Lower Lip Cuts - Old BR Thread

AlanB

Member
Messages
170
Location
Vientiane, Laos
I am finding that after a practice session (especially if i haven't practiced for a week or two due to work) i am getting lacerations on my inside bottom lip - this is where the inside lower lip touches the teeth if you thrust your lower jaw out and smile. It is especially bad after a rehersal where we have gone through the whole set and am blowing hard.

Is there something seriously wrong with my embouchure? I have my lower lip over my teeth when pressing against the reed, which sometimes i do forcefully with the higher notes.

Can anyone set me straight on this?

Hope you can help.
Painfully Alan
 

TonyMoroney

Member
Messages
94
Location
Richmond, VA, USA
Hi Alan,

I raised this question with my teacher recently, and he explained that I simply need to practice more to strengthen my embouchure because the lacerations come when the embouchure tires, and you start using your teeth & jaw to support your flagging embouchure.

One tip he gave me to get a bit more time before the pain begins was to offer up more flesh to the reed, in other words push your lip out and up as if you were a 6 year old pouting. He was keen to point out to me that it was more of a band-aid solution to maybe get you to the end of piece instead of stopping, and that the only real solution is more frequent practice sessions.

Hope this helps

T.

I am finding that after a practice session (especially if i haven't practiced for a week or two due to work) i am getting lacerations on my inside bottom lip - this is where the inside lower lip touches the teeth if you thrust your lower jaw out and smile. It is especially bad after a rehersal where we have gone through the whole set and am blowing hard.

Is there something seriously wrong with my embouchure? I have my lower lip over my teeth when pressing against the reed, which sometimes i do forcefully with the higher notes.

Can anyone set me straight on this?

Hope you can help.
Painfully Alan
 
OP
AlanB

AlanB

Member
Messages
170
Location
Vientiane, Laos
Hi Alan,

I raised this question with my teacher recently, and he explained that I simply need to practice more to strengthen my embouchure because the lacerations come when the embouchure tires, and you start using your teeth & jaw to support your flagging embouchure.

One tip he gave me to get a bit more time before the pain begins was to offer up more flesh to the reed, in other words push your lip out and up as if you were a 6 year old pouting. He was keen to point out to me that it was more of a band-aid solution to maybe get you to the end of piece instead of stopping, and that the only real solution is more frequent practice sessions.

Hope this helps

T.
Absolutely - I posted this thread a while ago on the old BR and posted it again here as I thought the answers might help others. You are absolutely right Tony. Another thing that I might have posted on a different thread at the time would be "My tone is very weak and flat and has no colour to it - can anyone help?" Since then I have tried to find every piece of information in books and on the web on how to improve my embouchure and more importantly my overall tone. Well it turns out that overuse of the jaw and bottom teeth IS compensation for a week embouchure, not only that it really stifles the reed and gives a weak tone and no partials (harmonics).

After a bit of adjustment (especially with the muscles at the corners of the mouth), long tones and mouthpiece only practice the pressure has almost entirely come off the lower teeth area. The lower teeth seem to just give gentle support to the lower lip which now can twitch ever so slightly and subconsciously to alter the reed vibration.

From the above it may sound like I have discovered everything, but no not at all, still loads and loads of work to do (probably 20-30 years worth) but at least I feel that I am more on the right track and have something positive to work on.

Thanks for your comments, if anyone can add more on how to improve tone it could very valuable.
Cheers,
Al
 

Chris Jones

Member
Messages
678
Location
Lichfield, Staffordshire.
:shocked:Then you only have the raw fingers for the first month:(
What sort of piano do you play?:p
Ok, I was originally going to add the sore fingers referred to the "GUITAR" only, but expected lateral thinking was still the norm on here!!! So I apologise profusely. Its wrong to assume when the word starts with ASS??? :welldone:welldone:welldone
 

Lloyd

Member
Messages
208
Location
Hertfordshire
I used to get the same problem with my lower lip whenever I played for any length of time, but it doesn't happen any more. I don't think that my embouchure has improved significantly, but what has got better is my ability to read and translate notes, which means I am more relaxed and can concentrate on the delivery and produce a better tone. I think that concentrating hard was causing me to put too much pressure on the mouthpiece. Just a thought, I'm sure that it's just practice.
 

Steve M

Member
Messages
34
Since then I have tried to find every piece of information in books and on the web on how to improve my embouchure and more importantly my overall tone. Well it turns out that overuse of the jaw and bottom teeth IS compensation for a week embouchure, not only that it really stifles the reed and gives a weak tone and no partials (harmonics).
I recently came across some quite good articles that you could get from the Yamaha website.
http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/WrappedTextDetail.html?CNTID=26647&CTID=217500

There's some quite good tips.

If you get cuts on the top of the lip it can be down to the shape edge of the reed. I often run a sharp knife down the edge, just around the area your mouth closes around the reed, which makes it more comfortable even if you don't get cuts.
 
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