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Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing lip ?



 
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TiredChops
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:36 am    Post subject: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing lip ? Reply with quote

I don't know why, but I have always had an embouchure in which my lower lip is the primary lip that controls everything.

I set the mouthpiece on my lower lip and I control everything about the air stream with my lower lip. in fact, often I'm not even aware of what my upper lip is doing.

Over the years I have studied with some well credentialed teachers (a few known on this site) who have advised me that my upper lip should be the buzzing lip, or that as a minimum both lips should be buzzing. I have struggled with that and had some periods where my playing was dismal while I tried to make the change.

I've just recently suffered through a low period trying to change, and after switching back to my old embouchure I am playing like my old self again.

So I'm curious, how unusual is my setup ?
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:50 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

TiredChops wrote:
...
I've just recently suffered through a low period trying to change, and after switching back to my old embouchure I am playing like my old self again.

So I'm curious, how unusual is my setup ?

---------------------------------
What you describe is quite unusual. But if it works and you are satisfied with 'playing like my old self again', then why change?

If you feel that something about your embouchure style is inhibiting wanted improvement, then maybe a change is needed.

The basic fact about lip usage is that 'the lip has to be able to vibrate in a way that produces the desired pitch'. If the lip is tensed / stretched / compressed so much that it CAN'T vibrate, then no pitch can be produced.
And you must be able to produce air flow thru the lip aperture to cause vibrations to happen.

Jay
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umum_cypher
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I have often worried about this.

My top lip is vibrating, and (this is related) my corners move, but I'm not making them, since when I try everything shuts off. I have never, ever, had any success doing the things you are meant to with corners, despite years of trying different approaches.

I think about tongue level. But even that only works well when my lower lip is engaged - not moving, just engaged. I think of it as connecting an electrical circuit. I can hear the fizz in the sound when it's there, slightly flexed, and I can hear when it isn't. I don't think about buzz but I guess that's the same thing. Try and do the same flex from the sides - it dies.

I get problems from the other side when things sound a bit dull and I overdo the lower lip, but that's the trumpet for you.
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TiredChops
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:


If you feel that something about your embouchure style is inhibiting wanted improvement, then maybe a change is needed.

Jay


If I were to evaluate my playing I would say that I have a very nice tone (I receive many complements to that effect), I have pretty good endurance, but my range is stuck at a D or maybe an E over high C. No matter what I try I just can't seem to get over that hurtle.

So, I've always wondered if it's my embouchure that is causing the problem, and when I seek advice from a teacher most of them don't like my setup.

Thus the reason that I wanted to know if others played the same way I do.
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kevin_soda
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“It takes 200 muscles to make a sound on the trumpet.” The more you try to control them, the more you fight the process. “An embouchure is something you develop, not something you form.” “It’s a wind instrument, not a lip instrument.” Don’t focus on your lips, focus on your sound.
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you are describing is an upstream embouchure type. It isn't terribly common, but it's nothing to be overly concerned about.

Teachers who tell you you have a faulty embouchure simply because you play upstream are being dogmatic. There is nothing wrong with being an upstream player if your setup is working.

Check out the Reinhardt forum. Doc Reinhardt classified many embouchure types and the folks on that forum can help you get squared away and perhaps give some tips on how to further improve as a player.
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Bwat
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

TiredChops wrote:
Over the years I have studied with some well credentialed teachers (a few known on this site) who have advised me that my upper lip should be the buzzing lip, or that as a minimum both lips should be buzzing. I have struggled with that and had some periods where my playing was dismal while I tried to make the change.

Try not buzzing.
These are the videos to watch to kill the buzzing myth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz5fow-pf68
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVs2G60-ilo
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

Bwat wrote:
TiredChops wrote:
Over the years I have studied with some well credentialed teachers (a few known on this site) who have advised me that my upper lip should be the buzzing lip, or that as a minimum both lips should be buzzing. I have struggled with that and had some periods where my playing was dismal while I tried to make the change.

Try not buzzing.
These are the videos to watch to kill the buzzing myth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz5fow-pf68
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVs2G60-ilo


This isn't the point of his post nor will such an exercise be beneficial on sorting out whether or not the top or bottom lip should be the primary vibrating lip.
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Bwat
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

Tpt_Guy wrote:
Bwat wrote:
TiredChops wrote:
Over the years I have studied with some well credentialed teachers (a few known on this site) who have advised me that my upper lip should be the buzzing lip, or that as a minimum both lips should be buzzing. I have struggled with that and had some periods where my playing was dismal while I tried to make the change.

Try not buzzing.
These are the videos to watch to kill the buzzing myth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz5fow-pf68
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVs2G60-ilo


This isn't the point of his post nor will such an exercise be beneficial on sorting out whether or not the top or bottom lip should be the primary vibrating lip.


The lip buzzing options you’ve listed are not exhaustive. That was the point of my post.
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:25 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

Bwat wrote:
Tpt_Guy wrote:


This isn't the point of his post nor will such an exercise be beneficial on sorting out whether or not the top or bottom lip should be the primary vibrating lip.


The lip buzzing options you’ve listed are not exhaustive. That was the point of my post.


I didn't list any.

He asked if anyone has the bottom as opposed to the top as the primary vibrating lip (he said "buzzing", but we get it), because teachers have told him it should be the top and he has tried to change with no success.

I simply pointed him to the Reinhardt forum where he can gain an understanding of embouchure types and learn that it isn't always the top lip that is the primary vibrating lip.

