Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 09:04:10 -0500 (EST)
From: Alan Rouse <>
Subject: Re:  my mystifying embouchure(and other random stuff)...

On Sat, 31 Jan 1998 00:12:08 -0500 (EST), Mike Stewart wrote:
>      Perhaps this is oversimplifying things, but all the talking you're
>doing about the very specific aspects of chin movement, muscles, embouchre,
>etc. seems to be moving you toward the "paralysis thru analysis" zone.
>      Maybe you should step away from the mirror the physical/visual side of
>the trumpet and just start playing without worrying about x, y, z, and

Here's another vote for moving away from the mirror and forgetting about the lip.

Y'all are probably getting tired of my quoting Claude Gordon, so if you are, cover your ears NOW:

"Did you ever notice how students are continually practicing before a mirror looking at their lips?  What are they looking for?  And if they thought they found something, what would they do about it?  They would worry!   Stay away from a mirror while practicing.

Another quote:
"All of (ed.  these false theories are) based upon the false assumption that the lips play the horn; that the lip gets the high notes.
This fallacy has been the main cause of all the frustrations and disappointments experienced by so many players today.

Remember, the lips do not play the horn, so once your embouchure is set, FORGET THE LIP.  If you leave the lip alone, with proper practice, it will take care of itself!"

In another place he says:

"DO NOT TRY to think of the lips or facial muscles. They will take care of themselves.  Do, however, watch the tongue and keep the lungs full (CHEST UP)."

Actually, it would be good if you could get a copy of his book "Brass Playing is No Harder Than Deep Breathing", where these quotes come from, and get more of the context.