WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Some lip thoughts Reply To: Some lip thoughts


Look at the professor’s video where he plays the trumpet with a balloon. I’m going to throw this out there: Lips don’t matter. OK, they do, but not in the way we think they do. After working through MTM to a high level, I’m convinced lip buzzing in a mouthpiece is a symptom of sound in the horn and body, not what produces the sound. In fact, I will propose that lips typically get in the way by if you blow too hard, apply too much pressure, or use a mouthpiece that simply doesn’t allow your aperture to be open.

Ever look closely out how Faddis plays? What do you think he thinks of the center of his lips?

In the end, it’s Greg’s elusive “shape” that matters. It’s such a personal thing. Shape is a combination of aperture and mouth cavity (which produces a resonant cavity) and body cavity. The body cavity is an energy reservoir, the mouth cavity is the note-selection resonant cavity. The only way to find the shape is through trial and error, say, by using a controlled experiment like the entire Windworks course!

If you’re trolling the web, check out Charlie Porter’s whisper tones. Try to produce a whisper tone on a G in the staff. Do it while you are doing soft long tones. It’s an amazing experience. There is resonant sound in the horn, but the lips do not buzz!

I also historically have had trouble playing shallow mouthpieces. I have a Bobby Shew lead I take out once in a while when I’m feeling like I I want to test out my lead sound. I do better with a Warburtun 3M and J29 backbore. Probably similar to a 3D? Typically, with a shallow mouthpiece, I can scream for a short time, then I bottom out. The lips just get in the way. I believe I’m just blowing too hard. You are probably correct in focusing on less air for a shallow mouthpiece.

Here’s the thing: I do all of my Windworks work on a Bach 1x. I can actually get quite a strong sound out of that, even in high register playing. I just can’t play loud and high for very long. For practice, though, I find it so comfortable, I worry less about the lips and can really focus on process. Then, in results practice, it sounds damn nice, which is good for the feedback loop. So, for me, I’ve settled on a setup that is #1: Comfortable, #2 sounds good to me. I pull out the Warburton for when I’m playing with a funk band.

As I work through the course, I’m sure there will be much more I learn about how to play various mouthpieces.

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