Two completly different views on buzzing

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by daveythewavey19, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    The way I think about it is that WE are the instrument and that hunk of metal is just the amplifier. We need to to be able to tell the horn what to play, not vice versa. The only way to accomplish (I believe) is to be able to buzz what you play. From pedal tones to double tones. It won't happen in one day but if you stay consistent and patient, it will happen eventually. Stick with it, don't get discouraged. There is a "j" in everyone's playing.
    That means that you start off on sort of a plateau, then learning new techniques/skills you may drop a little (the curve of the j) but after you learn those skills, you're playing dramatically increases.. Life is one big J. Keep on blowing man.

  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is a little truth in just about every approach. The trumpet is more than an amplifier. It also "distorts" the buzz giving it a characteristic glow unique to that brand and model, it through design slots our notes hopefully into proper tune - if not we have to fight the instrument to play in tune AND through proper manipulation of the valves, is capable of producing many effects.
    The mouthpiece buzz actually has very little to do with the buzz with the instrument. To keep it simple: buzzing is an additional tool that CAN be used to accomplish specific goals. It is not the only truth in embouchure development, but it is a very common and often successful tool.
    Like anything about playing, first hand experience has the potential to be MUCH more accurate than guesstimates on the internet. In the thread owners case, I would go WITH the professor. Fighting the flow will get you nowhere fast!
  3. Veldkamp

    Veldkamp Piano User

    Mar 29, 2004
    the Netherlands
    If I had followed the instructions of my first classical teacher at the Conservatory I would have ruined my embouchure. I never had problems and had a full range at a young age. But still my teacher wanted to change my embouchure! So I quit taking lessons from her and never regretted it.
  4. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004

    I agree with this. Did I say something not clear or muddling? I have a habit of doing that. The free buzz, mpc buzz, and then the effect with the horn. They are all different but if each is worked on, can produce an amazing result. Is that clearer maybe? Eh, anyways, back to studying. Take care folks.

  5. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    There are great players who advocate buzzing. There are equally great ones who don't. Jim Thompson may have been at Eastman for 17 years (you sure it's that long?) but Barbara Butler, who along with Charlie Geyer preceded him never talked about buzzing, they weren't big on it. None of my other teachers did either, and I've done all right. Others who I respect are way into it. Whatever works. You have to think for yourself in the end.

    Michael McLaughlin
  6. mrtrpt

    mrtrpt New Friend

    Sep 23, 2007
    Actually, playing the mouthpiece is one of the "bricks" in Barbra's fundamental's rountine...

    She says that when playing the mouthpiece it is to approached just like you are playing a concert... good breathing, good time, articulation, sound, intonation...
  7. pops

    pops Pianissimo User

    Mar 17, 2004

    Very often someone will think a teacher or player is not big about something because they didn't say it to them.

    However; if you didn't NEED the practice, advice... why would they waste time telling it to you?

    I have had a couple of Jacoby students tell me that Jake wasn't into something and then I would show them the directions in HIS handwriting to ME.

    I needed that instruction and they didn't at the time. Like wise There are things that he never said to me that I know he was big on. I didn't need the reinforcement in that area.
  8. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey

    I just stumbled on this is ancient thread but I just thought I'd stick in my two cents.

    It was great to reread some of this and tremendous to see the posts from pops.

    When we were kids, we used to say that "close only counts for horseshoes and hand grenades". Pretty clever, eh?

    But in that context, let's think about playing a brass instrument.

    I think the trumpet is a very forgiving instrument. From a vibration or frequency standpoint, you can buzz "close" (almost right) and the trumpet forgives you and will essentially, pop your approximation of the tone into the correct note's slot. If it is a poor approximation of the pitch, you'll miss the attack, or play out of tune, or play out of the center of the tone (or any combination of the three). If it is dead on, it is like finding the "sweet spot" on the golf club or baseball bat; and with seemingly no effort, wonderful things happen: centered tone, in-tune, great projection and presence of overtones.

    The trick of course is learning to feel when it is right and learning to replace all of our bad habits with the correct ones that allow us to do it right ALL THE TIME, at will.

    Free buzzing must be balanced with mouthpiece buzzing.
    Mouthpiece buzzing must be balanced with playing.

    I believe that most of us buzz sharp. Thus, we play on the sharp side of the pitch and play "bright of center"; edgy to some. If you produce a relaxed, in tune buzz, you play with a more resonant tone as the trumpet (which is 'not just a megaphone') works with your frequency to finish and refine the sound.

    Most people who believe in buzzing (and there as many who don't as there are who do), believe in Bending or warping pitches out of center / in and out of tune. By bending a tone flat and coming back into center, most people will intuitively stop where the sound is most resonant which is NOT where you attacked the note. Thus, your ears provide the positive feedback that feeds the brain the endorphins to "want" to play "there". Don't play without listening.

    The old computer guys said G.I.G.O. (garbage in, garbage out). Assess what comes out and analyze what goes in. Improve what goes in and look for the "delta" in improvement of what comes out.

    You play music. The trumpet is your voice. You tell the trumpet what to do. It only follows your instructions. Learn to speak trumpet.

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  9. Darrien

    Darrien Pianissimo User

    Nov 27, 2008
    St Vincent (West Indies)
    Lots of good info on this thread, much appreciated all. A couple of questions though:

    1. What is 'feedback' as referred to here in Pops' post?
    2. When we say buzzing as is talked about in this post, are we talking about the ability to buzz different pitches with the just the lips?
    3. I can get my lips to buzz but not in patterns. Seems I cant buzz anything more than a Major 2nd with just my lips. Does practicing patterns on the mouthpiece train the lips to buzz different pitches freely? (dont know how its termed but I think of it as 'free buzzing' ie just the lips without a mp).

    It seems logical to me that if I can get the lips to buzz without the mp then it should make playing better/more efficient. Currently, if I play a note on the trumpet the pul the mp out, I only get air not a buzz.

    Grateful for you thoughts.


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