When you can't practice??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Thommo, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Thommo

    Thommo New Friend

    May 24, 2007
    We've all been there.
    An important performance on the weekend... not enough time to practice due to other commitments. What do you do? :-(

    I have been getting desperate to do something useful for my chops in time otherwise wasted.

    I realised I do a lot of driving every day, so I have started buzzing without a mouthpiece as I drive. Arpeggios, scales, songs...anything.
    Sure I get a lot of weird looks from passing traffic, but I don't care!
    I have also been trying out the old pencil routine as I sit in front of my computer at work.

    I've only recently started this routine of buzzing... about 2 hours a day as I go to from work and gripping a pencil in the chops for long periods.
    I figure it has to be better than no practice at all.. or do I have it wrong? :duh: Am I going to wreck my embrouchre. Any thoughts??

    I know there is no substitute for "real" practice, but does anyone else have routines or tricks when they just don't have enough time in the day?? :D
  2. dizzyizzy

    dizzyizzy Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2006
    I've been doing the "pencil" thing for years...only I securely taped 3-4 pennies on it (I use a Bic pen w/the cap for stability for the pennies).

    And...I KEEP a mouthpiece in the car...handy. Who cares about the looks!

    Heck..you ought to see the looks when I pull the pocket horn out from the back and play scales on boring, straight, long drives (ie. Interstate in rural areas...right-handed, only...keep the left on the wheel...and it still ain't "safe"...(there's the disclaimer, ok?).
  3. DSGerard

    DSGerard New Friend

    Jun 12, 2007
    soon to be in Arizona
    Both Free buzzing and the pencil exercise are great! I use both but I would be careful about how much of either you do. More than fifteen or twenty minutes of Buzzing w/o the mouthpiece can make me really stiff.

    I would not recommend more than 3 or 4 minutes a day for the pencil exercise and not the day before a gig.

    2 hours seems like a lot but see how you feel.

    Check out "Pops" at Trumpet College: Trumpet lessons and trumpet books by Clint 'Pops' McLaughlin. he has some great info on buzzing and a whole book devoted to the pencil exercise.
  4. TisEkard

    TisEkard Pianissimo User

    Jul 28, 2006
    L.A./Orange County CA
    Buzzing Basics, it comes with a CD
  5. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    All you need is a mouth piece and eight feet of 3/8 inch diameter tigon tubing. Plug the mouth piece into the tubing and buzz in the car. I buzz 20 minutes to work and 20 minutes going home. I am pretty much warmed up when I get home.

    When I run errands or go to the rifle range I buzz the mouth piece. It is a part of driving.

    Who gives a rat's behind what people think of it. Most of them are talking on cell phones.

    I can concentrate on good form without holding up a 3 pound trumpet.

    At home I do a few Colin exercises to get the high range going then start working on real music. Every other day I do a lot of Colin instead of real music.

    Go to the thread on the Cat Anderson method. I think it is in the Jazz part of the site. We talked about how to buzz the mouth piece and Cat's method. Do the Cat Anderson method in the car.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Buzzing works best with a proper embouchure, and it tires the chops quickly, conventional wisdom counsels us to make sure the botton lip doesn't get tucked behind the upper one and that the chin doesn't collapse upwards when using the pencil. Otherwise, we might end up with a really strong and wrong embouchure!

    Have fun!
  7. Siegtrmpt

    Siegtrmpt Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 21, 2005
    Watch out for the airbag!
  8. Thommo

    Thommo New Friend

    May 24, 2007
    Thanks ... Nice to know I'm not alone buzzing in the car!
    I started off using the mouthpiece, but I drive an old car on bumpy roads and found that I was using more pressure than I normally would use just to keep a sraight note.
    My free buzzing very quickly improved. I started by "setting" my embrouchre on the mouth piece, mainly to get my tongue in the right position. (I found I had been pushing behind the botton lip)... then taking ithe mp away and free buzzing. Having done 2 hours yesterday and a lot on other days this week, my lips feel full and strong.

    I have a concert in 4 hours. At the moment my sound is good. As for endurance.. I'll guess I'll soon find out!!
  9. rdt1959

    rdt1959 Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    I can't add much about the buzzing, that has been covered pretty well.

    I also take my horn to work, and practice in the parking lot on my lunch break. Sometimes I use a mute, sometimes I don't. Depends on who is around and how much they ticked me off that morning.:lol:
  10. Gary Schutza

    Gary Schutza Pianissimo User

    Apr 6, 2007
    Kansas City
    I also buzz the mouthpiece in the car. Don't care what others think. I have used Jim Thompson's book and CD for a couple of years now. The CD is great in the car because it forces you to buzz "in tune". This is way better than just buzzing all over the place. James Stamp said that buzzing the mouthpiece along with the piano (for pitch recognition) helped you to center the pitch without allowing the instrument to help. If you can buzz the note right in the center with the mouthpiece alone, when you add the trumpet the note is still centered. And the trumpet starts to really ring. Acoustics at work. This is very good for all around playing. It opens up and relaxes the sound, plus you tend to miss less frequently as you are playing the notes right in the center rather than letting the horn kind of "get you close".

    by the way, I really don't like to buzz my lips alone (without mouthpiece). I have always felt it made me terribly tight. You may be different, though.


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