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Tips for Big Protruding Lips??



 
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MoeTheCat
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Joined: 19 Oct 2003
Posts: 25
Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2003 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Jeff

I was wondering if you could share some tricks from your bag for the large-lipped-protruding-top-lip-players out there (of whom, I am one). There are probably other large-lipped players out there who have run into the same problems I have encountered who may benefit from some tips as well.

<RAMBLE>I do want to thank you, for the book. I think it is responsible for a bit of a breakthrough I had a few months ago during orchestra rehearsal (frustrating, because I am still trying to get back to it!) where I was able to feel a definite, focused aperture. As long as I held onto that sensation, I was able to play whatever I wanted. Petrushka never sounded so good </RAMBLE>

Thanks again.

PS on subsequent releases of the book, would you consider adding two tracks to your CD: one of the air hiss, and one of the lip squeak?


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[ This Message was edited by: MoeTheCat on 2003-11-20 13:14 ]

[ This Message was edited by: MoeTheCat on 2003-11-20 13:15 ]
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trumpetteacher1
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Joined: 11 Nov 2001
Posts: 3091
Location: Garland, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moe,

Your request for tips is a little too broad. I don't believe that all big-lipped players with protrusions will experience exactly the same challenges. What kind of issues are you experiencing?

The fact that you had a temporary breakthrough is a sign of good things to come, I believe. Next time, stop everything (Petrushka be damned!) and look in a mirror! Sometimes that will help.

Every now and again I get a request for a squeak recording, but never a hiss. I will see if I can do both this weekend (no promises) and email them to you. Maybe others could do this as well. We could have a high squeak competition, and call it a squeak-a-thon! Hey, give me a break, it's getting late...

Not sure how these recordings will help, but interested if they do.

Jeff
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MoeTheCat
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Joined: 19 Oct 2003
Posts: 25
Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't want to bore the forum with my particulars. Basically I find it nearly impossible to completely roll my lips in so no red is showing. My upper lip is rather large and has a protrusion or bulge in the center - it is manageable, however with much effort. My bottom lip, on the otherhand is simply impossible to roll in completely without having it slide over the bottom teeth. From as close as I can get to rolled in, I find producing a squeek impossible. either nothing escapes, air escapes from multiple spots, or a somewhat large aperture is forced open producing a sound that can only be described as high powered flatulence. Am I in trouble?

Thanks

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[ This Message was edited by: MoeTheCat on 2003-11-21 00:30 ]
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bulos
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Joined: 25 Aug 2002
Posts: 510
Location: Davie,Fl by way of Clifton, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a very interesting topic. teaching as many youngsters as I do every once in a while I run across this type of physiological makeup. One of the middle school boys I am teaching has very very very very thick lips. I was not with him for the first 2 months and when I did get him his placement was with the rim dead in the center of the soft membrane area of his top lip although he is off of of it on the bottom. I come to find out that when he first started he could only play "real high notes" but the band director ( I am a consultant not a f/t band director) told him to unroll his lips and voila he now has this rather precarious set. Were I his teacher then I would have encouraged him to develope and control whatever notes came easily and then learn to relax and pivot correctly to ascend. However I wasn't and the priority for band directors is to have everyone ready to play his/her parts at the Christmas concert or whatever and that means a trumpet part that is basical an exercise in playing from low Bb to first line E or perhaps second line G. If I abruptly try to get him to roll in and place the rim on the top off of the soft inner lip he will be paralyzed. My approach then is to have him free buzz, then try and walk this free buzz in seamlessly to the mouthpiece and then do the same from the mp to the horn so that he learns to play off a buzz. This combined with some breathing exercises off of the horn should get him straight. I think as long as he is not twisting or using too much presure (air) even if his placement is into the softer part of his top chop he will be OK and has his skills improve my guess is he will gradually get off of that spot. If I had my way however I would have taught him the parts 8VA on his original set and then work at his lower register. I can't help feel these Middle school band programs do mor to impede then help in most cases. In my ideal world the first 3 years would be group instruction by instrument only, no ensembles othere then by instrument, and admission to mixed performing ensembles in 8th or 9th grade and High School only by audition (also open to any Middle Schoolers wishing to audition) Dream on old man.
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mcamilleri
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Joined: 25 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think you are in trouble, though you probably need more experimenting and time.

If you can only roll in the bottom lip completely by sliding over the bottom teeth, then do it. Likewise for the top lip. Starting from "as close as I can get to rolled in" will not do it. Do whatever it takes to roll in - lips over teeth, jaw wide open, jaw pushed forward or back, tongue pushing down on the inside of the bottom lip, air pockets etc. Check out Jeffs tips in that section. It will probably feel totally weird, but that is perfectly OK.

Make sure you do the lip-clamp exercise 2-3x per day, as Jeff suggests, even if you can't fully roll-in. It is important to activate and gain awareness and control of these muscles.

It is VERY important to start from a no-red-lip position and blow an air-hiss or squeak (squeak not essential, air-hiss is). The purpose of the air-hiss is to reduce the lip-to-lip squeeze while maintaining the roll-in. In time, the air-hiss becomes focused in the centre of the lips and can be directed into a mouthpiece. Many people unconsciously squeeze the lips together too hard as they roll in, so that no air can escape, no matter how hard they blow. Then they let the lips roll-out to let air escape, rather than merely ease the squeeze, and the exercise fails.

Don't be discouraged - Jeff specifically mentions players with big lips, and the potential they have as trumpet players.
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SteelyDan
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Joined: 14 Dec 2003
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2003 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Moe!
I am in the same boat as you, buddy! My lips are large,full, and after my last two teachers, definitely had a strong tendency towards the protrusion that Jeff describes so well in his book. All I can say is that the answers you're seeking are already within your grasp. The trouble shooting section in the back of BE does a great job of offering solutions to the problems we all have in common. From personal experience I can relate to the initial inability to maintain both a solid roll-in/lip clamp and a lip-squeak. In my case, I came to realize that I was still struggling to let go of my previous teacher's instructions on mouthpiece placement and buzzing. I was trying to force out a squeak from dead center with the mouthpiece in a very exagerated 1/3 upper 2/3 lower placement; very little of my upper lip was in the cup. After concentrating on letting things happen "naturally" I've realized that my "buzz point" is just right of center and my mouthpiece has been gradually sliding down and over to a more reasonable position. I stumbled onto this epiphany one day when I lip-clamped squeaked by squeazing out air that was trapped in my mouth without actually blowing(kind of like when you spit out water from your mouth in a long, steady stream. Since then, I've found that everything in the BE book makes even more sense every time I reread it. Don't worry, man; every step you take is getting you closer to your desired goal.
Have a Great Day!!!
Dan
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