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Wet/Dry Embouchure?



 
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newcombutt
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I have just started using the exercises as of today & just have a couple questions before I start off on the wrong foot.

First of all, should the roll in exercises be performed with a wet or dry embouchure? In my normal playing I use a wet embouchure. At first, when attempting the lip clamp squeak with wet lips, I couldn't get very much of a squeak. Then I tried using dry lips and the squeak came out very easily & high pitched. Should the actual roll in exercises be performed with dry lips also?

I can't quite get a sound in roll in ex. 1 with either dry or wet, but I'm not concerned about that. I know it will come eventually. I just want to make sure I'm using the correct setting.

Any suggestions are appreciated!

~Paul

[ This Message was edited by: newcombutt on 2004-01-09 21:12 ]
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_dcstep
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like wet when I'm going through transition, but I suspect that either would work.


Dave
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

Concerning dry or wet lips, all I could say to you is to experiment and find out what works best for you. There is no right or wrong in dry or wet, as long as you stick to the instructions in the book.
One argument for using wet lips, would be that it makes it easier for the lips to move. For example when descending from the roll in position. An argument against this, in case of the roll in, would be that as long as the lips are not yet strong enough to stay rolled in, wet lips certainly won't help to keep them in place. The mouthpiece won't keep the lips in place. The lips will slip out. Another argument could be how wet or dry lips effect the airseal of the lips. I think you'll agree with me that it's best to just experiment and find out what is best for you at this particular time.
Personally, I am using rather wet lips. In all my playing, at this point. I still need a lot of movement, but as coordination, strength and efficiency will improve, more of that movement will happen inside of the mouthpiece. Perhaps then I will use a bit more dry lips. Or I might not, who knows? Also, who cares? You'll find the answer when you need it.

Ko
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mcamilleri
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion, for what it is worth.

At the very least I think you need wet lips at the buzzing point. If you try to play with a dry buzzing point, eventually it will get wet with spit, and then everything changes. Play wet there, and you can be consistent.

Regarding wet/dry on the mouthpiece, I am trying both at the moment. Have been a wet player in the past, and it definitely makes roll-out #3 transitions easier, if I am using large lip movements. However, it does allow the lips to slip out if you are not careful- this may not be good if you are trying to learn to roll in, as it makes it too easy to fall back to your old embouchure, if you are a stretch/pressure player like I was.

I have tried dry mouthpiece sometimes, and can do most if not all the exercises like this. The extra grip does help me from slipping out of the roll-in position, but then once I get the roll-in position under control, this doesn't happen anyway.

You should try both, and then make a decision very soon which way to go, and stick with it. Otherwise, you will be messing around too much, and not developing BE. Once you have developed further in BE, you would have not trouble at all experimenting again, and even changing if you wanted to.
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HJ
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I do the lip squeek my lips need to be dry. When I do all the other exercises my lips need to be wet. Roll-out #3 with dry lips? How???
In my normal playing I play wet. Gives the BE exercises more of a chance to sink in. If the dry grip of the mpc on the lips partly takes over the function of the lips (keeping a particular shape) I don't see how the muscles get enough training in forming a new set up. In other words: it is the lips we eventually want to rely on, not the mpc keeping them in place (by being dry or by mpc pressure).
But also: this is not really a concious choice. Most of my playing life I played wet, so it feels comfortable to me.

Bert
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Jacko
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul

I am new on the BE as well. I've read the book (important) and started the exercises yesterday with reasonable results. I think the question on dry or wet is not really that relevant, other than to say, do what you feel is right. I found buzzing in the lip clamp to take a little time to transfer to the instrument, but it does seem to work.

The overall impression I get from the book is to concentrate on the mechanics of the embouchure and let the rest happen, ie. don't get hung up on the peripheral things.

Good luck

Jacko
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mcamilleri
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2004 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with HJ, wet lips let you move all over the mouthpiece as needed, and force the lips to maintain the roll-in position rather than have the mp rim hold the lips in. If I had a student whose lips kept falling out of the roll-in playing wet, then I would switch them to dry, probably only temporarily, so that the roll-in position could be experienced. Ditto if in roll-in #2 the lips were rolling out too far on the low notes.

Roll-out #3 with dry lips - yes it is possible and I have done it. The lowest notes weren't great compared to wet lips. As the lips roll-out, the mp is pushed away, and this, along with a jaw and horn angle shift, gives enough movement to shift to the double pedal position. Eventually, the mp gets wet from all the spit on the lower lip, so playing fully dry without wiping the mp is impossible on the roll-outs.

It was an interesting experiment, and afterwards I could play the double pedals without having to elevate the bell nearly as much as before (the mp used to touch my [admittedly large] nose on the F#). Now I do most of the pivot with jaw movement - a more economical movement, as Jeff would say, which is one of the aims of Roll-out #3.

One thing I am learning about BE, is that the 'basic' exercises are not actually basic - it is always possible to further refine them, and I encourage you all to take this attitude. 8 months ago I thought I had the double pedals mastered. My only clue that I hadn't fully mastered them was that my performance was mouthpiece dependent - I could play them on shallow mouthpieces with soft bites, but not properly on a 5C or similar. With a few months more work, I can now play them properly on any mouthpiece - from a shallow Curry 620M, to a 1 C. I'm still not claiming to have fully mastered the double pedals, and will keep working diligently on them.

