Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 12:46:33 -0800
From: "Jon" <>
Subject: [TPIN] EFFICIENCY! Part 4

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 alive... :)

So, what's next? First, a bit of rambling, then some more exercises.

The 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 :) zone.
4. Keeping the mpc in place on the lower lip, move it back on to the upper lip.
5. Play, mi amigo, play!

More Exercises!!!

Woo hoo! The part you've all been waiting for! So exciting! Ok, too much coffee this morning...

The "Dizzy"
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.

This 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... :)