- Customised Schilke B6 Trumpet.
- Monette BL4 S6
- Doc Severinsen.
- Maurice Andre.
- Wynton Marsalis.
- Jon Faddis.
As above.... Thus, my mouthpiece rests upon the right side of my mouth. About 1/4 from center.
My uneducated and casual observation here is that perhaps there is too much focus upon going directly from your comfortable side placement all the way to the center. There are some great pros on this forum and if they think I am off base, take their guidance to heart; however, have you tried minor shifts of your placement during practice to see if you can develop comfortable strength slightly more towards center? If I missed that somewhere in this thead, I apologize. But, just as moving to center the first time felt awful, small changes will not feel quite right at first either. Yet, the lips will adjust/respond to small shifts a whole lot quicker than they will to a full shift to exact center. Sorta obvious, I know, but maybe something to consider. And, as far as I am concerned, exact center is not the answer for everyone.
I just Youtubed two of my greatest trumpet playing inspirations. One plays nearly perfectly centered. The other plays to the side almost exactly where I play. I harbor tremendous admiration for the talent of both and would be delighted to play as either...but never will. So, the moral of the story? More beer!!
In all seriousness, best wishes in your challenge. Yours is a noble pursuit. Look around you in your workplace and think about how many of those there are completely lacking the passion/ability to make real music - a striking observation where I work...does not matter if you are a "Doc" or just an aspiring bum like me. One day my boss saw me holding two tickets for the philharmonic. He said, "I'd rather puke than listen to that crap". He will die a fool, but you will not.
Hey guys, thanks for all the great feedback! It's wonderful to have a community like this to discuss these types of things with :) with all your years combined, that's a lot of wisdom!
After meeting with my old teacher today, we have made the decision to keep on playing in the middle and build it from there again. The reasons were this:
1) he forgot just how far over it was! He didn't remember that it had moved farther and farther over, and now almost touched the corner of my mouth. This made the decision to change it a lot easier.
2) we did sound tests with a variety of mouthpieces. Although the second I jumped on my side embouchure I could squeak out notes up to a high c, the sound is noticeably thinner and "tinny" ... I had not noticed it so much since I have been focusing 99% of my time on the center, but once he pointed out how choked and meek the side sounded, I heard it immediately. When I switched to center initially, my sound quality really fattened out and within my usable range, it's exactly where I want to be.
3) after all this discussion about teeth placement, I took a deeper look at my teeth arrangement and what would affect my mouthpiece placement. On the side I play my teeth come out a bit on top as they turn very quickly back to the side... This basically creates a sort of sharp corner which is not efficient or comfortable for my mouthpiece. I don't know how I played that way for so long! When I mess around with it now, I immediately feel pain in my upper lip since its thin and the teeth are poking out. In the middle, my front two teeth are flat, but slightly slanted. Overall, should be no problem for the mouthpiece and nothing else sticks out too bad.
My trumpet teacher is kind enough to keep meeting up with me for the next weeks and months to monitor the change and make sure my range and quality keeps growing. Now that I have this decision made, I am very optimistic and excited about the challenge! I will get the P.E.T.E. (especially for days at work where I can't buzz) and continue to build my strength!
Thanks to everyone again for sharing their stories and their advice, it has been a great help to me, and will keep giving me motivation going forward. I'm sure this isn't my last post, but it is one of my most important ones, and I really appreciate the guidance I received!
1991 King Silver Flair
1953 Olds Super (LA)
1979 King KG1055T (pre UMI) Silver Flair
1940? Olds Ambassador (LA) tenor trombone
I'm not responsible for offending people -- people are responsible for themselves taking offense at me
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