Embouchure Enhancement

Discussion in 'theMouthPiece.com User Reviews' started by Roger Thorne, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    An Immediate Improvement Using

    Roddy o-iii<O
    Embouchure Enhancement

    Self Analysis / Diagnostic Methods for Trumpet Advancement

    Book 1 £20.00 (over 200 pages)
    Book 2 £15.00 (includes 50 track CD)


    These books are unlike any other brass tuition method I’ve seen. Firstly do not be put off by the reference to The Trumpet. These books will definitely be useful and beneficial to all brass players from Piccolo Trumpet/Soprano to Tuba/BBb Bass.

    My first impression is that the author has taken the ‘stuffiness’ out of the tutorial and I was greeted by a warm and friendly person offering genuine help and guidance to others.

    The books cover many problems faced by brass players and suggests different methods and techniques to overcome various difficulties:

    Better Breathing
    Circular Breathing
    The Lip Position
    Mouthpiece Pressure
    Warm Ups
    High Register Exercises
    Pedal Tones
    Practice Routines
    Mouthpiece Characteristics
    Lip Flexibilities
    Cold sores, Lip Dryness, Chapping

    and many, many more.

    All sections and sub-sections are covered in great detail with simple explanations and practical help. Detailed exercises are included with book 2 plus a demo CD.

    These publications are refreshing in their approach, easy to read, full of humour and very difficult to put down.

    If you’re stuck for a Christmas present for the Brass Player in your family (or even for yourself) these books are worth their weight in gold.

    For further information visit:


    or e-mail Roddy at:



  2. Moy

    Moy Active Member

    Ok went into the site found the page and tried to order the book but could find nowhere to do it.
    It said to order click below.....nought to click on :cry:
  3. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    Hi Moy,

    As I've already got a copy of the books I didn't check the website for order details.
    I've e-mailed Roddy to let him know.

    Here's his e-mail address if you would like to contact him.


  4. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member


    yeh things got crazy with all the different curency orders..so if anyone wants BOOK 1 / BOOK 2 ...please email me.. :lol:

  5. sutekh

    sutekh New Member

    Highly recommended

    If you're at all tempted but wavering about getting the book(s), either for yourself or as a present, then just do it. You get a lot of book for your money, and there's a great deal of experience and wisdom (not to say humour) there. If there's an aspect of your playing you've never been truly happy with, it's possible he might put you on the road to fixing it, without a complete embouchure overhall.

    Also, Roddy is one of the nicest and most helpful people you could want to meet, either through his books, on email, or in person, and one comes away with the impression that he could have decided his purpose in life is to help brass players get over their individual problems and finally fulfill their true potential. But don't just take it from me. Use google for more opinions, eg:And then buy the books or get a lesson 8)
  6. brasschuck

    brasschuck New Member

    I have had book 1 for about a year now, and I love it. In my opinion, most method books say :"This is the way to do it, get on with it."
    Roddy's says "Follow these guide-lines, which should prevent you from falling into traps, and progress in a way which is natural for you, using these fundamental principals."

    If you find the physical aspects of brass playing harder than you think it should be, Roddy's book is the next thing you should read!

    Also, if you have problems with your playing, I would highly recommend getting a lesson with him. Although I have not had a lesson myself yet (I am hoping to fit one in in January '04), I have spoken to a couple of people who have, and they both said that it totally changed the way they thought about playing. All the physical difficulties just lifted away.

    When you see professionals playing on telly, and you say something along the lines of "Wow, they make it look SO Easy!", that's because IT IS EASY for them because they are playing efficiently. This is the philosophy of Roddy's method and teaching.

    If you're struggling, and you want playing to become easy, go see Roddy. He's a really nice bloke too!
  7. I have studied Roddys books and just cannot praise them highly enough. They are unlike any "method book" that I have come across.

    On the strength of the books, I recently had a three hour lesson with Roddy.

    The lesson started with a general playing chat and then Roddy demonstrated that he can actually do what his books teach. WOW what a player he is!! He not only plays incredibly high notes - but he plays then with comfort and ease. As our brethren from across the pond say "He can peel paint with his horn".

    The lesson moved on with me playing fairly simple exercises, which allowed Roddy to establish my embouchure and ascertain any problem areas.

    Believe me that three hours is the minimum time that is needed for a first lesson. Those hours went by so quickly, and had the lessson been shorter, I just cannot see how Roddy could have covered all the ground required in that first lesson.

