Our Lips

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ImprovingTrumpeter, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. ImprovingTrumpeter

    ImprovingTrumpeter New Friend

    Oct 28, 2005
    Manny I've heard many people say that our lips buzz but recently I've heard our lips don't buzz. What is the real answer?
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I guess the truth is that the top lip vibrates against the bottom which stays stable. I would assume that if the top lip is impinged in such a way so that it couldn't vibrate, your bottom lip would find a way to compensate.

    I don't really know but I like making stuff up when I have no idea.

  3. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Manny if I can attemp to fill in a few blanks.

    Firstly, I'm not a physicist so this is my attempt in layman's terms.

    There is an argument that what really matters in making a sound come out of a brass instrument is that your lips open and close at a desired frequency..the 'buzz' is incidental if you like...as long as the air column within the trumpet is excited. When I play I know that my lips vibrate but that is a function of both the air I'm pushing from my lungs, the compression of my embouchure AND the resultant feedback from the standing wave set up in trumpet. If you like (at least in part) the trumpet is playing the player rather than the other way around. It's tough to visualise so I guess that the way we teach and conceptualise ourselves is that we buzz and that's what's responsible for the sound coming out of the bell. I'm all for simplifying things.

    Personally, I'm all in favour of just putting a mouthpiece in the skinny end and hoping that something pleasant comes out the fat end.



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