Friday, July 22, 2011


Can you hear the cheesy radio/TV ad announcer attempting to increase adrenalin levels with: "EXTREME demolition derby!" "EXTREME sports!" "EXTREME thrills!"  Hmmm.... How about a cheesy announcer to say...

"EXTREME embouchure exercises!"

These are still shots of the extreme embouchure settings I use when I practice some of the BE exercises. This is how it works for me:

(1) If I can develop tone, range and facility in an extreme embouchure; then tone, range and facility with a "normal" embouchure will be easier.

(2) If I can learn to play in both extremes, I'm bound to find settings between the extremes that work well for me.

(3) If I systematically practice in the extremes as well as transitioning from one extreme to the other, I'll eventually learn maneuvers I can use to navigate efficiently within the less extreme registers I encounter in daily playing.

Works for me!
Also see:  Why the Extremes?
Also see: "Circus Trick" or Developmental Tool?


The roll-out and roll-in exercises can be performed "correctly" with or without air pockets as seen in the examples contributed by horn players here. Air pockets are an option, not a requirement in BE. Some people can't do the exercises without them; others can't do the exercises with them. It's an individual thing and nothing to stress over either way. I like practicing with air pockets as pictured, because it helps me isolate and control individual muscle groups to play with less overall tension.

"Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!"
Cute comment from Iris: Thanks, Valerie— these pictures are great! I was just joking earlier this week with my daughter (an accomplished trumpet player) that everyone would want to try BE if it was called "X-treme Embouchure!" The photos also helped to show me that I'm on the right track with my goofy-faced ROs and RIs! ~Iris 

If one picture is worth a thousand words, then multiply that by what you see here!


  1. Hello you all right? I would tell you, I started studying this method of balanced mouth has two days. I play trumpet, I could touch my mouth with this new church, of course with some difficulties. I have a question, I have no problems making the air bags on both lips, to make notes in the high register, medium or pedal? Do you have any tips for me to learn this method more easily balanced embouchure? I would like to ask you if the method that I have, I can pass for a musician who plays French horn, because the method I have is for trumpet. Already agrede├žo for your attention. Higor Brazil.

  2. Higor, thank you for your comment. Yes, this is the same method that is written for trumpet. It works equally well for horn as for trumpet. To help with Roll-In exercises, focus your attention on the lip clamp squeak. Here is a recent comment on FaceBook from YongHang of Malaysia directed to help someone get a handle on the lip clamp squeak:

    YongHang Ong Try this:
    1) Make a dumb look so that your face is totally relax (jaw drop too)
    2) Roll in your lips but don't clench your teeth
    3) Blow out air and create air pockets (as much as u can) to create air hiss (the air hiss is not focus yet)
    4) Hold the position and focus your corners of mouth to center (air hiss is more focus) *other part of mouth will focus automatically*

    This is how I did my lip clamp without using too much tension