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Thread: Desperate For Embouchure help.

  1. Exclamation Desperate For Embouchure help.


    I am a high-school Euphonium player with 5 years of playing experience. Whenever I play my Euphonium all is well and there's no complaints from the band director or brass staff. But when I switch over to my Marching Baritone ( Yamaha YBH-301M ) I get constant complaints from brass staff and my Band Director about the "Color of my sound". I am constantly told that my tone is far too bright. I play on a SM3X Mouthpiece on my Marching Baritone so I do not think that is the issue. My brass instructor also tells me that I need to shift my embouchure. I found out that I have a Low Embouchure (More bottom lip than top lip in the mouthpiece) and my brass instructor is always telling me to have more top lip than bottom lip in the mouthpiece. Whenever I do do this, I find that my teeth really get in the way so I naturally move more bottom lip into the mouthpiece to correct it, hence the Low Embouchure. I sound great on Euphonium I am told, but on Marching Baritone (and Trombone) I'm told my tone is just too bright. Is there anyway I can darken my tone with my original embouchure?(When I play, I make sure to keep my mouth and throat open) Or will I have to shift my embouchure? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    If your embouchure is working on euphonium, then it is not likely it is the problem on the marching horn. (It's also not IMpossible, because there are a lot of factors here.)

    The first thing I would check is whether you already ARE switching your embouchure, especially the placement and angles.

    If you rule that out, then you might try a 51D mouthpiece. It can mellow out bright sounds pretty effectively.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  3. #3
    Agree on the mouthpiece. The SM3X plays fairly bright, even though it's a euphonium mouthpiece.

    Two additional thoughts:

    One, think about is your air. I'm going to guess the marching baritone and trombone are both smaller horns than your euphonium. So, if you're delivering the same amount of air to them, it's going to produce a very different sound. One exercise to try for this is start with a dark pp note and slowly crescendo (6-8 seconds) up to mf while focusing on keeping the sound dark. Then do the same up to f and notice where it wants to get bright. Then the same up to ff. Your body needs to learn to deliver the air that you need to get the tone you want.

    Two, you might not be hearing yourself the same on marching baritone and trombone. What might feel "right" to you based on your experience playing euphonium (which points upward, even with a "bell-front" horn) may be too bright with a true forward-facing bell. In my experience as a doubler, forward-facing bells tend to put my sound farther away. The exercise I'd try for this is to close my eyes and play a normal note in the middle register, say an F on the staff. Then, try to make it as bright as you possibly can. Listen to how bright sounds. Then do the opposite, and aim for as dark as possibly can. Listen to how dark sounds. Then come back to your normal tone and listen. Does it sound different to you?
    Adrian L. Quince
    Composer, Conductor, Euphoniumist

    Kanstul 976 - SM4U

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