    I soon realised that every lesson is very much tailored to each individual student. I came away with some notes, and more importantly, with notes made by Roddy during the lesson - specific to myself. Also he has set me on a program designed especially for me, to help correct my weak areas. I can now email Roddy at any time for further advise/explanations.

    Roddy is such an easy going man. He talks in words that we can all understand using no jargon (much as his books are written). The lesson in fact was just pure fun and so enjoyable.

    Please don't anyone be put off by the fact that Roddy is a trumpet player - it really doesn't matter, after all the principals are the same for all brass instruments.

    PS You get good coffee there too!!
  8. MAW

    MAW Member

    I can highly recomend Roddy's books. He really knows what he is talking about. Follow his advice and you can't go wrong. He's also a very nice helpful guy. Any problems, Roddy's the guy to sort them out. :D
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Just to add my personal endorsement - I've been going through a copy and am finding every page packed with directly applicable pearls of wisdom. Review to appear when my poor time-management skills permit...

  10. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    Wow! --many thanks for those kind words you guys....books 1+2[cd] via email: RODDYTPT@AOL.COM

    posted from within the UK...

  11. anaisabel

    anaisabel New Member

    The Embochure-Enhacement is a great tool for trumpeters.
    I offered book 1 and book 2 to pro-trumpeters and they reckon these books are excellents for immediate improvement.
    I got book 1 and as a trumpet beginer I am very much looking forward to follow it.
    In the meantime I am very pleased having Roddy Lewis as my trumpet's teacher.
    Roddy is an excellent trumpeter, a very clever man with an enormous emotional intelligence! :tup
    Ana Isabel
  12. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    I have received both books 1 and 2 from Roddy, and although i have only had chance to glance through them at the moment (blooming uni work! grr) they look extremely good and very useful.

    May i thank Roddy for the very prompt delivery service and efficiency of communication via e-mail.

    I very much look forward to using the books. :D
  13. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    From: sswain@moodmeeps.com (Stuart Swain)

    Hi all,

    First up, let me say this: If you're thinking of seeing Roddy for a
    lesson, or thinking of buying his book, DO IT - it's well worth it.
    But read this email too! And, for reference:

    I just got back from a holiday to the UK. Before going, I thought to
    myself that it would be a a great opportunity to get a lesson from
    Roddy while over there, given all that I'd heard about him (all good!)
    This was despite the fact that at that stage, I hadn't played for
    about 6 weeks! I told Roddy about the break and he said that was fine,
    if anything probably BETTER because I'd be fresh and more pliable.

    I met up with Roddy at his home in Wales just over 3 weeks ago now.
    (Roddy, can ya believe it?!?) I decided to go for the 5 hour lesson
    option - for value for money, and for 'touristy' reasons, because that
    includes dinner and a stayover with Roddy, and then going along to
    band practice with him on Sunday morning.

    1. THE BOOK

    I paid for Roddy's book before I left, and he had it delivered to
    the place I was staying in London so I could read through it and
    get familiar with the concepts before the lesson. It was a HUGE
    help, even without the lesson. It completely changed the way I think
    about playing the trumpet!

    I highly recommend this book to everyone because it WILL help you.
    If you've been thinking of buying it (or if you haven't!) then go
    PayPal Roddy now - it's definitely worth the 20 quid / 35 bucks.


    The first thing Roddy did for me was demonstrate he CAN do what he's
    talking about - also, I'd asked him to 'play high' for me, because
    the highest note I'd ever hear anyone play was high E.

    Let me begin by saying Roddy REALLY CAN deliver the goods - and he
    doesn't 'hit' the high notes, he PLAYS them. Consistently! He
    machine-gunned off TWENTY high E's for me then produced a paint peeling
    double high E. He played Low G / middle G / G on top / high G in
    succession as 16ths[semiquavers] to show he doesn't have a low and a high embouchure, but one continuous chop-set for all ranges. He played up to double high C, and probably beyond (by
    that stage I think I was so overwhelmed that I wasn't paying
    attention anymore!). [He also played Carnival of Venice for me]

    Five hours might seem like a long time, but it went pretty quickly,
    because most of it was discussing concepts. I didn't put the horn
    to my lips for about the first hour or so, and then it was just to
    show Roddy my range, so he could see how -I- play and what MY
    problems were.

    For your reference, I tried to play a scale from 3rd space C, and I
    think I got stuck around top of staff G - cracked the note and had trouble going higher with a decent tone. Plus it was done with a huge amount of mouthpiece pressure.

