Friday, March 10, 2017

The Balanced Embouchure for Horn


Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Valerie Wells, a horn player dedicating this blog to share my success using The Balanced Embouchure (BE) and to provide a place for other horn players to share their positive experiences with BE. The Balanced Embouchure is an embouchure development system originally written for trumpet by Jeff Smiley. BE is now helping an ever growing number of horn players improve their embouchures, too. To learn how I came to BE, see this. The Balanced Embouchure book and CD are available directly from me. My adapted exercises for French horn are available with the purchase of the book. There's only one BE book. The same book is used for both horn and trumpet.

The Balanced Embouchure Book with CD is $45.00.
The BE for French Horn booklet and/or PDF of horn adaptations is $3.00 (with book purchase).
Shipping & handling is $5.50 to $25.00 depending on location. (The quoted prices are in US dollars.)
Those who purchase The Balanced Embouchure with a Comfy Horn Strap, receive a $5.00 discount (as well as break on shipping).

To Order:
Step 1. Email me: ValerieW78 “at” Gmail “dot” com. Please tell me what instrument you play and the country you live in.
Step 2. I send you an invoice with payment options (credit card, PayPal, check or money order).
Step 3. You pay the invoice.
Step 4. I ship your BE book.
Happy horn playing!
Valerie Wells

For additional information about BE in general, please see the following links:

Jeff Smiley’s website
The Balanced Embouchure Forum
Michael Camilleri’s website
Phil Mach's website
Bert Loch’s website
Ko de Rooj's website (Netherlands)

Skype lessons available
Bruce Lee: teatro333 "at" gmail "dot"com
Valerie Wells: ValerieW78 "at" gmail "dot" com


Comfy Horn Strap 
My horn strap is now available.


For various reasons that seem inherent in our approach to the instrument, French horn players (self included) often develop misconceptions about The Balanced Embouchure that can potentially impede progress.

Misconception #1: BE is written for trumpet, therefore much of it will not apply to French horn.
Some exercises need transposition or adaptation for French horn, but the principles and techniques taught in this book are as applicable to French horn as they are to trumpet. (I learned this lesson the hard way.)

Misconception #2: BE is all about rolling the lips in and out.
Lip rolling is only part of BE. There are tonguing exercises, snaps, zips, breathing exercises, etc. All these elements combine to form a development system that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Misconception #3: Roll-Out exercises are for developing the low register. Therefore a horn player with a secure low register, need not practice Roll-Out exercises.
Roll-Out exercises are designed to develop tone, flexibility, endurance and balance in all the registers, not just the low. A balanced embouchure has elements of roll-out in every note of every register.

Misconception #4: Roll-In exercises are for developing the upper register.
Roll-In exercises are designed to develop tone, flexibility, endurance and balance in all the registers, not just the high. A balanced embouchure has elements of roll-in in every note of every register.

Misconception #5: “Doing BE” means rolling out for low notes and rolling in for high notes.“Doing BE” means practicing the BE exercises and following the program as designed. Directly applying lip rolling to your regular embouchure is not BE and will be of limited value.
Misconception #6: The correct BE embouchure has a bunched chin and puffed cheeks.There is no, one correct “BE embouchure.” The balanced embouchure you develop following the BE system will be unique to you. There is no way to predict what your final embouchure will look like. Horn players need to avoid preconceived ideas of what their balanced embouchures will look like.

Bert Lochs
 has taken the above #6 misconceptions and elaborated upon them for trumpet players.