Wet vs Dry

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Mike Saville, Jul 9, 2003.


Do you play with a wet or dry embouchure?

  1. Dry

  2. Wet

  3. Don't know

  1. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    Here's the thing. I play with my the outside of my lips dry - I like the fact that the outsides of my embouchure are held firmly by the mouthpiece whilst inside the mouthpice all the mouvement takes place.

    However, when we get nights (like in our concert last Tuesday) when it is so hot that you are sweating everywhere I find it much more difficult to play as my mouthpice just slides around everywhere. I couldn't play with my lips wet.

    I do see players who have to wet thier lips before playing - I'm not sure how this helps??

  2. On the Horn

    On the Horn Member

    I have to agree with you, I cannot play with wet lips, they just slide all over the place and I dont feel in control of the instrument so it has to be dry for me.
  3. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    I'd like for someone to give a technical explanation of which is best. I have no evidence that dry is best - it just feels better to me and I think (the poll will I think confirm) most other people.
  4. groovy

    groovy Active Member

    How strange! I am the only "wet" person so far. Its not vital to my playing or anything, I just don't feel comfortable playing with dry lips.
  5. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    i never really thought about it too much....

    *thinks*.... (i know it's dangerous for drummers to think, but hey!)

    oh, I play other instruments too btw....

    I wouldn't say I played my cornet with a dry embrouchure, but it's not completely soppy wet either! Has to be just right... Too much wet all round and you get spit galore down the instrument! Too dry and you suffer from a bad case of dehydration :p
  6. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I'm not really sure about whether I'm wet or dry, not really noticed. I'm more aware or whether I'm dry in the saliva department.
    If I cant get any saliva going, due to heat etc (last night concert was a hot one!) then I find it really hard to produce a note, it's especially hard to to precise tounging etc

    Mind you the Stella afterwards soon sorted that out!
  7. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    I play with a wet embouchure, but its not like dripping wet, i usually just lick my lips before i play, then wet the outside of my mouthpiece with my lips, it sounds weird but it works. If it's too wet then i stop playing wipe it then carry on, but i find it helps me when i need to play high notes etc. and for lip slurs, gives me more movement.

    I don't know, i usually wet my lips etc. but it's not really a big thing if i don't. if you get me? i just suppose it's preferemce and whether it's comfortable, and if you have more saliva in your mouth, because i don't really. Right, ill shhhh now 'cause im confusing people...
  8. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    That's exactly what I mean when I say wet - I don't think anybody dribbles when they play (Do they??)
  9. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    could be something to find out!!
    Watch out all brass players! We're watching you!!! (Mwahahahahaaa)
  10. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    of course, drummers are known for dribbling whilst playing aren't they!?
    That's how you can tell whether we're sitting or standing up straight!
    If there's dribbling from one side, you know there's something wrong! lol

    (for those who take their percussion and drumming playing really seriously, I apologise for any hurt or stress that this comment may have caused to you if you take these things personally... Or if you do actually dribble... I would like no complaints... Thank you)
  11. aimee_euph

    aimee_euph Member

    I don't mean dribble like...i don't know!! i tend to dribble a bit when i triple tongue but its not like saliva pouring down me chin, its more like motuh full of saliva.
  12. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    of course... I dont dribble! just to clarify that! ;-)
  13. On the Horn

    On the Horn Member

    Well so people lick their mouth pieces, they lick their mutes, why not try licking your drumsticks before you play, may provide a new experience!!
  14. Euph-Bari

    Euph-Bari Active Member

    and a few funny looks........
  15. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    dry definately.... i once got some suncream on my lips at a park job and then I couldn't play a note. As to those who play with lipstick on :? how do they do that?! :shock:
  16. Baldeagle

    Baldeagle Member

    Hey SQ wots with the new piccy ? you look sober :oops: :hammer Anyway good luck in Sunny Lancashire Rach :grnsm
  17. Borfeo

    Borfeo Member

    I lick my chops before I play, but I think this really boils down to what you play
    (Excluding percussionists, who tend to do Homer Simpson impressions up the back of the band.......mmmmmmm....................drumstick....aaggggggg)

    I play the trombone, so it doesn't really make a lot of difference if my lips are wet or not, as my mouthpiece is big enough to not make it a factor, so I'd imagine most lower brass players would say wet. However, the cornet players are mostly saying they lose control when wet (Ooer) as the mouthpiece is connected to their lips, so they say dry. It's all a question of size!!?!!

  18. amgray

    amgray Member

    I have always played tenor trombone with a wet embouchure. Dennis Wick in his book "Trombone Technique" discusses this, he prefers wet. It seems to aid flexibility, especially for those of us with less than perfectly even teeth!!
  19. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    I'm a trombonist as well - I'd argue that size does not make a difference. I'm not sure it is a size thing I know some tuba players that play wet and others that don't. I doubt any of them would be comfortable with a change. Also in my experience most low brass players also play dry??

    It's a shame Bladder is flat on his back at the mo as I'm sure he wouid have some scientific input in to the debate. :(
  20. Di B

    Di B Member

    I am definitely a wet player! Why? I think when I started playing I found that it felt like my lips were sticking to the mouthpiece! It just felt wied to have a cold lump of metal stuck against your lips. Wetting your lips and the mouthpiece gets it to the right temperature to play and allows my lips to relax on the low notes and tighted on the high notes. If I played dry I would have to adjust my mouth on the mouthpiece to go from one to the other!

    Size is all blokes talk about isn't it? :wink: I think there might be something there... not sure, I just know I have a big one (well, biggish.... a euphonium!!!)

    We have a concert on Saturday... maybe I'll try the 'dry' technique!

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