It’s time for yet another of my Guess the Embouchure Type installments, where I look at videos of brass players available online and try to guess which of the three basic embouchure types the player belongs to. This time I’m going to take a close look at the embouchure of one of the best trumpet players around, Maurice Andre.
If you aren’t already familiar with the three basic embouchure types, skim through this article and then take a look at the above video of Andre playing the first movement from Haynd’s Trumpet Concerto in Eb major. Which embouchure type do you think he belongs to?
As always, you should take this with a grain of salt, but I think that the basic characteristics of Andre’s embouchure are visible enough to make a pretty good guess that he belongs to a Medium High Placement embouchure type. His mouthpiece placement is close to half and half, but it looks as if there’s a little more top lip inside the mouthpiece. His horn angle is also tilted slightly down, which is also very common for Medium High Placement embouchure types (although there are exceptions). Lastly, if you look at around 4:08 into the video you can see his embouchure motion of pulling his mouthpiece and lips together down to ascend and pushing up to descend. While the Low Placement embouchure type also makes this same embouchure motion, Andre’s mouthpiece placement seems to be high enough on the lips to be a downstream embouchure. Most Low Placement types (not all) also play with a horn angle that is closer to straight out, which is not how Andre plays.
Please remember that the best embouchure type for a particular player is determined by the player’s anatomy, and isn’t a choice that one can make based on how your favorite player plays. Teachers will want to understand this, as changing a student’s embouchure type to match your own can sometimes really mess up a student’s chops. Andre’s embouchure types is one of the more common ones, but not everyone will be successful this way.