Posted by Sean Chisham on January 21, 1999 at 11:02:43:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Embouchure vs. mouthpiece posted by S.P. on January 20, 1999 at 22:16:28:
Is your head at a 90 degree angle to the mouthpiece? Most likely not. Playing with the exact same physical process as that used by your favorite performer will not yield equally acceptable results. High quality music is produced by high quality ideas. We are in an artform, not a medical science. Medical science can be used to sometimes explain how the physical process happens, but this cannot be used as a self diagnosis.
Your mind is an extremely flexible and powerful tool in all your goals. If your goal is to move your face to what you believe is the dead center of your mouthpiece, then with enough practice and focus you will be able to keep your face placed in the dead center of the mouthpiece. Now, after all that work, you have achieved your goal, an embouchure placed in the center of a mouthpiece. What you will have done is change something for you, to make you feel better about yourself. Will this have a positive effect on what others hear coming from your horn? Most likely not. You will sound exactly the same as when you were playing slightly off to one side, because your goal was not one of musical product. Now you must still go back to the practice room and develop phrases and tunes.
If you, instead, spend the majority of your time focussing intenselly on exactly how you wish something to sound, then gradually what comes out of the bell will begin to draw closer to what is going on in your head. You should not try to be a slave to your instrument by attempting to adjust to your perceived difficulties of it. Instead, spend a great amount of time aurally imagineing and recalling world class performances, and allowing to instrument to react to that mental imagery.
Don't react to how an instrument feels, allow the instrument to react to how you think.