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Small mouthpiece placement change



 
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Lqbanotxano
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Joined: 26 Dec 2018
Posts: 9
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 4:02 pm    Post subject: Small mouthpiece placement change Reply with quote

I'm 73 and have been teaching myself to play for little over 2 years. I have made several embouchure changes along the way. Everything was progressing nicely and my upper range kept inching slowly up. It took me a while to reach the top of the staff...but I did. The problem was...playing at the top of the staff and slightly above, caused my face muscles above my lips to fatigue and ache quickly. I could not play very long there. I started thinking...why do the muscles only on top get tired? So...I figured...they were being overworked. I moved the mouthpiece slightly down. That seems to have fixed the problem. Now I can play much longer & seem to control my higher notes much better. Now I can control a G above the staff and sometimes starting to hit & control a C above the staff. The only thing that (so far) I have to watch out for is...not pushing the mouthpiece too hard against my lips/teeth.

Any input will be appreciated.
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JayKosta
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Joined: 24 Dec 2018
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts about embouchure are here -

http://users.hancock.net/jkosta/Embouchure_Basic_Concepts.htm

It is not intended to 'teach you how to play', but to give you some things to think about to evaluate what you are doing now, and perhaps some 'better ways'.
I think that learning how and when to use rim pressure on the lower lip is very important (and missing) for many people.

And if 'self study' is not making progress, a few lessons about embouchure with a good teacher (online or live) would be a big help.
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Small mouthpiece placement change Reply with quote

Lqbanotxano wrote:
I'm 73 and have been teaching myself to play for little over 2 years. I have made several embouchure changes along the way. Everything was progressing nicely and my upper range kept inching slowly up. It took me a while to reach the top of the staff...but I did. The problem was...playing at the top of the staff and slightly above, caused my face muscles above my lips to fatigue and ache quickly. I could not play very long there. I started thinking...why do the muscles only on top get tired? So...I figured...they were being overworked. I moved the mouthpiece slightly down. That seems to have fixed the problem. Now I can play much longer & seem to control my higher notes much better. Now I can control a G above the staff and sometimes starting to hit & control a C above the staff. The only thing that (so far) I have to watch out for is...not pushing the mouthpiece too hard against my lips/teeth.

Any input will be appreciated.


If you really want to learn, you should consult a professional. As far as free advice on the internet; you get what you pay for.
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JayKosta
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Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another source of embouchure info is here -
http://apps.texasbandmasters.org/archives/pdfs/bmr/2003-01-ericson1.pdf

It is primarily about embouchure for French horn, but many of the concepts also apply to trumpet.
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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.
http://users.hancock.net/jkosta/2021_April_1_snow_web.jpg
April morning Surprise
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Billy B
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Robert P
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Small mouthpiece placement change Reply with quote

Lqbanotxano wrote:
I moved the mouthpiece slightly down. That seems to have fixed the problem. Now I can play much longer & seem to control my higher notes much better. Now I can control a G above the staff and sometimes starting to hit & control a C above the staff. The only thing that (so far) I have to watch out for is...not pushing the mouthpiece too hard against my lips/teeth.

Welcome to the trumpet - where 1000 frustrations await you!

Very subtle changes *can* make a difference. There are numerous things going on when you're playing - opening of the teeth, the tongue, the angle of the horn among others.

Something I recommend experimenting with is attacking a note with a good solid sound and then raising the level of the horn until the note stops speaking, then lower the horn until it speaks again. For myself the point at which it speaks again solidly is the level where I have the best results.

As far as lowering the mouthpiece placement, it's very possible you've stumbled onto something. One of the greatest players who's ever picked up the horn Doc Severinsen experimented with his placement over time going from a very high placement earlier in his career to a lower placement - this seemed to coincide with him gaining some range which was something he struggled with at one point. He went from about an F/G (over high C) player to being able to play D's and E's over double C.

Make *slight* changes. If a small change helped, stick with that small change and see how far it takes you. Right now there are a lot of things to be concerned with besides high notes - the quality of your sound should always be your first priority. It's going to take a while to really get tuned in to what's going on with your embouchure. When you get a good sound, try to be aware of what's going on with your air, your teeth, lips, muscles of the face, etc.

