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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Buzzing Question in the General forums; Hi I am a high school trumpet player with a question about free buzzing. When I ascend, my bottom lip ...
  1. #1
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    May 2009

    Buzzing Question

    Hi I am a high school trumpet player with a question about free buzzing. When I ascend, my bottom lip tucks under my top lip around G on top of the staff. I don't think it is supposed to do that...I can barely buzz up to high C and that is where my range with the trumpet cuts off as well. I know trumpet playing is not all about range, but I have been trying to get the C solid for a long time and have had pretty much no success. So is the rolling in of my bottom lip under my top lip cutting off my range (and probably endurance) due to the amount of work my top lip has to do? If so, how can I fix this problem? Is it just as simple as try to keep my bottom lip form rolling under my top lip when I practice? I have a private teacher, but have not been able to meet with him in awhile due to outside conflicts, so any advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Levittown , NY

    Re: Buzzing Question

    I play with a lower lip curl [over bottom teeth] and have no problems with range or endurance, as I ascend into the upper register I slightly push my lower jaw forward , this keeps the embouchure from closing up, this combined with proper breathing and tongue levels should work .

  3. #3
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    Jul 2009
    New Hampshire

    Re: Buzzing Question

    If your present manner of playing is causing a noticeable cutoff in your range and all your efforts to go beyond that point fail, then you should try working to prevent your lower lip from moving behind your upper lip when you get to the G.

    You should be doing a lot of soft playing of long notes, things like C - D - C slurs (3rd space to 4th line back to 3rd space), then C# - D# - C#, then D - E - D, etc. holding each note for between 6 and 8 beats minimum, trying to maintain a mezzo-piano or softer dynamic.

    One book which I have found helpful is the Reinhardt Routines published by Pivot Publishing, a subsidiary of Boptism Music Publishing. Whether you know much about the Reinhardt school of trumpet thought or not, I find is immaterial to getting great benefit from this book. It's a series of 9 warm-up routines each of which you start off with what's called the "Pivot Stabilizer" -- a series of slow lip slurs which really can help get your embouchure settled quite nicely for a great trumpet playing day. In my experience, that is, others may disagree, which is fine. One thing which is very important to keep in mind is that when trying to work to expand one's range, and indeed even in working well within the comfortable range you now have, it's important not to strain. When you begin to feel as if you're straining to get a note or to finish the phrase, it's time to take a break from trumpet playing.

    don't look for any quick solution to any range issues -- just keep working steadily and carefully, trying to work hard to eliminate any bad habits such as having one lip move behind or in front of the other, squeezing with the mouthpiece into the embouchure, etc. Most range issues, and indeed most trumpet playing issues other than technical proficiency with the valves, come down to breathing issues and reinforce the title of Claude Gordon's book -- "Brass Playing is No Harder than Deep Breathing."

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005

    Re: Buzzing Question

    Very detailed questions like this one should be handled by a private teacher in person. DIY embouchure modification based on free advice from the Internet is probably not a good idea. Embouchures are very personal things and what works wonderfully for one person might be disaster for another

  5. #5
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    Mar 2005
    Indianapolis, In

    Re: Buzzing Question

    I agree with Jerry Freedman, this needs to be handled by a teacher. We on the internet can not see or hear you play. If your teacher doesn't know what to do with the problem, find one who does.

  6. #6
    Banned Piano User
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    Mar 2008

    Re: Buzzing Question

    Quote Originally Posted by greenandbluetiger View Post
    Hi I am a high school trumpet player with a question about free buzzing. When I ascend, my bottom lip tucks under my top lip around G on top of the staff. I don't think it is supposed to do that...
    That is exactly what it is supposed to do if you were born with a downstream embouchure instead of an upstream embouchure.

    Go to
    An Introduction to Donald S. Reinhardt's Pivot System
    then scroll down to Reinhardt's Embouchure Types
    then scroll down to Type III (3) and Type IIIA and Type IIIB.

    By the way, the embouchure that a person uses in free buzzing is not necessarily the embouchure that a person uses when using a mouthpiece and trumpet.
    Upstream players will often free-buzz downstream although they have upstream embouchures when actually playing trumpet.


  7. #7
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Buzzing Question

    I question the real need for any amount of free buzzing. It has NOTHING to do with trumpet playing, the embouchure is not defined as there is no mouthpiece rim so you are not training the muscles in a complementary way to that when playing the horn.

    If you have a solid daily routine with enough long tones and lip slurs, your chops will gravitate to your personal, natural position. That should provide the best results. I can't ever remember talking to a student about lip curl. I just gave them chop building exercizes like I just described. Mother nature has always taken care of the rest!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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