WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Relaxation for the embouchure muscles Reply To: Relaxation for the embouchure muscles

#81915
johnelwood
Participant

I’m not aware of anything. It would be interesting to see if anyone has / has any thoughts on this.

Is there any specific reason you’re asking about this? Are you having difficulty with feeling too tight/stiff?

I get that way at times when I overdo it after a session of “gladiator trumpet”–usually a mindless, unstructured set of harmonic slurs, range exercises and/or playing things that are too hard/high for me…loudly… 🙂

Usually what helps me, other than putting down the horn and getting rest, is re-focusing my attention on the very start of the production of sound.

I play as softly as possible, and try to play increasingly softly, and try to spend time in the middle and low registers. Clarke 1 on Passively released air and Clarke 2 (Tecnical Studies). Some Caruso 6 Notes.

Playing scales down to pedal tones or even double pedals feels like it relaxes me. I recall reading a player saying it’s not possible to play double pedal C unless you’re fully relaxed…

Playing long tones always seem like they would help, especially softly, but I have found that they actually tend to make me stiff if I increase the amount of long tones I play too much. Playing long tones has good benefits, but there seems to be a balance with everything we do.

If you’re talking a bit more about the front-end of relaxing, I think that’s where things get more difficult…that’s more of a mental game, at least that’s my understanding.

When I feel like I’m not starting out right or have been feeling off, I find it helpful starting a new day simply by exhaling into the horn and paying attention to the resistance of the horn on the air I’m releasing into it (on a good “BCH” breath, passively released).

Then sometimes I’ll do the same with my lips on the outside of the mouthpiece (in the horn), again focusing on the resistance feedback the air gives.

Then I’ll get my lips into the mouthpiece, relatively relaxed, just get them into the place they need to be inside the rim, but not with any “roll in, roll out”, just have my lips present then I release air through them into the mouthpiece and let myself respond to what happens there.

I spend a lot of time at first on breath attacks only on Passively released air.

I focus on the sensation of “riding the air” while I play Clarke I and 2 as softly as possible, letting the energy of the air through the aperture create the vibration, not actively blowing, etc.

This helps me get into the right mindset so that when I start introducing articulation, other dynamics (requiring more Active air), etc. then I’m starting from a good, relaxed foundation.

My $.02 FWIW. Good luck and I hope you get some more responses on this.

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