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Anyone have any ideas to fix my terribly broken embouchure?



 
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Christian1483
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Joined: 04 Sep 2023
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 2:14 pm    Post subject: Anyone have any ideas to fix my terribly broken embouchure? Reply with quote

So for the past year ish ive been experimenting with embouchure stuff trying to find something that works, but ultimately just made it worse. However, I have sort of figured out what I'm doing wrong. Here's a quick list:
1. Too high mouthpiece placement
2. Too much neck tension
3. Rolling in my bottom lip as I go up, rolling out top lip a bit
4. Using my lips too much to ascend
5. Not using my air enough to ascend
6. Too much tension in embouchure
I don't know how accurate some of these things or if there's more I'm doing wrong, but that's a quick list of the stuff I've figured out so far. I have some pictures of my embouchure and my lips. I just want some ideas for things to try to attempt at fixing these things. I do have a teacher, but only started in the past couple weeks. I'm thinking about also doing a lesson with Doug Elliott, since I have talked to him and seen from other posts that he has really good success. Only problem is I'm broke and I don't know if my parents are willing to spend that much, but I will try and work some things out.

At the moment though, I want to know if some things to try out, like different things to do that could help. I have tried lowering the mouthpiece placement and using more relaxed air, but whenever I do that my embouchure is too open so the sound is 30 cents flat and super airy, but when I try to close my teeth my throat tenses back up. I just want something new to try, since whenever I try something to see if I can get a decent sound or make my playing feel better it always turns out bad, even after months of doing the same thing, so at this point I've lost most of my motivation to practice whenever I think about my embouchure.
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet I can fix most of your problems in 20 minutes. You don't have to do a full hour.
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Christian1483
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Joined: 04 Sep 2023
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug Elliott wrote:
I bet I can fix most of your problems in 20 minutes. You don't have to do a full hour.


Oh oh, so 30 minutes would be $75? I think I can work something out with my parents, see if they are willing to pay for it.
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just let me know when is convenient. Including tonight.
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Christian1483
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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug Elliott wrote:
Just let me know when is convenient. Including tonight.

Alright I will, thank you.
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Andy Del
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2024 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what you have written, I get the feeling you want answers to ‘fix’ things.

You will also need time to build positive habits into your playing. You’ll need patience, a positive mindset and a willingness to not get what you want straight away.

Enjoy the journey, it’s not a destination.
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Jaw04
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Joined: 31 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2024 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Experimenting with things is good but can be frustrating because sometimes you go in the wrong direction, your chops get confused, you get more fatigued, you lose your momentum and muscle memory. Try experimenting with plenty of kindness towards yourself, after all you are just experimenting, right? Seeing what works and does not work. It is helpful to see what does not work. Try to view that discovery as a positive rather than a miserable state of being.

-Get a lesson with someone who is an expert on embouchures and they might be able to help you out.

-Also try taking some time off and starting "fresh" if you are able to do some.

-If experimenting is really bumming you out, go back to what you know works, as in, what got you to the peak of your playing abilities so far.
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2024 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I offered. Now I'm going to be away for over a week.

As an example, just yesterday a college tuba student asked if I had any suggestions for his low range, so I helped him.. He said "in 5 minures you fixed what 3 years of lessons didn't fix."
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Christian1483
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey everyone! The other day I changed my embouchure setup and I don't know how or why but I went from inconsistent g's to inconsistent high C's, so I don't really want to worry too much about my embouchure for now. Thank you all for the help, it means a lot. I think the main thing that changed is that now I am using the air to open my lips when playing, since before they were open beforehand.
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well yeah, that's one tiny part of it. Except there are frequent posters here who will tell you they should be open beforehand and that they don't really vibrate because the horn does it for you.

I'm not one of those people.
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Christian1483
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I was talking to someone and he told me that my embouchure looked too open, so I tried closing it before hand and my playing felt a lot better. I also moved my mouthpiece placement down a bit and that helped as well.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doug Elliott wrote:
... Except there are frequent posters here who will tell you they should be open beforehand and that they don't really vibrate because the horn does it for you.

I'm not one of those people.

---------------------------------------------
I don't recall anyone advising to have the lips actually 'open' before sounding a note - my feeling is that the lips need to be positioned closed enough (perhaps gently touching) so they are able to allow the aperture to pulse between 'closed and open' when instigated their natural flexibility and by the sound wave in the instrument.

edit 5/27/2024 - remove mention of changes in internal air pressure, see further down for correction from Kalijah about there NOT being a reduction in air pressure.
Also removed the mention of Bernoulli.

The initial 'blow' should start the lip opening process, and the natural resilience of the lips and the produced sound wave 'back pressure' should then result in the lips closing / pulsing action, followed by another opening cycle that occurs by continuing the blow.

This is the important bit ----
Of course the lip tension and position, and the force of the blow all need to coordinated to synchronize with the frequency of the sound wave.
edit 5/27/2024 - I agree with Kalijah that the lip posture (good term from Kalijah) determines the pitch.

Whether or not the lips ever need to be 'fully closed' is debatable, but they do need to able to cause an 'air pressure cycle' for the desired pitch.
_________________
Most Important Note ? - the next one !
KNOW (see) what the next note is BEFORE you have to play it.
PLAY the next note 'on time' and 'in rhythm'.
Oh ya, watch the conductor - they set what is 'on time'.


Last edited by JayKosta on Mon May 27, 2024 7:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When the initial air flow opens the lips there is an instantaneous reduction in the internal air pressure (because the resistance to flow has decreased), so the lips react by relaxing to a more closed position.


No. There is NOT a reductional of the internal air pressure, you are still hung-up on this. Resistance limits flow, it does not "cause", increase or decrease pressure in this case pressure.

Jay wrote:

Quote:
The initial 'blow' should start the lip opening process, and the natural resilience of the lips and the produced sound wave 'back pressure' should then result in the lips closing / pulsing action
,

Agreed, the pressure rise in the mouthpiece cup closes the lips on each cycle.

Quote:
Of course the lip tension and position, and the force of the blow all need to coordinated to synchronize with the frequency of the sound wave.


Only lip posture, controls pitch. The pressure of the air is related to dynamics, not pitch.
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Doug Elliott
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew it would start.
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kalijah
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PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2024 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I knew it would start.


It's a discussion forum. Things get discussed,
No one is forcing you to read or participate.
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JayKosta
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Joined: 24 Dec 2018
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PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2024 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:
Quote:
When the initial air flow opens the lips there is an instantaneous reduction in the internal air pressure (because the resistance to flow has decreased), so the lips react by relaxing to a more closed position.


No. There is NOT a reductional of the internal air pressure, you are still hung-up on this. Resistance limits flow, it does not "cause", increase or decrease pressure in this case pressure. ...

-------------------------------
I've come to agree with Kalijah's point about there not being a reduction of internal air pressure.

edit 5/27/2024 @7:30pm EDT
In an earlier edit I mentioned the situation of the sound that an inflated balloon makes when the neck is squeezed - that might be similar to 'free buzzing' but is not relevant to regular trumpet playing.
_________________
Most Important Note ? - the next one !
KNOW (see) what the next note is BEFORE you have to play it.
PLAY the next note 'on time' and 'in rhythm'.
Oh ya, watch the conductor - they set what is 'on time'.
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