Buzzing on heavy mouthpieces

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jimi Michiel, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Hi Manny,

    I've been trying to work buzzing into my routine and have found it really helpful. However, I'm having difficulty buzzing with heavier mouthpieces. I have no problem buzzing through Concone or Bach chorales with my STC-1 C12, but when I try it on my Prana STC-3 C12 Slap I find myself physically adjusting much more and sometimes unable to get a sound in the lower registers. This happens to a lesser degree when I try it on my Prana STC-3 C12. I feel like I'm hitting me head against the wall with the heavier mouthpieces, but when I buzz on the STC-1 and then play my C997 with the corresponding mouthpiece, everything opens up. Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jimi
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Take about twice the amount of air and see if it's better.

    ML
     
  3. mattdalton

    mattdalton Pianissimo User

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    Jimi,
    It may be the the difference in resistance between the mouthpieces that is affecting things more than the weight. Have you tried using a BERP or buzzing tube to see if it helps? I regularly use a tube myself, and adding a little resistance has made a big difference for several other people I know...making buzzing more helpful. You still need to use plenty of air like Manny says, but the tube can provide the balance needed to keep you from adjusting.

    Let me know if you want the dimensions for making your own tube and I'll send them. Hope this helps.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Dave did not really design these mouthpieces as an entity in itself. It is part of a complete system. When I buzz, it is on my non Prana B2D mouthpiece for the same reason.
    The lips can only vibrate in a controlled manner if they have close to equal "pressure" on both sides OR if the muscles have enough strength to overcome the imbalance. Your diaphragm provides the inside part, the mouthpiece, horn, room provide the outside resistance/impedance.
    The most recent Pranas are a pretty radical departure from conventional mouthpiece construction. I choose to use them only where they work best - in the horn.
    The funny thing is, that a mouthpiece can be free blowing by itself and have normal impedance when in the horn. That is an issue for Dave Monette or physicists. I am happy that the new generation gives me a lot more for the same input of energy!
     
  5. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the advice. I used to occaisionally use a BERP, but now I run into problems because most of the instruments I use now have leadpipes and mouthpiece recievers that are shaped so that a BERP will not fit (imagine trying to put a BERP on a heavy Monette!!!). Maybe I'll dig out my old Bach B-flat and give that a try.

    What is this "buzzing tube" you speak of?

    Thanks,
    Jimi
     
  6. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Hi Rowuk,

    This is sort of the conclusion I'm coming to. I've tried to take Manny's advice (double the air), but it just feels impracticle to try to play one of these mouthpieces without an instrument. Perhaps Matt's advice of adding resitance by way of BERP may help.

    The reason I started buzzing in the first place is a conversation I had with Eric Berlin. He talked about the instrument being and amplifier for the mouthpiece, and the mouthpiece being an amplifier for the lips/air stream. I guess this is somewhat a departure from Dave's concept (especially given the Raja and Raja Samahdi, which you could call the extreme example of a "complete system"). Does the fact that Dave "matches" the mouthpieces with the instrument (my C997 plays the best when I use the mouthpiece that it was designed for) lessen each of the individual parts?

    Anyways, thanks for the advice. I think I'm just going to do most of my buzzing on an STC-1 mouthpiece.

    Best wishes,
    Jimi

    PS. Sorry for the spelling, I'm horrible and there's no spell check on the computer I'm using.
     
  7. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    Actually, Jimi, as I think about what you just wrote, it becomes quite clear that Dave designed his mouthpieces and horns with that very concept Eric was talking about in mind. That is why the 997 plays best with the mouthpiece that was designed for it, and might explain the integral mouthpiece instruments, as well. They all need to work together; to be in sync with one another. From embouchre to mouthpiece to horn, all need to be in tune with each other to resonate properly. (And think of where that has to begin). A mouthpiece that is specific to the instrument makes absolute sense in that light.
     
  8. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Glenn,

    I think of it more in terms of the cliche "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts." Each component of the circuit (the player, the mouthpiece and the instrument) works together with the other circuits to produce a product. I find it more difficult to isolate the mouthpiece, especially the heavier prana mouthpieces, even though they are much easier to play when used with the right instrument.

    -Jimi
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    There is nothing wrong with breaking down a system, tuning the individual parts and then testing the results together. This is exactly what buzzing is - isolation of the sound generator. The mouthpiece clearly defines the edges of the vibrational surface. The face muscles have to support the buzz as the instrument impedance which causes the slots is not there to do this for us. On more conventional mouthpieces, you can use this method of practicing as there is much less "dependancy" on the rest of the system.

    I am not sure that the difficulty has anything to do with heavy. I play an Ajna2 and the heavy standard B2 works fine, the B2 Prana and my STC1 B2D Prana (much lighter weight) don't buzz as well.
     
  10. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

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    Jimi,

    I play an STC weight B1-1 on my Bb and an STC2 weight C1-1 on my C trumpet. I have encountered the same “buzzing†issues that you describe. I had always thought that it was related to the length of the mouthpiece (related to resistance). When I played Bach or Stork mouthpieces I had a very clear buzz. When I started on the B1-1, the buzz was not as well defined. Years later the buzz is fantastic on the B1-1, but the C1-1 has just never had the same clarity (buzzing alone) as the Bb. When I play the C1-1 in my MC-61 though, it’s just a magic combination and it sounds fantastic.

    When I do the Thompson Buzzing Basics I use my B1-1 and my Bb trumpet. It seems to work well.

    Interesting topic!
     

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