Hi! I have seen the Stratos web site and also numerous clips and discussions about the Stratos embouchure trainer. A small tool that you attach to the mouthpiece or the leadpipe just in front of your chin. The chin-rest makes the mouthpiece harder to reach for your lips, which reduce the pressure.
I have a similar selfmade tool which I use during warmup. It´s good.
The original Stratos is a bit expensive. Are there anyone of you colleagues who have tried something similar as well ?
I’ve tried it and find it to be a great tool. I’ve also made a version of my own, and once I noticed the benefits of it, I purchased one.
It’s had some great results with some of my younger students, too. With students that had a pronounced overbite, it relieved the pressure on their top lip and immediately helped create a better sound.
To relate it to Windworks, at least for me, I found it helped move my lower jaw a little forward. This made it easier for me to understand the ahhh-ooo embouchure.
But it can be used as a “buzzing/strength” tool which goes against the Windworks philosophy of relaxation and letting go.
I do also understand that this tool must be used with caution (Windworks philosophy)
It has helped me to find a better position of my jaw. I use it with a separate leadpipe during 5 minutes warm up in the morning. After that I use it 5-10 minutes placed on the trumpet. After this warm up, I play on the trumpet without any extra gear during the rest of my practicing time.
Interesting idea, but I’m slightly confused, I’ve not seen this before and not tried it: If the support rests against the chin, doesn’t the action of adding pressure from the instrument force the lower jaw backwards, even if slightly. Whilst this doesn’t stop the lower lip from being able to hold its position (or advance) the logical impact would be to move the lower lip back and hence increase overbite, wouldn’t it?
Also, a few years ago when I realised that excess pressure was a real problem – for me – I tried to move the instrument slightly away during some simple exercises (i.e. very slight contact only with mouthpiece) and found that whilst there were strength benefits the tone of my overall sound when playing normally deteriorated. This my have been very temporary but I reduced and then stopped this approach. Just wonder if that has been seen when trying the Stratos?
Yes, the support rest against the chin, but instinctively the chin/lower jaw will push forward to maintain the “normal” set up. It´s important to not relax and let it go backwards. Keep the upper and lower teeth in line, but apart of course.
Previously I had terrible problems with too much pressure on my top lip. I have built a similar device as the Stratos. When I adjust the “Stratos” support so that I hardly reach the mouthpiece, I have to force my lips to take the “muu” position. After 5-10 minutes in this position, playing relaxed with “muu”, my lips are used to make tones without extensive pressure. After this warm up, I switch to the normal playing mode without the Stratos type device. I experience that I reach slightly higher notes,and clearer tone without pressure on the lips. This new feeling stays for a shorter period during the first period of Stratos use. After a while (days – weeks…) the better position and sound stays for longer and longer time. I’m not fully experienced yet, but I feel that this recipe works for me.