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Mouthpiece placement

Posted on July 27, 2004 by 

About mouthpiece placement

I like to have a student buzz their lips and then center their buzz into the mouthpiece.

Because of dental problems. jaw position, variations in lip shapes and sizes ect. some people buzz naturally off center. Some will even buzz the lower lip as does Rune (yes this is rare).

I find that by working with what nature gives you progress is faster.

I’ve seen people who played 40-50 years yet they lip buzz at a different spot. So this is not affected by years of playing and practice.

If you play where you buzz you get beter results (in the long run). It does take time to do any change. I use that approach for both left-right and up-down directions. Center the buzz into the cup.

My approach to anchoring the lip is also different. It is range specific. The jaw has to be able to move to allow the lowest notes to come out.

So for the low register the top lip accepts the largest portion of mouthpiece weight. In the mid register the lips share the mouthpiece weight evenly. In the upper register the lower lip accepts the largest portion of the mouthpiece weight. This is done by pivot. The pivot will change the percentage of mouthpiece weight that each lip receives. (((Some upstream players will need to pivot the other direction.)))

Therefore I don’t ever discuss or teach the concept of anchor. I do teach the proper pivot for each student. That simplifies the process. They have less to think about and I have less to teach. ;-)))