Posting videos that claim the lips don't buzz when we play isn't a solution and depending on a player's development and level of understanding can be confusing. We don't need to make them buzz, but they do vibrate when we play, otherwise we would only hear the sound of rushing air from the bell.
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HERMOKIWI
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lower lip doing the buzzing seems very unusual to me. What does the upper lip do in this situation? Does being "upstream" really mean that the lower lip is doing the buzzing? Is that Reinhardt's conclusion of what's happening in "upstream" situations? I didn't think so but maybe I'm wrong about this.
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Bwat
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

Tpt_Guy wrote:
Bwat wrote:
Tpt_Guy wrote:


This isn't the point of his post nor will such an exercise be beneficial on sorting out whether or not the top or bottom lip should be the primary vibrating lip.


The lip buzzing options you’ve listed are not exhaustive. That was the point of my post.


I didn't list any.


You did, and I quoted it.

Tpt_Guy wrote:
Posting videos that claim the lips don't buzz when we play isn't a solution and depending on a player's development and level of understanding can be confusing.


It's not my position to decide if the original poster is of the required development or understanding (whatever that means) to handle scientifically accepted truth.

I'm not sure it's your position to admonish those who propagate such knowledge.
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dstpt
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tpt_Guy wrote:
What you are describing is an upstream embouchure type. It isn't terribly common, but it's nothing to be overly concerned about.

Teachers who tell you you have a faulty embouchure simply because you play upstream are being dogmatic. There is nothing wrong with being an upstream player if your setup is working.

Check out the Reinhardt forum. Doc Reinhardt classified many embouchure types and the folks on that forum can help you get squared away and perhaps give some tips on how to further improve as a player.

It does seem like the OP's embouchure setup is upstream, and yes, an upstream embouchure is a legitimate setup. It is not always limited to those with an underbite, although there is often a physiological correlation between those with an underbite having more success as an upstream player. Doc Reinhardt's study in the area of "upstream brass playing" is where you will probably find the most written about it. I have witnessed pros that have this setup and have incredible chop ability, which I recon is attributed to the extra padding from the lower lip allowing for more abuse. Over the past year, I have actually developed a setup that "may be" upstream and feel like my chops are stronger than ever with a lot more power in the upper register. I know of those that have switched from the more traditional downstream to upstream approach and found notable success, trombonist Dave Wilken being one of them. You can find his extended research and study in the areas of embouchure and the Reinhardt Method on his website:

http://www.wilktone.com/?page_id=2

Dave Wilken has done studies on pro brass players for years, asking for others to guess what embouchure type they are witnessing from videos he posts. Rich Willey is Moderator on TrumpetHerald for the Donald S. Reinhardt approach. Much to be learned here for those who are unfamiliar.

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=23
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:18 am    Post subject: Re: Anyone else use their lower lip as the primary buzzing l Reply with quote

Bwat wrote:
Tpt_Guy wrote:


I didn't list any.


You did, and I quoted it.


Actually, those two were listed by the OP. I was simply addressing them only and avoiding putting further confusion into the issue.

Bwat wrote:
It's not my position to decide if the original poster is of the required development or understanding (whatever that means) to handle scientifically accepted truth.

I'm not sure it's your position to admonish those who propagate such knowledge.


I will concede that the use of the word "development" was not a wise choice. Perhaps I should have chosen "understanding." That said, there are several things listed that point out confusion and lack of solid understanding.

Let's have a look at them.

Quote:
I don't know why, but I have always had an embouchure in which my lower lip is the primary lip that controls everything.


Hmmm...

Quote:
Over the years I have studied with some well credentialed teachers (a few known on this site) who have advised me that my upper lip should be the buzzing lip, or that as a minimum both lips should be buzzing.


Confused "teachers" passing off poor advice.

Let's continue.

Quote:
I've just recently suffered through a low period trying to change, and after switching back to my old embouchure I am playing like my old self again.


And now he wants to know...

Quote:
So I'm curious, how unusual is my setup ?


What he is "supposed to be doing" isn't working. He has been confused by poor instruction and wants to sort it out.

Also, I must apologize for coming across as admonishing. It wasn't my intention. But I do feel that we owe it to each other to speak up if we see what we feel is poor advice.

I rarely do it anymore, but sometimes if someone wants to know ABC and someone else answers with Z, I point it out. I don't see that telling the OP not to buzz and posting videos to "kill the buzzing myth" does anything to help sort out if his embouchure setup is unusual or not.

There is validity to your point about the buzzing myth; however, my position on it is that it isn't really related to his question of how unusual his setup is.
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dstpt wrote:
It does seem like the OP's embouchure setup is upstream, and yes, an upstream embouchure is a legitimate setup. It is not always limited to those with an underbite, although there is often a physiological correlation between those with an underbite having more success as an upstream player. Doc Reinhardt's study in the area of "upstream brass playing" is where you will probably find the most written about it. I have witnessed pros that have this setup and have incredible chop ability, which I recon is attributed to the extra padding from the lower lip allowing for more abuse. Over the past year, I have actually developed a setup that "may be" upstream and feel like my chops are stronger than ever with a lot more power in the upper register. I know of those that have switched from the more traditional downstream to upstream approach and found notable success, trombonist Dave Wilken being one of them. You can find his extended research and study in the areas of embouchure and the Reinhardt Method on his website:

http://www.wilktone.com/?page_id=2

Dave Wilken has done studies on pro brass players for years, asking for others to guess what embouchure type they are witnessing from videos he posts. Rich Willey is Moderator on TrumpetHerald for the Donald S. Reinhardt approach. Much to be learned here for those who are unfamiliar.

https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=23


Thank you for posting the link to Wilktone. I had planned to do it but never made it back.

I think the article The Three Basic Embouchure Types gives enough information to help sort this out.

http://www.wilktone.com/?p=92
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