    As someone who'd had a few weeks off, I thought that was pretty much
    normal. I told Roddy that if he gave me a few more goes I would get
    the high C [top c], but it'd be thin and weak, with too much mpc pressure.
    I thought that after a few weeks off, there'd be no way I'd actually
    end up PLAYING (not hitting) better than before.

    But 3 hours later I was playing a high B (under high C that is)
    with NO MORE DIFFICULTY OR MPC PRESSURE than for the mid-staff B.
    I COULD'NT BELIEVE IT!!! One of my bad habits is going to a spread embouchure, which I used to definitely need to go above say, top line G. When playing that high B, my embouchure was no different to the mid-staff B.

    (Note: the only reason we stopped without trying for the high C
    is that we had to press on, and also my chops were starting to tire
    a little - but nothing like after one of my normal sessions with
    that red puffy ring).

    Now, for the first time, I can feel that I'm gonna progress in
    range, but more importantly, in TONE. What Roddy helped with first
    was my sound, tonal focus, and breathing. This is something that
    hadn't clicked for me before reading his book and having the lesson -
    if you can't make ONE note sound right, what hope have you got for
    all the others? There's no point going for a high G, if your 2nd
    line G ain't right!!!

    I mentioned Roddy wanting to see how I played, what MY problems were.
    I want to stress this point - Roddy isn't just a chop doc (in fact
    we didn't really touch on my embouchure at all), and he's not a
    'one-magic-solution-for-all' type teacher either. He teaches what YOU
    need to do to make the most of YOUR setup and to get YOUR tone right
    (etc). In fact, he told me afterwards that some of the things he
    covered with me he hasn't done with anyone else before! It was MY
    lesson, for ME.

    3. THE BAND

    Roddy told me ahead of time that the music they'd be playing was too
    hard for me. That made me feel a bit better when I put it on the stand. :)
    Now for someone who hasn't played in a band since high school, 13 years
    ago, and who can't sight read, playing in Roddy's band was a
    challenge to say the least! I said afterwards that I'd have to come
    back next year and try for two notes!! :)

    But, despite feeling quite humble in a room full of professional
    musicians who were sight reading all the music (HARD pieces too),
    it was a great experience, and I had a really fun time.
    (Even got a compliment from the guy next to me, who asked
    Roddy if I played principal, cos I had a nice sound! *grin* Oh
    how little he knew...:)


    I have to say this: Roddy is about the nicest, friendliest, most
    generous, welcoming and helpful guy you could meet. My wife and I were
    treated like royalty by Roddy and his wife, who welcomed us into their
    home with hospitality rivalling that of a 5 star hotel (better!).

    Roddy went out of his way to help us in any way he could - even making
    this offer 3 weeks before we met, in the form of a note attached to his

    Eg: We were looking for cheap flights to Greece - Roddy helped out,
    We were trying to decide what to do on the way back to London - Roddy wrote out options and road directions. He even asked us to stay another night when we said we were thinking of staying a bit longer in Wales! His wife took my wife out sightseeing while Roddy and I were talking trumpet (the lesson), and Roddy even joined us for some sightseeing on our way back to London.

    Now with respect to the lesson, I admitted to Roddy that I was a bit
    worried. I said "Look, this is great now, I understand it, I've got
    it... but I'm gonna be off the horn for at least two weeks before I
    get home, and I know that when I pick it up again I'm gonna be
    forgetting stuff and getting lost."

    Roddy answered that with a page of notes on the lesson, highlighting
    the most important points we'd covered, in a way that I can understand.
    (Ie, the notes still make sense now, I'm not wondering what any of it

    Also, the lesson deal includes some email lessons afterwards, so even
    if I get lost, Roddy will help out now. I know I can send him an mp3 soundclip and he'll give me feedback (hopefully it won't be "Stu! You sound
    terrible! Get back to Wales!!" *grin*)


    ...Roddy has been a tremendous help, and not only that, but now I
    consider him a good friend. I know I'm not there yet, and I know I've
    got a lot ahead of me, but he's put me on the right path.
    If I stray, or when I get to the next crossroads, I hope I can get
    back to Wales to see him again. (Hell, I'd go just to have a beer
    with him!)


    PS: Sorry this email is so long, but hey, I warned you! :)
    Also, if you wanna know more, please contact me off list.

    sswain@moodmeeps.com (Stuart Swain)
  14. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Can I just ask a quick quessie?
    Do I have to buy both books, or will just buying book one help me build up my embouchure, as i've just moved mouthpiece position. Cheers, Alex
  15. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    One book is better than none - two books are better than one.

