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Trying to not smile. Suggestions?



 
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Wannabe808
Regular Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2020
Posts: 12
Location: Kailua-Kona, HI

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:33 pm    Post subject: Trying to not smile. Suggestions? Reply with quote

Hi all,
After several frustrating weeks, I took my first lesson in over 4 decades. Yes, finally listened to the advice here. He saw that as I was inhaling, I was STILL using my cheeks. He said use my levator labii superioris muscles. My WHAT? He said,"lift your upper lip", like this. I kinda did it, but still used the cheeks a bit. He said "make the face when you smell something bad". Still raised the corners of my mouth. Still using the cheeks. "Do the Elvis lip lift". He raised just one side of his upper lip. Great teacher, tried different ways to teach me what to do.

Wow. This was the first time I'd heard this. Guessing I'm probably the last person to learn this. I've spent the last 2 weeks, just trying to strengthen these muscles in my face that I really never used. And it seems to be coming along.

Anyone else make the change from the "smile" embouchure? What did you have to do? What things helped you to not use your cheeks? How (or did you) have to strengthen your LLS muscles to put lift your upper lip?
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JayKosta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 1045
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try thinking of your 'lip muscles' doing an isometric contraction' exercise. One set of muscles moving the lip corners inward and another set of muscles pulling the corner outward left and right.
Careful coordination of that combined muscle usage will 'solidify' the lip tissue to be able to vibrate at the desired pitch.
Your lips should not be pulled thin and tight like a guitar string - that will result in pain, injury, and limited range.

my short embouchure basics doc is here -
http://users.hancock.net/jkosta/Embouchure_Basic_Concepts.docx
_________________
King Super 20 (S2 1048, HN White)
Bach 7
The 'next note' is the most important one.
Don't take a '20 minute mouthpiece' to a 1 hour session.
Looking out my backdoor
http://users.hancock.net/jkosta/2020_July_6_web.jpg
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CJceltics33
Veteran Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2017
Posts: 401
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practice in front of the largest mirror in your house. Be aware of it, and attempt to change it as you play. It’ll stop soon enough if you do this!
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Wannabe808
Regular Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2020
Posts: 12
Location: Kailua-Kona, HI

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the tips
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drboogenbroom
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 681

PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edited
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By concentrating on precision, one arrives at technique, but by concentrating on technique one does not arrive at precision.

Bruno Walter
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steve0930
Regular Member


Joined: 07 May 2018
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For three years I have been playing the trumpet. Always bothered by puffed out cheeks. Tried everything. The warm air idea which you can find on you tube - breathing out warm air from within Paul Mayers - has the video if I remember - seemed to help - forward tongue also clearly helps - but I never felt happy with the way I felt in my face - worse - I started to wonder could I ever be a real trumpet player.

but 5 weeks ago I discovered Balanced Embouchure (BE) - since then I have not spent one minute worrying about the cheeks at all and my embouchure is taking shape. Have you considered checking out the BE forum?

cheers steve
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