The Theory

Jaw Position and Pressure

The STRATOS system encourages brass players to improve their embouchure by getting their jaw in the right place and reducing mouthpiece pressure.

Here are the views of David Hickman. Trumpeter, author, and academic, David is one of the pre-eminent trumpet virtuosi of the 20th century. He is Regents’ Professor of trumpet at Arizona State University, and a past President of the International Trumpet Guild.

“Moving the jaw forward IS necessary for many players to make it professionally. Any embouchure may be fine for amateurs, but the wrong one will hit a wall sooner than it should, making professional level power, range, and tone impossible.”

” Bringing the jaw forward means that the temporo mandibular joints located just in front of the ears will be out of their sockets. Therefore, the skull can no longer support the lower jaw and the mouthpiece pressure – which can be up to 35 lbs. even with top professional players. ┬áBecause the player now has a “floating jaw,” the lower jaw will have to be supported mainly by the chewing muscles located near the back of the jaw. When playing the trumpet, a floating jaw embouchure requires the muscles just below the corners of the lips to firm up, creating sort of a “bulldog” facial expression when the lower jaw is moved forward to play properly. Players with floating jaws include Herseth, Ferguson, Smith, Stevens, Ghitalla, Sandoval, Marsalis, Lindemann, Clarke, and many others – probably 90% of the pros !”

The new STRATOS system builds on this floating jaw theory, and, through a combination of a precision-engineered product and good practice guides, encourages the jaw into the best position to deliver an embouchure of top-quality tone, range and power without added pressure or tension.

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