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Trumpet Discussion Discuss sealing corners in the General forums; I was wondering if any one had any suggestions as to a routine to help strengthen corners. (or exercises to ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User Adam Smith's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    sealing corners

    I was wondering if any one had any suggestions as to a routine to help strengthen corners. (or exercises to help seal the corners not necessarily just build muscle). I have trouble sealing my corners sometimes and now I am without a teacher for the summer. I can control the leaking but a lot of the time (especially when I am playing jazz and standing up), I am not concentrating on that. It is mainly when I am tonguing. But when I am thinking about it, I think that I am going about it wrong and trying to just bring my lips together more and not just the corners. When I try to focus on getting the corners sealed and the aperture just right, I cant seem go get my face on the mouthpiece comfortably. I use the arban's, clarke, colin lip flexibilites, schlossberg, and soon to be buzzing book by james thompson. I would just like to know some specific exercises out of those to work on and maybe any suggestions on a routine you know of.
    Also, on a side-note... sometimes, I let air into my upper lip, (when I get fatigued, lose concentration, or sometimes when playing in the upper register). It has gotten so much better since I became aware of this in high school but, Could this be related to having trouble sealing the corners?

  2. #2
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: sealing corners

    when I have a student with leaky lips, they don't change their program, BUT they buzz everything on the mouthpiece before they play it on the trumpet. If your routine starts with long tones, buzz one, then play the same one on the trumpet, buzz the next one and so forth. Try and get the buzz to sound as full as possible.
    The thought of you "concentrating" on corners and aperature scares me a little. In 30 years of teaching, I have NEVER had to teach these or "focus" on them directly. Any embouchure work should be managed by a good teacher!
    As your embouchure strength grows, the anomalies like air in the upper lip should go away. The air in the upper lip is just a symptom of embouchure strength that you do not have yet.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  3. #3
    New Friend
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    Nov 2006

    Re: sealing corners

    ROWUK is correct. It is a matter of developing strength in your overall embouchure. The leaks will eventually go away with development and patience. Long tones done softly and long tones going from ppp to ff and back to ppp again will help make you strong. Remember to rest as much as you play. Always strive for a good tone that is full and vibrant.

  4. #4
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    soon to be in Arizona

    Re: sealing corners

    I can only speak from what has helped me specifically. I started practicing again 4 months ago after a 10 month hiatus and the following has helped me imensely. For me, much of the corner issue was mental, focusing on the problem in my practice.

    1) Think everything forward, almost like a pucker with your embouchure.
    2) Be conscious of how much mouthpiece pressure you are using, just enough to make a seal, at first the leaking of your corners will be a little worse but will clear up.
    3) Free buzz with no mouthpiece, just a few minutes a day, and be careful your throat doesnt tense up.

    As far as your corners leaking when you play, if you work on it in your practice sessions eventually it will clear up in your performance. In performance, everything should be automatic so you can focus on music.

    Specific exercises for this might be tough to find. Most method books focus on playing or mechanics or flow. But Claude Gordon's "Systematic approach to daily practice" has some great info.

    Good Luck,


  5. #5
    New Friend
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: sealing corners

    I have only been playing for two years and when had the same problem.
    The nice thing is, it cleared up by itself.

    Hang in there.

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