Factors for a dynamic embouchure

Lip tension, tongue arch and air speed are great for changing pitch in a particular register. But lip compression is needed inorder to change registers. Jeanne has already pointed out that arching the back of the tongue causes headaches and blackouts. So please remember to use a forward arch. A combination of 6 things are NEEDED to play trumpet well. Close lip setting (aperture) + mouthpiece pressure (just enough to make a seal) + lip compression + lip tension + tongue arch (forward) & Air (speed and support). These 6 points control the range of the instrument. There are many variations available in how these can be added together to play any one note. It is possible to play a double high c with a close setting and compression only. Stevens’ static exercises are played that way. Adding some mpc pressure to that can flesh out the notes yet these […]

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Tooth / jaw alignment

Do I need to keep my teeth / jaw lined up? Most people can NOT maintain an even tooth alignment. However the goal is to take the load off of the top lip and give more of the mouthpiece weight to the bottom lip. Everyone CAN do that. Some by a slight forward jaw movement, some by relaxing the jaw and letting space occur between the back teeth (which moves the jaw forward) and some by using a horn angle that releases the top lip so it can freely vibrate. Never do anything that is painful or awkward. It won’t be worthwhile. Pops

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Air: The real trumpet octave key

  There are 2 kinds of compression involved in trumpet playing. One is concerned with breath control. And the other has to do with the embouchure. We all know that high notes require more support (compression) than low notes. This need increases with the range. A low c needs x amount. A middle c needs 2X , high c 4X and super c needs 8X the support that low c needs to sound. Along with this added air compression is a need to increase the lip compression to fight the air stream and produce the higher notes. If we blow a fast airstream against lips set for a low c then a low c comes out. ( Most of the time Look at overblowing the octave at the bottom of this message.) There are several systems taught here. The main point being that the lips need to form a smaller […]

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