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Trumpet Discussion Discuss I changed embouchure, drastic improvement in the General forums; Well, you switch to get your sound right. I'm a long time player who took a ton of time off ...
  1. #21
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Los Angeles

    Re: I changed embouchure, drastic improvement

    Well, you switch to get your sound right. I'm a long time player who took a ton of time off and came back to a high wire act of an embouchure, a lower lip tuck that was suggested by a former teacher of some repute, and back in the day, after suffering through months of adjustment to get my sound, I never knew why he did that since I wasn't a music major and didn't practice enough to make any embouchure placement work. Plus, I was overblowing anyway!

    After coming back, I slowly went back to a virtual einsetzen position, immediately got a sound I wanted and spent a couple years getting the kinks out and concentrating on fundamentals, particularly air. Pretty happy with it. As for going back and forth with different instruments-- I do play trombone and dabble in French horn-- yes, it takes as much time on those slightly different settings and mpcs but I'm putting in that kind of time now.


  2. #22
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.

    Re: I changed embouchure, drastic improvement

    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    Success is measured in months and years. Post again in 6 months. Then we will know for sure.

    You post no details. Just moving the mouthpiece will destroy power, range and endurance for a while until the muscles get used to the new position. It takes even longer to get back any consistency as the fine motor muscle movements have to be trained.

    After the muscle rebuild, you should have your old performance. If you are VERY lucky, maybe a bit better.
    Absolutely anatomically and kineophysiologically correct, rowuk.
    It takes me months if I change a mouthpiece, so much more time to correct a position change.
    Overconfidence can kill you.
    If you have had some improvement then it is a positive step, but give it time to cure.

  3. #23
    Mezzo Forte User Mark_Kindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Gainesville, FL

    Re: I changed embouchure, drastic improvement

    Embouchure changes sure can be confidence killers. I had a whole issue back in high school where I played so far in the red of my upper lip for high notes that my aperture would swell from pressure, or would slide out onto the rim. I still wonder to this day how I managed to play at all... but I managed to fix it. Definitely was a humbling experience, because it took so long to readjust. Thankfully, it was for the best.
    Mark Kindy - University of Florida
    Life is like a trumpet - if you don't put anything into it, you don't get anything out of it. --
    William Christopher Handy
    Edwards Gen II - Bach 3C, Asymmetric Lead/Schlike 13a4a Heavyweight

  4. #24
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Asheville, NC

    Re: I changed embouchure, drastic improvement

    Hi I just changed embouchure, I was 1/2 upper lip 1/2 lower lip, but now I/m 2/3 upper and 1/3 lower lip

    and it did miracles, I gained endurance, power, range,
    While a few players may appear to be exactly 50/50 with their mouthpiece placement, this placement doesn't usually work very well for most. One lip generally will predominate inside the mouthpiece and when both lips are fighting each other for predominance, problems can result:

    A Tubist's Embouchure - A Case Study - YouTube

    Most players do better with a placement that has more upper lip inside. A smaller number will do better with more lower lip inside. I'm not surprised that moving your placement up so that you have more upper lip works better. Learn to work with that new embouchure and play your whole range there.

    There are some teachers that claim to be able to help the players find a sweetspot. I am one of them. During the closely monitored lessons that I give, I help the student through long tones and lipslurs gravitate to the optimal spot. It does NOT involve placing the mouthpiece somewhere else. It involves good body use, proper breathing and a relaxed approach to playing. We turn the ears on and within a month or two, we are VERY close to VERY good.
    I would agree that often this approach works very well and is sometimes best for a particular student at a particular stage of development. For example, when the embouchure strength and control hasn't already developed you won't be able to know how to make your embouchure work within your anatomical features in the first place. Left to their own devices, most students seem to gravitate to their own best placement because that's what works (as long as they are given permission). Practice on good overall embouchure form will help, assuming the student understands what this means.

    On the other hand, there are many times when simply trying to place the mouthpiece in a different spot is faster and more optimal than months of trial and error. If you know what to look for, there are basic embouchure patterns that can be used as a "road map" to help players find their mouthpiece placement (see the YouTube video I linked above for one example). In some cases making even slight changes can make for remarkable improvements, but those changes will be different for every player. This is one reason why a lot of teachers tend to discourage this sort of experimentation, since what works for one student can make another student worse.

    I personally don't subscribe to the "let the body figure itself out" approach, although I frequently guide my students by taking their attention away from their embouchure in order to fix other things that need correcting first. At some point or another it usually becomes necessary to work on some elements of embouchure form, but when you can break those things down into smaller chunks it's not all that complicated. Certainly no harder than learning music theory.


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