College student suffering severe range & buzzing issues - help!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jason R., Jun 17, 2010.

  1. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    HI, Glenn!

    It is my contention that it is the lips TOUCHING that causes the fuzz in the sound.

    Clearly, I'm not advocating HUGE gaps between the lips, but simply a gap large enough to prevent the lip interference. Too large, and that "bias airflow" to which I refered earlier is to great, and potentially contributes to the tone, with an air flow sound (like that of blowing water out of the horn).

    Perhaps we are all arguing for the same thing. I maintain that my gap is very small (when I do it right) and possibly it's so small as to be indistinguishable by eye from your "closed" lips.

  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Nice - way to go muddying up the subject with a bunch of talk and disagreement about minute, unrelated details that won't really help the original poster.

    Jason, I sent you a PM. Hit me back and let me know what you think.
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY

    But Guy, if the lips move to and fro as you discuss, then why is there a need for one to be paired with anything?

    It is obvious that you need some constraints on the airstream, so the bottom lip (for instance) serves to channel air through the mouthpiece, and if you played with only the top lip the air would just escape around the outside bottom of the mouthpiece. Now you CAN clamp the bottom lip around the outside of the mouthpiece and play. This opposes the upper lip with the inside bottom of the rim and cup, and whether the lip touches that area or not and simply moves back and forth, this is not an easy way to play or it would be an viable alternative to using both lips.

    So you say it may appear (to us) that your lips touch but do not, and I say that your lips do touch but you may not be aware of it. I think we are, as you say, working towards agreement here. The minimum opening you can get away with to play is the best, with the limit as the opening decreases towards zero is zero.

    I also appreciate your electrical analogy, as my education, along the way to being the System Analyst I am now, incuded all those amplifier designs and more. However, I am not sure that they are translatable to our discussion, nor are they germane in the sense that most of the participants here won't get what you're writing about.

    That said, I do really dig how you think.
  4. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Hey, Patrick,

    I do believe Guy and I both wish to help the OP. However, threads do often expand to more in-depth and maybe not-so-pertinent discussions and I don't understand why you'd want to toss a wet blanket on that.

    Or to put it another way, why would you want to muddy things up with your criticism of us?

    What is a better topic for PMs? The OP's issue and questions, or a request for us to pipe down? I, at least, would like to know what advice your PM to Jason conveyed.
  5. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    Hi Guy. I respectfully disagree with you. I was recently looking for information on-line about this very topic and came across a video on youTube with some interesting slow-motion captures:

    YouTube - Die Lippenschwing bei Trompete und Posaune. Zeitlupen Einblicke in das Mundstück

    This is a Trombone player, but scaled-down the same principles apply to the trumpet.

    Here's a clip from an older university study (with poorer quality video) where the professor states (about 2:04 into the first clip):

    "During the vibration cycle, the lips close completely. When they do not, poor tone quality results"

    Again, this is trombone-focused.

    YouTube - Lip Vibration of Trombone Embouchures, Leno, Part 1 of 3

    From a practical standpoint I think change in this area would be difficult to implement because it's hard to conceptualize what's going on...
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    The point I'm trying to make is that it really doesn't matter what actually happens when the lips vibrate and whether or not they are touching. And who really cares for that matter? Understanding what goes on really doesn't do much for tone production, or for building chops focus and strength. I doubt if players like Louis Armstrong, Harry James, Maynard, Maurice, etc, ever gave it much thought because I seriously doubt that it was that knowledge that led to their chops and embouchure abilities.

    In my PM I sent some very basic exercises and detailed how to approach them - even good exercises if approached incorrectly can be detrimental. I sent some stuff about long tones and articulation exercises, and talked about how to approach them as well as the benefits from them and why they will help to move his chops forward toward better sound, chops strength/focus, range, endurance, breath control, etc. These are things I use daily as part of a maintenance regimen and things that will help him shore up his foundation and fundamentals.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi Jason,
    While it would be easy for me to spout off advice, I think its best if I give you some qualified sites to study which I know (if studied & applied) will help you with your range problem. How do I know? While its true everybody's different, certain things are easy for anyone to learn and apply. This has helped thousands of others with your similar problem:
    1) Arch Tongue and Hiss
    2)Mouthpiece Pressure Assessment
    If you are using too much mouthpiece pressure, I tell people to imagine the lips as a "meat pillow". Don't smash, or crush the meat pillow. That also means you'll have to use the muscles at the corners of your mouth a little more. If you find yourself struggling for a note, stop, loosen up your lips by blowing your lips like a horse, and then go back to playing. Make sure you can hear the note in your head BEFORE you play!
    However, the biggest thing to learn first is Arch Tongue and Hiss
  8. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Markie, even those are kind of beside the point. Why mess with a mouthpiece pressure assessment when he can dive right in on some basic exercises that will help him reduce and find the balance point for how much pressure he's using?
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Thanks for sharing, but honestly, others reading this with the same issue could really benefit from the actual details you recommended. As they say, inquiring minds want to know. (otherwise, when Jason has become a towering icon of performance, everyone else will point to him and say: Oh, yeah, but he had special secret coaching from trickg)

    And, while I agree that what actually happens when the flesh meets the metal may not be so important, I think what both Guy and I were getting at involves conceptualization or visualization, which is IMO very helpful to the player.
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    This is the best advice you've gotten so far. Your problems should have been addressed years ago with your private teacher. I know I would have

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