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Red ring on lips


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omelet
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While we can talk about keeping a seal and how nobody has zero evidence of playing five seconds after pulling the horn down, I would not discount what the OP actually said, which was that he "knows it's from too much pressure". I would venture a guess that he indeed is pressing to get high notes. Another hint is the topping out at high D. Recommend a teacher!
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The red ring is probably caused by blood flow to the embouchure. This is normal , when you exercise any muscle you increase blood flow to that muscle.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:27 am    Post subject: Re: Red ring on lips Reply with quote

TheAidanAU wrote:
Hello everyone,

When playing in the high range around the G right above the staff and up to high D (the maximum I can currently go), I get a red ring on my lips. I know it is because of tension and too much pressure, and I was wondering how I can get rid of that tension and pressure, while still playing high.

TheAidanAU wrote:
Also, I am playing on a 7c, but I am not sure this makes a difference. I might be getting a 3c soon, so I will see how that changes my playing.

Question 1, two parts: How old are you, how long have you been playing?

Question 2: Why are you switching to a 3C? Is there anything inherently wrong with the playing you are doing on the 7C that you feel the switch is warranted?

Looking at your posts, I see you have only been on the horn about 4 years. With that in mind, certain things on the horn can't be rushed, and it was about at that point in my playing development where I started to develop some bad habits - chiefly using too much pressure.

If you want to reduce the amount of pressure you are using to play, you need to be patient and systematically work towards that goal. Get in the practice room and do soft long tones in the staff - really nothing above a tuning C - and literally start systematically working to reduce the amount of pressure it takes to maintain the sound. Gradually pull the horn away until the sound breaks down, and only reapply just enough pressure to get the sound back.

This isn't going to be fast - it's going to take some time - work on this over a period of a few weeks.

Chops development can't be rushed - you're only 4 years in, and your chops will continue to develop for a good while longer - a decade or more isn't out of the realm of possibility.

Something else to consider, you HAVE to use some pressure, and the more compression that is necessary for the playing - i.e., upper register - the more pressure you'll need. With that in mind, there's balanced pressure, and excessive pressure. The former is ok, the latter is not.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:52 am    Post subject: Re: Red ring on lips Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
... Something else to consider, you HAVE to use some pressure, and the more compression that is necessary for the playing - i.e., upper register - the more pressure you'll need. With that in mind, there's balanced pressure, and excessive pressure. The former is ok, the latter is not.

--------------------------
My understanding about more 'compression' is the need for higher INTERNAL AIR PRESSURE (and the lip control needed to maintain and regulate the flow of air into the mouthpiece). YES some mechanical compression of the lips against the teeth from mpc rim pressure is needed, but it needs be limited in order to prevent injury, and the INABILITY of the lips to vibrate.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Red ring on lips Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
trickg wrote:
... Something else to consider, you HAVE to use some pressure, and the more compression that is necessary for the playing - i.e., upper register - the more pressure you'll need. With that in mind, there's balanced pressure, and excessive pressure. The former is ok, the latter is not.

--------------------------
My understanding about more 'compression' is the need for higher INTERNAL AIR PRESSURE (and the lip control needed to maintain and regulate the flow of air into the mouthpiece). YES some mechanical compression of the lips against the teeth from mpc rim pressure is needed, but it needs be limited in order to prevent injury, and the INABILITY of the lips to vibrate.

I think that this one is one of those things in trumpet playing that's hard to define.

I read an article once where they did testing with trumpet players to determine mouthpiece pressure using thin little pressure sensors and the players who claimed to not use much pressure actually used more pressure than they thought they did.

In any case, there has to be a balance all around - without balance, air escapes from the corners, or escapes from around the mouthpiece rim, and it depends on the player and how they play.

I'm probably not a good person to ask - I've always had limited range, and I've always used too much mouthpiece pressure, so when it comes to upper register playing, I'm clearly NOT doing something right. With that in mind, with the range I do have, I can still play at the top of my range at the end of a wedding band gig, so I must be doing something at least halfway right, even if I don't have the upper register I've always wanted to have.

What I do know, is that no matter what, chops development doesn't happen in a matter of weeks - it takes years, and our OP needs to be aware of that. There's no trick or tip that's going to be the magic pill or shortcut - it's just going to take a lot of time in the practice room.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's perfectly normal. Don't worry about it.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
It's perfectly normal. Don't worry about it.

