THE sound

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bear, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    One last quote that I really like. This one is from Thomas Moore:

    "For maximum resonance, let the horn play the lips rather than the lips play the horn."

    You might also enjoy reading a post called Aperture Tunnel (Achieving Maximum Resonance). The link to the Thomas Moore article is provided by Ole in the second post down.
  2. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Awesome stuff Derek,
    You brought up a good point in saying that "Mouthpiece buzzing applied in the proper way can be extremely beneficial." I would totally agree as it helps center pitch, etc...

    So another question.

    What's everyone's take on using a bone/baritone mpc to buzz on and then playin' trumpet? I'll state my own ideas after everyone chimes in.
  3. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Derek- No, I've no experience with Bill Adam or his disciples other than through these forums. I picked this up via the oTHer trumpet site (during the days I frequented there). I just started trying it...I do get an overtone on good days...guess I just mis-identified which one I was hearing. One of the dangers of trying something without proper guidance, I guess. At any rate, I know what it sounds like in my head, so I know what I'm listening for.

    *Ok. I just tried the leadpipe to see what I'm hearing. I stand corrected; octave and fifth it is. :shock: Oops.*

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you on that one...

    Bear- to annswer your uestion on using a eupho mouthpiece...if I try that, my face feels like I have jelly donut remnants on it. It is difficult for me to get past that, so I play as little large moutpiece brass as I can get away with.
  4. 11thchair

    11thchair Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2005
    Evansville In
    I spoke to Felix Vayser and Phillis Stork about not buzzing this summer. Reason for it was that I feel that I do not buzz. When setting up my embechure I touch the tip of my tongue to the bottom of the mouthpiece cup - then I'm fine. This makes a significant gap between upper and lower lips, not great for buzzing. And if I pull the mouthpiece out of the leadpipe while say on middle C - I get the wonderful sound of air - no tone or buzz.

    I bring it up (feeling that I was the one and only one to do this - I lead a sheltered life) because Phillis informed me that Mr. William Vacchiano could never buzz either. Maybe she was trying to make me feel better - but she seems well informed. And I did feel better. :-)

    I'm trying to break the touching the tongue to the mouthpiece habit - mainly because I went to one of Felix's Trumpetfests. Where everyone is spraying the mouthpieces with disinfectant. Really nasty. :x
  5. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    11thchair Wrote:
    And stcman Wrote:
    Same with me. I think it’s important to note, though, that some very fine players can work into the mouthpiece while buzzing their lips, and then back away from the instrument with their lips buzzing the same pitch. I think that the quality of the sound (tone) between these two approaches, however, is very different. Not good or bad, just different. I personally find the sound that I create by “letting the horn play the lips†fits my personal sound model better than the “lips playing the horn†model.

    There was a very interesting post about a masterclass that was given by John Harbaugh at the Las Vegas Trumpet Fest several years on the physics of trumpet playing. You can find a link to this in the folder called The Flickering Flame!!
  6. JunkyT

    JunkyT Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    this is a fantastic thread! i've read the whole thing with great interest. thanks to all for your thoughts.

    re: buzzing. i have never done much of it, but i recently took a lesson with brian lynch, and he has me doing some buzzing exercises to start the day. i have been doing them with the mouthpiece, but i can't for the life of me buzz without it. he sent me some recordings of him doing it, and he has an incredible, consistent buzz even w/o the mouthpiece.

    one lesson i learned from brian was quite eye-opening. he had me play a concert Eb on my horn, and then take the mouthpiece out and buzz. my buzz came out around a concert Bb! now he has me doing this every day so that i can try to get the buzz to resonate at an Eb too.

    as for sound concept, i have found that during practice sessions i have to keep my sound in my head at all times or i get lazy. i'm hoping that after doing this for a while it'll become more second nature, but for now, it takes loads of concentration on my part.
  7. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    JunkyT Wrote:

    I remember having this same thing happen to me when I was in college. My trumpet instructor had the most fantastic mouthpiece “buzz†that I had ever heard. It was absolutely crystal clear. And his sound on the horn was great too! He had me do the experiment that you mention, and just like you, my buzzing pitch dropped significantly when I pulled the mouthpiece out of the leadpipe as I continued to play. That was almost 20 years ago.

    The sound model (symphony trumpet sound) that makes the most sense to me is finding a very “forward†sound quality that has ring and vibrancy in it. I can get that sound on the mouthpiece alone (using the James Thompson Buzzing Basics book), on the mouthpiece/ leadpipe combination (ala Bill Adam), and most importantly through the horn. The point is that I know “what†to listen for.

    What I wonder is how many players trying this experiment for the first time who experience this drop in buzzing pitch would benefit more by going in the opposite direction? Intuitively, it seems matching the mouthpiece buzz to the same pitch on the horn makes sense, but many players get fantastic results without doing this. I know that this is trying to bridge the gap between two different (very valid) schools of thought with respect to sound production on a brass instrument, but I’m still curious.

    If you consciously try to get the buzz from a concert Bb up to the concert Eb, what is it that you are thinking? If you are thinking about physically tightening something and it gets you to the Eb, but your sound tightens up accordingly, is that moving you in the direction that you want to go?

    Every time that I take my “ears†off my goal (vibrant, ringing, colorful, resonant sound), I lose the quality that I’m trying to cultivate in my playing. When I consciously try to manipulate the sound physically, "BAM" I go in the wrong direction, and the vibrancy just evaporates. Then I relax, focus on the sound, let my body do what it knows, and just "let" the sound out. When I do this, I get right back to the sound that I want.

    This is more food for thought than anything else. I think great players exist in both camps of playing. I just wonder when being shown this experiment if there aren’t two valid paths to go down, and how a player knows which one to choose?
  8. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Adding a bit to the James Thompson philosophy

    The best remedy in either case is to "stay in present time". I studied with James Thompson when he was developing his method and THAT is the important part to all of our work. You would be amazed at how difficult this is to do. My students think I am some kind of wizard when I point to a note in a phrase and tell them, "you started thinking of the "high" C at the end on this note or in this section". It is very obvious in their playing when they begin to stress about the music. Staying in the present is very difficult, but good to practice. It is at the heart of Yoga too. There is no way you can hold a balancing pose without staying in present time. The instant your mind begins to wander, you fall out of the pose (asana). I just wanted to add this because many of you have discussed Jim's method and this is the very important philosophy behind it.
  9. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    Exactly! When my mind wanders during a practice session (even for a second or two), that vibrant quality in my sound has a very good chance of drifting away too. I’m much better about getting right back to that sound after I breathe and refocus these days.

    I remember doing those concentration charts that you have on your web site. Talk about a great tool to hone an extremely important skill! I got to the point where I could blow people away at how easy it was for me to “concentrate†and rattle off difficult combinations (-2, +1, 5 = red) at a pretty brisk clip on the metronome.

    I’ll have to pull those out and sharpen my concentration again.

    Thanks for reminding me of this.
  10. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 2, 2003
    Bloomington, Indiana

    I love the Leon avatar!!! :D ...although he isnt beautiful like the person in your old one. :cool:

    Are you a former Rapier student? If so, PM or email me. ITG is going to do something special at the next conference for Mr. Rapier (posthumously) and his family. Mike Tunnell & I are assembling an email list of former students who need to be in the loop.


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