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Air support and tongue arch isn't helping



 
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spencerkotulski
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:05 pm    Post subject: Air support and tongue arch isn't helping Reply with quote

About 6-8 months ago I had an embouchure change because I was playing way too far in the red and using mouthpiece pressure and just my lower lip to increase range. Therefore I had an no endurance what so ever. Well now I'm playing 50 50 on the mouthpiece but my range isn't like it used to be. Now I know alot of people have the same issue but I used to be able to play a high d above and I could to very easy lip slurs up to it. After the embouchure change I know I've been using pressure to get higher after a d in the staff. And my sound is very pinched. Now I've read A LOT about using your air correctly and you tongue position and overall that whole approach but I can't get it to work. A bunch of air support will give me a E above C on the staff but that's all and that's with tongue arch. Any thoughts? I was going to post this on high range development but I think something is set up wrong with my embouchure as well.
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omelet
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I changed my embouchure within the last few years and it has been a struggle for sure, but totally worth it since now I have improved all around and have much better range and endurance. I am an amateur so this is just my personal experience but maybe it is worth hearing.
The things that helped me most were to relax and not retract the corners of the mouth, to rather have the tongue shape cause the fast air and high pitch vibrations instead of the lips getting pinched down by force to get it. This took a lot of conscious effort in changing where my tongue was when I played, and being aware of when I started tensing up. I actually used to retract the tongue and raise it way in the back for high notes, which takes a lot of mouthpiece pressure and lip effort and leads to crap endurance. By keeping the tongue forward and corners more forward and relaxed it came together eventually.
The things that held me back most were trying to play things I could not yet and falling back to old habits. The technique has to be hammered into your muscle memory before you worry about comparing yourself to your old playing.
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Hotdeal1
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://youtu.be/y45QWUzI8kk
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trumpetmandan
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In college I went through a total embouchure change. My range was extremely limited at first; I could not play out of the staff. The experience was incredibly frustrating and, at times, demoralizing. However, it was ultimately the right thing for my playing. If my teacher at the time hadn't initiated the change, there's no way I would still be playing today.

A couple questions: are you currently taking lessons?

What does your practice routine look like? What are you practicing and how, and how much?

Knowing these answers may help us make some informed suggestions.
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: Air support and tongue arch isn't helping Reply with quote

spencerkotulski wrote:
About 6-8 months ago I had an embouchure change because I was playing way too far in the red and using mouthpiece pressure and just my lower lip to increase range. Therefore I had an no endurance what so ever. Well now I'm playing 50 50 on the mouthpiece but my range isn't like it used to be. Now I know alot of people have the same issue but I used to be able to play a high d above and I could to very easy lip slurs up to it. After the embouchure change I know I've been using pressure to get higher after a d in the staff. And my sound is very pinched. Now I've read A LOT about using your air correctly and you tongue position and overall that whole approach but I can't get it to work. A bunch of air support will give me a E above C on the staff but that's all and that's with tongue arch. Any thoughts? I was going to post this on high range development but I think something is set up wrong with my embouchure as well.


Hi Spencer

The usual question is going to be:

What does your trumpet teacher (who is a trumpet player) say? (If you don't have one, GET one.) There needs to be a plan behind not only what you are doing now, but why you made th change all this tie ago, etc. etc. etc.

So, if you are not taking lessons, do yourself a huge favour and do so.

From what you are writing, it is clear that what you are doing is not working - as your sound is not satisfactory (although, how do you know this?). This is where you need to start working from: making a good sound.

I am going to guess that the change you made months ago was forced and rushed, with the result you have learned to play in very tight and forced manner, even if your mouthpiece position is acceptable.

So you need to now stop, think about things and take a step back in order to make progress. If you can't make a good sound, work on this, even if it's only on one note. Then you constant to move you from there, slowly, so you build the habits and responses to keep making a good sound.

More than that moves from guesswork to pure fantasy advice, so - go to your teacher and start working with them.

cheers

Andy
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mike ansberry
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is of course impossible to evaluate your problem over the internet. But just from reading what you wrote it sounds like you are too tight. Working hard at relaxing is kind of an oxymoron. Doc' Reinhardt said that almost everyone starts out using too much muscle tension to get out the 2nd line G when they are beginners and continue to use way to much muscle tension in all their playing. I found that to be true of my playing. I started working on the 19/30's exercise to learn to relax. Also check out the writings of Greg Spence, Mystery to Mastery.

And of course get a good teacher. Everybody will say that and they are right.
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chrisf3000
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Air support and tongue arch isn't helping Reply with quote

Quote:
From what you are writing, it is clear that what you are doing is not working - as your sound is not satisfactory (although, how do you know this?). This is where you need to start working from: making a good sound.