We don't know that though - yes, getting a bit of a ring on your chops is normal, but it's also totally possible that given the level of experience of the OP, they might be using too much pressure.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trickg wrote:
Billy B wrote:
It's perfectly normal. Don't worry about it.

We don't know that though - yes, getting a bit of a ring on your chops is normal, but it's also totally possible that given the level of experience of the OP, they might be using too much pressure.


If his teeth hurt, he's using too much pressure
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Years ago a study was presented in the ITG Journal about measuring mouthpiece pressure. The conclusions were 1. trumpet players use way more pressure than they thought and 2. even experienced teachers were usually wrong when diagnosing excessive pressure.

The "experts" here are no exception.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This video shows how Lynn is compressing the air is his lungs. But what is he pushing against?

The air flow resistance of normal playing is quite significant.

Quote:
To exaggerate, if you try to do this with no horn and your mouth wide open, of course, there will be no compression.


There will be air pressure in the lungs but the resistance is low, therefore the flow is high, and the duration will be short. But that scenario does not exist when playing.

Quote:
So, when playing, is an arched tongue what Lynn is pushing against? Is it his aperture? The mpc throat?

All of the individual resistances contribute. Primarily the lip aperture resistance and the instrument acoustic resistance. Lip aperture resistance increases dramatically with ascending range. Instrument resistance increases slightly with ascending partials and then drops quickly above high C with each partial.


Quote:
What is pushing back at his core muscles,

The air pressure x area of the lungs.

Quote:
and how is he focusing his air stream?
Air pressure is not "focused". It exists at all points equally at the boundary of the enclosed pressurized volume. This includes the aperture location. One can not "focus" air pressure in this case.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Billy B wrote:
Years ago a study was presented in the ITG Journal about measuring mouthpiece pressure. The conclusions were 1. trumpet players use way more pressure than they thought and 2. even experienced teachers were usually wrong when diagnosing excessive pressure.

The "experts" here are no exception.

I'm pretty sure that was the same article I referenced in my post above when I stated:

Quote:
I read an article once where they did testing with trumpet players to determine mouthpiece pressure using thin little pressure sensors and the players who claimed to not use much pressure actually used more pressure than they thought they did.

But hey - that's ok if we're referencing the same article.

I speak as the voice of experience on the pressure thing. As an Army Bandsman I had times where after a couple of weeks of pounding my chops on ceremonies and marching, I had to go back to the practice room and actually work on reducing how much pressure I used so I could play with sensitivity and finesse required for brass quintet.

I've also experienced it in more recent years where I've had to do the same thing after a run of playing dance band stuff every nearly every Saturday night for a couple of months.

There is pressure, which is necessary, but there's also excessive pressure, which can lead to things like a lack of control, reduction in endurance, inability to play with a full range of dynamics, etc.

And I REALLY used too much pressure during my early high school years. So much that I had a thin spot on one side of my upper lip. It eventually filled back in. All I'm trying to do is to maybe helo this player to not make some of the same mistakes I made.
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JWG
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few things that I do to avoid using too much pressure:

1. Practice regularly! I use more pressure when the foundation of my embouchure collapses from fatigue (i.e., too much lactic acid build-up in the muscles). So, follow the sage advice: practice as you would perform. If your performances last for 3 hours or require extreme register playing, make sure you practice sufficiently to have the embouchure strength to handle whatever your performances require.

2. Warm up on fundamentals regularly! If you play only music and ignore your exercises, you become analogous to an athlete who plays his/her sport without doing any fundamental physical training--a perfect recipe for injury. Do a good warm-up with fundamentals, especially slurs up and down the partial series, so that you get your core/wind support system working, blood flow into the embouchure, and refresh muscle memory on how each note in the partial series feels up to and beyond the highest notes you have to perform.

3. Use a Warburton PETE: If you have a performance set that requires more strength/endurance than you have, build up your embouchure muscles away from playing with isometric exercises on a PETE. You can wear out your chops pretty quickly on a PETE, but building up daily before a big performance can take me from 5 minutes of isometric endurance to 30+ minutes. I estimate that 30 minutes isometric endurance on a PETE equals sufficient strength for about a 3-4 hours wind ensemble playing and nearly 5 hours of orchestral playing, depending on repertoire. When needed, I usually do PETE exercises in the mornings to give the muscles plenty of time to recover before evening practice/rehearsal.

