WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Overblowing and sympathetic lips Reply To: Overblowing and sympathetic lips


I don’t know, good question. I am on this journey as well and have had my ups and downs. Lately, it’s been more up again.

Your other thread resonated with me–about Sensation of Relaxed lips; it helped me realize that’s what was going on with me. My lips felt awful, worse than ever before–stiff and my sound was terrible.

I realized my lips were too tight / close together and I was apparently actively buzzing pretty much all the time–I think that was what was causing my issues. Once I started focusing on opening up the aperture, I started improving again and getting back good sensations / a good resonant sound, etc. Thank you for helping me realize what I was doing wrong.

To be honest, I don’t understand at what point our lips are supposed to actively buzz–I know they do at least in the upper register. I may not be recalling something from the course that you or others recall–if Greg mentioned a specific point in which we should be actively buzzing, etc.

For me, it seems as though when I pull the mouthpiece off my lips around middle C that my lips are buzzing in the mouthpiece at that point. Is that bad? It doesn’t feel bad or unnatural, although I admit having issues with consistency–that could be part of my problem.

I have been checking to make sure I’ve got a relaxed setting at G on the staff when warming up–I occasionally pull the MP off to see if my lips are actively buzzing. Eventually, I work up to chromatically playing up to High C and doing some major articulated scales (Clarke’s Setting Up Drills) up to A, B and High C to make sure my range is working. It feels good / sounds good to me. I could never play that high before; this is new to me. I still don’t feel consistent with how I play at times or even understand how I’m doing it; but I focus on keeping my throat / neck relaxed and only tightening my aperture by contracting my lips inward from the corners–I think of the Maggio Monkey and think of contracting my lips in a circle gradually / slightly as I ascend and it seems to work.

Occasionally, I catch myself overdoing it–like I did tonight, doing harmonic slurs / seeing how high I can go, etc. I got up to High F and even squeaked out a Double G or 2 but was using a lot of air and not following the process. Now my lips feel stiff / like I did something wrong.

One other thought–I have noticed that playing on the mouthpiece and just the leadpipe helps my lips feel and vibrate better. The trick though, is that I believe if you do it wrong then it can make things worse–it can encourage pinching the lips in the middle to get the buzz, which is not what you or I want. What works for me and what I believe we’re supposed to do, is to blow in the mouthpiece just as Greg shows–with no buzz and a good air stream, but then I tighten the aperture gradually and eventually a buzz starts and I ascend as high as I can without straining then gradually relax the aperture back open, then repeat that a time or two more. When I put the MP back in the horn, I feel and sound better and my range seems better–I slot notes more accurately and easier. Similar sensations when playing the leadpipe this way too.

My $.02, FWIW–good luck. Hopefully Greg or someone else who has a better grasp of things chimes in as well. Thanks again for your threads–they are helping me figure things out as well.

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