Mouthpiece pressure problem

Mouthpiece pressure problem

Mouthpiece pressure problem    16:34 on Thursday, August 14, 2008          

(11 points)
Posted by fosteliss

Is there something i could buy to fix the problem? i remember seeing something that would leak air out if you pressed your mouth too hard on the mouthpiece, like it went in between the instrument and the mouthpiece but i dont remember where i saw it any help?


Re: Mouthpiece pressure problem    08:31 on Friday, August 15, 2008          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

You don't need a tool or product to do that for you.
Too many people for years and years have tried to come up with something just for this problem - I have not yet seen one that works . . . . . . yet.

My suggestion is that you come about the other way around. You need to train your hand, arm and shoulder to not use too much pressure. So, instead of trying to see if you are using too much, see how little you can get away with.

When you are doing warm up long tones relax and see how far you can pull the mouthpiece away from your lips. We are not talking 1 inch increments, we are talking 2/10ths of a mm. Play your notes and carefully nudge your instruments away - how far can you go before you start losing the tone? After your comfortable with long tones, try it on slow scales and then etudes.

One thing to remember is since you are trying to break an old habit it will take time and multiple repetitions. Don't try and solve the problem in one sitting in one hour. Do this twice a day (once in the morning hours and once in the evening hours) for 5 minutes or so, for 2 weeks straight. See what happens. This will allow your muscles to slowly adapt to your new way of playing. You are re-training your lips muscles, arm muscles, and brain. It may take a little whiel but you shoudl see improvement each week.

Re: Mouthpiece pressure problem    09:46 on Saturday, August 16, 2008          

(136 points)
Posted by theTromboni

One thing that our band director tells us to do is take our mouthpiece out and play a piece with our embouchure, because it "focuses your airstream" and make your lips work instead of relying on pressure, but some people seem to be against that- or was it buzzing with no support at all?

You were kind of vague about your problem- definitely do what JOhnlovemusic says, but is it pressure when you go up high? Or what?

Re: Mouthpiece pressure problem    11:05 on Monday, September 01, 2008          

(21 points)
Posted by Mexie

I agree with the pulling away of the mouthpiece, but if you're still looking for an answer when you pull away with your set embrochure you should be able to buzz the note with out the mouthpiece

Re: Mouthpiece pressure problem    12:17 on Monday, September 01, 2008          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

Mexie has a good point also. You should be able to still buzz your note when you pull the mouthpiece away.

When you go higher there does seem to be a little more pressure in everyone I know of.

What often happens is when most brass players go higher they pinch their embouchre tighter and use less air. This results in straining and compactedness, which will then result in tension which will wear you out and give you a poor tone.

What should happen is your air stream should become faster causing the lips to vibrate quicker (yes the lips tighten but a very very little bit more) mainly the increase in air speed should be what you are doing.

There are teachers who teach buzzing on the mouthpiece alone and some believe in buzzing without the mouthpiece. There are reasons to do both, but none of the reasons will help with the pressure against the lips. People who play with pressure are just as likely to push the mouthpiece against their lips alone as they are with the instrument attached.

Practicce your lower notes with an open mouth and open throat. Relax but have just enough tautness to make things work well. Then move up a note and keep the same idea and get the same result of the good tone. Eventually you will go higher and higher with less and less pressure.

Relax, Enjoy . . . . Music is fun.

Re: Mouthpiece pressure problem    18:35 on Tuesday, September 02, 2008          

(206 points)
Posted by musicman


Re: Mouthpiece pressure problem    00:19 on Wednesday, September 03, 2008          

(1279 points)
Posted by JOhnlovemusic

braces . .. what?
Braces are a great way of learning to play without pressure.
My best sounding students have or had braces.

Re: Mouthpiece pressure problem    05:33 on Sunday, September 21, 2008          

(36 points)
Posted by Carter6

I have just recently overcome massive pressure issue. What I did was play facing a mirror, I noticed that when I would play higher my bottom lip would fold under and to compensate for that I would press harder on the mouthpiece. really I just spent months in front of a mirror, focusing on playing with a solid embochure and doing lots of slow lip slurs focusing on not using pressure. and now what do you know, I can play easily up to a top F with good sound, my endurance has improved beyond belief and im not getting a ring around my mouth from the pressure anymore.

With buzzing with out the mouthpiece be sure that your only doing it with the correct embochure. My senior lecturer at Uni gave a seminar on this. He said that buzzing with out the mouthpiece is very good for getting the correct muscles working, however if your embochure is wrong then you are practising bad habbits and doing more bad then good.


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