Mouthpiece pressure, HELP!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Seedhouse, Nov 29, 2003.

  1. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Hello, I was wondering whether anyone could help with a few problems i'm having.
    It seems that as I play higher, I seem to use more and more mouthpiece pressure, and however hard I try to not do so, I can't. Thus this increased pressure knackers out my lip, and I struggle to continue playing for long periods of time, as it reduces my stamina. :cry: :cry: :cry:
    Are there any methods to reduce this, stop this, or help me?
  2. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I realise you're confined to the depths of the "random and off topic" section, but wouldn't you get a greater response in the "Rehersal Room" area :wink:

  3. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Well it's up to the mods to move it if they'd like, but people will still see the name of the topic and read it when they click on "posts since last visit."
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    We will! and perhaps not everyone uses 'Posts since last visit'...

    Moved to RR...
  5. Di

    Di Active Member

    Do you use stretching exercises when you're warming up? Now don't go mad, you haven't got to start jogging on the spot or doing jumping jacks.
    Start off by playing a scale that you feel comfortable with, going up and down. Then play it again but add an extra note at the top. Repeat this until you have got as high as you can without causing undue pressure or squeezing. If you do this each time you warm up, you should be able to get a bit further each time before the pressure hits. Give it a try. :D :wink:
  6. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Cheers Mr Music Man, and cheers Dinie- will give it a try.
    Any more help would be appreciated though. :wink:
  7. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    I used to do this!
    When you are practising your high notes, concentrate on not pressing hard onto your mouthpiece.
    Play a scale of G starting on middle G and play up the scale not pressing hard onto your mouthpiece and hold the top note for as long as you can. Then keep playing the scale but everytime, adding a note on like dinie said.
    Hope this helps. :D

    P.S - Does anyone find that as they are getting higher up the register, you start to cling onto your instrument more, because when im playing in middle range I hold my instrument correctly and then as I get higher, I start to use my right hand to hold my instrument more! :?
  8. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member


    If you want a good Christmas present that will help eradicate high note lip pressure ask Santa to bring you Roddy's Embouchure Enhancement Books

    Read the reviews on here:

  9. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Unfortunately i've gone over my Christmas list budget, so i'll have to get them after Christmas for my birthday :(
    Is there any useful information on the web anywhere?
    Thanks for your help,
  10. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Sorry, only being helpful :!:
  11. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Wasn't having a go! Jst saying that peeps would probably see it anyway
  12. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Sorry! 8)

    (Although personally I don't use the "view last posts" function .... I just see the flashing little orange things! ;)
  13. David Robinson

    David Robinson New Member

    Lol. Same here.

    Something that causes more pressure on the mouthpiece is gripping harder with your hand.
  14. BigD

    BigD Member

    This will not be of any use to you, but a number of years ago a magazine did an article on mouthpiece pressure and they used some sort of device to measure the pressure (in PSI!) used by the principal Trumpets of the scottish orchestras. The results were interesting with one player using much, much more than any of the others. Funny thing is he was/is the longest serving of them all and arguably the one who plays with the orchestra who do the 'heaviest' pieces.
  15. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    One of things I often do, is press very very lightly on the mouthpiece and produce a buzzing sound - I then do octave jumps starting from G (second line) up to the G just above the staff - then so on with A, B,C,D...... Until I reach (or screem as it more sounds!) Top C to Super C

    I find this an excelent lip strengthener for me. But i've always been able to go on all night and not feel a thing! :wink:
  16. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    One thing I used to find with playing high notes is that you would increase mouthpiece pressure as you tightened your lips. I think it's inevitable that there will be some added pressure on the lips, but try going for a stronger airflow for the high notes as well.

    Mind you, I like some of the tips I've read here and I'm going to give them a try later. :)
  17. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    to get a good higher register without killing your lips:

    1)use vowels to arch your tongue-in the higher register use 'oo' and 'ee' sounds
    2) you need a faster airflow for the higher register to produce the same dynamic so increase your air speed
    3)practise slurring on from G to B to D on first and third valves and do this going up chromatically til you get to open (C-E-G)

    hope this helps

  18. timbloke

    timbloke Member

    My tromb teacher gave me a copy of some excercises. Unfortunately i can't remember who they were by, or what they were called, and have leant it to someone and not got it back and can't remember who i leant it to... but...

    ...there was exercise one called "Security In The High Register". Basically you start in 7th position, (i assume it would work equally well on valve instruments). Slur up, always staying in 7th position, from a mid range note to one below the highest you are comfortable playing, then stop, re-sound the note, slur up to the top note and then slur down to the note you started on. Then move to 6th position, everything up a semi-tone, and repeat the process.

    Try it with a few dynamics and varying speeds, from long notes to quick, and you get a good exercise for building up your higher register.

    Ultimately i have noticed how much simply not playing many high register notes causes problems. A month or so ago i was playing quite a lot of high stuff and had no problem getting decent sounding notes "up there", now i'm not playing as much high stuff, i'm struggling. a bit of private practice may be in the pipeline, methinks.
  19. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    Super C --- as in the one above the c which is two ledger lines above the stave?!
  20. Dianne

    Dianne New Member

    Try playing simple things and pulling the instrument away from your lips so you're not using any pressure. Sounds terrible put should put your embouchoure into the correct position!!!