Breathing for trumpet playing

I have noticed that many people pull their lips apart or out of the mouthpiece when breathing for trumpet playing. This pulls the lower lip slightly out of the mouthpiece and for some it looks like this. The lower lip can not go back to its normal playing position. So it tries to continue playing by rolling the soft inside tissue into the hole that was made during the breath. That not only looks vastly different from this normal shot but also affects tone, range, endurance. Make sure you are NOT destroying your embouchure when breathing for trumpet playing. Some will take their first breath and then set so they are doing greatbut then when they breathe the embouchure changes. Here is one reason why that happens.The mouthpiece takes up about half of our overall lip length. When we try to corner breathe through both sides we stretch the lipsinto […]

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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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Embouchure / buzzing

Don’t most of you guys tweak your embouchures to get those notes? I don’t want to do that. I just want to blow and push the valves. I’m not exactly sure what is meant by tweaking to get notes. If you are playing a g to play a f you only have to push a valve. (NOT) The pressing the valve idea works on a very basic level. We strive to make every note match in sound quality and to be in tune. THIS REQUIRES TWEAKING EVERY NOTE. Some of these are done with the chops, some with the air, some with the tongue level and some using all three. But every note is tweaked. If you mean some kind of embouchure shift. Then I can tell you that I don’t shift my embouchure. It is the same from one end to the other. Most people who play with a […]

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My chops are sore after every gig

If your lips feel sore or tired the next day then you bruised them and there is some swelling present. That kind of soreness can only come for excessive mouthpiece pressure. What is normal and acceptable mouthpiece pressure for compressed lips (cushioned) is too much for flattened chops. You would be amazed at how many players set their chops and then unset (thin the lips and spread the embouchure) as they take a breath. This is the case in 75% of the cases that you described. No amount of lip pushups will cure this. Isometrics are only taught by to people who have a viable embouchure. For people who need some embouchure help (fine tuning) the embouchure must be fixed before the gross muscle building program begins. Remember holding a pencil between your lips is not the same as playing. One is for gross muscle building while the other requires […]

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How to set a new embouchure

I’m always playing in the red. HELP. 1. Everyone PLAYS in the red. That is the main vibrating surface. What you are talking about is placing the rim on the red. Again no big deal. 2. The fastest way to successfully go to a closed embouchure is : Lip Buzz: Do this 15 – 30 minutes a day. Buzz scales, songs, arpeggios, etudes…. Set your new embouchure: Buzz a note and while holding the buzz sneak the horn & mpc into playing position. Take ALL breaths through your nose (so you don’t disturb the embouchure). (Most open aperture players try to start closed and open up the chops as they breathe. They pin the lips in place while separated and can only make the lips touch by using mpc pressure.) And play songs and etudes. (After the new setting is secure go back to normal breathing.) Stay in the staff […]

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Acoustics of chops

Acoustics 201 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 […]

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