Mouthpiece behavior

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by shooter, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. shooter

    shooter Piano User

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    Should it be easier to buzz(and sustain) a high C compared to playing said note on trumpet? I guess a more appropriate question would be: if you are buzzing a high C on a mouthpiece and insert it into the trumpet while maintaining the exact embouchure( I know that's highly unlikely to accomplish), would it produce the same note?
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    No, it shouldn't. You see, on the mouthpiece alone we are not playing on anything resonant, the pitch is created by our lip tension and air pressure. When we stick the mouthpiece in the horn an entirely different physical process starts - basic vibration is turned into a standing wave in the horn which in turn forces our lips to vibrate at the standing wave frequency - actually unless we are playing the pedal note, our playing starts one octave higher on our low C. There are several factors that can change the pitch of the horn resonance.

    We can conjure up exercizes that let us free buzz a note, place the mouthpiece on our lips and keep the same note and then stick the mouthpiece in the horn and still get the same note. Our body is just doing something completely different in each case and massive manipulation keeps the pitch the same.

     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    What is your experience, shooter?
     
  4. shooter

    shooter Piano User

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    I've been working on my range. When I'm fresh, my high C is around 75%. Since my practice time is limited, I've been taking my mouthpiece to work. I do long tones, tonguing exercises, and partials. I've discovered that when just buzzing on the mp, I'm 100% on the high C.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    When you have both trumpet and mouthpiece handy, try playing various open tones on your mouthpiece and, while still buzzing slowly insert the mouthpiece into the trumpet. About halfway in, you'll discover a lot of turbulence that will want to pull you to another note, and "fight" through it. This is difficult to do even for a G in the staff.

    Playing the mouthpiece alone is great for ear training, and inserting the buzzed mouthpiece into the instrument requires good concentration and strength. The mouthpiece does resonate to a degree, and there is a "break" around E above the staff.
     

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