Free buzzing question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Adrenalyn, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Free buzzing and mouthpiece buzzing can improve our playing, but both are highly dangerous when practiced without prior, personal instruction. Very risky indeed.
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    It does not take much common sense to know that any one word answer is a waste of time for a complex situation. Anthony has made a mistake. There IS no justification for his comment. Please do not plug up the thread with more garbage. Maybe he will think before typing the next response.
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I'm with Tom... not so much that it is terribly difficult, but is an inefficient way of starting the vibratory force that is transmitted through the trumpet.
     
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    After 10,000 hours... Right?
     
  5. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Notwithstanding the above, it's always been something of a mystery to me why there's so little correlation between free-buzzing range and playing range.

    My comfortable free buzzing range is below stave Eb to mid-stave C. And yet playing and without additional straining, I have easily more than double that range, particularly so on bass trumpet.

    Where does this range-stretching effect come from?
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    It is actually very simple why free buzzing, or buzzing on the mouthpiece has NO correlation to playing.

    When we free buzz, the lips flap at their natural resonance (fundemental) determined by air flow overcoming embouchure tension. There is a very poor coupling of the vibrating lips to the air - and thus little mechanical feedback to aid the buzz.

    When we play the trumpet, the lips also flap at their resonance (actually for notes other than the pedal tone, they flap at a multiple of the fundemental frequency), but the resonance is now affected by the defined vibrating area, the proportion of blow to backpressure from the mouthpiece/horn/room (AC and DC component) as well as the Q of the standing wave in the horn. If we have good body use and breathing, we can leverage the mechanical advantages to play better with far less work. If we play off of the "Q" center which happens with excessive tension/pressure and/or bad breathing, it takes a lot more work to keep the sound going.

    I will go out on a limb and say that the advantages of free buzzing compared to proper playing are very minimal. They do not aid fine motor activity, they do not aid the servo circuit consisting of playing->hearing->brain sending messages to the chops and breathing apparatus according to what it hears. They build muscles/habits in places where we don't need them.

    For players that have developed free buzzing habits, it is of course a problem to cold turkey quit as we are creatures of habit. When properly dosed, they can't hurt anything and for many players, they represent the first attempt to structure a daily routine - commendable in any case!


    BIG, BIG, BIG subject and useless to most players. This type of intellectualization doesn't help much of anything except to still curiosity. To become a better player, we simply need to play more with people better than we are. Then we get better and can help weaker players get better too!
     
  7. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

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    Thanks for that, Robin.

    Yet another example of the trumpet playing us by the sound of it.
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup, and a partial reason why there is so much discussion when we argue about symptoms instead of the underlying mechanics.

    To be fair, I do very loosely flap on the way to a gig or before a practice session to get the "juices" flowing. No specific pitch, just the lowest tension flap - and let it wander from the middle to the left and right sides until everything is loose.
     

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