Help! Wrong embouchure!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by xRinat, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    I have been playing wrong for a very long time now, since i began to be honest..

    The mouthpiece is not directly on the middle of my mouth. When I play, its a little on the right side of my mouth.

    Each time I try and put the mouthpiece on the middle, it slips back to the right side again.
    And each time I try to put it on the middle, I get ugly sounds from the cornet.

    I have no problems playing like I do right now ( with the wrong embouchure) but Im thinking.. "If I would play right, would I be alot better than what I am right now?"

    Is that true? Right now Im kind of desperate, and how should I practise to get the mouthpiece on the middle of my mouth, so I wouldn't bother with it anymore?
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Get a lesson with a professional teacher... We can't tell you over the internet.
    You may be fine as you are - some excellent players play notably off centre.
  3. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    It may not be "wrong" for you. Everyone's face is different, and no one's face is actually symmetrical.

    My father, who was a professional euphonium player, and a member of one of the world's best military bands (The US Air Force Band), which he got into by winning a highly competetive audition, played off-center to the left from the time he was a teenager. And he occasionally puffed out his left cheek a bit, especially in the lower register.

    That being said, you've posted somewhere else in the forum that you are still a young player (you haven't been playing for a "very long time" until you've been at it for thirty or forty years, IMHO). If you really feel that this is hindering your development, you should endeavor to change it. But I would advised doing so only with the advice of an experienced tutor on your instrument.

    (Just like the above poster said . . .)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  4. joshy

    joshy Member

    I completely agree with the two posts above mine. Playing off centre can be absolutely fine, it sounds a little bit like you might be overthinking things a bit (paralysis through analysis). Try and find yourself a good teacher (hate that advice when it's given to me, but it IS good advice).

    Hope things work out, sop is an awesome instrument!

  5. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I've been told that whatever you do you should never change the way you play or something along those lines
  6. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    Well I have been playing like this for my whole life, and I took the playing serious at age 13 to be clear, thats when I started to actually practise at home.
    So.. I have grown better and better these last 3 years, and like some of you said that there is no problem in playing diffrent, I might consider and take that advice.
    I will ask my conductor tomorrow if its bad to play with the wrong embouchure.
  7. trombone-john

    trombone-john Member

    If it aint broke, don't try to fix it!
  8. Squeaker

    Squeaker Member

    Good advice so far, and I just want to add to the advice given already.
    1. You've only been playing 3 years.... that isn't a long time at all, you've a long way to go!
    2. Playing off centre on your lips is not a "wrong embouchure". If you were blowing your cheeks out when you play, that's a bad embouchure. As long as you're playing on a smile with no air in your cheeks or around the mouthpiece, you're fine.
    3. I see from your signature that you're due to go on Sop. Well Pete Roberts (best Sop player ever in my opinion), didn't used to play on the centre of his mouth. He played to the right slightly. I've been playing since I was 7 (that's 19 years ago), and I play with the mouthpiece slightly to the left, always have.
    To be honest this is all in your head. Forget about the embouchure being wrong idea. Just concentrate on practicing hard, the playing will improve gradually, there's no trick to quick improvement, takes hard work and lots of it.
    Good luck!:tup
  9. irishmark01

    irishmark01 New Member

    Hi, speaking as a person who changed from a side embouchure to a centre one it is VERY tough work and takes over a year of solid technical practice and is only really worth it if you're having serious problems with your technique as it is, i.e normal technical studies and exercises are proving fruitless in the long term. Otherwise I'd stick with what's working if I were you! In the long run I'm glad I did it and it proved successful but it took ages to get my stamina back, having to unlearn my old way to learn the new way. Unless your conductor is a serious brass player I wouldn't ask them, go ask a good teacher instead :) Your mileage may vary of course!

  10. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Many years ago a teenage friend of mine was playing soprano - and making what seemed to be a pretty good job of it. Our bandmaster - who was also tutoring him - felt he could be a better player if he changed his embouchure. Having dropped onto lower cornet parts, he ended up eventually as a very fine EEb bass player in a military band, so you never know which way these things can go - you have been warned ;)
  11. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    Ahh, right now I am relaxed thanks to all of you.. I felt so bad, I was thinking like, damn I just ruined 3 years of playing and have to start all over, but I dont have to.

    I have no problems playing like this. Since you said that I dont need to do anyhing about it I wont. I wll keep playing like this.

  12. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    We didn't tell you that it IS fine - we told you that it might be, and gave examples of good players who play off-centre.

    If I were you, I would still take a lesson with a professional trumpet and cornet player to get it checked out. You've only been playing 3 years - if you need to change, you'll find it much easier to do it now than in a few years time.
  13. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Are your teeth straight? Your teeth form the "foundation" of your embouchure, so if your front teeth are not straight, this will be reflected by your mouthpiece placement.

    Again, see a professional teacher, it's impossible to correctly diagnose such a problem over the web :) However, it's good to ask questions!

    Good Luck!
  14. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    My friend today at school told me that if I keep playing like this, it could slip more and more to the side. Dont know i thats true.

    Thanks, I will.
  15. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    BTW: my upper front teeth are straight, but the lower are like 1 cm to the side, maybe its because of that?
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Maybe. It's not possible to tell over the internet. Ditto for your friend's idea. Can I repeat once more...

    You need to get a lesson or series of lessons with a professional trumpet and cornet player - someone who really knows what they are doing, and can diagnose your embouchure in person. You keep asking questions in this thread which are not answerable accurately without the assistance of a trained professional having a good look at your technique - people will give you answers here because they like to guess, but these guessed answers are no substitute for a professional teacher!

    Did I mention that I think that you should get a lesson with a professional teacher? :wink:
  17. xRinat

    xRinat Member

    Yes sir.. ;) Next time I see a profsessional player I will ask him stuff about my embouchure & ask him for lessons.
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Excellent... I bet your conductor will know somebody suitable.
  19. irishmark01

    irishmark01 New Member

    MoominDave has put it best, OP. Further to this, keep relaxed, stay in control and don't let yourself get a big paranoid headache thinking "have I done the right thing/have I not???" . Always remember you play because you love to and it's supposed to be an outlet, not a cause of stress :p

    Keep us posted!

  20. ericthered

    ericthered Member

    My two pence worth.

    The easiest play is bang on the centre of the mouth, 50% of the mouthpiece on the top lip, the other 50% on the bottom. This will then use each muscle group at the same rate and it will be easier to hit higher notes and play longer. Therefore, you can assume that if your mouthpiece is 40% on the lower lip and 60% on the top you will use your top lip more and thus it will tire faster than the bottom.

    However, people forget that teeth is a big obstacle for two main reasons. One, if your teeth are not straight neither will the mouthpiece. Two, if you have sharp or teeth that are not quite straight that hurt the inside of your mouth where the mouthpiece rests you will automatically reposition the mouthpiece to a more stable and pain free site. Most people play where they do due to their teeth rather than habit. To otherwise takes dedication and at least two months to engrave the habit into the mind.

    You can get a visualiser to show if you play too high or too low etc from most band shops and this will give you an idea. Playing with or facing a mirror will also help in positioning the mp in the correct position.