Free Buzzing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bachfella, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

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    How do you guys (by "you guys", of course, I mean anyone who's willing to reply) feel about free buzzing? I find it helps me counteract a nasty habit I have of pulling my lower jaw in as I play higher, but like everything else, of course, free buzzing has supporters and detractors. I just wanted to sample some opinions from posters to the site.
     
  2. applebrass

    applebrass New Friend

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    Mar 25, 2011
    I am not a fan of Free Buzzing as a tool to build your embouchure. I sometimes use it as an aid to warming up to get the blood flowing, or just for fun. But for me it is not a useful tool for embouchure development. But as soon as I say that I know there will be those who disagree with me. So if you find it helpful for you, I would say use it. Patrick Hession said that Maynard told him that you're your own best teacher.

    That being said, let me explain why I am not a fan of Free Buzzing to build your embouchure, and I will back it up with some other people's work. First of all, watch this youtube video by John Harbaugh, who was a student of Bill Adam about the physics of trumpet playing.
    trumpet_physics_1.mov - YouTube

    He explains that you can either play the trumpet by brute force or in such a way that the lip vibrates in sympathy with the standing sound wave that is created by energizing the air molecules in the trumpet. I have found this to be very useful information for me. Over the past several years I have completely reworked my embouchure from one that was very inefficient to one that is much more efficient. I have detailed my embouchure journey in a document entitled, "Trumpet Embouchure Mechanics" that you are welcome to read at www.applebrass.com. Just click on the link for that doc at the bottom right of that page. I will be interested what others have to say about this.
     
  3. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I'm a big fan of free buzzing. I've used it to clear up a few different bad issues in my embouchure. This was at the request of my teacher, a symphony player and also a fan of free buzzing. My cheeks were puffing out at one point ....... too much listening to diz I guess ..... and we fixed it, or rather I fixed it over the course of two weeks (when he was on holiday) by free buzzing and by using a mirror. Other stuff has gotten settled as well this way. I've heard that players like Arturo Sandoval can free buzz their whole range (for him, I think that means a double C or somewhere around there). My first trumpet lesson from a Mexican jazz trumpeter included free buzzing. Maybe it's a Latin thing ... I don't know, but I like it. Very useful for me.:thumbsup:


    Turtle
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't need it, don't use it, don't teach it, don't let anyone do it in my car.
     
  5. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    Obviously, one buzz does not fit all. I'm not sure what the ongoing benefits might be, but if a player like Sandoval still buzzes ...... it could be something.:dontknow: Maybe he does it in his sleep (sleep buzzing). It would be interesting to hear Arturo's take on it.

    To buzz or not to buzz .... what will it bee? As far as it goes, I think it's totally optional.


    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  6. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    It's okay to get you going and the blood flowing but after a few years I find I do it less and less. Main reason for this is I carry my mpc/berp with me and "play" it when I can't play my horn. If I have the option of free buzz/mpc buzz, I always play the mpc. You can also make a hose trumpet for playing on the go. It won't dent or get red rot! :lol:
     
  7. yourbrassinstructor

    yourbrassinstructor Banned

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    I had a horrible experience with a purely classical trumpet instructor when I was younger. At that time, my range was about a High E or so above High C. When I started with this instructor, he took me off the horn and had me lip and mp buzz for up to 45 minutes a day before actually playing on the horn.
    Within a few weeks my flexibility went out the window, I had trouble doing some of the simple exercises in the Irons and my tone was airy.
    I eventually quit lessons with him and eschewed free lip buzzing for many, many years.

    However, now, I have refined a technique that I only use for range building: 2-3 minutes of very soft lip buzzing every day with rests occurring during that 2-3 minutes.
    For me, that 2-3 minutes is powerful and hits the spot.
    You might want to just try 1 minute of easy, very soft lip buzzing doing a scale, arpeggio, etc...for one week. Then be objective with the results: Do you feel stronger, better tone...maybe a little more solid in all your registers? If so, keep it going.
    If you develop airy tone, stiff lips, reduced endurance....well, lip buzzing is then too potent and you might want to try mp buzzing in the same manner as I described above for lip buzzing.
    FYI: Jerome Callet, whom I am now representing ( his horns ) only advocates SPIT BUZZING. He actually does not like the free buzzing I do.
    I am slowly but surely learning the spit buzz. However, free buzzing has given me good benefits so I don't see myself giving it up completely.
     
  8. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

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    I would think free buzzing would actually do harm. Kinda like if you're into golf, and you decide to practice your swing with a 50lb barbell. Your swing is going to adjust to swinging a 50lb barbell instead of making your 2lb golf club swing better.

    Besides that, this again seems to be one of those things where some players are looking for "the golden technique/exercise/method book/etc. " to magically improve their playing.
     
  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    In small doses I don't think free buzzing can do you any harm. Large amounts of free buzzing, especially in public, can get you sent to the funny farm.:huh:

    When I use it ... occasionally ... it's not at all difficult and takes no more effort than normal trumpet blowing.


    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  10. bachfella

    bachfella Mezzo Piano User

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    I agree with the posters who say free buzzing is OK in small doses--I'd never do it for long periods of time, but it can be helpful when you're trying to "get your chops back together". Of course, it's not a magical cure for embouchure problems or bad playing habits, but then, nothing is--the only cure for such things is consistent, correct practice.

    By the way, Turtle--regarding your "funny farm" comment, some who know me would say that wouldn't be such a long trip for yours truly!!
     

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