    Email me for payment details... RoddyTpt@aol.com

    BOOK PRICES 2004…..

    [Self Analysis / Diagnostic Methods for Trumpet Advancement]

    .......all prices INCLUDE shipping anywhere!

    BOOK 1 -- OVER 200 PAGES!!

    BOOK 2 -- Includes
    50 TRACK DEMO CD [of the analysis tests]

  16. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Lol, ok. Cheers :wink:
    Will have to check with the money providers, i.e. parents, but shall be in contact soon :D
  17. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member



    Embouchure Enhancement:
    A Self Analysis and Diagnostic Method for Trumpet Advancement.

    Roddy o-iii<O (a.k.a Lewis, Roddy).
    United Kingdom: Author 2002. Softcover, spiral bound, 201 pp.
    (Paul Morton, University of Louisiana Lafayette USA.)



    Are you familiar with trumpet players who look and sound like they are playing with very little effort? They are! Top professionals find a way to make trumpet playing easy, and through his Embouchure Enhancement, Roddy attempts to show trumpeters how to find that state where the horn seems to 'play itself'.

    Embouchure Enhancement is a copious collection of essays on dozens of topics. Breathing, range and endurance, practice routines, 'off horn' strength exercises, diagnostic tools, and a review of over forty trumpet method books are a few of the highlights.

    In spite of its many topics, Rod's book can be best summarized by the following few points:

    1-the biggest roadblocks to great trumpet playing are mouthpiece pressure and over practice;
    2-make sure the aperture is in the correct position for your phyisiology;
    3-always use enough air supported by the abdominal muscles;
    4-when playing, only use enough mouthpiece pressure to achieve an airtight seal;
    5-endurance and the upper register are closely linked.

    To reduce mouthpiece pressure the author advocates free lip buzzing (without the aid of the mouthpiece) and a great deal of soft playing. A key point is that the lips must be in the exact position buzzing as they are in playing. Rod advocates buzzing five minutes daily starting on second line g. [until aperture is aligned]

    The soft playing in the low and middle registers simulates the aperture size when playing in the upper register and aids in creating the feeling of effortlessness that the author calls "the blow".

    The author also advocates setting up a practice schedule that incorporates a mixture of light and heavy days with one day off a week.

    Several points in the book may seem controversial, such as the tongue remaining flat, not arched as many others advocate. Aperture size dictates the upper register, and Rod prefers to start beginners with free buzzing on second line g. The writing style is very relaxed; however, with numerous interjections, the text can be difficult to follow at times.

    Regardless, Embouchure Enhancement is an exhaustive work that covers many key points. This reviewer found the work to be thought provoking, offering a fresh perspective on trumpet performance and teaching.

    Book tributes..

    Hey Roddy -
    I TRULY appreciate you responding back to me. Funny thing - yesterday entailed an ALL DAY Triple range. Playing for about 20 minutes, resting for about 20 minutes using the info as you suggested.
    I totally agree with what you said - I think mpc pressure (plus the other things we discussed) has EVERYTHING to do with it, but before reading, I wasn't clear on how to fix it.
    Too bad more "old school" teachers couldn't have taught these habits early on. Probably would have helped literally MILLIONS of guys frustrated.........................like ME!
    Thanks again - I really appreciate your help
    Stay in touch, *****

    [Maynard Ferguson Big Bop Nouveau Band]
    Thanks for your prompt delivery.
    I received your book yesterday and got the top C# in 'Tristan Encounters' for the first time at band last night.

    I didn't have time to practice after getting your book but tried some of the breathing exercises and some lip buzzing in the car, and just as the dreaded solo was coming up I did a bit of relaxing breathing as I know that I can play it at home. Anyway I don't know if it was coincidence but it worked and I am looking forward to reading and practicing more of your book.

    Thank you ******
    Hey Rod,
    Just wanted to say........

    Thanks for the book, it really made me understand alot of what Ive been
    hearing recently!! Ive read it everyday just to make sure that Im getting
    it, and I am!! Had a big band rehearsal last Sat, I nearly blew the walls
    down with my high G (above high c!!) Ive never had so much power so easily

    So thank you very much, Iwish you every success with the books. I'll be
    buying the other 2 and organising some lessons....

    Thanks again ****
    Many thanks as always Roddy, It’s been a massive A-HA this time which feels great.
    But congrats on your book – it is written SO well.
    Hi Roddy,
    Got your package today. I really appreciate it.

    Things are settling down after 5 weeks and are improving a lot in many respects – corner strength in particular which is helping everything.

