One of the things you need to learn as a beginner trumpet player is how to achieve the perfect embouchure. This simply means getting a proper link between you and the instrument to transfer air to the mouthpiece more efficiently.
With good trumpet embouchure, you will achieve better tone, intonation, and control of sound. Moreover, you will have the right balance between tension in the embouchure muscles and your breathing.
If you have a weak embouchure, this means you are not playing your student trumpet properly. For example, you may be playing while in a poor posture or you could be having problems with supporting your breath.
Good embouchure is important in playing the trumpet well. However, most beginner trumpeters find it challenging to attain it. You have to be determined and practice a lot to achieve good trumpet embouchure.
In this article, you will learn how to achieve a good embouchure as you start playing the trumpet.
How to Fix Trumpet Embouchure
#1. Play in the Correct Posture
Your posture stance as you play the trumpet will determine the embouchure you will attain. Do not point the trumpet bell to the floor. Apart from this, be relaxed; do not lock your knees. Your hands should be away from the body as you play the trumpet.
Having a good posture will make it easy for you to breathe freely and, therefore, attain a good embouchure. When you are standing in good posture, you will be able to inhale easily. This is why it’s recommended that you play the trumpet while standing. If you have to sit, be in an upright position when playing.
#2. Pay Attention to Your Breathing
Your breathing is important when it comes to fixing your trumpet embouchure. Take a full, deep breath before starting to play. Also, avoid lifting your shoulder when breathing it. As you play, be relaxed while breathing in. Inhale in temp and blow instantly.
#3. Mind Your Lips
Pay attention to how wet or dry your lips are as you practice to get a good embouchure. Make sure that your lips are just dry enough to stick to the mouthpiece well. If the lips are too wet, they tend to slide under the mouthpiece. You will have to strike a balance between wetness and dryness of the lips to attain a good embouchure.
#4. Check the Valves
Pay attention to how you press the valves when playing. Ideally, you should push the valves straight down with the cushion of your fingers. When blowing, make sure your nails do not touch the finger button and joints.
#5. One Thing at a Time
To have a great embouchure, start playing a single note that is great. From there, you can gradually move on to get to the middle and increase towards the outward notes. You can also move from the center notes towards the outwards ones.
#6. Dynamic Sound Ranges
To get a good embouchure, keep your sound in all its dynamic ranges. You will need to pay attention as you play to achieve this.
#7. Avoid Bunching Your Chin
When you are experienced at playing the trumpet, bunching your lips may not be a major issue. However, as a beginner, you are more likely to be tempted to push your lips as they ascend. Most of the time, you will tend to push your chins towards the lips as you play ascending notes, and in turn, disengaging your jaws from the chin.
Bunching your chin will limit your precision and progression when playing, hence making it difficult for you to attain a good embouchure. Therefore, avoid this tendency.
#8. Avoid the Smile Embouchure
Many beginners get tempted to smile when they are trumpeting. I advise you to avoid smiling, otherwise, you will not be effective when playing. When you smile, the corners of your mouth cannot lock properly into place when playing the trumpet.
#9. Buzz Freely
A good embouchure can be attained through free buzzing. You can learn how to navigate and transition between the lowest and highest pitches without difficulty through buzzing.
The best way to buzz freely is by rolling your lower lips backward over your lower teeth so that the mouth is shaped properly and in the right position. As you develop your buzzing strength, you can control the lips and get them off the teeth.
#10. Keep the Lips Firm and Placement Consistent
To attain a good embouchure, you should form your lips firm and maintain their position consistently. Try to set the lips as if you were buzzing and then place the mouthpiece on their way.
Apart from this, practice inhaling through the mouth. While this exercise is challenging, it will help you get enough deep breath, which is important in enabling you to play the trumpet effectively.
Watch the video below on how to form a trumpet embouchure and place the mouthpiece correctly.
#11. Hold the Trumpet Properly
The way you hold your instrument will also determine whether or not you will have a good embouchure. Use the left hand to support the trumpet up to your lips. In this ergonomic position, you will have a range of trumpet angles such that when you settle in, you will retain the mouthpiece placement consistently.
#12. Use Little Pressure
To attain the best embouchure, you have to pay attention to the amount of pressure you are applying. The pressure you apply plays a role in separating the lips and stopping the sound. You will play the trumpet better when you apply a little pressure.
#13. Practice Makes Perfect
One of the best ways of perfecting your trumpeting skills is by practicing good embouchures. The way you structure your training sessions will determine how quickly you will improve your skills within a particular period.
The recommended method is to engage in short daily training instead of long weekly practice sessions. Apart from this, you should rest well after practicing when you feel that your chops are exhausted.