Damaging embouchure.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by brassfanatic, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. brassfanatic

    brassfanatic Member

    If you switch between, say tenor horn and cornet, or horn and eup, people saying you are messing with your embouchure.
    Bt just what damage are you actually causing. What I do know, for sure, is that if you keep switching you'll never become fantastic at either instrument, you'll never produce a beautiful tone.
    But what else?
  2. Morghoven

    Morghoven Member

    To be honest, I think that is the damage. As someone who's done this sort of thing quite regularly, most people can't just change at will between instruments and instantly sound fantastic on all of them, though there will always be exceptions! In fact, I find that the whole technique suffers, and that in many ways the sound is the easiest bit to sort out quickly - by concentrating hard on what sound you want to make, and listening carefully to what sound you actually are making...and as a whole, then opening the throat more.

    As for real physical effects? Well if you move up to a smaller mouthpiece, you get tired very quickly - my natural embouchure is euphonium/trombone area so stamina is an issue on cornet - and of course the extremes of ranges may be beyond you. But I don't see there is any permanent physical damage.
  3. I have heard of a few cases of people permanently damaging their embouchure but it is very rare. I don't believe switching between instruments could do this damage.

    Correct me if i'm wrong, but after a while our mouthpiece positioning and use of muscles when we play because second nature and natural, therefore this is unlikely to be true if you play different instruments because the natural position would be for another one... If you see what i mean?!
  4. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I don't think it matters. I practice everyday on a cornet and a tenor horn doesn't make any difference, although I can get the higher register on the horn with less effort, because of the cornet practice. Having said that, I am pretty rubbish on both.
  5. tpcornet12

    tpcornet12 Member

    I don't want to divert the thread but it's quite interesting that you refer to a natural embouchure. I was of the opinion that you train you lip to suit your instrument of choice. maybe this is my problem!

    Back on topic - my teacher always said "serve one master". By that he meant not only playing one instrument (brass) but also one mouthpiece and actually one genre (brass band) which is another thread entirely!
  6. Yeah i'd agree with him about mouthpieces. I think playing the same instrument with a different mouthpiece is pretty much like playing a totally different instrument as far as tone and stamina goes.

    ROBTHEDOG Member

  8. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    - and this is especially important to remember ...

  9. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    In the last 5 years, for reason of being useful to bands have played in, and because I am disabled and lugging heavy gear is not so easy for me, I have been through the route from E flat Tuba, to B flat cornet, to Baritone and now back to E flat tuba again, for about a year I was playing both Baritone AND Tuba........ whilst technically I freely admit to being very mediocre on all of them, (undoubtedly due to complete laziness and a mis-spent youth!) for quality of sound I never feel second best!

    Apart from a drop off of Tuba pedal-power, which I put down more to the lung effects of Benson & Hedges in years past, changing instruments for me is about as significant as changing socks.

    I put it in the same category as changing cars, and have never understood the song-and-dance some drivers have about that either!
  10. ratpit

    ratpit Member

    I play cornet and Eb bass

    I think playing Bass helps my cornet playing as it loosens off my chops
  11. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I play sop and trombone, very occasionally tuba. I don't believe I use any more lip tension to play sop than trom, just less width of mouthpiece. On my bass guitar, I have 4 strings at fixed tensions and by shortening the string (fretting) get higher notes. IMHO good tone comes from good breath control and openness of throat,teeth and lips.
  12. Jay

    Jay Member

    I know quite a few people (my teacher, guys from army bands etc) who can switch seamlessly between, say, a cornet and an EEb bass within the space of ten minutes and get a beautiful, professional sound out of each. Must take an awful lot of getting used to but if they've been switching around different instruments in different groups for years then it can't have done them that much damage! xx
  13. Blagger

    Blagger Member

    On a college trip to the Besson factory we met one of the instrument testers.
    He was awesome - able to play the full range on each brass instrument he tested - soprano to Eb bass. His tone wasnt world class though and maybe that is the real downside of playing more than one brass instrument?? I dont know....
  14. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Maybe the question should be ... what stops or restricts most brass players from being able to switch instruments successfully?