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BE nicely summarized?

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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 2:28 am    Post subject: BE nicely summarized? Reply with quote

A few days ago I posted a comment on a weblog that had a critical review of the BE book. (The comment is still under moderation)

I think BE is still quite underestimated and misunderstood, and deserves serious consideration and validation from trumpet pedagogues, as a valid road to a solid embouchure. And so I tried to clarify in my comment what BE is about. I was quite satisfied with my own summary and that's why I would like to share it here. Critical comments welcome, of course!

This is just my view after 14 months of practicing. Only since the last few months, I have a BE teacher I wish Id done that earlier, because the exercises are much more powerful and extreme than the way I did them.

BE decomposes the complex embouchure movement into two muscle groups, that can be separately trained: the Roll Out exercises for the inner mouth funnel (mouthcorners, cheeks) and the Roll In exercises for the outer circular muscles (the lips). For both: completely forget about your regular embouchure settings. Just try to produce the sound conform the instructions.

Furthermore, BE offers two (series of) exercises to balance/coordinate these complementary muscle groups, namely the Advanced (Snapping) Slurs, and Tongue-On-Lips. By the way, both muscle groups (RO and RI) are equally needed in all registers, low and high. But they must be used in coordination, hence the name Balanced Embouchure.

All these are just exercises for strengthening the muscle groups and their coordination. It is a common misconception that you should apply these extreme lip settings directly to your actual embouchure!

If you have serious defects in your embouchure (as I did), than the risk of (intensively) doing BE exercises will be that e.g. your range could be temporarily reduced, or that your lip/mp orientation gets disturbed. Actually you are partly rebuilding your embouchure, discarding what you were doing wrong. This can take a few months (of embarrassment). The long-term reward is that the road to further development of embouchure and range will be opened.
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