    Your books are so well written that if you just follow them carefully, they do work.
    But it’s the explanations that are the killer. (fantastic)

    Jesus, how many years did I have bashing away at Caruso/Colin and all the others with only limited success?

    You’re a star!
    Regards, ****
    Hi Roddy,
    Book 1 has been a great help actually – sorry, should have sent you some feedback previously.

    Without giving you a long spiel, the faster air thing has helped my high register tremendously and its developing all the time – now confidently “playing” high Es on gigs and hitting some higher Fs, F#s – but that is now developing much more quickly to playable rather than hittable notes. Also, from your book!

    Also, as I am gigging a fair bit – 4-6 per month – I’ve made a lot of progress by changing the ratio of music/exercises – much more in favour of music. From your book!

    I also hire a hall to practise at volume every week now, which has also helped a lot.

    Man, its quite exciting actually – and your book has turned me on to a lot of different things – some of which I’m still working on. For example, playing a lot of pp stuff to make the buzz spot more efficient.

    Another, final thing that really helped was the descriptions of the many method books – a lot of which I had but was not using to their potential. The explanations really helped.

    I hope this is some recompense for your book writing labours!

    Yours, *******
    BOOK 2

    What is the most significant thing that I have discovered using BOOK 2 / CD?


    I now have all of the red part of my lips comfortably inside the cup
    I find myself feeling the effects of the air on it. I can feel microscopic
    movements around the centre of focus caused by the passage of my air. I
    notice the effect on my playing of very small adjustments to aperture size
    and shape i.e volume tone air efficiency.

    What has made me aware of my aperture?

    EXC. T31

    I find playing this simple phrase has allowed my mind to picture with whats
    going on inside the cup as I play it.

    I have discovered that pursing.pouting,curling etc refers to microscopic
    effects inside the cup at the centre i.e the aperture.I have found this out
    for myself by experiment,trial and error. No extraneous movements out side
    the cup are needed.

    I find that in my practice my mind is monitoring the aperture. It's not in
    my sub concious yet but I'm sure it will be eventually.

    Self-analysis is the answer, as well as letting go of the rigidity of following a method that works only for an author and the limited number of people for whom that method might work. In my case, I've decided that I can lump "stretch", "smile" and "pucker" into the 'don't work for me' category. None of those methods provided the endurance or ease of playing that I am now experiencing. I've studied SC, "Screamin'", Bobby Shew and other ideas that have given me enough room to think for myself and work out my own problems. So if you study their ideas you find that you can apply them to your own needs if you are flexible and don't make a religion out of these methods. Find out what works and use it! Never mind labelling it because each player is the author and creator of his own method.

    I hope that the promotion of self-analysis and efficiency that Roddy has introduced is the start of a new liberating trend in trumpet playing because this kind of thinking is sorely needed. We all benefit by these shared ideas that will help overcome the physical problems of playing so that we can get on to the more important matter of making music, whether it is jazz, classical, Latin, brass band etc. This is a good forum and I encourage everyone to express their thoughts so that we can begin to identify common playing problems as well as identify more efficient ways of playing that may benefit more people.

    Life is too short to keep struggling-we gotta make music!

    Many thanks--a satisfied customer..


    "E M B O U C H U R E ___E N H A N C E M E N T"
    [Self Analysis / Diagnostic Methods for Trumpet Advancement]

    BOOK 1 (200 Pages of text)
    BOOK 2 (Tests notated + play-along CD)
    BOOK 3 (Low note studies)


  18. Emb_Enh

    Emb_Enh Member

    10 min YOUTUBE demo and my NEW Book 6 . .

    Hello all . . . I hope you are well

    2 things . . .

    1. I've done a new 10 minute demo video on YOUTUBE:


    and . . .

    2. I've also written a new book: [techniques are also good for cornet and sop]

    (Maintenance Routines for TOO OPEN / TOO CLOSED apertures)
    [172 pages]

    'Some' of the contents are as follows...

    MAINTENANCE ROUTINES (too closed / too open)
    20 MIN ‘G’ SECRETS
    WARM UP 1
    WARM UP 2
    WARM UP 3
    WARM UP 4
    WARM UP 5
    WARM UP 6

    regards . .

    Roddy o-iii<O

    "E M B O U C H U R E ____E N H A N C E M E N T"
    [Self Analysis / Diagnostic Methods for Brass Instruments]

    available only from...

    my website is...
  19. I for one will certainly be buying Book 6. Roddys books are the best I have ever come across.

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