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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Playing From the side of your mouth in the General forums; Is this a bad habbit...does it limit what i can do with the horn?...
  1. #1
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    Playing From the side of your mouth

    Is this a bad habbit...does it limit what i can do with the horn?
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  2. #2
    Mezzo Forte User bigaggietrumpet's Avatar
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    Depends kinda on how far to the side you're talking about. Back in HS there was a guy I played with who played pretty far to the side, and it never really affected anything. It was just comfortable for him to do. I actually used to do it some myself, but I just gradually worked to where I'm almost back to center now. Can't say as I've really notice much of a difference (though I'd bet dollars to pay that someone who really knows will prove me wrong).
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    Forte User MUSICandCHARACTER's Avatar
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    Some say no, some say it might.

    I can say that I used to play off center. It felt better for some reason. But at the advice of a good player, I worked to get back on center.

    I used Chop-Sticks http://www.chop-sticks.info/ and lots of buzzing. It worked great to move me back to center. I felt like my range and endurance increased. You would think being more symmetrical that would be the case. But one teacher I talked to (DMA, brass performance) told me he didn't think playing off-center was a big deal.

    Oh well, it certainly helped me quite a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSICandCHARACTER
    Some say no, some say it might.

    I can say that I used to play off center. It felt better for some reason. But at the advice of a good player, I worked to get back on center.

    I used Chop-Sticks http://www.chop-sticks.info/ and lots of buzzing. It worked great to move me back to center. I felt like my range and endurance increased. You would think being more symmetrical that would be the case. But one teacher I talked to (DMA, brass performance) told me he didn't think playing off-center was a big deal.

    Oh well, it certainly helped me quite a bit.

    Jim
    Yep, I used to play severly of to the side but with "pencils"(make them my self) and Stamp. If you chang you will notice a drastic change in the range, and slurs.

    ANdrewWK
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    There is no one, universal correct answer. I've always felt it was okay to be a LITTLE off center to accomodate any teeth or lip irregularities. At the ITG conference this past spring, however, I met and heard Denver Dill play (and I have a sampler CD of his which has two TOUGH trumpet pieces on it). He has the weirdest, most off to the side embouchure I've ever seen. BUT... he's great. Fabulous flexibility, sound, and endurance.
    While I would never recommend that someone be way off to the side, a little is not really a problem for most.
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  6. #6
    Forte User Heavens2kadonka's Avatar
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    It depends. Can you control your entire register? One real good way to figure out that one is doing long tones going down, starting each note as soft as you can control, and cresendoing to as loud as you can control, and then decresendoing back to nothingness, before letting go. Also, when you get "Shot," does it feel like your lips are DEAD, or does it feel like your lips are going to vibrate off your face and run away? Is your placement on the lips more on the upper or lower lip?

    After a couple of weeks (And too many angry cuss-words to count), I'm actually starting to see progress with my embochure change. I have found that the new center embochure, while still hard to completely control, gives me more endurance, and EXCELLENT range (I can already hit a top-space C, and it doesn't require effort!), not to mention this fat sound. I am buzzing every day (its becoming a habit), whereas I could barely buzz before!

    My instructor discovered that I NEVER buzzed through the mouthpiece, but somehow managed to produce a good sound (although it always had a "whine" and was never really "fat"). Actually, I know I "buzzed," but it was mainly through immense pressure and sort of relying on the mouthpiece. I'm wondering: can you buzz tones without your mouthpiece on your current embochure?

    Van

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavens2kadonka
    Also, when you get "Shot," does it feel like your lips are DEAD, or does it feel like your lips are going to vibrate off your face and run away?
    Which one is better?

    AndrewWK
    Jon

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  8. #8
    Mezzo Forte User musicalmason's Avatar
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    I play slightly to the right, I asked my private teacher about it one day. Being the dedicated teacher he is, he actually got in touch with my orthodontist and asked him about the dental molds my orthodintist had of my teeth (my braces had jus recently come off at the time) and after talking with the dr. they came to the conclusion that my teeth actually sloped to the right a little bit, which means by playing to that side of my mouth the mp is on a more level surface, making it more comfortable for me. So I guess if it feels right, it probably is, but you could check with your dentist at your next visit to be sure.
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    Piano User FlugelFlyer's Avatar
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    Same story here as musicalmason except that's why I play way off to the right. If I play on center, I'm ramming into a peaked tooth that hurts like crazy. I can play notes from pedal C to way above the staff with the same setup, so I must be doing something right.
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  10. #10
    Forte User Heavens2kadonka's Avatar
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    Yeah, and if you have an overbite or underbite, you may have to angle the horn down or up to get a better sound. My teeth are straight, so I have no problem with the center embochure (Although I have a slight overbite). Anyway, your teeth have a lot to do with placement.

    With the shot feeling, I've always heard the "Run away from face" kind is better, since that means you aren't using ultra pressure to play. I'm actually trying to work towards a "no pressure" sound (For instance James Thompson).

    When you're used to cramming your horn as deep into your face as possible and using enough pressure to break things to create sound, you get really truned on to this new method (Actually I was always keen to no pressure, but until lately, I didnt really know how to go about doing the change).

    I dunno, my old embochure was, well, really really bad....

    Van

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