How To Form a Trumpet (brasswind) Embouchure in Four Steps, by Charlie Porter

Here’s a lengthy video by trumpet player Charlie Porter on how to form a brass embouchure.

I have had some disagreements with Porter in the past. I have some quibbles with some of his instructions too, but I like his recommendation to set firm the lips up before setting the mouthpiece on the lips. Two of the other steps he recommends (pulling the lips open after setting the mouthpiece and wetting the lip center with the tongue after that) I feel would risk undoing the value of firming before setting.

Watching through the video I didn’t understand if he was suggesting the embouchure aperture remains open throughout the lip vibration, so I asked him about it. He was kind enough to take the time to clarify for me.

Of course the lips rapidly close and open during vibration. That’s not the point…I’m not arguing that they they never close briefly, per each vibration occurring…the point is that players are often way too tight and begin with closed lips and press them together to the point of distorting the vibration.

It’s a rather long video, but take look at it if you’re interested in different thoughts about setting the embouchure formation for playing.

Sven Larsson

Honestly I did not watch the video. Charlies way to form the embouchure is for me kind of complicated.
But in some ways I do agree. The lips vibrate and close/open rapidly. Many young players do press the lips together in a way that do get a sound but not a very good sound and not a very effective embouchure.
The touch should be very light. The air flow does make the lips close and open. When the lips are very lightly closed the air can easily open, when the lips are open the air flow can easily close. The moving air make the underpressure that close the lips. Charlie is absolutely right, there must be an opening, not by toung the lips apart, not only by blowing the apart but also by using the face muscles to open the lips. The can done to much or to little. Most good players do this without thinking about muscles, they think about the sound.

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