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Thread: Embouchure Problems???

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    Embouchure Problems???

    Hi all,Could it be that i have Embouchure problems? Had a lenghthy break from cornet playing roughyl 6-7 years, returned to soprano and pushed myself extremely hard, since then I have been back playing three years with still no real stamina and no high range, I can safely say I have been practising the correct methods and studys to improve and although it has improved a little there is still doubt in my mind that I may well have problems. Have had a few great lessons off some great players/teachers, one thought possible Embouchure problem, other thought strenghing excersises. Have been doing these daily/every second day for the past three years and I am currently a mere shadow of my formal self.This is not an insult to horn players, but had a blow on a horn, felt extremely confortable on the mouth, easy to play in all registers and could play all day long, like i used to before I had a break. Is it time to move to a bigger instrument??? My theory suggests yes but would like to hear some opinions on this.Thanks in advance.J

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    tMP Posting Freak!!! MoominDave's Avatar
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    You need to speak to people (by which I mean professional teachers) who've heard you play, we can't really have a clue about it over the internet - everyone's playing is different.

    Good luck!
    Dave Taylor
    Bass Trombone
    Kidlington

  3. #3
    tMP Senior Friend TrumpetTom's Avatar
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    Sounds like something my teacher (John Dickinson) would know the answer to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnySop View Post
    Hi all,Could it be that i have Embouchure problems? Had a lenghthy break from cornet playing roughyl 6-7 years, returned to soprano and pushed myself extremely hard, since then I have been back playing three years with still no real stamina and no high range, I can safely say I have been practising the correct methods and studys to improve and although it has improved a little there is still doubt in my mind that I may well have problems. Have had a few great lessons off some great players/teachers, one thought possible Embouchure problem, other thought strenghing excersises. Have been doing these daily/every second day for the past three years and I am currently a mere shadow of my formal self.This is not an insult to horn players, but had a blow on a horn, felt extremely confortable on the mouth, easy to play in all registers and could play all day long, like i used to before I had a break. Is it time to move to a bigger instrument??? My theory suggests yes but would like to hear some opinions on this.Thanks in advance.J
    You don't say if your previous cornet experience was Bb or Eb. As previously suggested, a good idea to get some professional help, but maybe consider:


    1. If previous experience is Bb cornet then move to Eb will be quite a challenge, particularly with dynamics and range.

    2. Overdoing the practice regime and bruising lips. Take a good few days rest and return to gentle practice.

    3. Instrument and Mouthpiece. Are they the same as used in previous years. Some larger mouthpieces make higher range more difficult. Some mouthpieces just do not suit particular instruments.
    John Neathey - Jackfield (Elcock Reisen) Band - Front row cornet
    Ex Cory (1975 - 1985)

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    Sorry, got previous in playing both Bb and Eb, most recent was Eb though before switching back to Bb.

  6. #6
    tMP Senior Friend GordonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnySop View Post
    Sorry, got previous in playing both Bb and Eb, most recent was Eb though before switching back to Bb.
    General advice

    If you have been doing exercises to strengthen the corners of your embouchure, have you also been doing lots of quiet practice to build up control? Playing loudly is just playing quietly with more oomph so quiet playing is the key to control and dynamics.

    Also - the big issue for brass band players is playing beyond the point when they should really stop and doing little bits of damage along the way. My rule was to practice quietly at home every day using exercises like Schlossberg or Koprasch followed by pieces I was working on. I played in total five or six days per week. I did not practice the day after a heavy blow at a rehearsal.

    This may seem counter intuitive, but playing less can make you stronger as you are not compounding injuries from the night before.

  7. #7
    tMP Master Friend Alyn James's Avatar
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    Yup.
    You don't get stronger at the gym - you get stronger at home recovering from the gym.

    Stress + adaptation/recovery = progression.
    Stress + stress = overtraining = regression.
    Play smart....PLAY LESS.

  8. #8
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    Try one of these for a couple of weeks. Use it for 5 mins in the morning and 5 in the evening.

    http://www.warburton-usa.com/index.p...ories/190-PETE

    It will effectively build your muscles as you would your arms an chest in a gym. If will give you core strength that you can then hone to whatever embouchure size / shape you want to build. Practise your cornet at least 2 hours after using it and don't push too hard, just try and get the reflex memory working again.

    If you ha 7 years off your embouchure is more or less Jon existent and you need to build it before you tray ND play as you used to do. If you had not run for 7 years you would not try a marathon as your first outing, which soprano essentially is.

    Honestly, buy one and use it. You won't regret it, but you may regret becoming a horn player!

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