Recipe for the "Perfect Buzz"

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ejaime23, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. ejaime23

    ejaime23 Pianissimo User

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    Howdy all! So we all know that having well centered, focused buzz is a starting point to having a centered tone rich in core, so let's cook one up shall we? What do you think are the required ingredients to create the "perfect buzz," we are of course talking of a mouthpiece buzz, ready, set, go!
     
  2. mikeman7

    mikeman7 New Friend

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    Hmmm,
    pretend you're drinking out of those tiny coffee stirrers (straws), firm corners, relaxed but controlled aperture and lots of air. That'll get you started.
     
  3. Tammerman175

    Tammerman175 New Friend

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    What if your bottom lip curls in when you buzz (without MP) higher?
    Is this good or bad?
     
  4. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

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    Feb 20, 2008
    For the less initiated among us, can we sart even at a lower foundation (and build up from there) - it's a question I have thought about asking, and since you brought the subject up . . .

    Should we try to develop a lip good buzz without a mouthpiece? I ask this because I have never (even in the old days) have been good at buzzing without something to buzz against. "Pop's" web page, and some others seem to suggest that this is fundamental - yet some other places suggest it may not be all that important. Obviously this is not an end to itself, but part of developing that perfect buzz. Theoretically, the buzz should be the same with or without an MP, certainly one would not want to change embouchure with/without.

    I'll leave futher commentary about a perfect buzz out, because for me, I can learn a lot more than I can contribute.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not sure that we can consider this universal truth. Not all accomplished players that I know advocate separate buzzing. It can't hurt as far as I am concerned, so getting it right should be approached the same way as proper playing:

    Get your breathing right first - inhale/exhale with no "bump" in between. Once this works, replace exhale with buzz. If you buzz softly, you will not blow the aperature out of shape. So buzz very softly. It could take a couple of days (or weeks) until you have enough control to buzz around without using force, so be patient.

    The function of buzzing is to force your embouchure to take control without any help from the resonant system(horn/mouthpiece combo). This places an intensive load on the embouchure muscles and could possibly positively influence their development. I am very careful about how I phrase this because I see how more harm could be done if force were applied. Buzzing techniques should really be presented and monitored by a good teacher.

    To paraphrase Will Rogers: It is not what you do not know that hurts you, it is what you know that ain't so.
     
  6. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

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    Feb 20, 2008
    Interesting so far, for what it's worth, I think that one thing I could almost certainly say is that if I could not buzz without a mouthpiece (not that I have ever tried that much after some false starts), I almost certainly tried harder - translate that as using more force if you will more volume to "make it buzz." I doubt that I ever tried softening my approach.... I'll try that soon - read - when my wife is not around to stare at my "strange behavior."
     
  7. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

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    Feb 20, 2008
    So, I had a few minutes alone this morning where I would not disturb anyone - or get sent of to the psycho ward; I tried some buzzing without an mp,and sure enough, increasing the volume definitely makes it easier to get the buzz going. Lowering the volume, it's very easy to get to the "spitting seeds" place where there is no sound. And range on lip buzzing is a whole different issue.

    It is my assumption that if I could get a good buzz without a mouthpiece, develop some dynamic range as well as range in pitch that that change in development would be multiplied when I add the mouthpiece and horn. Don't know for sure.

    The appeal for some of these practice methods is that they multiply the amount of time available for practice. I know Rowuk believes in total concentration when practicing, and I think that's good advise, but I wonder about doing things that will "help the process along" so to speak during your otherwise idle time - such as driving.

    Now I'm also aware that there is some danger of trying to do too much too soon . . . As much (perhaps more) for a comeback player (who can remember actually doing some of these things) than for a brand new player (who wants to see what he can do) . . . I try to temper that, but at the same time use whatever is available to me to bring about the improvements I desire.

    Are there any more thoughts on the buzz - first without the mouthpiece, then with?
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    jdostie,
    yes I am an advocate of "quality time" dedicated to anything important (music, job, ones children or spouse................)

    There are things that you can also do outside of the practice room that help your playing. Eric Bolvins pencil trick for one, swimming, listening in the car to great music instead of muzak, perhaps even buzzing softly once we have the technique down and can reproduce it blind. In addition, double tonguing without the horn or mouthpiece, practicing fingerings without the horn or just sitting up straight also can reap benefits. All of these activities do not need a loop from chops to ears to brain!

    All of the activities that require the loop should be performed in a dedicated manner in the practice room with no distractions.

    My feeling is that "face time" does not improve ones playing or endurance, we just feel better about ourselves for supposedly accomplishing more (I am not very big on political correctness-if we do not behave, we should feel bad about ourselves!). Face time to me is playing while concentrating on another activity. All of the important facets of communication are blocked during such an activity. That feedback is what would improve our playing.
     
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Buzzing without the mouthpiece can be beneficial, provided the lips look "normal;" that, for example, the lower lip doesn't slip behind the upper or that the chin collapses. This being said, I think this kind of buzzing works only for those who are already pretty darned good trumpet players. A mirror can be a huge help, as can a teacher.

    Have fun!
     
  10. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    3 beers + 1 cuban = perfect buzz
     

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