Back from my gig with no ill effects. I'm telling you, efficiency is
really the way to go unless pain and inflammation make you feel more
So, what's next? First, a bit of rambling, then some more exercises.
lips and mpc rim are the interfaces between you and the horn. If the
lips don't contact the mpc correctly (for your particular setup),
problems must follow. Imagine running a marathon in shoes that are a
half-size too small, or rub against your instep or toes. Effect: pain,
blood, agony, and a 10 mile limp to the finish. It doesn't matter how
hard you train, what you eat, or the purity of your thoughts: shoes
that don't fit mean disaster.
The same thing happens when our trumpet interface is "incorrect," where
incorrect = lack of range, endurance, accuracy, and the desire to melt
the damn thing down for scrap. Ok, that being said, let's review:
1. Create a "pouch" of sorts to anchor your mpc firmly in place.
2. This pouch is mostly centered on the lower lip.
3. To find your pouch's "sweet spot," place the mpc on the lower lip,
angle it downwards a bit, then, while tensing the lip slightly, slide
it down a little until it anchors into the "white" (your color may vary
4. Keeping the mpc in place on the lower lip, move it back on to the
5. Play, mi amigo, play!
Woo hoo! The part you've all been waiting for! So exciting! Ok, too
much coffee this morning...
This is going to seem so wrong and unholy, but it really works. Trust
me (insert old joke here). Here's how it works: play a comfortable
note, say, middle C. Now, keeping the tone going, puff out your cheeks
and continue blowing till you run out of breath. Try to keep the tone
consistent between attack and puff. Move up chromatically until you can
go no further. Do *not*
use excessive pressure! If you start pressing, quit - you're done with
these for the day.
forces the muscles closest to the aperture to do most of the work;
takes the corners out of the equation. When you've gained some
proficiency, practice puffing and unpuffing by squeezing the air out of
the cheeks while playing, then puffing up again. Great cheek workout.
It also relaxes the embouchure, which is a nice feeling.
Note: This is an **exercise**!! Unless your last name is Gillespie, do
not play with puffed cheeks! Geez...
Yes, more to follow. Sorry... :)