I think wet/dry is a bit like air-pockets, and is not something to worry about provided you sound and play OK. At certain points in BE development, changing from wet/dry or the reverse could help a player experience a different feel, which could aid development. Endlessly changing from wet to dry should be avoided.

To the original poster, Paul, I suggest that you stay wet, as this is how you normally play.

Michael

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[ This Message was edited by: mcamilleri on 2004-01-11 14:42 ]
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

Nice post! I agree that it's important to keep on working on the range of motion excersises. There is always room for improvement and going even further into the extreme. It will bring more of our resources into our playing and that's invaluable.

<<<It was an interesting experiment, and afterwards I could play the double pedals without having to elevate the bell nearly as much as before (the mp used to touch my [admittedly large] nose on the F#). Now I do most of the pivot with jaw movement - a more economical movement, as Jeff would say, which is one of the aims of Roll-out #3.>>>

I tend to disagree with you on what Jeff's words would be. How's that? Discussing what someone's words would be, are we heading towards fortune telling? I'll start with a quote from page 70, taken from the instructions for roll out #3: "Eventually, the lips shift with more economy of movement." Jeff talks about lipmovement rather than jawmovement, and I think that's an important detail. We want to concentrate on the lips primarily, right?

Here's my experience on roll out (also roll in) in relationship to jawmovement and I would like to bring the tongue into this discussion as well. A while ago already, I reached a plateau with my roll out. (Not the first, nor last.) The sound was ok, not perfect, the feel was not yet how I wanted it to be. I got stuck and that made me think of what the error might be. The conclusion was that I relied on too many things other than my lips: too much mouthpiecepressure, jawmovement and tongueposition. First of all, I could only get some propper edge in my pedal sound, if I directed the air with my tongue. I actually had a high tongueposition on the double pedals. Secondly, I could only make the shift into the normal range by moving my jaw. Quite a bit. Now I realise that both things aren't bad, as long as you don't rely on them, as I did. I'm just mentioning this to prevent you from forming the habbit of not focusing mainly on lipmovement and lipposition. What you could do to check if you rely on one of those things too much, is to see if you can move your jaw forward/backwards/sideways, even up and down perhaps, while sustaining a good pedal. For the tongue the same basic idea can work: see if you can move your tongue freely while sustaining the pedal.

One of the great possibilities of the BE method and a great benefit of the indirect approach, is that you can always slow down and/or go back to the first roll out/in excersises if you found you weren't on the right track. It's not always needed, of course, but simply the fact that it is possible and that it doesn't break up your normal playing at all to experiment with this, gives the method a lot of credit.

Ko
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mcamilleri
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're starting to get a bit off topic. Might be time for a new thread.

I wasn't putting word's in Jeff's mouth, just didn't have the book with me, so paraphrased from memory.

I do not believe that the double pedal shift is done entirely with lip shift, but do agree it is the primary thing. Every player must find a balance of lip shift, horn pivot, jaw pivot, tongue movement etc, that works best for them. Each player will be different. This may also change with time.

Yes, I do most of the pivot with jaw, but the lips still move to the double pedal shape. The small jaw pivot, I think, replaces much of the large horn angle pivot I used to use. Previously, I may have had my jaw too far forward - things are more balanced now. My jaw is free to move while playing double pedals.

Anyway, before we create major hang-ups in everyone that reads this thread, let me remind everyone of Jeffs words - 'Having the correct sound means that your lips are doing the right thing'. Follow the directions in the book, adjust to find the 'sweet spot', and try to match the sound. Simple!

Michael
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Larrios
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

<<<Anyway, before we create major hang-ups in everyone that reads this thread, let me remind everyone of Jeffs words -'Having the correct sound means that your lips are doing the right thing'. Follow the directions in the book, adjust to find the 'sweet spot', and try to match the sound. Simple!>>>

Couldn't agree more. Also that it's best to limit the details. I'm the type of guy that tends to analyse everything and sometimes I lose sight of when it would be appropriate. I'll work on it though!

Ko
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newcombutt
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anybody have an audio sample of what the lip clamp squeak is supposed to sound like (with wet lips)? I must admit that I am very lost. I cannot even come close to anything that resembles a squeak with my lips being wet. I don't want to move on to the roll in exercises until I can do the squeak properly. An audio sample may help me to get on the right track.

~Paul
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mcamilleri
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, just get a squeak any way you can - lips wet or dry. I am guessing that most of us started with dry lips for the squeak. Of far more importance is what your lip muscles are doing. Please don't get distracted by all this talk about wet vs dry - follow the instructions in the book and BE patient - it can take a while before a squeak emerges or a note is generated with roll-in #1. Probably best to attempt roll-in#1 the same way you learned the squeak.

Michael

[ This Message was edited by: mcamilleri on 2004-01-13 15:35 ]
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newcombutt
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<I am guessing that most of us started with dry lips for the squeak.>

Thank you. That's all I wanted to know in the first place. Does anybody happen to have a recording I can use as a reference point?

~Paul
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