Can lip buzzing and mouthpiece buzzing become harmful if used to much?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mctrumpet, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Phillydawg

    Phillydawg New Friend

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    Jul 14, 2009
    SoCal
    Hey Tobylou....here's a solution for the highway.....get a pocket trumpet!! LOL. :D I've had adult students that have done that and it's more fun for them than a mouthpiece, heh. But again.....I still reiterate that the mouthpiece alone is way different than on the horn cuz the air column is different. "Mouthpiece tube is too short" to quote Charlie Davis. Need the rest of the venturi(leadpipe) at least to be playing on the same "resistance" you'd get on the horn,etc. It's about tongue and air coordination here which again is two different things mouthpiece alone vs mouthpiece in horn. THIS then coinsides with the fact of "how" an air column hits the lip cells in your lips. Playing will be more consistent then if you keep stuff the same and playing on the same air column shaped by the same resistance. Mouthpiece alone again is different air column and resistance than when in the horn. They "fight" each other and during the battle one's tongue/air coordination for playing the trumpet gets thrown out of whack. :play::cool:
     
  2. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

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    For several years at a music camp I attend we had a tutor that was very strong on buzzing, scales, harmony etc on the mouthpiece, the only benefit I feel was it gave him time to think of what to do next!

    As a retired engineer with time to think things out I have come to the conclusion that as the trumpet is a resonant device, what we feel on the lips is the reaction to the standing wave generated by the air flow and buzzing the lips unless exactly on pitch will force the horn to sound off resonance with the corresponding degredation of sound.

    In 25 years of playing the trumpet I have had 5 teachers and only one has addressed the fundamentals I was lacking.

    Last year I decided to abandon all I had been taught and read and start from the beginning, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and observed my relaxed face, placed the mouthpiece where it felt most comfortable and noted the angle, placed the trumpet with the mp fitted at that angle and just exhaled letting the air open the lips.

    What ensued was the best sounding most resonant note I have ever produced. Since then I have tried to do all my playing with the same relaxed approach and it certainly has paid off.

    Regards, Stuart.
     
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Actually, I do have a pocket trumpet that stays in the truck :lol:! I use it when the weather catches me or I'm taking a break from work, ONLY in a parking lot though! I should also add, my mpc has an old b.e.r.p. (the metal one) on it, so I do get resistance. I don't advocate mpc only. It's just another way to get lip time on the mpc when a trumpet is not available or practical (like the Interstate at 70+ mph).
     
  4. Phillydawg

    Phillydawg New Friend

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    Jul 14, 2009
    SoCal

    Pocket trumpets are cool. :D Anyway for me I prefer to play on the "actual" resistance I'm going to play on. Neither the BERP(even the adjustable one) nor a towel will ever be able to totally replicate that, especially when there are so many different horns with different leadpipe tapers and receiver gap settings, which of course have different resistances from horn to horn,etc. Speaking of gap settings, you guys should check out KO Skinsess' little video he has showing how a gap can and does affect your playing. He's on the Stomvi website. Improving the upper register with the correct gap (Same mouthpiece but different sleeve to show,etc.) So he proves that just with gap setting alone, even by a .32 of an inch can affect whether the horn plays with you or against you or not,etc.

    After saying that, ok if you can't get into a practice room, something is better of course than nothing,heh. :play::D
     
  5. rainbowboy023

    rainbowboy023 Pianissimo User

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Australia
    I don't think mouthpiece or lip buzzing is particularly helpful because its not really the same as playing the horn. Because there's no resistance when lip or mouthpiece buzzing the player has to create their own resistance that could cause some bad habits. Also if you were to just blow into your mouthpiece without buzzing then add your trumpet to the mix without changing anything, a note will come in. This is why I believe that its your air stream, not lips or buzzing that matters most in trumpet playing. Also you can accomplish so much more improvement by actually playing the trumpet rather than buzzing. Plus its a lot more fun :D:play:.
     
