Mouthpiece only for a day

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MSfortissimo, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Does anyone know the effect of just mouthpiece buzzing for an entire day? No playing the horn at all, but a couple hours buzzing, and then pick up the trumpet again the next day.

    I'm giving a shot today, but I was curious if anyone had tried this before, and if you had positive/negative/neutral experience with it.

    It's going to add up to at least two hours of actual face time for me.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Adolph Herseth used to take a couple of weeks off each off-season, and would get back into shape by mouthpiece buzzing. He said (in an Instrumentalist interview, I believe) that he would buzz while playing golf, and that it was good for a couple of strokes.

    Two hours of buzzing is quite a bit. I would suggest practicing out of the Stamp book, checking pitches against a keyboard.
  3. redintheface

    redintheface Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2010
    Bath, UK
    I have tried buzzing, and I can't say I am particularly impressed with the results, but I'm no Bud Herseth!

    I found that although it does use my facial muscles, and I can get an approximate tone throughout the range, the actual sound produced once an instrument is put in place leaves a lot to be desired. I suppose it's probably because I don't know the exact sound of buzz I'm trying to produce in order to make a nice sound through the trumpet, and in addition there is no security of mouthpiece to keep the required portion of the lips buzzing. The first time I tried it, I ended up buzzing almost the entire width of my mouth, much like a tuba player might!

    But as with any advice on here - it's very individual, and what works for one person may not work for another, and vice-versa. I do hope it works for you.

  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The problem is this: our playing is NOT only motor skills and facial strength. Playing consists of blindly starting a note based on experience. Then the sound leaves the horn, some of it reaches our ears immediately, some reflects off of the walls and comes back delayed. Our brain processes this and tells the muscles what to change.

    When we buzz, we do not have the resonance of the horn. The sound reaches our ears directly - little comes back from the room - all of the sonic clues are absent. Our brain is helpless.

    I don't think that 2 hours of buzzing is a good substitute for anything - especially if the player does not have well defined playing habits.

    That being said, what is wrong with a break? If you get back long enough before the first gig, where is the issue? If vacation goes up to a couple of days before a gig, you need to take the horn. If not, relax. A couple of 5 minute sessions with the mouthpiece per day is fine to keep the muscle memory in place and not REPLACE habits.
  5. dcpritchett

    dcpritchett Pianissimo User

    Jan 20, 2015
    Central FL
    I guess it depends on what you buzz. I know I get dribbles on my shirt.
  6. treble_forte

    treble_forte Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2007
    N. Ireland
    Excellent post!

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