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Teaching Trumpet Embouchure Eric Swisher

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1 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure Eric Swisher

2 Trumpet Embouchure Each student’s embouchure will be slightly different This is due to variations in tooth, lip and jaw structure Remember: A good embouchure is one which WORKS! Use your ears as well as your eyes when judging an embouchure It should allow the student a reasonable amount of flexibility, range and an acceptable tone quality Avoid the words: Tight, Force, Push when talking to trumpeters

3 Trumpet Embouchure Good Embouchures have certain common characteristics Firm Corners Flat Chin “Red” portion of both lips inside the mouthpiece Mouthpiece centered from top to bottom and left to right

4 Trumpet Embouchure Vincent Chichowicz Common Elements Deviations
Firm Corners Flat Chin Mouthpiece Centered Deviations None

5 Trumpet Embouchure Adolph Herseth Common Elements Deviations
Firm Corners Flat Chin Centered Mouthpiece Deviations Scar on his lips from a car accident!

6 Trumpet Embouchure Maurice Andre Common Elements Deviations Flat Chin
Firm Corners Deviations “Smiling” Mouthpiece a bit higher then normal Lips rolled in-“French School”

7 Trumpet Embouchure Phil Smith Common Elements Deviations Firm Corners
Flat Chin Centered Mouthpiece Deviations Slight Downward Angle Trumpet Held at Angle

8 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Use non-verbal communication Images and sounds are much more descriptive then words Students will respond better Keep it Simple. Find a simple way to describe a complicated process Work in small incremental steps Avoid information overload Demonstrate every step first

9 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Show the student an example of a well-formed embouchure Live examples work best Picture will work if necessary Point out the firm corners and flat chin I have found it best to emphasize the corners when teaching a trumpet embouchure; the chin will flatten and the lips will be in the correct position if the corners are firm

10 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Allow the student to demonstrate the embouchure formation No sound yet, just the formation Do this work in front of a mirror Allow them to compare their embouchure to the example Careful not to let the student “smile” too much as they get the feel of the corners Keep the information simple and practical Careful not to overload them!

11 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Ask the student to inhale normally (no embouchure) Then exhale through the formed embouchure No sound yet, just air (OH) Hopefully you will have already taught the student to breathe correctly. I do this before I teach embouchure formation. Allow them several breaths to get used to the feeling of the air moving through the embouchure

12 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Demonstrate Lip Buzzing I have found a little bit of lip buzzing can be beneficial before the student buzzes the mouthpiece Not all students are good lip buzzers, that is OK

13 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Place the mouthpiece on the student’s embouchure Ask the student to form an embouchure Place the mouthpiece on the embouchure, do not allow the student to do this for the first several times Place it in the center of the left-right and top-bottom axis Do this several times, then allow the student to demonstrate the correct placement

14 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Demonstrate how to inhale and exhale with the mouthpiece on the embouchure Inhale through the mouth with the mouthpiece placed on the lips (embouchure not formed) Form the embouchure at the top of the breath; after the inhalation and before the exhalation. Do not allow the air to stop Exhale through the mouthpiece Student may accidentally buzz, that is ok!

15 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Buzzing the mouthpiece 1 Go through the same process as the last step (inhale, form embouchure, exhale through the mouthpiece) But this time tell the student to keep his lips together as he exhales The lips should buzz at this point DO NOT try to “fix” the buzz, allow them to explore it. Allow them to play what ever pitch comes out, unless it is very tight and forced.

16 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Buzz long tones on the mouthpiece Buzz “sirens” on the mouthpiece Will teach them to manipulate the pitch To make the pitch go higher Smaller aperture Do not tell them to “tighten” their embouchures Vigorous air Arch the tongue (“eee”) Whistling can help to demonstrate this To make the pitch go lower Larger aperture Less vigorous air Lower the tongue

17 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Show the student how to hold the instrument Make sure the right thumb is between the first and second valve casing. Place the mouthpiece in the instrument Remind the student of the previous information (embouchure formation, mouthpiece placement, a good breath etc) Demonstrate a low C on the instrument Some will get a G to come out, that is ok Keep the call-response going until everyone can play a C. Then move to a G. After everyone can play a C and a G you are ready to move into your band books.

18 Teaching Trumpet Embouchure
Go through this process EVERYDAY for at least two weeks Have the students practice this process at home once or twice a day as well It is time-consuming but will prevent many future embouchure problems

19 Trumpet Equipment Middle School High School Cornet or Trumpet
Brand not important yet Bach 7C or 5C mouthpiece High School Bach Stradivarius 37 bell, ML bore Yamaha Professional or Xeno Mouthpieces Bach 5C, 3C, maybe 1 ½C (Curry, Yamaha, Schilke, Monette) Lead mouthpieces appropriate for lead players only Try a Schilke 13A4 or 14A4 (no A on the end) Mutes Straight-Dennis Wick, Tom Crown, TrumCor Cup-Dennis Wick Harmon-Bubble Mutes Practice mute-TrumCor, Dennis Wick

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