  6. Phillydawg

    Phillydawg New Friend

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    Jul 14, 2009
    SoCal
    Thank you. This is what I've been saying all along. My chops never "solidified" until I started warming up nicely on the horn. It's all about airstream and tongue arch. Different airstream and embouchure all together with the mouthpiece alone. The two "airstreams" fight each other for dominance thus throwing coordination off in the process. Those that don't believe that the tongue arch sets itself to the resistance you're blowing against should read about the flourescope tests that Claude Gordon did SHOWING the tongue moving up/down per the registers. It's all connected, air/tongue coordination to the resistance setting(mouthpiece gap, horn bore, mouthpiece size, backbore, throat size,etc.) which shapes the air coloumn that hits/connects to the lip cells in the lips,etc. Practicing on the nicest feeling/consistent set up gets one more results rather than buzzing on a false air column or constantly changing equipment all the time. Been there done that. Have a mouthpiece mobile full of old pieces hanging in the studio to prove it, LOL. :play::D
     
  7. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

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    All I can give you is my experience. I am about 20 months into my comeback. Early on, in the first few months, I lip buzzed like crazy to develop my chops. I was in a rush to do it as fast I could. Initially I got a great benefit from it. Then, my time on the horn gradually increased and my chop strength also increased. I started getting more intense with my lip buzzing to try to accelerate my chop strength. There was a critical point where if I lip buzzed too much prior to playing, it made my notes "airy" and I started getting "pfuts" of air rather than notes. I rarely lip buzz now. I prefer as Rowuk rightly suggest, invest that time on the horn.

    To quote H.L. Clarke: "The principle is the same as that of a physician prescribing three drops of medicine which will cure, whereas a spoonful will kill."

    BrotherBACH
     
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    If you can't buzz, you will have no sound. I had this discussion with another player who said he didn't buzz, he just blew into the horn! If that is what you do, you have a static embouchure and you are limiting yourself developmentally. Since both your mpc AND horn are inanimate pieces of metal, they make no sound on their own. You MUST buzz into the the mpc for any sound to come out. I have a compressor in my shop that will blow out an airstream of 150+ psi as long as I hold down the handle. If I stick it into my mouthpiece attached to my horn, all it does is blow a lot off air through my horn without making one note. The poster asked if it was harmful, the answer in a nutshell is no! Lip buzzing is the only way to play a trumpet, or any other brass instrument. Time on you mpc is time well spent. Time on your trumpet is time better spent.
     
  9. Phillydawg

    Phillydawg New Friend

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    Jul 14, 2009
    SoCal
    I think somebody's missing the point here. Yes it's all about the "buzz" and of course without it you have no sound. BUT Rainbow makes Charlie Davis' point that chops are in a different position and are buzzing "differently" with the mouthpiece alone vs in the horn. This is because the air column is different and again the two different "embouchures" if you will, fight each other. Therefore time on a mouthpiece is NOT well spent because it defeats the purpose in throwing off air and tongue coordination which in turn the chops center on. I agree with the latter statement then of "time on your trumpet is time better spent". :)

    Also the trick about lip buzzing without anything is keeping the embouchure in the same position as it would be in the mouthpiece. Still.....neither this nor the mouthpiece alone builds anything. Only benefit from buzzing lips alone for 20 seconds or so before warming up is to get any kinks out and jump start getting blood going through the chops. After that get on the horn and warm up gently using notes and the real resistance you'll be playing on,etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    In another thread on playing while commuting to work, I mentioned buzzing my mouthpiece into a cloth towel. In this way, you can vary the resistance by how tight or how folded the towel is around the mouthpiece. I have been doing this for years, and have found it as the most effective method I have tried at building endurance.

    Now I know people in this thread have been concerned regarding staining their lips, and this is a possibility if you over-blow into the towel. Do NOT over-blow. Start out with a comfortable resistance and go up or down as comfort allows. Do this for 20 - 30 minutes alternating days, but no less to get results.

    This recommendation is based on the understanding of muscle physiology. If you work muscle against controlled resistance, you strengthen the muscle. But like any muscle (skeletal or smooth) the excercise NEEDS to be performed at least every 2 days to maintain "memory" in the muscle fibers. Likewise if you feel stain or fatigue STOP IMMEDIATELY and rest. It works on the lip muscles, just as it works for biceps and attaining that six pack abdomen.
     

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