I am going to guess that the change you made months ago was forced and rushed, with the result you have learned to play in very tight and forced manner, even if your mouthpiece position is acceptable.


I came here to say the same thing, Andy. The thing is, when you do an embouchure change your muscle structure also changes. Certain muscles used for air support may not have been used at the same capacity before. This is a marathon and not a sprint. Without the support of the new network of muscles around the embouchure, it won't matter how high or low your tongue level is.

Here's an example - whistle (if you can) a D then go up a fourth to a G. Any fourth really, but the point is to ask yourself afterwards, "How much did I have to adjust my lips in order to do that?" The answer is not much at all. In fact, the air is doing most of the work, but the lips are kept in place to support the air - your tongue is what changes position in order to go up the fourth. Now, "relax" your embouchure and try to whistle again. Again, it won't matter how high or low your tongue is if the embouchure isn't in the right position and not supporting that airflow. I hope that makes sense.

Remember, you must be in balance within yourself to make the best sound possible - without too much tension or too much looseness. Start there with long tones and work into simple Irons or Schlossberg studies, then eventually Cichowicz flow studies. Muscles will eventually develop, balanced and in tandem, with your air.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisf3000 wrote:
Quote:
Here's an example - whistle (if you can) a D then go up a fourth to a G. Any fourth really, but the point is to ask yourself afterwards, "How much did I have to adjust my lips in order to do that?" The answer is not much at all. In fact, the air is doing most of the work, but the lips are kept in place to support the air - your tongue is what changes position in order to go up the fourth. Now, "relax" your embouchure and try to whistle again. Again, it won't matter how high or low your tongue is if the embouchure isn't in the right position and not supporting that airflow. I hope that makes sense.


It is this sort of advice that has the OP confused. Whistling is not the same as playing the instrument. When whistling the tongue is used to manipulate the size of the resonating space. It is a Helmholtz resonance with the oral space as the resonance cavity and the lip opening as the sound hole.

When playing a brass instrument the resonance is in the instrument. The lip aperture pulses the air at the frequency determined by the state of the aperture.

The muscles around the aperture do manipulate the state of the aperture (along with its natural elasticity). This is what controls the pitch and the quality of sound. The tongue movement is simply an ancillary action related to the "roll-out" action of the lips due to the way the mouth functions.

There is NOTHING that the tongue does directly that influences the pitch. That is why those such as the OP are frustrated when they do ONLY manipulate the tongue and/or the air pressure and get unsatisfactory results. Especially since the prevalent advice is that the tongue manipulates the air and then that air determines the pitch. Which is, of course, nonsense.

The correct embouchure actions must occur to control the pitch. These need not be highly intense, especially for low notes. But the embouchure muscular action does increase to ascend.
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:
It is this sort of advice that has the OP confused.

And why they would be far better off with a good teacher and no internet access for a few months.

cheers

Andy
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tptguy
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to give a shout out to Kalijah and the other more advanced TH thinkers like Jeff Smiley that are diligently working to move brass pedagogy forward. And, I extend my sympathies to the OP and the rest of our dedicated brass players sold the traditional bill of goods, as I was for several decades, that it's about tongue arch and air speed.

I do, however, need to take an exception with Kalijah. He correctly states that predominant mid-20th century pedagogy instructs to control aperture by lip-to-lip compression. But this is a very weak and unstable muscle grip that has long been replaced by lip-to-tongue aperture control. The endurance, range, power, and improved pitch control of the more 'modern approach' have been proven many times over. If the sound is forced/blasted, or the pitch floats then the approach is clearly wrong. The acid test is the ears. They don't lie - unless you let them.
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chrisf3000
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last time I checked, this was an open forum for discussion. I don't believe that waving your hand and saying that what I said has zero merit is healthy.

To be clear, I'm willing to admit fault if necessary and am open to discussing why. In this case, as was pointed out, your pedagogy isn't necessarily 100% spot in either. There needs to be room for discussion. If this were face-to-face, we would hopefully "agree to disagree". Nobody here has the answer to everything. Sometimes how something feels is as good an approach in helping someone as is saying what's actually happening.
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malden
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you read this essay by Joey Tartell first

https://joeytartell.com/2017/01/27/trust/

If your aim is to increase your upper register, you would do well to listen to Lynn Nicholson, Wayne Bergeron or Roger Ingram who are proven commodities in this discipline.

If you are a Reinhardt type IV player, like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis or Doc Severinsen, then the lower lip placement may have been perfectly fine. What made you decide to change? Yes, the higher placement is the latest trend, but it may not be for you.

http://trombone.org/articles/library/viewarticles.asp?ArtID=240

Good luck
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feedback@stomvi-usa
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might investigate jaw position.


Link

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