Buzzing School of thought

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by anthony, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    Was wondering I know it has been asked many, many times on TM does mouthpiece buzzing and free lip buzzing improve a player or is he or she wasting their time with buzzing. The reason I am asking this is that in some well known trumpet method books C.Colin ,Stamp and Schlossberg they mentioned warming up with "mouthpiece buzzing" in fact Stamp does quite a bit of lip buzzing.Also I had teachers that had me m.p. buzz BEFORE I would play a particular slur exercise..... and then again another teacher told me NOT to buzz "cause you play with a different set of lip muscles ??" Farkas too adviced buzzing .So again is it personal preference or does it help ? Anthony
  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Personal preference and also depends on which school of thought you were trained by. I buzz and mpc when I cant play the horn, but not in place of it.
  3. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    Nov 29, 2003
    Far more knowledgeable people than I will probably weigh in on this, but to me there is an open aperture approach to playing and a closed aperture approach to playing. In my own playing, buzzing and pedal tones have led to an open aperture, with a big symphonic sound, that requires a larger diameter mouthpiece. Avoiding buzzing and focusing on starting with a closed aperture, with center compression, allows me to use smaller equipment. The sound is a little more compact. That being said, I teach 6-12 band and do have my students buzz mouthpieces from time to time to help open up their tones, center pitches better, etc.

    One last thought.....for every statement I made above, there is someone for whom the exact opposite is true. My feeling is that you need to find a teacher and stick with one method of playing and go for that 100%. If it doesn't work, try something else. For me, mixing the two approaches does not work.
  4. jurebro

    jurebro New Friend

    Apr 14, 2015
    After I told a customer of mine, who also happens to be a French horn player in my city's symphony, that I have the itch to collect vintage horns and futz around on them (I'm still not playing enough to really be a comeback player), he told me, "The trick is to buzz on the mouthpiece. Anything. Even if it's just twinkle twinkle little star." I was trained to buzz as part of a warm up, but in all honesty, I'm actually really awful at buzzing on a mouthpiece when it's not on a horn. I've never really been sure why (and I was a pretty decent player, I like to think, once upon a time).
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    It amusing to emit a low extended blast on a mouthpiece in some circumstances. It just doesn't smell, but others look about for the source.
  6. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    In my first iteration as a trumpet player, buzzing never helped for me so I didn't force it. When I came back to playing years later, I pretty much dismissed it. But then, I decided to take another look at it, and found that I could use a buzz to get my lips to focus into a good playing position. I have larger and V-shaped teeth in the front which have always made placing and focusing my lips effectively, difficult. Now I buzz regularly and it helps out a lot, plus gets me warmed up quicker.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is no open or closed aperature approach. Buzzing only works when the lips open and close like a switch. The aperature is also dynamic, its size changes with volume and pitch.

    I think that the problem with advice is that most do not understand what the difference between buzzing with the mouthpiece alone or when inserted in the leadpipe or other tube. A mouthpiece alone only defines the tissue that vibrates. It is too short to resonate. This means that the face muscles alone have to support the pitch - there is no help from the trumpets resonance. That can help our "feel" for pitch however if we do not try and force anything. It does not aid the playing process as it if performed too much would promote habits having nothing to do with playing. FLapping is similar, but without the definition of the mouthpiece rim.

    I know plenty of pros that flap and mouthpiece buzz. I think that it is more of a psychological thing and not real mechanical help. In the lessons that I teach, we always play a scale or two buzzing with the mouthpiece. It is a structured way to start playing and there is no tendency to take it up an octave or play too loudly.
  8. seilogramp

    seilogramp Piano User

    Nov 23, 2009
    Georgia, USA
    Mouthpiece buzzing is something I started doing while being held hostage by Atlanta traffic. When I'm home I do a lead pipe exercise of about 5 minutes. Just some simple arpeggios and scales, trying to bend up or down to the F#, G and Ab as I go. The feeling of going to the trumpet after that is exhilarating. Might be similar to why you would hit your head with a hammer... because it feels so good when you stop. :stars:

    There is always the fear that free buzzing, mouthpiece buzzing, or lead pipe playing may be doing more harm than good. Time is too valuable to be wasting it on un-improving our trumpet playing. If you have a sonic image of what you're trying to accomplish, and not just blindly doing it because Bud Herseth did it, then my gut feeling is that it helps a bit.

    Interesting lead pipe discussion
    Lead pipe virtuoso
  9. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

    Mar 3, 2009
    Thank you all for your replies, very interesting , Anthony
  10. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Because of this, we can do something buzzing a mouthpiece that we cannot do with it in the instrument: we can play glissandi up and down the range.

    And playing glissandi shows up whether there are any irregularities in our buzz, whether strength or tone colour, at particular pitches that the resonance of the trumpet would mask. A smooth, even glissando up and down the range as part of warm up is a good indicator that our embouchure is transitioning from note to note evenly and consistently, which is a good thing.

    For me, it is a ten second exercise at the start of every practice session. It's helped many times in indicating a particular range of notes that I needed to focus on to improve lip flexibility in that area. I stress the word 'indicator'. The solution to the problem can only come through working it out on the instrument.

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