Jaw Position and the Upper Register



  • Here's a really good study on how the jaw behaves in various registers. Along with jaw position, it's important to know that the upper register uses "LESS" air than the lower register. The upper register requires a SMALLER aperture and only so much wind can be put through the very small hole. Usually people will try to blow a hurricane through a very small aperture and as a result, forcing the wind (often coupled with excessive mouthpiece pressure) causes the lips close, shutting off the buzz. When the buzz stops, the sound stops. Think about it. The low notes are the air hogs because the aperture is much more open when compared to notes above the staff. In closing never force the wind regardless of the register you're in and enjoy the video! Jon is a very good instructor and won't drown you in theory and science.



  • Once again, this only applies to the buzz (lateral smile) embouchure. When you use the vertical smile embouchure, the lower jaw is less a function in this equation. Those superior muscle insertion points take all the stress off the jaw it is that efficient!



  • The jaw positioning IS probably more relevant for the frown embouchure were the insertion of muscles used in that technique is mostly at the lower jaw.

    JUST REMEMBER, ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL



  • Dr-GO,
    Here's my problem with the vertical smile approach. I've tried it like I said I would and (for me) it is not as effective or efficient as saying, "M". I then did a fairly deep Internet search to see if I was doing it incorrectly and not one site advocated anything remotely approaching a smile. As far back as Mendez, the embouchure of choice was formed by saying, "M". Unfortunately, the sites that mentioned a "smile" embouchure during my Internet search considered it a faulty approach. Something to ponder. Does having a trumpet that plays really well (SWE) Standing Wave Efficiency "allow" for such an embouchure? Something to try. I'll try an put a Bach piece on the Meaningless Images thread that my daughter plays. I tried to play it with the smile embouchure and it just didn't work for me. I'm not saying the embouchure doesn't work for you but, what works for the masses? From Brian Shook to Rafael Mendez, the general consensus on embouchure formation is when the person forms their embouchure by saying the letter "M".
    May I suggest doing a stand alone Post about the Vertical Smile Embouchure and see what kind of feedback you get. Your idea might be the next big thing and I'm sure you will get many thought provoking questions which can possibly lead to supporting this particular embouchure style. As for me, I tried it as promised and I have to stick with what Mendez advocated and Shook advises and that is to say "M".
    In closing, if you have any sites addressing this particular style of embouchure formation, it would be good to read. Thanks!



  • Could someone please tell me what a vertical embouchure is?

    My visual imagery has the mouth line running in a horizontal line, left to right (or vice versa). A vertical line, therefore, would run top to bottom (and vice versa), the only way you could form it unless you're leaning on your side.

    It's impossible for one's lips to run vertically, so obviously my visual imagery doesn't work here, hence my confusion. Thanks.



  • Dr-GO
    Good news! I found the Bach Gigue that my daughter plays. You will notice it has its fair share of high notes mixed with large jumps and flowing sixteenth notes. Just turn down the sound and see if the vertical smile works in this setting. It didn't for me but for you, who knows. Never the less, its a great little piece! This might help. Bach is known for church music. But, Bach did a lot of dance music too. Granted the dances during the Baroque era are nothing like the dances we've seen for the past 100 years but when you play the Gigue, think Baroque dance music. Hope this helps.



  • @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    When you use the vertical smile embouchure, the lower jaw is less a function in this equation. Those superior muscle insertion points take all the stress off the jaw it is that efficient!


    Hi Dr.GO,
    I know I've asked more than my fair share of questions but if I may, just two more please. We've discussed the importance of the oral cavity and tongue placement as it relates to the register played in before. I ask;
    a. How does "those superior muscle insertion points take all the stress off the jaw"?
    b. If a muscle set takes all the stress off the jaw, how does a person change registers without lifting and lowering the tongue/jaw as in "aaaaaaaa" v. "EEEEEEEE"? If I blow more wind, and not move anything inside the mouth, the sound just gets louder and there is no change in notes/registers, right?



  • @Kehaulani said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    Could someone please tell me what a vertical embouchure is?

    I have posted it THREE times, this is now the FOURTH: Please refer to post 11 under: Problems with Air and Nose https://www.trumpetboards.com/topic/398/problems-with-air-and-nose/17 to find my description, diagrams and video of me playing with the vertical smile. Make sure you focus on my cheeks to see the effect of the muscles I use.



  • @Dr-Mark said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    When you use the vertical smile embouchure, the lower jaw is less a function in this equation. Those superior muscle insertion points take all the stress off the jaw it is that efficient!


    Hi Dr.GO,

    a. How does "those superior muscle insertion points take all the stress off the jaw"?

    LOOK closely at the muscle insertions on the reference diagram. The more muscle insertions (on the Zygimatic arch) the less effort and energy is needed as a unit to lift the jaw. There is 70% more muscle at play in the Vertical smile than the traditional lateral smile (the buzz smile). LOOK AT THE DIAGRAM and study it. It makes perfect physiologic sense.



