I can't do the lip buzz - can I still play the trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by zorrosg, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    It would be of tremendous advantage to spend time with a good player during your first efforts. Get them to play first, and you play back. Emulation alone will get you MUCH closer than naked theory.
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    I don't understand this either. Buzzing without the MP seems like a good way to settle embochure issues, it's worked well for me a few times when I went off the beam. Once, early, when my cheeks were puffing out badly and again, more recently, when my embochure got "mushy". Both times we resorted to this lip buzzing to reset the embochure and solve the problem.

    Developing a good buzz without the mp is pretty easy, compared to other aspects of trumpet playing. Like my teacher says, "If you can't buzz it with your lips, how do you expect to put it through your trumpet?" Or something like that.:dontknow:

    Buzzing wihout the mp is a good way to tell if your lips/face are warmed up yet and ready to go. I wonder how many people can even do it? Rowuk has the right idea here ...... Things can get unnecessarily complicated trying to figure it out from a bunch of random postings. Someone that knows what they're doing, sitting next to you and showing you, is the fastest way to success. Most of time, for most things with the trumpet.

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    In my my mind it's like saying exercise is not needed to be athletic.
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    .... and on the other hand, some people can't whistle.
  5. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    I can buzz through my lips so high that I can actually draw bats in close to me at twilight and make cats jump straight up, but that hasn't helped my playing one bit. Rowuk's advice is (as usual) the best.
  6. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    Greg Spence's Mystery to Mastery website agrees.
  7. trptStudent

    trptStudent New Friend

    Jan 5, 2006
    My personal opinion is that being good at free or mouthpiece buzzing simply makes you a good free or mouthpiece buzzer. For some, it has the bonus effect of helping them play the trumpet but in the end, the goal is still to play the trumpet and that is where the majority of a person's practice time should be spent.
  8. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    I have been fortunate to have had a couple of lessons with Greg, he is a proponent of an open aperture setting and letting the air do the work.

    I recommend his book and videos to all.

    My own take on buzzing is that free buzzing requires tension in the lips which should be avoided, mouthpiece buzzing does not have a specific frequency and unless at the resonant frequency of the horn only serves to force a poor tone.

    Since abandoning buzzing altogether and playing with open and relaxed embouchure I have experienced a much fuller and resonant tone, an increased and clearer high range, a lot less effort and more enjoyment.

    Regards, Stuart. (approaching 73 and still improving)
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Agreed. And when a trumpet is not available or practicle? Is Bill Chase a good player to emulate?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  10. trptStudent

    trptStudent New Friend

    Jan 5, 2006
    I think he's a incredible musician to emulate but whether my trumpet-playing physique/psyche is the same as his is, IMO, a different story. My personal view on it is, just like every athlete is slightly different, every player is slightly different and needs to do what works for him or her.

    For some, I've seen free/mouthpiece buzzing have of a calming effect. It can remove distraction and force a person to focus on the feel and sensation of just playing. For others, concluding that great playing is caused by great buzzing, just creates the illusion that there's just another thing they have to master before they can master the instrument.

    I've seen mouthpiece buzzing be helpful for some, but I'd hesitate to categorically say that it's helpful for all.

    If there's no trumpet around to practice, I personally think that one of the best things a person could do is to listen to some great music for ideas or to mentally rehearse scales/pieces/etc.

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