Monday, April 8, 2013

Mouthpiece Experiment

Okay. So the G17 cup isn't helping me cope with my dystonia. I tried it because I thought it would help with my lower lip that sticks out of my mouthpiece. I also was curious how my embouchure would handle the less resistance again. But nope...neither helped. So tried a bunch of other wide rims...nope. Maybe it's not an issue with sealing my pudgy lower lip left side in? Soooo I know it was a bit risky, but I tried to play more on my right side setting to see if that would help; usually this never helped in the past, it just caused difficulties with muscle movement. But, this time I think because my jaw has regained control and my left corner has more control and flexibility that IT WORKED!!!!!!

I know it sounds weird, but it was like my heightened awareness over observing my dysfunctional embouchure over a long period of time allowed me to notice subtle differences or shifts in my playing. I felt and saw my muscles on both left and right finding a happy balance in the setting I experimented with. I had 2 important observations:(1) My right side provides stability and control, while my left is more relied on for flexibility and pivoting. I think so often we think of the aspects of our embouchure grouped as Lower lip/upper lip coordination, corner and chin control coordination; where our upper lip provides flexibility and lower lip stability, and our corners provide stability while the chin helps with flexibility and movement between registers too.

But I also noticed that our pressure points vary in registers, and are most noticeable in areas where I pivot. So I realized I rely on the right side of my embouchure right now for stability and control, while my left side and lower lip work together to provide flexibility in the areas where I in my middle register where I transition between lower and upper range. It's a weird analogy, but it seemed like my right side is like a flag pole firmly holding my setting in place, while the left side was like the flag being able to move back and forth between the ranges with fluidity.

I know the embouchure is a complex thing to understand, so these are just observations in my own playing. What muscle groups or aspects of my embouchure do they function in my playing. It's interesting to see how it's developed over time. So I'm not sure if this is what it will be like in the long-run (this stability on the right side), or if it's just temporarily this way until my left corner and lower lip control improve....but I think maybe it will be this way in the long run because it felt so natural. It didn't feel awkward like I had to try hard at all to play. It's pretty easy to tell the difference between the feeling of dysfunctional movement vs. natural functional's not frustrating as hell. lol!!

WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I played all of my scales 2 octaves both fast and slow with no spasms or contractions!!!!!!!!!!!!! I even went back and tried to play them loud, then soft, and back and forth to see if it would cause loss of control (because usually it's this change in dynamic that triggers symptoms). There were a couple of trouble areas, but mainly just with the pivot due to lack of endurance from playing scales over and over again. I had so much fun!!!!!! So sticking to my Gold Farkas DC. 

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