  • @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    @Kehaulani said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    Could someone please tell me what a vertical embouchure is?

    I have posted it THREE times, this is now the FOURTH: Please refer to post 11 under: Problems with Air and Nose https://www.trumpetboards.com/topic/398/problems-with-air-and-nose/17 to find my description, diagrams and video of me playing with the vertical smile. Make sure you focus on my cheeks to see the effect of the muscles I use.

    Sorry, I must just keep missing the description. I can't visualize how a vertical smile, which would make a line from top to bottom, is contrasted with a horizontal smile, which draws a line from side-to-side.

    Do you mean that the muscles tense up-and-down as opposed to side-by-side? If this doesn't bring me closer just ignore it. Chalk it off to a dense old man. 😉



  • @Kehaulani said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    @Kehaulani said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    Could someone please tell me what a vertical embouchure is?

    Do you mean that the muscles tense up-and-down as opposed to side-by-side? If this doesn't bring me closer just ignore it. Chalk it off to a dense old man. 😉

    Yes. Check out the muscle within the blue circle. The fibers are aligned up and down.



  • @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    I have posted it THREE times, this is now the FOURTH:


    Yes, I know. That's why I suggested that you start a free standing post like "Meaningless Images" or "How to Play in the Upper Register". It would be much easier to find and would probably generate more interest. I'm not saying what you have run across doesn't have merit. I'm saying why not make it easier to find. If its easier to find, more people are likely to chime in.



  • @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    There is 70% more muscle at play in the Vertical smile than the traditional lateral smile (the buzz smile).


    I can not dispute or confirm that statement. How do you know that there is 70% more muscle at play? Can you support this claim? I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, I'm just wondering "why" 70%



  • @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    When you use the vertical smile embouchure, the lower jaw is less a function in this equation. Those superior muscle insertion points take all the stress off the jaw it is that efficient!


    I understand that in order to do the vertical smile, the person needs to smile toward the eyes which make the eyes buff out (not the lower jaw).
    However, when I do it, what you describe is a modified "M" embouchure. I still form my lips by saying "M" and then, smile toward my eyes (vertical smile) This (to me) requires more work, not less and my jaw still reacts as it normally would for the various registers. How is using 70% MORE muscles (your percentage) more effective and efficient?



  • @Dr-Mark said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    When you use the vertical smile embouchure, the lower jaw is less a function in this equation. Those superior muscle insertion points take all the stress off the jaw it is that efficient!


    I understand that in order to do the vertical smile, the person needs to smile toward the eyes which make the eyes buff out (not the lower jaw).
    However, when I do it, what you describe is a modified "M" embouchure. I still form my lips by saying "M" and then, smile toward my eyes (vertical smile) This (to me) requires more work, not less and my jaw still reacts as it normally would for the various registers. How is using 70% MORE muscles (your percentage) more effective and efficient?

    The more muscle working in consort, the less fatigue. Dr Mark, I taught muscle physiology at the Medical School for the past decade. This is a solid and clear concept from the Physiology Texts we had used over the years. Honestly!



  • @Dr-Mark said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    @Dr-GO said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    There is 70% more muscle at play in the Vertical smile than the traditional lateral smile (the buzz smile).


    I can not dispute or confirm that statement. How do you know that there is 70% more muscle at play? Can you support this claim? I'm not trying to be a smart-ass, I'm just wondering "why" 70%

    Count the muscle fibers in use in the upper insertions on the zygimatic arch and the lateral fibers to the jaw. The upper has many more fiber inserts. See also my above post.



  • @Dr-GO
    Okay, the use of more muscles in concert, the less fatigue.
    But how is what you're doing not a modified "M" embouchure? I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, just trying to understand.
    When I do the vertical smile, it's just the "M" embouchure coupled with pulling my muscles towards my eyes causing them to buff out. I'm using the muscles that I normally use plus muscles I didn't use before to get the task done. For me, that's not efficient. I'm using more to get the same task done. It could be a definitional thing. For me, effective simply means I got a task done with no regard to effort or resources needed. Efficient is using the least amount of effort (or resources) to get a task done. Did you try the Bach piece? How did the vertical smile work?



  • A side-question - when you use the "M" embouchure coupled with pulling your muscles towards your eyes, do your lips ascend over your teeth?



  • @Kehaulani said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    A side-question - when you use the "M" embouchure coupled with pulling your muscles towards your eyes, do your lips ascend over your teeth?

    Not exactly, but they are heading that way. My upper lips ascend about half way up my denture line. This really opens the embouchure more than a lower jaw drop can do. However, the lower jaw drop dose open the pharynx quit a bit more.



  • @Dr-Mark said in Jaw Position and the Upper Register:

    @Dr-GO
    Okay, the use of more muscles in concert, the less fatigue.
    But how is what you're doing not a modified "M" embouchure?

    Not sure what this is. Please post a discussion and with diagrams how this embouchure works. Once I can review this I can discuss it. I looked over the internet and cannot find this embouchure.


Log in to reply