embouchure trouble.....

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpet 101, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

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    i was buzzing alot, 14 hours this week, and suddenly my buzzing is going wrong, it has this raspy sound to it now, ive taken a few days off to heal, applied chopsaver and alot that good stuff...... it hasnt gone away! does anyone know whats going? a fellow trumpet player in need would greatly appreciate it!!!

    p.s. no, my lips dont normally go through this kind of strain, only 7 hours a week normally :D could doubling my mouthpiece time somehow have altered my embouchure? can it be changed if it has?
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    What kind of buzzing have you been doing? Lips alone or with the mouthpiece? What exercises have you been doing? At what volume?

    More details, please!
     
  3. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

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    mostly mouthpiece, and alittle with nothing but lips, and ive been randomly opening up arbans studies and buzzing them and practicing some tryout material, and everywhere from pp to ff
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Be careful that you aren't trying to play too cleanly on the mothpiece--it has no slots like a trumpet does, and so every slur should include a little glissando. How much time are you spending on the trumpet? A steady diet of nothing but mouthpiece is not "nutritious;" I would consider 20% total practice buzzing extreme--5% to 10% should suffice.
     
  5. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

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    thanks :) that may be the problem, trying to buzz to cleanly, ill remember that. and i haven't really been playing a lot on my trumpet lately, maybe an hour or two a week, ill play more and buzz less and see what happens, thanks!!!
     
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Your embouchure needs a certain amount of resistance to develop range, tone, and endurance , when you buzz the mouthpiece alone without the resistance of the trumpet your lips will have a tendency to spread too far apart , and they must be together to attain a clean centered tone, try practicing very soft with the trumpet until your sound cleans up and then continue practicing soft it will help you keep your lips together .
     
  7. Buzz Clip Guy

    Buzz Clip Guy New Friend

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    Doubling your practice time overnight can either damage your chops or force your chops to try to find another solution to continue to create sound. Some players force their embouchure based on an amount of time (hours). Listen to your embouchure's needs - they will change slightly every day. Soft playing is always helpful if you focus on good airflow and not just playing softly. Articulated playing is helpful for response if you are first thinking about your airflow into and through the mouthpiece and / or horn. Remember, you have to blow something through your chops in order to make them do what you want. Focus on your amount and quality of the air through the embouchure. Small controlled steps will add to what you already do - play music , don't try to have large, single component steps replace it.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Just playing on the mouthpiece DOES change the way your chops work, and it is not good.

    If you read my post on how a trumpet works (it's sticky), you know that our "buzzing" into the mouthpiece/trumpet is not amplified like through a megaphone. Rather the buzz gets the trumpet resonating with a so called standing wave. That resonance in the horn sends a certain amount of vibrations back to the lip and controls them. That is why you can easily buzz a low C, G C, E using no valves but the tones in between require an incredible amount of work Try and buzz the low D without depressing any valves. It is possible, but you are fighting the horn.

    The resonance is determined by the length and volume of the horn. We get reliable chops by developing habits that let us go with the flow. We learn to play the notes where the horn is most resonant - that makes it less work and gives us a much better tone and generally better intonation

    When you only use a mouthpiece, the resonance that could provide similar support is in the supersonic range (the mouthpiece is very short). Our lips will not vibrate at those frequencies so we are playing well below the pedal tone of the mouthpiece and THAT provides no support whatsoever. Extended playing this way blows your chops (aperature) WIDE open and teaches your face a new geometry - that has NOTHING to do with the trumpet. You need to get correct playing habits back on the top of your mental pile and that means long tones and slurs played VERY softly.

    If you want to practice with a mouthpiece, only short sessions, very softly, perhaps with your hand cupped over the shank to increase the resistance a bit. MUCH better would be a pocket trumpet with a practice mute, or a 7 foot length of garden hose with a funnel on the end. The best is a plain old trumpet.


    THE TRUMPET IS A SYSTEM CONSISTING OF A PLAYER, AN INTERFACE (MOUTHPIECE), THE HORN AND THE ENVIRONMENT (THE ROOM). It is possible to fine tune parts of the system, that only works when you understand the rest. Buzzing on the mouthpiece alone does not provide your ears with valid sonic signals, does not provide your brain with necessary physical triggers (slots for given tones) and does not teach us to use our air the way the trumpet demands.

    It can be useful to "loosen up", and MAYBE for a bit of ear training. Players that practice a lot have a stable base and could get away with a considerable amount of buzzing, whereas players with less than an hour a day do not have the solid habits to make this work. That is why I preach about the stupidity of worshiping the pros routines (like Cat Anderson for instance). They work, but only in the context of those players chop strength, musical maturity and playing schedule. For the rest of us, Clarke Arban, Irons and Schlossberg are just fine and a more intelligent way to reach that next step to brass godliness!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  9. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

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    really thanks for your help! i will keep all of this in mind when im practicing from now on!
     

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