How to Practice Reducing Pressure when playing while mouthpiece buzzing.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Patric_Bernard, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

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    Ok, so in all of my hurry to start getting my chops going again, I forgot to ask what to practice while just mouthpiece buzzing. Right now I think my main concentration should be reducing the pressure I play with so what are some exercises that I could start doing to help reduce pressure with just my mouthpiece. I currently hold my mouthpiece with my Index finger and thumb all the way down at the end of the shank.
     
  2. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

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    I never knew mouthpiece buzzing really did any good for people. This thread will be educational for me too, then.
     
  3. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

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    Well i know its not practical for long periods of time, but it can be beneficial.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have access to a piano or keyboard, buzzing can be used to make sure the pitch you hear in your head is what comes out the mouthpiece, for example, you can establish the first note of a major scale using the piano, play the scale and check any of the tones along the way. Be wary of being too "clean" with the mouthpiece--a slight and speedy glissando between notes is desired.

    Reducing pressure with the mouthpiece is the same as with the trumpet--don't press as much!

    A lesson or two from a teacher familiar with the James Stamp Method is well worth the time and money.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Buzzing should be considered PART of the big picture and not a replacement for anything. It will not help or hurt the amount of pressure needed to play.
    I practice only long tones with the mouthpiece (about 5-10 min/day). I feel that I am more aware of a focussed tone when I can get a reasonably clean sound with the mouthpiece. Tonguing and range exercizes do not seem to provide any benefits without the horn.

    Patric, as I mentioned before, targeting a low pressure embouchure will not necessarily provide any benefits. The best solution without a teacher is always SMALL steps, cleaning up your breathing, relaxed breath, then a sensible routine. As your chops naturally improve, you automatically play with less pressure. We use pressure because it works. The goal is to build a broad set of skills that replaces bad habits. Cold turkey without a guardian angel just leads to frustration, regardless if we are talking about alcohol, drugs or trumpet playing. Use your time to play smarter.
     
  6. Eeviac

    Eeviac Piano User

    I'm a beginner but I think buzzing can be good, if you can buzz a tone, and play a tune on it, which is not easy for me but developing, then you waste less energy having the horn "force" your buzzing into the note when playing, or something like that I think. Some of the people on Youtube can sure make music on just the MP.

    I also think I have to watch out for using too much pressure, and buzzing uses less, I feel pretty weird just pressing the MP against my lips so I use less pressure.

    And you can do it late at night etc!
     
  7. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Patric,

    I've also had to go the route without a teacher for much of my time, basically because living in the Middle East there used to be very few players that I could turn to. That is changing. I was also lucky in that I was a proficient low brass player, who was schooled, well before I picked up a trumpet so I did have some foresight. I also make sure that I spend at least some time during the year with a good teacher to address bad habits and re-focus my routine. It's a longer, more hit and miss process than studying full-time with the guy, as Robin says.

    Regardless, you will not get results looking for the revolutionary. Playing brass instruments well is evolutionary, not revolutionary. If your only goal is to reduce mouthpiece pressure you'll sound bad. Sure excess pressure chokes off that sound but pressure, in itself, is not bad at all. It's not really a worthwhile goal....good sound is.

    Despite all the really good things on this and other sites some of it is well meant but just not applicable to all of us. Making a great sound is all about balance....each of us has fundamentally the same physical attributes but uses them in different proportions and in different ways to play trumpet and achieve that great sound. The goal is the same. A great teacher can short-cut that process.

    Buzzing is a tool used exactly for the reasons VB has described. Some great players believe it's important, some don't. There's no magic beans.

    Regards,



    Trevor
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2008
  8. Patric_Bernard

    Patric_Bernard Forte User

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    Maybe i should add in that I dont use much pressure until i get up to over an A above the staff, Then i start to use more and more as I assend, and by the time i Get up to about a Double G, I am forcing it into my face, and to the C its just as hard as i can. I know that it can be very harmful to your lips using that much pressure, and I need to get out of the habit.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    The reason one starts applying more pressure starting around the "A" is because the breathing is not together. There is nothing specifically different about high notes if they are properly supported. Do a search here on relaxed big breath and follow the instructions. Less pressure will not solve the issue as it is not the problem. Breathing and chop strength is!

    Pressure is a bandaid covering up other sins. If you remove the bandaid too soon, you expose an open wound that grosses everyone out (in this case with miserable tone and no range or accuracy). If you support the healing process, the need for the bandaid in time goes away!
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  10. oj

    oj Pianissimo User

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    Patric, you probably have access to a CD player (more than to a piano)?

    If, you should invest in the book by James Thompson.
    I have a short article about it here (plus links):

    The buzzing book

    Ole
     

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