Date: Wed, 22 Dec 1999 19:25:09 -0600 (CST)
From: ('Pops')
Subject: Re: TOO  much pressure

Michael stated that he can buzz a top line f but has to have pressure to play it. That was mentioned in my first post. He is buzzing and playing on slightly different embouchures. He is playing with an open set. I suspect that he opens the lips in the center as he takes his first breath and pins them down while open.

Dwight says he can play low pressure in the staff. But he also says that he has not tried it much. Every skill on the trumpet takes hours and hours of diligent work.

Dennis; I suggested the forward (puckered) position to you last year because you were already using a close embouchure AND lip curl. For a player with spread chops a pucker may make it worse. The vibrating surface will tend to shift to the inner (red ) tissue. This tissue is so soft that they may experience a loss of range.

Warren; part of the length of time for your change is that it was several embouchure changes. You went from an open setting to Screamin to Stevens , back to Screamin... Each time it is like starting over. 3 years is too long for any embouchure change.

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 until you have strengthened the NEW embouchure.

Do a lip setting drill:
Buzz and sneak the horn into  place to play 1 note. Remove the horn and start over. It takes thousands of good repitione to break a bad habit.

Do those things for 1 month. Then AFTER the new embouchure is set and the chops are stronger you can work on the Stevens palming exercise. I only do open arpeggios with this. Do it 15 minutes a day and after a month you should be able to play over High C with almost no pressure.

Then you must learn to relax the face and let the tone become full. Work on pulling the corners in to adjust tone color and assist range. Relearn your pivot and tongue arch. Work on more efficient breathing....

An embouchure change covers all of that; not just setting the lips this way.

There is no substitute for smart hard practice. Short cuts for embouchure changes usually mean incomplete changes and years instead of months.

Best wishes
Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin