Re: Pressure Problems

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Posted by Steve Dedman on August 01, 2002 at 11:13:04:

In Reply to: Pressure Problems posted by EricBook on July 31, 2002 at 20:51:46:

Buzzing the mouthpiece a lot is a great way to go. Just be sure you don't cram the mouthpiece into your face as if you're playing on the horn. Hold the mouthpiece with just your thumb and forefinger where the bowl meets the shank. Only hold it tight enough to keep from dropping it. To quote Crash Davis: "It's an egg; hold it like an egg."

There may also be some air issues at work here. Excessive mouthpiece pressure is often a crutch for insufficient air volume, and at the least inhibits you from using all of the air you need to use.

An excercise that I use with my students is to buzz a pitch on the mouthpiece, and then keep the buzz going at the same frequency as you remove the mouthpiece from your embouchure and replace it. You might be surprised at how much air it take to free buzz the pitch and not let it change as you move the mouthpiece onto and off of your embouchure. If you are having embouchure or air issues, they will become immediately apparent.

Of course, all disclaimers concerning not having seen you play apply, so the best bet is some lessons from the local college prof. or symphony pro. This is a common and easy (although not quick) problem to fix.


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