I just started free buzzing on the mouthpiece

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BustedChops, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. BustedChops

    BustedChops Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 1, 2011
    Simply relaxing, buzzing. Amazing. Just two minutes of exercising this simple step and I'm getting clean staccato and trills. I always thought buzzing on the mouthpiece was for wimpy novices. I am wrong. With any luck I'll have a teacher soon but I'm not going to stop practicing. So far I've started to use less mouthpiece pressure, I've also begun to hold my horn properly. I have large awkward thumbs. If I can I might have a modified thumb rest soldered on. I honestly have huge clunky thumbs.

    After free buzzing for rougly thirty seconds I could noodle with complex improvisations with much improved tone. I'm evening coming around to the monette mouthpiece. I think I'll stop playing for two days and focus all practice time to buzzing. Then when my lips get acclimated with proper air control I will try to make t he monette work.

    Perhaps David Monette is not full of beans. His mouthpiece is not a cheater mouthpiece. I'm starting to notice the importance of proper relaxation. I also notice that doing the "pivot" on the monette seems futile. Pinching does not work with the monette either. I can pinch the highs out loud and clear with the Bobby Shew mouthpiece.

    But this Monette is giving me a challenge I'm willing to put up with. I still want to try the Wedge. I think I'll try the plastic mouthpiece. If it sounds darker than regular mouthpiece I might have a trumpet sounding like a cornet. Though I despise smooth jazz...if I could play it for a bucks I would :)
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    OK, ready to take it to the next level. Buzz into a hand towel. Vary the resistance. This will not only warm the blood flow to the lips (buzzing) but also develop embouchure muscle development in the process.
  3. fredthewhale

    fredthewhale Pianissimo User

    Jun 12, 2011
    New Jersey
    i like to practice buzzing as well. it allows me to focus on my embouchure without the complexity or resistance of adding the trumpet. i also find it good for a warm up and warm down.

    nice post!
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Buzzing can be extremely beneficial, but a short glissando between slurred notes is encouraged. Getting the mouthpiece to "notch" when slurring can really mess us up when the mouthpiece is connected to a trumpet.

    Been there, done that.
  5. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    I tried free buzzing, I think I got my moneys worth.

    Regards, Stuart.
  6. xjb0906

    xjb0906 Piano User

    May 2, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I am glad you found what works for you. Free buzzing does nothing for me but tire me out and make things tight.
  7. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I am a "free buzzing" advocate. I always have my mpc hooked to my B.E.R.P. with me (I have the old metal style). As good as it is, it will not, cannot replace time on the horn. Like VB, I've been there, done that too! XJB, try a B.E.R.P., buzzbuddy or a towel for some resistance and you won't tire as easily (you could even use your hand). It's perfect for warming up in the car on the way to play. No one hears the annoying warm-up but me! :D
  8. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Bud Herseth absolutely recommended mouthpiece buzzing, but NOT lip buzzing.
    From Tim Kent's book, here is one of Herseth's thoughts on mouthpiece buzzing.

    "On the mouthpiece, the individual pitches are in no way regulated and delineated, like they are when the horn is added. This lack of definition forces you to solidly fix the desired pitches and intervals in your ear, without the aid of the instrument. In addition, the lack of defined pitches also provides you with completely unrestricted freedom. The sense of unrestricted that you experience while playing on only the mouthpiece is one of the greatest benefits, since the natural, vocal-style mannerisms that come with this freedom later transfer to the horn when added to the mouthpiece".

    Herseth also noted that one should play (the mouthpiece) with the richest and biggest sound possible and to play jazzy, showy, technical music rather than careful melodies. Herseth did not recommend lip buzzing alone as buzzing without the mouthpiece develops an embouchure that has the width of the entire mouth rather than the width of the mouthpiece rim. Mr. Herseth always carried his mouthpiece with him and recommended occasional practice sessions on the mouthpiece alone.

    Jim Thompson's Buzzing Basics, does teach drills on the mouthpiece. Vince Chicowicz also believed in mouthpiece buzzing but in manner of Herseth.

    I come from the "Chicago School" and learned from an early age that PROPER mouthpiece buzzing is paramount in producing great sound with the horn. If you can't really play it on the mouthpiece, you can't really play it on the trumpet.

    Rich T.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
    mgcoleman and tobylou8 like this.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    ...they machine gun you down!
  10. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    You get machine gunned if you're lucky. Otherwise you wait for job calls that never seem to get to you.

    If you get tired quickly doing mouthpiece buzzing, you are most likely doing it wrong - or overdoing it. It should be less strenuous than playing on the horn. The key to getting it right is the easy flow of air. Somethings don't work for everybody, so care must be undertaken in free (lip) buzzing, mouthpiece buzzing, and using the mouthpiece with leadpipe only.
    Personally, I usually do about 2 to 5 minutes on the mouthpiece alone, playing pop tunes like I Can't Get Started, Tenderly, maybe some show tunes, and some brief orchestral excepts. (Try "Mona Lisa" on the mouthpiece alone. It is a real challenge). As stated, only just a couple minutes of this and I am always singing whatever I am playing in my head. I have been told that Herseth starts "singing" these words on the Charlier #2. "This is the tune I like to play". I always try to get the biggest sound I can on the mouthpiece by itself and translate this sound process into the horn.

    Herseth likes to joke about the fact he always carried his mouthpiece with him, even on the golf course. His sense of humor is such he would start buzzing the mouthpiece when someone in his group would be ready to take a shot. Herseth joked that little trick was always good for an extra stroke or two on the other players in the group.

    Here is Herseth at age 88 demonstrating some impromptu mouthpiece buzzing.
    adolph herseth - YouTube

    Rich T.

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