Mouthpiece Exercises?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RHSbigbluemarchingband, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    Lately I took the other 3C I have and put it in the car, and when I am running errands in town, which mostly entails sitting in traffic in park (love nj), I have been buzzing. Mostly I just play along with the radio or buzz current music, but I was wondering how, if its possible, to make the most out of the mouthpiece? I do a lot of lip slurs too, but are there any good exercises? I also work on making sure im breathing properly and using minimal pressure, but I was wondering if there are exercises that you guys use to make the most out of mouthpiece buzzing?
  2. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    about 20 yrs ago several of us here in Indy used to do lips exercises on our m.p. while in the car. we used to put a 24" length of rubber fuel hose on it to give us a little resistance. not really sure it helped but we thought it did, can't hurt.
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    First of all stick a sock (or towel) in it! Or more specifically wrap a cloth (sock or towel) around bore end of the mouthpiece. Then control the resistance you want by controlling the tightness you use in holding the towel. Slurs work fine doing this, but I prefer to play actual tunes from my song book. Alternatively, you can put on a favorite radio station and play along with the song while sitting in the car.

    Now rowuk will tell you to connect the mouthpiece to a specific length of garden hose. This will duplicate the feel of the trumpet. But I like the added resistance from a towel. As long as you don't overblow, you will get a great workout, and I have found this to increase my stamina when I get home and convert to an actual trumpet.
  4. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

    Oct 22, 2008
    I'm originally from northern NJ. I miss the great food. But I don't miss the traffic. :-)

  5. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Here are Bud Herseth's thoughts on mouthpiece work. (From O.J. Utnes website and Tim Kent's notes).

    Practice on the mouthpiece every day before your regular session. Walk around and play anything musical (no drills) from excerpts to pop tunes. Concentrate on being very musical on these pieces, and most important, on a very LARGE SOUND on the mouthpiece.

    The mouthpiece, because of the lack of divisions, it is possible to go over all ranges, and it forces you to use your ear. Also in emergency situations, it can be used as a substitute for regular practice on the horn.

    Play a complete session on the mouthpiece once in a while. This keeps you from getting hangups on the horn, and improves everything from sound to articulation.

    Whenever you are having problems on any piece, play it on the mouthpiece.

    Play no drills on the mouthpiece, only music.

    Some great player/teachers such as James Thompson, do have specific drills on the mouthpiece. Whether or not using a length of tubing or some sort of towel or sock is more beneficial than the mouthpiece alone is an individual decision.
    Most of us who come from Chicago have been taught the Herseth way. It certainly works for me and I have incorporated the Thompson drills in as well. I prefer not to use any tubing or added resistance.
    I remember reading an article by the Canadian Brass saying that they occasionally would play a work on their mouthpieces alone.
  6. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    Its the only place where in order to go ten miles you have to leave 30-45 minutes to travel. Such as going from where I live to the bridge. Oh jersey. lol.
  7. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    And I have been doing a lot of just "fun" stuff with it. I mostly play along with my radio stations and during commercial breaks I play things like the Haydn or other solos I have been working on to practice for my recital or drum corps (we do about 30 minutes worth of mouthpiece work, minimum, per day. all slurs are done on mouthpiece too, and then converted to the horn). I will have to try the resistance aspect though.
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Too, you could acquire from Warburton, David O'Neil's Buzzzmaster that simulates the resistance of an instrument and costs about $50.00. Just slip your mouthpiece in it and the overall length is under 5 inches. I like it.

    What I feel it really does is develop your lips in such a way that you could learn to lip the inconsistency tones of the trumpet without use of the slides or at least augment such.
    patkins likes this.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    For $16.99 you can get a pack of 24 terry cloth towels from the Autozone!
  10. jengstrom

    jengstrom Pianissimo User

    Oct 17, 2009
    Rochester, NY
    I am a comebacker with more passion for the trumpet than I've ever had, even more than when I was in music school playing 5 hours a day. I'd love to play that much a day again, but with a conventional day job, family obligations, home repair, church, etc., that ain't gonna happen. For me, mouthpiece buzzing is not only about doing the exercises that some of the buzzing gurus advocate, it's about getting face time on a rim because I can't get enough on the horn. I have a MP in the car, one in my coat pocket, and several at home, all with the same rim.

    For me, MP buzzing has different purposes. Buzzing on the way to work in the morning is about relaxing and putting some blood through the chops. Buzzing on the way home from work is about preparing myself for playing in the evening. Doing the James Thompson exercises as I warm up with the horn is about improving my embouchure and sound. Buzzing on the way home from a gig or rehearsal is about warming down. I did a road trip for 2 weeks last fall and buzzing in the car during the day was sometimes the only face time I got that day, so it was a longer buzz routine and more strenuous.

    At various time, I do mouthpiece arpeggios, slurs, long tones, the MP portions of the Thompson stuff, Caruso's 6 notes, 20 minute G and pedals down to 1st pedal C.

    I can't get the horn time I'd like to have. Adding all the MP buzzing into the routine allows me to average about 2 hours of playing a day, even if only 1 to 1 1/2 hours is actually on the horn.


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