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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Less lip movement means less work

We all know that the less lip movement we use the easier playing is. I don’t mean corner movement but the constant tensing / releasing compressing of the center. I have always taught this way in the past. I like to use page 125 line one of Arban. It is a c major scale up and down. But every other note is low G. It both starts and ends on the low g. 1. Play the low g then do the exercise. Most people have trouble on the top of the scale. 2. Play middle c then play the exercise. Here most people have trouble with the low g’s. 3. Play a second line g and then play the exercise. Most people can cover the range spread very cleanly this way. This shows the idea of a lip set in the middle of the range of the piece. If we […]

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