Forming The Trumpet Embouchure
As teachers, we know that if a student gets the embouchure correct in the beginning, he/she will have more success and less problems in the future. Without the foundation of a correct embouchure, the brass player will not be able to develop endurance, range or flexibility. On this page, you will find multiple ways of teaching the embouchure to students. Each way is a proven, reliable method. Multiple ways are being provided to accommodate individual teaching preferences for different teaching styles. Nobody likes to be told what to do, so options have been provided to allow you to choose which best suits you. Also provided at the bottom of the page are useful videos discussing trumpet embouchure.
Embou-Sure Method by Larry Hudson (Full Article)
- Practice the sigh breath – the air flow should be unrestricted.
- Have the student say “HO---“ when exhaling from the sigh.
- Say the word "banana" – Repeat it a few times and focus on the "Buh" at the beginning of the word.
- Form the lips in a “B” without saying “Banana”. The lips will be together naturally. The top and bottom teeth will be apart in the mouth.
- Have the student "Sigh through the B." Blow lots of air while the lips are in the B shape.
- With the whole instrument, place the mouthpiece comfortably on the lips and somewhat centered.
- Press down the first valve (you will attempt to play ‘F’.
- Sigh through the B into the horn, making sure the lips remain in the B position.
- If it is difficult to make a sound, try licking the lips and even the inside of the mouthpiece.
Coffee/Stir Straw Method
- Blow through a coffee straw.
- Blow through the straw and pull out the straw as you are blowing to create the ideal embouchure.
- Blow through the straw while putting the mouthpiece over the straw until the mouthpiece reaches the mouth. Remove straw through the end of the mouthpiece and keep blowing.
Method from Teaching Brass: A Resource Method
- Open the oral cavity by thinking and saying “Oh” or yawning. If the oral cavity is open, the Adam’s apple should be down. If the Adam’s apple moves up noticeably while playing, the oral cavity is closing off.
- The jaw should be held firm and flat.
- The mouthpiece should be centered over the aperture. For most players, it should be centered on the lips both vertically and horizontally.
- The corners of the mouth should be firm.
- The lips should be moist.
- The bottom jaw should drop when the pitch descends and close when the pitch ascends. The teeth should never close entirely or clench.
A brief demonstration of forming the trumpet embouchure.
Embouchure Video with Charlie Porter. He talks about the aperture, mouthpiece placement, lip alignment and air direction. This is an excellent video.
This is short excerpt from the Trumpeter's Resource video. This excerpt focuses on breathing/air and embouchure formation.
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