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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure" in the General forums; Originally Posted by TrumpetMD A lot of great advice. And I think your plans to get a private teacher is ...
  1. #11
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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Quote Originally Posted by TrumpetMD View Post
    A lot of great advice. And I think your plans to get a private teacher is the best way to go.

    BTW, I'm one of those who tried the Balanced Embouchure (BE), but didn't make it.

    I don't think the BE approach is necessarily bad. And I think Jeff has some interersting points. But I didn't think it was right for me and my needs. There's just so much you can learn from a book. After about 6 months into my comeback, I started studying privately. At that point, the BE approach didn't fit in to what I was working on.

    Mike
    Sorry that didn't work out for you. Thanks for sharing your personal account!

    Nick, you make a lot of good points. The few bits I did pick up from reading Smiley's site actually really did seem to click with me. I may still read that book yet.

  2. #12
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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Dear Hoho,

    So far you've gotten some very good advice on this forum. I believe it would be worth your while to find a good private instructor with a good track record.

    As for the Balanced Embouchure method- I would think twice before commencing the study of this method, as it has had an extremely adverse effect on my playing, to put it mildly. Proceed at your own risk.

    Good luck !

    Izzy

  3. #13
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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Hi hoho,
    here's something you might want to try:
    fix your lips and blow softly as if you're playing a note (but without the trumpet).
    Now, slowly put the trumpet up to your lips as you blow softly. As the trumpet seals against the lips, the lips should begin to vibrate due to the resistance from the mouthpiece(vibrate isn't the exact term for what the lips do but its the term we'll go with right now). I'd venture to say that where you place the mouthpiece is what is most comfortable for you.
    As for one size fits all balanced stuff? If it works for you, cool.
    However, you might want to try this little experiment to see where your mouthpiece actually lands on your lips.

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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Quote Originally Posted by Veldkamp View Post
    IMHO most people don't have embouchure problems. The embouchure isn't working properly due to other bigger problems like bad air support or/and no mental soundconcept. It's a result of the real problem, not the cause.

    Every book that only focusses on embouchure (like BE) is therefore a bad book IMHO because it doesn't fix the real problem.

    Exactly, most of these people do not really understand the full mechanics of how to play.

    I have a problem with anyone that uses clichés and feeds off of other peoples frustration to push a product. I know the BE website has been updated recently, but the one he had before reminded me of those scammers that push miracle herbal cures to treat cancer. There are the naturals, who play by dumb luck, and there are the rest of us, thank god for the BE book to help the rest of us! What a load of crap.
    Last edited by dizforprez; 11-09-2009 at 11:12 AM.

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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    I'm with Veldkamp on this one. Bad air flow is one of the biggest problems in playing the horn, and one that is most often neglected. Get the student to loosen up on that tight glottis which is cutting off the air supply and you solved much of the getting a decent sound out of the horn.

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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Is this method good or not?

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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Quote Originally Posted by imbane View Post
    Is this method good or not?
    You resurrected an old thread. Unfortunately, there's no simple answer to your question. I think Nick's reply sums it up best.
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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Quote Originally Posted by imbane View Post
    Is this method good or not?
    For what it's worth, The Balanced Embouchure has saved my trumpet playing. In October of last year, I started a thread about wanting to quit trumpet because of the frustrations with range and mouthpiece pressure I had at the time. Since picking up The Balanced Embouchure three months ago, my playing has improved by leaps and bounds. Learning how to roll in my lips brought back almost all of my range and now I use very little mouthpiece pressure, even to play high.

    Once again, playing trumpet is an enjoyable experience for me, all thanks to The Balanced Embouchure.

    Your results may vary; this is just my own experience with BE.
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    Re: Jeff Smiley, "The Balanced Embouchure"

    Quote Originally Posted by imbane View Post
    Is this method good or not?
    In my experience, BE works but how easily you get it working for you depends on a number of different things. How you approach the exercises, what you take from the exercises and whether you ask for help if you get stuck are all pretty important.

    For some people, BE clicks for them because they approach it with a useful mindset and figure out all the things that they need to get it working. I personally was not so lucky and had to work to get BE working for me. The exercises are easy to learn but the essence of BE isn't the exercises, it's what you manage to teach yourself from the exercises. Some people manage to teach themselves all the right things and progress very quickly, but others (like me) miss the point of the exercises and think the notes on the page are more important than what's happening with your chops.

    I've also personally found that the support you can get from Jeff and the other BE dealers can be invaluable. I got quite a bit of help (for free) from Jeff, Ko and others while I was trying to figure out how to get some things working for myself.

    It's my experience that BE works, but it is what you make it. If you work at it and use the available resources when needed, you can do well.

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