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Embouchure Pressure

25 Jun 2008 06:20 #121 by James Hampson
Embouchure Pressure was created by James Hampson
Ever since my latest embouchure change, I noticed that I have been putting too much pressure on my face while playing above 3rd space C. My high range is better than ever though, endurance wise and consistency wise. Most days I can play for 3 hours straight without a drop in high range consistency. Although, a few days a month I can really feel the pressure, such as yesterday. After playing in the high range I always have a "definite mouthpiece mark" on my upper lip, quoting Farkas' "The Art of French Horn Playing." Any suggestions or personal experience on this problem would be greatly appreciated.

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27 Jun 2008 04:46 #122 by Martin Künkler
Replied by Martin Künkler on topic Re:Embouchure Pressure
Some brass-teachers are speaking about a "non pressure" emouchure. Every one knows, that this ist not possilbe, becaus the airstream will flow out between the lips and the rim of the mouthpiece. But ist not wrong, to reach out for a little pressure emouchure. Of course, high notes need mor pressure and deep notes needs a solid embouchure. But if You have no problems with a high pressure emouchure, its ok. Look at trumpeters, e.g. Maynard Ferguson or Maurice Andre. Disadvantages at lipp trills or the influence of the soundcoulor may be come on. And sometimes, the tone will sound steely. Try this:
Dont attack high notes with "ti" (tee) or "di", but try to attack them with "da" or "do". The sound will be darker and the embouchure is not so hard.

Why did You change Your embouchure?

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27 Jun 2008 05:11 #123 by James Hampson
Replied by James Hampson on topic Re:Embouchure Pressure
Thanks for the information.

I change my embouchure because my previous embouchure somehow slipped below 1/2 on the top lip (now it is 2/3 top lip). With my previous embouchure, my low range (below g2) did not speak very well and I hit a ceiling on my high range. My new embouchure at the moment still has some problems. The transition from low range to middle range isn't quite where I would like it to be, as well as the pressure in the high range. I have spent many hours in front of a mirror figuring it all out as well as reading many different book/articles. I guess I haven't found the correct embouchure yet for my facial structure.

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27 Jun 2008 14:18 #124 by Ricardo Matosinhos
Replied by Ricardo Matosinhos on topic Re:Embouchure Pressure
Hello, first of all congratulations for your courage :)
Not all have the courage to change any thing on their embouchure, because yoi never know what could happen.
From my personal experience ane change on the embochure usually produces very good resoults ar at least aceptable, As for shure you will use your muscles in some different degree, and as they are relaxed they respont quite good but with no endurance, se expect some bad feeling after a week. Keep playing steady doing a good practice every day and in a month you will find your results.

Abou the mirror, I really agree that's a good help, but why dont you make it reverse? First play and listen to your sound, and once you like it then look at the mirror. This way your can concentrate on the sound and no so mushc in the visual fealing.

About the pressure, make shure your pressure is even on the registers. Some people can survive to high pressure, some dont, deppends on you facial muscles. If you feel ok, thats nothing why to lower the pressure. If you feel something strange, then start to lower a little bit the presure and see how it goes.

Good luck

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04 Aug 2009 07:03 #312 by Louis Stout, Jr
Replied by Louis Stout, Jr on topic Re:Embouchure Pressure

I had a real problem with pressure on my lip in college. I found that it was especially bad in the music school practice rooms. They were small and not very well insulated fro all the others immediately around. I found that I was trying to compete for sound with other people practicing around me. This created allot of tension in my arms and shoulders which directly led to extra pressure on my lips. I did 2 things to help alleviate my pressure problem. First, I tried to find bigger, quieter practice areas where sound competition was not an issue. Second, I tried what my dad (Prof. Louis Stout) used to do at home. Whenever I could I would practice in front of our TV in our LazeeBoy recliner. It was virtually impossible to be tense in that chair. I found that after a month or two my pressure problem was getting much better. I also stopped using my little finger hook almost all together. All these things helped me get my shoulders and arms much more relaxed which helped get rid of my tension problem.
Now I don't have to worry about small college practice rooms and I don't own a LazeeBoy recliner, but I do keep careful watch over the tension in my shoulders and arms and I still hardly ever use my little finger hook. Relaxation in the neck, shoulders and arms is very important to helping relieve pressure on your lips.

Louis Stout

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04 Aug 2009 18:50 #313 by Martin Künkler
Replied by Martin Künkler on topic Re:Embouchure Pressure
If a mouthpiece is slipping during playing (I know that from my students) You can try a mouthpiece with a wider diameter. E.g. 18mm or 18,5mm instead of 17mm. And dont use a "Colongne Rim" what is half- round in its profile. Use a rim whats a little bit higher at the cup side then at the outside of the rim.
To reduce the pressure, make exercises with a Trompe de chasse mouthpiece what has no rim. Its is very sharp and a little to much pressure will makes pain. But you can learn to reduce pressure.
May be, it works.

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