Tight corners

1. The corners of your mouth can be tight in more than one way. They can be tight pulling out from the center, pulling in toward the center or flexed in any position inbetween the two extremes. All of these conditions are tight. 2. Which of these are correct depends on the embouchure that you play. A smile would pull out. ( I hope that no one does this.) The Farkas is flexed a bit on the stretched side, Superchops is drawn in toward the center , Stevens is flexed but on the drawn in side….. 3. Now what does this mean. Well for one don’t obsess with your setting. You can easily worry to the point where playing is all but impossible. A friend of mine did this last year. He was convinced that switching to the SC embouchure would take his super g range to triple c. He […]

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Air vs embouchure

The power of air vs an embouchure change There are thousands of variables in trumpet playing. I have had and will continue to have people who add anywhere from a third to a fifth in an in person lesson. The octave is rare but does indeed happen. 2 octaves never. I know of other teachers who have had the same thing happen. Don’t underestimate the power of the airstream. I’ve seen players with degrees up to AND including DMAs receive great benefits from an AIR lesson. Also playing pros, teachers… This includes players with up to 60 years of experience. (My oldest student to date was 74.) My lesson on Monday did NOT add a single note during his lesson. I took the airy sound out of his tone, fixed his tonguing problem, taught him to relax and freed up the sound of his lower register. I helped him to […]

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Range and embouchures

1. There is NOT a perfect embouchure that fits everyone. There is 1 which fits you better than the others. However that is a person by person finding. 2. Why from scratch? If you already have good skills and tone why change embouchures? 3. I’ve seen people take YEARS to change an embouchure only to change back to the first one. You don’t change because you are bored or need an extra note of range. Starting from scratch did you get where you are today in 5 weeks? 4. You need a PLAN. Nobody would try to build a foundation for a bridge without a plan. Don’t try to build a foundation for your playing without a plan. 5. Nobody can (should) give advice without more facts. You need to be able to describe accurately your embouchure, playing abilities and problems before anyone can offer any viable solutions. What you […]

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Endurance and 3 different embouchures

There is NOT a magical embouchure that gives a 8 octave range to all players. Due to dozens of minor physical differences one student will play one embouchure well and another poorly. His best friend may have the same success with the other system. As for creating a cushion there are 3 different embouchure systems that do this. This subdivides into scores of subembouchures. The main embouchures using this idea are Maggio, Stevens, and Superchops. I have seen great success and failure with each system. I like to try all students on the Stevens first as it is the easy one to learn. I have put students on a modified Farkas, Maggio and Superchops depending on their needs and physical gifts. If your current embouchure gets you from low g to high g (over high c) then I advise modifications only as this is a useable range. If your current […]

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Extreme embouchures

I play with my lip rolled over my teeth. I heard that you don’t like this embouchure. Why not? The reason not to try an extreme embouchure is the same as not drawing another card at Blackjack when you have 20. It has to do with the odds of it failing exceeding the chances of it working by 1000 to 1. We are not talking about a slight lip curl that says infront of the teeth. That works for 98% of the people who work at it. The 1st post was about curling the lip over the top of the teeth. I have never seen that work well. As for extremes in trumpet playing; There are 2 excellent players who both sell instructional information about their embouchures. They have both taught some people to use their embouchures but they have very high failure rates. I’ve had well over 100 contact […]

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What about the Farkas embouchure and range?

I hope that we ALL know that Dr. Farkas was a French horn player (and a great one). His work was the first serious attempt to discuss brass embouchures. And as a result of being the first by a man with a PHD it became THE college textbook for brass playing. That was a very logical thing at the time. However Dr. Farkas didn’t play trumpet and he had to rely on interviews of others. A lot of what he said is good however the Farkas is the most HALF taught embouchure there is. If you got 100 Farkas embouchure players in a room and asked questions like ‘ What is the main function of the mouthcorners in the register above high c? ‘ I would faint or die if 2 could give the answer. They move in toward the center to shorten the vibrating surface. The funny thing is […]

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