A physically fit embouchure with good core/wind support equals less pressure.

My $0.02.
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Playing with too much pressure is a sign of poor embouchure technique. If you have to use excessive pressure to play in any range you have an embouchure problem. Excessive pressure is usually the result of poor embouchure technique not the cause.
As far as the red ring on the lip ,we don't know what is causing it, it could be from too much pressure, it could be nothing.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a matter of balance and coordination -

Lips (aperture size/shape, and muscle contraction) must be capable of vibrating at the desired pitch when adequate air flows thru the aperture.

That demands that the lips are not strongly forced closed by rim pressure or muscles, and that adequate internal air pressure can be generated and maintained to result in air flow and aperture vibration (pulsing).

Rim pressure that causes actual pain or injury is bad.

There should be controlled rim pressure on both the upper and lower lip.
The minimum amount on each lip varies with pitch and individual, learn what what works for you, and control it.
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Al Innella
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Explain how you form an aperture and then blow air through the opening to play different pitches. When I form my embouchure I think M, with my lips together, any separation of my lips is created by the air passing through them. If I'm playing below the staff or above double c ,my lips are always together, if I form an opening "aperture" my lips won't vibrate.
I've worked with players who about talked aperture size ,but when they played using a mouthpiece visualizer there was no preformed aperture ,lips were always together and air passing through their touching lips caused the sound.
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Richard III
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Innella wrote:
Explain how you form an aperture and then blow air through the opening to play different pitches. When I form my embouchure I think M, with my lips together, any separation of my lips is created by the air passing through them. If I'm playing below the staff or above double c ,my lips are always together, if I form an opening "aperture" my lips won't vibrate.
I've worked with players who about talked aperture size ,but when they played using a mouthpiece visualizer there was no preformed aperture ,lips were always together and air passing through their touching lips caused the sound.


What length of aperture tunnel would you say you have?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard III wrote:
Al Innella wrote:
Explain how you form an aperture and then blow air through the opening to play different pitches. When I form my embouchure I think M, with my lips together, any separation of my lips is created by the air passing through them. If I'm playing below the staff or above double c ,my lips are always together, if I form an opening "aperture" my lips won't vibrate.
I've worked with players who about talked aperture size ,but when they played using a mouthpiece visualizer there was no preformed aperture ,lips were always together and air passing through their touching lips caused the sound.


What length of aperture tunnel would you say you have?



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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Innella wrote:
Explain how you form an aperture and then blow air through the opening to play different pitches. ...

-------------------------
Al, if you are referring to my earlier post -
https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1629598#1629598

I did not mean to imply that an aperture must be 'formed' before playing, only that when actually playing there IS an aperture, and lip control is needed to allow a usable aperture to be established and maintained.

The sensation for me when doing a pure 'breath attack' is that my lips are slightly open in a somewhat aperture shape, and the non-tongued exhaled air flow activates the aperture into vibrations / pulsations. And yes, I can choose the note/pitch that I want for a breath attack.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Innella wrote:
Playing with too much pressure is a sign of poor embouchure technique. If you have to use excessive pressure to play in any range you have an embouchure problem. Excessive pressure is usually the result of poor embouchure technique not the cause.
As far as the red ring on the lip ,we don't know what is causing it, it could be from too much pressure, it could be nothing.

I'm pretty sure our OP is a kid in HS, and they've only been playing for about 4 years - let's cut them a bit of slack. At 4 years in I certainly didn't have the chops I wound up with later.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Red ring on lips Reply with quote

TheAidanAU wrote:
Hello everyone,

When playing in the high range around the G right above the staff and up to high D (the maximum I can currently go), I get a red ring on my lips. I know it is because of tension and too much pressure, and I was wondering how I can get rid of that tension and pressure, while still playing high.


Listen carefully to your sound as you approach the top of your range. You will probably hear your sound change 4 or 5 notes below your top. These are the notes you need to work to play with a free and easy sound. Hammering the top notes will get you nowhere.

Join us here and I'll help you with this.

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