Mouthpiece Buzzing why should we do it?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Johnctrumpet, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Johnctrumpet

    Johnctrumpet New Friend

    12
    5
    Feb 17, 2012
    London
    Mouthpiece Buzzing: Should we do it?

    Both beginner and advanced trumpet players are told at some point to ‘buzz’ on their mouthpiece. Unfortunately, too much of the time, we obediently follow someone’s advice blindly, either because of who they are, or because it sounds like a good idea. Whenever we are trying something new or even when we are doing something that is a firm part of our practice, we should always think: Why am I doing this? Or what am I trying to achieve by practicing this? Aimlessly blowing will not help nearly as much as working towards a specific goal, and can seriously limit your progress.
    The first thing to say, before talking about mouthpiece buzzing, is that trumpet sound is created by air and vibrations. As trumpet players, we have all experienced the inconsistency in standard of our playing on a day to day basis. It is important to remember that the sound is created on the lips themselves, rather than on the instrument. We are, as brass players, similar to athletes in that respect. Athletes will often wake up with stiff legs and aches, the same can happen to the trumpet player’s lips. We always need to ensure that we have maximum vibrations. This is created by airflow from the lungs, which vibrates the lips, creating a very rich sound and tingling feeling on our lips. We do not want an ‘airy’ thin sound which can be caused by the lips not vibrating at maximum efficiency. Needless to say this method, also makes it harder work for us to produce any type of sound. Buzzing on the mouthpiece can help to improve your playing, but a clear understanding of how to do it is very important. Always make sure that your lips are relaxed before thinking about buzzing the mouthpiece.


    Playing the trumpet is easier


    Whenever we play any type of brass instrument there is always air resistance (back pressure) as we blow into it. The less the resistance, the easier it is to play, which means we do not need to push as hard with the air. When we play the actual instrument the tubing is narrower from the mouthpiece and becomes a lot wider towards the bell. This makes the resistance relatively less compared to just buzzing the mouthpiece, which starts off bigger and becomes smaller. The most important thing to remember when you mouthpiece buzz is to always concentrate on using your airspeed to change the pitch of a note. Avoid tightening the lips.


    Focus on the air


    Air is the most important component in creating the sound. The lips are vibrated by the air, so that when we want to change the pitch of a note, we should always focus on changing the airspeed, which in turn changes the vibration speed and therefore the pitch. When buzzing the mouthpiece we are trying to improve a lip vibration, which in turn means better sound, less effort and more stamina. However if we buzz incorrectly, i.e. tighten our lips and force the sound, we may limit our progress.


    Always remember to ‘coax’ the vibrations out.


    Never force your lips to buzz. (In fact never force anything on the trumpet.) Always remain relaxed and let the vibrations happen. Practice mouthpiece buzzing quietly, thus encouraging you to relax the vibrating lips. Going high does not guarantee good vibrations. However, the ability to buzz both quietly and loudly in the lower register will improve lip vibrations, which will also facilitate the higher register. It is not because playing low improves high notes, By improving ones lip vibrations, by relaxing the lips in the lower register (towards maximum efficiency) The reason why we start buzzing with the lower notes is because it is easier to improve ones lip vibrations (towards maximum efficiency), which will then enable us to then continue up the register, maintaining good vibrations to the high notes. In this way we build from a good foundation.


    If you like this post then please visit my Blog at http://johnctrumpet.blogspot.com/

    A
    ny comments are welcomed, thanks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  2. BrassEye

    BrassEye Pianissimo User

    88
    22
    Sep 9, 2011
    I use buzzing the mouthpiece to aid playing unusual intervals. Being able to pitch the interval on the mouthpiece ensures that I am hearing it correctly and this translates to improved playing on the horn; the notes center more.

    I don't use mouthpiece buzzing otherwise (except for comic relief in rehearsals).
     
  3. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

    413
    193
    Apr 26, 2011
    Earth
    Why buzz on your mouthpiece, it’s a totally different animal and not at all like playing the horn utilizing backpressure. Same thing with playing on your lead pipe. You mind as well play a didgeridoo, nothing like a trumpet but at least your playing an instrument. Put the piece in the horn and play, you’ll get more for your money.
     
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    5,065
    1,005
    Jun 6, 2010
    Oregon
    Buzzing a SIREN sound on the mouthpiece can help get into lower and higher register notes more easily. A great siren buzz sounds like a real siren (kids love it). Since I've been buzzing my siren sounds, my pedal tones have taken on a better, fuller sound. Try it.


    Turtle
     
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    16,391
    7,505
    Dec 22, 2008
    Virginia
    While I agree that it is better to play the mpc with horn attached, that isn't always practical. When I can't play my horn, I play the mpc with an old school B.E.R.P.. Is it the same? No! Does it work my chops? Yes! Is it a substitute for playing the horn? No! Does it make me a better player? Yes! It isn't practical to play a horn and drive (even with a pocket trumpet :-)), so mpc playing is an efficient use of one's drive time. :D
     
  6. JNINWI

    JNINWI Piano User

    413
    193
    Apr 26, 2011
    Earth
     
  7. Johnctrumpet

    Johnctrumpet New Friend

    12
    5
    Feb 17, 2012
    London
    Thank you for your comment. Mouthpiece buzzing is used by many top players in order to improve vibrations. Playing the trumpet is all about creating good lip vibrations, if you can do this without buzzing the mouthpiece then that is great.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  8. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    5,065
    1,005
    Jun 6, 2010
    Oregon
     
  9. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Piano User

    291
    41
    Mar 4, 2005
    As with other extra horn ( free buzzing, pencil exercise etc) and exercises that go beyond normal playing (pedals, bends etc) there are more than one "correct" approaches so when discussing these subjects it would be helpful to define exactly what is being described. That being said, embouchures are all different ( stevens, maggio, callet, BE) so what works wonderfully for one person could be a disaster for another so a lot of care must be taken in giving advice or taking advice.
     
  10. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    2,304
    1,431
    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Also great when driving and you're in a hurry; clears traffic out of your way like nobody's business ROFL
     

Share This Page