Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

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Heirii
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Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

Post by Heirii » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:17 pm

I'm a flute player, about to go into college or whatever. Majoring in woodwind performance (very aware of the threats this can pose), hopefully. I also play the clarinet and saxophone pretty well. I play in national competitions on the flute and hope to take flute very very far... I guess I forsee an okay future. But anyway, I wanted to learn how to play trumpet. Well, I want to play any instrument I can get my hands on... and brass isn't my forte, so I was hoping maybe I could conquer that weakness by attempting to learn one. I have this trumpet, but I heard that you can ruin your flutish embouchure if you try. I think that I can work around that and just take considerable time keeping both my embouchures in check. Is this a bad idea, learning trumpet? What about french horn? Brass instruments in general?
A lack of professionalism makes room for creativity. That's my excuse >.>

lianeandflute
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Re: Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

Post by lianeandflute » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:53 pm

I really know nothing about this.

But a thought that sprang to mind is… if you are about to do a degree in woodwind performance (which really is a very prestigious, competitive and focused degree) and you already play 3 woodwind instruments; do you REALLY want to be picking up another instrument on top of these three? While playing either flute, clarinet or saxophone (or all) to the incredibly high standard you need to meet for this course? The time you spend figuring out trumpet stuff could be used to perfect a certain technique on the instrument you want to make a living out of. Also, if it DOES hurt your embouchure, do you really want to risk that if you are pursuing a flute CAREER?

Maybe this is the wrong thing to say, I don't know. I just thought that, you know, you already play three instruments and if you want to do a performance course, you have to be extremely focused and dedicated to your instrument and be head and shoulders above everyone else in order to get anywhere.

Just something to think about I guess. =]

It's been a sort of yearning of mine to learn the cello for a long time but I am stopping myself because I know I'll spend time mucking around on the cello that should be spent on flute, and I don't want to lose any time.
"It's happening inside you; not in the flute!" - Emmanuel Pahud (At a masterclass in Sydney, Nov. 2010)

Heirii
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:12 pm
Location: Mississippi

Re: Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

Post by Heirii » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:26 pm

lianeandflute wrote:I really know nothing about this.

But a thought that sprang to mind is… if you are about to do a degree in woodwind performance (which really is a very prestigious, competitive and focused degree) and you already play 3 woodwind instruments; do you REALLY want to be picking up another instrument on top of these three? While playing either flute, clarinet or saxophone (or all) to the incredibly high standard you need to meet for this course? The time you spend figuring out trumpet stuff could be used to perfect a certain technique on the instrument you want to make a living out of. Also, if it DOES hurt your embouchure, do you really want to risk that if you are pursuing a flute CAREER?

Maybe this is the wrong thing to say, I don't know. I just thought that, you know, you already play three instruments and if you want to do a performance course, you have to be extremely focused and dedicated to your instrument and be head and shoulders above everyone else in order to get anywhere.

Just something to think about I guess. =]

It's been a sort of yearning of mine to learn the cello for a long time but I am stopping myself because I know I'll spend time mucking around on the cello that should be spent on flute, and I don't want to lose any time.
Very true, something that stopped me from playing outside woodwinds before. I guess I've always been more focused on what I wanted to do than what I had do. Haha, I just thought it'd be really cool if I played a brass instrument as well as the woodwinds.
A lack of professionalism makes room for creativity. That's my excuse >.>

fluteguy18
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Re: Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

Post by fluteguy18 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:51 pm

It won't ruin flute playing, but the buzzing of the lips does cause them to swell thereby causing problems with the flute embouchure until you have practiced switching back and forth.

wkzh
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Re: Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

Post by wkzh » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:11 am

I have a friend who plays clarinet and French horn, not sure how he copes with it, though.

From my experience of alternating between flute and brass, the problem with switching back and forth is that after playing a brass instrument, the nerves in your lips will feel things differently, and your muscles will respond rather differently too. You can alternate between flute and brass, but I can assure you that playing the flute after playing a brass instrument feels downright weird. You should know the flute well enough: the feel of the lips is everything. Almost.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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Teetoreeto
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Re: Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

Post by Teetoreeto » Fri May 06, 2011 1:59 pm

Hi there, I've played Baratone Horn and switched back to flute and piccolo while acting on stage. I never noticed any problems. Played trombone in the marching band and flute in concert band...no problems. However, I was backstage at a band competition and for some reason asked my friend if I could play her french horn for a moment. I really couldn't get a great sound and it was time to get seated for our performance. I returned the horn to my friend and placed my flute to my lips for a quickie warm up...oooooops.....no sound. I mean it was gone. Dang!! My lips wouldn't work right. I quickly told my band director what happened and that I wouldn't be able to play my solo. My solo was given to the second chair. I've never blown a french horn since.

Good Luck, Tee

wkzh
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 3:45 am

Re: Brass Playing Ruins Embouchure?

Post by wkzh » Sat May 07, 2011 2:27 am

Teetoreeto wrote:Hi there, I've played Baratone Horn and switched back to flute and piccolo while acting on stage. I never noticed any problems. Played trombone in the marching band and flute in concert band...no problems. However, I was backstage at a band competition and for some reason asked my friend if I could play her french horn for a moment. I really couldn't get a great sound and it was time to get seated for our performance. I returned the horn to my friend and placed my flute to my lips for a quickie warm up...oooooops.....no sound. I mean it was gone. Dang!! My lips wouldn't work right. I quickly told my band director what happened and that I wouldn't be able to play my solo. My solo was given to the second chair. I've never blown a french horn since.
One fine day, three of us flautists decided to swap instruments with three of them hornists... then switched back; nothing particularly devastating happened, except for arm-aches. ANYWAY, for myself, I have never had problems switching back from brass to flute, so this phenomenon is likely dependent on which type of flute embouchure you use. Permanent damage is also one risk...
lianeandflute wrote:It's been a sort of yearning of mine to learn the cello for a long time but I am stopping myself because I know I'll spend time mucking around on the cello that should be spent on flute, and I don't want to lose any time.
I think this is the bigger problem of doubling...

No doubt, learning a brass instrument can be very instrumental in your instrumental pursuits, because, as per the Suzuki method, learning it would allow you to empathise with your brass-playing friends.
The flute family: probing the lower limit of human hearing and the upper limit of human tolerance.

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