Buzzing the mouthpiece

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Wlfgng, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

    Nov 12, 2003
    With respect (I enjoy your posts!), some truly great players and teachers do practice using the mouthpiece. Herseth, Jacobs, Stamp, Butler to name a few.
    I do agree that he shouldn't be concerned if he can't.
  2. Wlfgng

    Wlfgng Piano User

    Aug 15, 2008
    Looks like I go with what I know.

    Thanks for the replies.
  3. clousemiester

    clousemiester Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2007
    Boca Raton
    My Opimion........For what It's Worth!

    I never considered buzzing (either with m/p or without) as part of "normal" practice!
    Sometimes it may be that you can't make noise, or engaged in long commute.
    Buzzing has always been more helpful during warming down. It seems easier to get muscles to relax and promote circulation.
  4. iainmcl

    iainmcl Pianissimo User

    Nov 4, 2006
    New Zealand
    Buzzing the mpc or lips has never featured much in my own practice routine, but I have recently taught it to a student of mine (mpc buzzing) to help correct a puffing of his cheeks that I was worried about. You can't buzz the mpc and puff your cheeks at the same time. He's improving (slowly).

    As for your buzzing ( sorry to tangent previously):
    If I understand it correctly, as the lips get closer together, the more turbulent the airstream becomes, and it starts to form a "buzz". The "buzz" is not essential to be able to play trumpet because the natural resistance of the instrument will also form the "buzz" when the lips and airstream are applied to the the instrument.
    Ok, so that's my take on things. That's the first time I've ever tried to explain it in words. Someone feel free to correct me or elaborate if I'm off centre.

    Iain - >-iii-
  5. nosray

    nosray Pianissimo User

    Aug 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    What he means is what iainmcl said. The air pressure coming out from your lips make the trumpet vibrate and buzz. In order to make your mouthpiece buzz you need to have a lot of pressure at the beginning to the because there is no back pressure.
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    there seems to be a little mix up here on what buzzing is.

    Let's start WITHOUT the mouthpiece first. put your lips lightly together and then blow. If you do not tense very much, a large portion of the lips will "flap". That is a big buzz. As we add a bit of tension (still without the mouthpiece), we can get an area of the lips to "buzz" that is roughly the size of our embouchure. If we put the mouthpiece very lightly against the lips, the "sharp" inner rim of the mouthpiece will more clearly define the vibrating area. We are not concerned about pitch yet, only moving lips.

    Now let's look at the horn mouthpiece combo. We do exactly the same thing as above BUT we have a length of tubing and bell attached that starts to resonate very quickly depending on the length of the tube. That "resonance" aids in keeping the lips moving. Once the initial sound has started, we need only to keep the air moving a bit to sustain the tone.

    If I now remove the tuning slide, there still is a length of tubing that will resonate at a reasonably low frequency and thus help keep the lips moving.

    When I try and "buzz" on the mouthpiece alone, I only have the length of the mouthpiece as a resonating pipe and the pitch at which it resonates is so high, that it will NOT help the lips. That means buzzing on the mouthpiece is a function of how relaxed you are. If you have too much "tension" the buzz will not come out.

    A couple of minutes a day on the mouthpiece does not hurt anything, but does give you very valuable feedback about how "loosely" you are blowing. The concept does not warrant hate, ridicule or snobbiness. It is, like any other good exercize non-destructive. Between that and the pencil, I have been able to help many amateur players build strength (pencil) and stay loose (buzz) even with limited time on the horn. I believe even advanced players could benefit by the feedback that it can give. It won't turn anybodies playing around, but perhaps underscore my belief that tension and force are very destructive things for trumpet players.

    Just loosen up and it will come.
  7. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I don`t belive in mouthpiece buzzing I think it does more harm than good.Maybe a few seconds but thats all unless you play extremly soft it has a tendency to spread the lips apart.As Miles71 said you can take out the main tuning slide and play into the leadpipe.
  8. Bloomin Untidy Musician

    Bloomin Untidy Musician Piano User

    Jan 14, 2008
    i think mouthpiece buzzing is very good for many things. Especially for developing the embouchure of a beginner (they also like being able to play tunes when they only know a couple of notes). For me, i like to use it for articulation work, and long notes occasionally. It is also a very useful exercise when you are on holiday, and Ryanair is charging you $100 for taking an instrument!
  9. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    I still find it causes more bad than good habits,especialy when first learning how to use the lips,jaw,and tongue properly. I think you can hear problems in tone and fix them sooner with playing on the horn, not the mouthpiece.
  10. Graham

    Graham Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    It's mostly a matter of giving it a go, and seeing what works best for you.

    Personally, I have found that introducing Thompson's "Buzzing Book" into my daily routine has improved my embouchure efficiency, tone, range, and use of airstream.

    I always like to go by the old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" :p

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