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[Solved] Oh what a mess!

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Today I noticed something I have been doing wrong the whole time I have been playing trumpet. Why? Because of bad advice. I remember during my first 4 months of trumpet learning on my own; watching videos among other things; but no actual teacher. Someone I met on Facebook said to me “if you want to gain more notes and play higher just lower you top lip below half way point of the mouthpiece”. I did that and it worked. 

I was like; yes!!! The joke was on me. 
 One year later; I noticed that something was not right with my higher notes; coming out scratchy and not steady. 

guess what!!! My higher notes were reached by eating away at my bottom lip!! I noticed today; and I finally understand what Estella had been saying all along!! Make a pin hole with your lips; do not tighten; relax.. 

 

Well; one cannot make a pin hole with just top lip... the bottom one is just flat.. ahh.. now I am only able to soundly play Top E. 🙁 but I feel that I will now be able to strengthen my lips and build proper muscle to reach higher notes. Probably another 6 months. 🙂 

Advice... listen to the Estella.. not someone that has been playing 40 years which sounds good; but took them 20 years to do what you can in 1-2 years!! 

Roger Rheault 17/05/2021 12:06 pm

Very true you have to be very careful who you take advise from. It can also be very difficult to know who to trust and who not to trust.

1 Answer
1

OH NOOOO!!! That is truly terrible advice! One should never ever ever make big changes like that to reach certain registers. That's too bad that someone told you that, but at least now you know and can work toward strengthening the correct muscles. I have a few lessons on range on the course, one for each level I believe. Feel to watch even the more advanced ones as they can be helpful.

To play higher, one must 1) use syllables 2) keep the air moving 3) move the lips toward the mouthpiece as if puckering (this helps to make more cushion for the extra pressure and also makes the aperture slightly smaller.) You can only make the aperture so small before sounding bad though, so definitely don't focus on just aperture size.

If you have any questions along the way, let me know!

-Estela

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Download the THQ Warmup Guide to learn eye-opening tips and lessons that will take your playing to the next level.