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Can the tongue touch the bottom lip when ascending?



 
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GTDon501
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Joined: 30 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Can the tongue touch the bottom lip when ascending? Reply with quote

I've been working on Systematic Approach for two years, fairly hard. I'm at Lesson 12 (not moving on until I'm satisfied with progress).

My embouchure is such that as I ascend, the lower lip wants to fold under the top lip, which in turn causes my jaw to recede. Net effect: as I ascend the tip of my tongue wants to continue moving forward to my bottom lip -and quite high on the lip, almost to the aperture. It wants to direct the air, but can't do the job when limited to the top of my bottom teeth. If I absolutely force my tongue to stay at the top of my bottom teeth, then I can't ascend further, and I generate a lot of pressure and other unwanted side attributes trying to go higher (this kicks in at about 'e' above the staff). When I let the tongue go, I can reach double "A" above the staff (but not playable range)

My question: Do I let the tongue go or do I keep it at the teeth? I'm curious to know whether letting it move further forward and up will impair my ability to K tongue, i.e., get adequate arch for tonguing at the forward part of my tongue.

Right now, I can see why Gordon described one result of K tonguing a "fat orchestral sound". I wouldn't want to give that up in the higher register.

By the way, I can report that the main product of the Systematic Approach for me has to be a very rich sound. As commented upon by my surrounding players.
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Jeff_Purtle
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a perfect example where it would be best for you to get with a private teacher to see what you are doing. But, I will try to answer the main point.

It's very true that Claude used to say "Forget about the lip." But, what you describe with the lower lip sounds very similar to something I went through while studying with Claude and it took a series of things to work me out of it.

For me it was flexibility studies like Colin's Advanced Lip Flexibility that got me used to moving around the horn with the coordination of tongue level and windpower that made it go away.

When the lower lip comes in and under the top lip it usually shuts the vibration down more. The purpose of the lips is to freely vibrate. But, people do all kinds of things that hinder it like too lower of mouthpiece placement or tucking a lip under another one or the crazy rolling in stuff. Some guys make it work. But, the point is to learn to play easily.

Using K Tongue Modified single tonguing allows you to control your sound and everything else better. But, I don't believe that it really gives you a specific "orchestral" sound. But, it's cool that it helps you with that the sound you like.

I would be careful not to over think the tongue too much. Claude's "Watch The Tongue" phrase (and stamp) was hitting at that point too. You want to observe what the tongue does and learn from it instead of trying to lock the tongue into something you think it should be doing.

The two biggest problems with what I call CST (Conventional Single Tonguing) are that it interferes with being able to maintain the arch of the tongue in the very front of the tongue and it makes more for movement of the tongue. That results in loss of accuracy in the upper register or not register at all and slow single tonguing.

When you are really used to K Tongue Modified single tonguing it seems revolutionary because you can feel everything with 100% certainty. As an example, with a student just today I showed him that I could pickup my trumpet cold without checking a single note or making a sound and nail a high F. That is not how I want to start my day. But, I know I can do it because I can feel it with the tongue level and KTM is a big factor in that too.

Contact me directly if you wish.
I wish you the best. You must be a determined person to stick with SA.
Most people don't have the patience.

Jeff
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trptdoc
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Joined: 01 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CG always emphasized not letting the tip of the tongue become frozen or "anchored". Often I feel the tip of my tongue is over the top of my lower teeth. That said, the tongue risies in the back of the mouth and flattens toward the front for everything above F above hi C for me. I actually adjust the volume and quality of soundby lowering or raising the back ( sometimes a "u" shape)of the tongue in the altissimo. The older I get the more I know why CG was so empathic about "forgetting the lip" . As Jeff mentions, flexibilitie studies really help keep the lip/ tongue relationship working. Too much analysis of the lip has put a lot of players into paralysis. I have been there.



Larry
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GTDon501
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Joined: 30 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. What I'm finding is that if I keep the tongue at the teeth, it prevents my jaw (and lower lip) from receding any further. That seems to be the direction I am going to follow.

I have worried, off and on, whether allowing the lower lip to recede is a problem; I notice I lose vibration as I ascend and I notice a tendency to miss attacks. I also notice that the mouthpiece continues to ride higher on the upper lip until the lower is barely on the cup. I'd hoped that accurate tongue arch would cure the problem.

Well, maybe I ought not to forget about the lips.

I'm about to move to lesson 13, which includes the Walter Smith flexibility exercises.
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be patient with yourself and just keep practicing properly, listening to the sound you're producing as you play. As Jeff and Larry have pointed out, the Flexibility Exercises (which are really Tongue Level Exercises) are extremely helpful in getting your tongue to work correctly by habit.

I advise you not to worry about your lower lip tucking a bit under your top one, as long as it is not too extreme. I've always played that way to a certain extent. And the tip of my tongue often comes into contact with my lower lip when I articulate notes (I have used KTM tonguing since Claude taught it to me in the Summer of 1980). It's not that my tongue is going all the way through between my teeth to meet my lower lip - it's more like my lower lip tucks back a little between my teeth and meets my tongue tip somewhere in the area between the top and bottom front teeth.

Important: In my own playing and practice I do NOT think about this, I do NOT analyze this and I do NOT WORRY about this. If it were not for trying to help players such as you who have these questions, I would pay NO ATTENTION to exactly how much my lower lip tucked in, how much my lower jaw moved, where exactly the tip of my tongue did or did not rise to. As Claude taught me to, I just practice, keeping in mind the general way the air, tongue, and lips work, always paying attention to my sound making it as musical and pleasing as I can at the moment, and I let nature take its course. That's really the only way it works.

My "general" thoughts as I play:

I blow stronger for higher and/or louder notes and back off for lower notes.

When playing in the low to mid registers, my tongue moves toward the position it's in when making the "aw" sound as when saying the word "saw".

When playing higher notes, my tongue moves toward the position it's in when making the "ee" sound, as when saying the word "see".

When playing lower notes, my lips and facial muscles are pretty relaxed.

When playing higher notes, my lips compress toward each other and roll inward to a certain extent (not necessarily even a visible amount).

And the main component: I listen to how I sound and I pay attention to how clean my articulations are when practicing. I strive to do the best I can in the moment.

That's it.

Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas,

John Mohan
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GTDon501
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, John.
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