Einsetzen or Ansetzen?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by VegasGeorge, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. VegasGeorge

    VegasGeorge Member

    I'm just coming back to playing after about a three year break. As my embouchure is firming up again, I'm conscious of the einsetzen, ansetzen problem. I start out with my lips and mouthpiece fairly dry and my the rim of the mouthpiece covering my lower lip. As I play, it gets wetter, and the mouthpiece tends to slip about half way up my lower lip. I can play with the mouthpiece in either position. But I find myself thinking it should stay down where it started. I never start playing in the einsetzen position. Is my experience common among brass players? What are Tenor Horn players taught about proper embouchure and mouthpiece position? Thanks!
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I think you'll be lucky to get anything on this topic from us, as a group of UK brass band players. I've never seen anyone play 'einsetzen' (i.e. with the lower rim of the mouthpiece actually above the edge of the lower lip) in my life, either in brass bands, or among French horn players in orchestras. To be honest, I had thought until I read your post that it was solely a historical French horn curiosity, an embouchure not used since the 19th century...

    [A word of warning to whoever may be reading - if you don't know what these terms mean and Google them to find out, the first link you come across (from www.wilktone.com) gives an explanation complete with pictures that is wrong and misses the point completely, as is pointed out in one of the comments after the article. I can't find a picture online that illustrates an einsetzen (lit. "set in", i.e. set in the lower lip) embouchure, but this chap gives an accurate description of one in his second paragraph.]

    I know it goes against conventional French horn wisdom, but I wonder if a mouthpiece with a thicker rim and/or a wider diameter would prevent you sliding out of it. FWIW, from the UK tenor horn point of view, I have never seen or heard of a tenor horn player playing einsetzen. I would think that the thicker rims on the mouthpieces would make the embouchure pretty much unworkable.
  3. VegasGeorge

    VegasGeorge Member

    I used to be a French Horn player, thus my knowledge of the issue. It's true that the wider the mouthpiece, and the wider the rim, the less obvious this issue becomes. And I think it would disappear completely with a trombone size mouthpiece. I've been playing a Vincent Back A3 which I like a lot. But I do have a Dennis Wick 2 which is slightly bigger. The Wick is more stable, and less prone to slipping up my lip than the Bach. What I'm primarily hoping is that some experienced Tenor Horn players will chime in here and tell me what good Tenor Horn teachers tell their students about embouchure and mouthpiece position. We don't have Tenor Horn teachers over here, and I've never had any instruction on it.
  4. VegasGeorge

    VegasGeorge Member

    I just went to the Wendellworld.com site that was referenced by Dave. Yes, that is very good. Incidentally, I too went to Farkas for a lesson or two in my youth! Anyway, perhaps my use of the einsetzen, ansetzen distinction isn't necessary. The real issue is the slippage up on the lower lip after playing for a while, followed by drying and resetting the embouchure. That's bothering me, and I'd like to know if anyone has something to say about it.