keep their bloody elbows away from their ribs!!!
    Don't get side-tracked thinking about teeth. Crooked, straight, false, braces, etc, are a relatively minor issue. It is the lips which are muscles; and they need to be exercised and trained so that the player can play directly down the mouthpiece. Sometimes a poor dental profile will mean that the instrument has to be held on an angle to achieve this.

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    Saunders is a fine trumpeter but not known for his pedagogy. I find his advise outrageous and selective to his preference for playing. After seeing him numerous times, I've become a fan of his playing, but you're best to keep your ears plugged when he speaks, particularly about other players.

    ed

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    Solocornet sez:
    Don't get side-tracked thinking about teeth. Crooked, straight, false, braces, etc, are a relatively minor issue. It is the lips which are muscles; and they need to be exercised and trained so that the player can play directly down the mouthpiece. Sometimes a poor dental profile will mean that the instrument has to be held on an angle to achieve this.
    --------
    I agree. The statement was from a carl saunders article which has good parts and as you noted, not so good parts. What I should have done is to edit out the dumb parts such as his comment about teeth. I will edit out the dumb parts and leave the parts which (to me) makes good sense.
    Thanks

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    After spending many years believing players had to find answers to their embouchure "problems", I've reached the conclusion that there are no embouchure "problems", just issues related to each player's unique embouchure that need to be properly addressed.

    That's where things get sticky. Every player must find a teacher who is experienced with and adept at applying the correct methods to their specific embouchure issues. The rest is proper practice applying the correct methods to achieve the desired results.

    All of the above is prefaced with "IMO".

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    Re: Embouchure Problem

    EdMann sez:
    I find his advise outrageous and selective to his preference for playing.
    --------
    I can't disagree. His comments about discouraging people from the trumpet because of their teeth is a bit much. However, I do like what he says about aligning the lower teeth with the upper teeth to make a wall (good visualization). I'll be more careful with my references next time. Thanks

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