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Question about tonguing on lips



 
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jackz9999
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Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I play, there is very little upper lip exposed for tonguing. Should I manually move my upper lip down so there is more lip to work with? Thanks

Jack
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_dcstep
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
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Location: Denver

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you been doing both the roll-in and roll-out excercises for a while? Can you drag up and down from one to the other? If your teeth are far enough apart to touch your lips and your not able to reach your top lip, it sounds high to me but if you're do the roll-in, roll-out and slurs with good resonance, then I'm not so sure. I reach staight through my teeth and touch the top and bottom lips with the same stroke. However, I'm early on in the process. Jeff will probably need to step in here, since he may have seen this.

If everything else is working, then I'm not so sure that you're wrong.

Dave
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack,

Are you talking about playing music or playing BE? Tongue on lips is presented in Jeff's book as a basic trumpet skill. Something you should be able to do, but don't have to use all the time. If in your normal playing situation, at this point, there is little lip exposed for tonguing, but it works alright for you, I wouldn't worry about it one bit. However, if you are doing your tongue on lip excersises from the BE book, you can experiment a bit. Can you play from low C till G on top of the staff, striking your lip on each note and ending each note on a zip, as done on the CD? If you have problems to keep the tongue touching the lip, I think it's a good idea to bring your upper lip downwards a bit, during these excersises. (In my case, I have to move my top lip quite far downwards to make it work.) Maybe at first you won't go very high with it, as it requires quite some strength to keep the lip down, but, as Jeff mentions, it's a basic skill and not a range excersise. Practise it regularly and you'll improve. As you get stronger in the excersise, you'll automatically get stronger in your normal playing as well, as you'll add more and more efficient playing characteristics to your normal playing. If in the end you'll end up with more lip exposed for tonguing during your normal playing, I couldn't say, but it's not something to worry about. See where the excersises get you and let it happen naturally. Hope this is of some help.

Ko
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Bruce Lee
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Joined: 15 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue here is having an understanding of what we are trying to accomplish. Jeff states (on page 17 of the BE book), in the title of that page "Using the Tongue to Monitor Lip Position". A re-read of this section will help. Skip Intro is not advisable.

Jeff's statement: "What I eventually discovered was, it's not "do you tongue on your lips?" but, "can you tongue on your lips?" Simply being able to do it is enough to trigger a generally positive change. In other words, it's a means to an end rather than an end unto itself."

The problem, in the beginning, is simply allowing your muscles a chance to re-structure themselves in a new position, and develop. Dave hit the nail on the head when he said that the teeth really need to be open. That starts to set things up differently. The double pedal exercises help to break down the old muscles, and build and strengthen the new muscles. Often, corner muscles that are too tight, which stretch the lips, and leave it weaker in the middle, where we place our mouthpiece, need to go through a little of this transition before we are able to tongue off the top lip. Don't be afraid to experiment to find out how much is enough, and how much is too much... Go out of your comfort zone! You may find the answers, and find that "you can tongue on your lips".... all by yourself!

The "chin bunch" also allows the upper lip to come down, because the only way that we can really bring it down, is to offer it some resistance from the lower lip... lip compression is necessary, incrementally, for each overtone... as is the right amount of air compression... in Balanced proportions. When we begin to achieve these goals, we start to develop a more efficient, and Balanced Embouchure.

BE patient, and always refer to the basics of embouchure development, as outlined in the book. Whenever there is a problem, stop... go back, look at the basics, and then try to fix it.

Hope this helps!

Best always,
Bruce
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_dcstep
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Joined: 05 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce is absolutely right.

I'm finding that B.E. has you do some radical things to stretch your embouchure to two possible extremes, neither of which is "the answer". The answer comes as you move to something in between the extremes. I'm amazed at, after only a few weeks, I can move around my mouthpiece and change my set as I get tired, without losing tone. It'll be a while before I settle into my final "balanced embouchure", BUT the benefits started day-one. This is an amazing method. Just stick with it. Read and re-read.

Dave
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mcamilleri
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Joined: 25 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2003 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make sure that you DO NOT flatten/stretch your chin to bring the top lip down! This is the easiest way to bring the top lip down, and defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. Check it in the mirror if you have to.
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