And yes - take lessons! It's good to have someone directing you on skill-building and monitoring your progress. Ideally someone who really knowns how things work and can help if you run into problems.
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Last edited by Robert P on Thu May 06, 2021 11:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Rod Haney
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Joined: 22 Aug 2015
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Small mouthpiece placement change Reply with quote

Lqbanotxano wrote:
I'm 73 and have been teaching myself to play for little over 2 years. I have made several embouchure changes along the way. Everything was progressing nicely and my upper range kept inching slowly up. It took me a while to reach the top of the staff...but I did. The problem was...playing at the top of the staff and slightly above, caused my face muscles above my lips to fatigue and ache quickly. I could not play very long there. I started thinking...why do the muscles only on top get tired? So...I figured...they were being overworked. I moved the mouthpiece slightly down. That seems to have fixed the problem. Now I can play much longer & seem to control my higher notes much better. Now I can control a G above the staff and sometimes starting to hit & control a C above the staff. The only thing that (so far) I have to watch out for is...not pushing the mouthpiece too hard against my lips/teeth.

Any input will be appreciated.


Buy and read the Stevens/Costello triple c method. The instructions on setting the lip and teeth apertures is trumpet player gold. If you can set up in the manner they describe you will find immediate help in freeing your upper lip to respond to air. You don’t have to be jaw forward just teeth even to use it with success, but it seems to get full range benefit it has to be at least parallel at teeth. I’m very new with it and my face fits the model well and it was fairly easy to follow - the results tell me that with dedicated practice you can get amazingly high with increased volume and resonance. Just the setup and learning to keep the lip engaged was what I needed to open things up. I could always hit a hi e but now that e is something I’d play without hesitation. I feel the next octave is just around the corner as I can sound the notes but the good sound I want isn’t there yet so a lot of practice needed but it’s coming and never did before.

The system is very basic and some won’t be able to use it due to face structure, but it will put the air thru a setup that WILL give you the best chance at gaining range with resonance. It explained to me the basics of attaining upper range and shows how to achieve it IF you can do the setup. It’s the only logical method I’ve found. Don’t expect to find a lot of teachers as I’ve looked for 3 months and found no one. Other factors such as compression and jaw movement are involved but unless teeth are open and lips receiving as much air as possible with appropriate resistance it is a struggle I couldn’t overcome. Book is cheap on qpress and worth it if you only find one thing that helps.

Just my experience but one I thought was worth mentioning.

Rod
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royjohn
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Joined: 12 Jan 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Lqbanotxano,
Well, I have beaten this horse before here, but I'm going to do it again. Pardon me for being frank, but if you are having trouble getting to top of staff G, there is definitely a sub-optimal placement in your embouchure.

The story is told of Armando Ghitalla giving a workshop. He used a subject off the street who had never played trumpet and taught him a little roll-in. The man was able to play double C immediately. He tired quickly, but he was able to do it. So upper range is a "knack" which is easy enough with the proper embouchure placement and pivot. I haven't played lately and picked up my horn a few days ago and was disappointed that I couldn't go much over G over high C in the first minute. So what I'm saying is that the proper placement and pivot are most important.

If I were you, I would take a few lessons with a Reinhardt chop doc who could type your embouchure and get you set up right. I had an "ah-ha" experience with a lesson with Dave Wilken and in about eight hours of instruction, I was set up to play up to double C. This from a guy who plays trombone...it is obviously all in the embouchure principles.

You can find Reinhardt teachers over on their forum. Dave Wilken (wilktone.com) has a lot of material on embouchure and technique at his website if you want to check it out...I believe he's also doing "Embouchure 101" webinars now, too. Good luck with your playing...all I'm saying is that trumpet playing is frustrating enough without the handicap of being set up all wrong. It's worth a couple of hundred bucks to get set up right.
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Trumpets: 1928 Holton Llewellyn Model, 1957 Holton 51LB, 2010 Custom C by Bill Jones, 2011 Custom D/Eb by Bill Jones
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