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I’ve recently got a couple of email inquiries about my thoughts on Jeff Smiley’s text and trumpet method, The Balanced Embouchure. I’ve gotten questions about . His book, “The Balanced Embouchure”, is now available. It is the core text of a projected series of books dealing with unique dynamic range of motion exercises . 28 Sep Over the summer an interview was posted with hornist Andrew Joy on . Joy mentioned The Balanced Embouchure as a factor in his.

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I wonder if there is anyone in the world who knows how players play normally. My original plan was to move to L. To me, the central fulcrum when playing trumpet is the position and movement of the lips. Do you go to gym because you normally go around with weights? The book is for those desperados with broken embouchures and tired to stay at the plato no matter what they do.

This is a universal principle, fundamental to making the instrument work properly. The problem was, I needed those specifics! In January ofafter a four-week break from playing, I was getting back into shape when a blister developed in the middle of my bottom lip in the area that sits inside the mouthpiece. Descending shows the lips vibrate with more surface area and they are blown out away from the lips more. It wasn’t for me. This correlates with embouchure problems too, by the way.

What differentiates the various methods is the “target” used by each teacher to most effectively trigger and promote this unconscious coordination. As for the notes that are higher still, they understand how to get them – and exactly what tools to use – if they choose to put the energy into it. Isn’t starting beginners on double pedal C, and G above the staff, rather unusual? Even so, I question the value of the exercises precisely because there is a risk of the lip settings creeping into to normal playing.

In an ideal world, if each reader could just open the cover and have the teacher pop out, common misunderstandings, at the very least, would be eliminated forever. Many are very fine players.

RI and RO are barely related to high vs. If you want an honest assessment of his chapter I recommend you ask your doctor at your next visit. The idea here being to take the effort away from the mouth corners in a specific way to help the player find the best support structure of the teeth and gums under the mouthpiece rim and lips. Frustrated with the inability to play above the staff in a lyrical manner, I went back to the drawing board, trying to determine how to produce the sound I wanted above the staff.


At first glance it would be easy to dismiss this chapter as having nothing to do with trumpet playing but when you get deeper into the process you realise this has to do with the method of symptoms and solutions for health and brass playing.

His descriptions of how a successful brass embouchures function are often misleading or false. How is “The Balanced Embouchure” different from other methods?

I had learned a wide assortment of techniques bag of tricks that enabled me to help just about anyone, although the laws underlying those techniques universal principles were yet a mystery. Or multitasking, which is a completely different phenomenon than analysis. If you experiment with this idea then please feel free to comment below.

I found that specific roll-in and roll-out movements are the answer. I note that of the three basic embouchure types, Very High Placement trumpet players seem to derive the most benefit from practicing pedal tones with fewer of the associated problems. You might do well by simply finding a different teacher to work with for a while.

For many reasons, college eventually became a dead end.

Tongue On Lips (The Balanced Embouchure Way) – Trumpet Planet

There are other blog posts here that cover this in more detail if you search for them. To again summarize my thoughts, and perhaps make my points clearer: Re-read the above blog post for embouchurf. The BE book has been a game changer for me, I think the three things that have helped the most from BE for me were. Phase two, where we’re at now, is steadily getting the book out there, and building an international core of players who are successfully overcoming their embouchure challenges.

Tongue On Lips (The Balanced Embouchure Way)

It trains a smaller buzz area, it encourages the galanced to come forward into a pucker and trains the bottom lip to stay more rolled out and in alignment with the top lip. My students have proven, time after time, that it allows positive change to take place more easily.

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Was it hard to do? The bunched vs flat chin issue has been debated a lot on the forums embluchure will probably continue as long as trumpet forums exist. I played for two and a half months with this handicap before choosing to take a break to allow the injury to heal.

There is emboufhure misleading information in there, and quite a bit that is demonstrably wrong. Rather than exaggerate your lip position, keep the mouthpiece placement the same for your whole range. On the pedal tone video.

The Balanced Embouchure

The next thing I would point out is how this player slides the mouthpiece to a lower placement every time he moves out of the pedal range. Since my embouchure research and that of most others suggest completely opposite, Smiley has the burden of proof here. You may want to consider reducing or eliminating your bunched chin before it starts to cause similar problems. Could you quote me something of what he wrote that is misleading or wrong?

Since music educators are the gatekeepers of the system, any attempt at reforms must go through them. With so many variables present when playing the instrument, potential questions can easily outnumber the pages in the book. Personally, I believe there are other things trumpet players can practice that achieve the same things without the risks of playing on two embouchure types. How else would one create statics? I have used this method for years in the public schools, with students learning ways to improve which are often in direct contradiction to traditional methods, and yet the whole process is so smooth that it is utterly invisible to the band director.

The purpose of the book is to follow the instructions without a teacher and discover your new embouchure in a slow process of playing those exercises and allowing them to creep into your normal playing without thinking about them at all.