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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Buzzing without the mouthpiece. in the General forums; I think buzzing without the mp is helpful. My instructor not only recommends it but showed me how to do ...
  1. #21
    Utimate User turtlejimmy's Avatar
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    I think buzzing without the mp is helpful. My instructor not only recommends it but showed me how to do it. It takes a relaxed mouth and with some practice, you can buzz just as high as you play on the trumpet. You can even buzz pedal tones or make a siren sound (much easier with the MP).

    When my cheeks were puffing out (not sure where that came from), we fixed it with buzzing w/out the mouthpiece. And I was also able to fix a weird stuffy/airy sound I went through by going back to the BASIC BUZZ (w/out the mp). Since I learned how to do it, I can get a very clean buzz w/out the mp ..... but then something was different with the trumpet. When we figured out what it was, the problem was solved.

    I use it as part of my normal warmup ..... loose lip flapping, then buzzing w/out the mp to make sure it's a nice, tight sound, then with the mp to refine the sound. And on to the trumpet.

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  2. #22
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maurito Sosa View Post
    Hey Ed, this is a very interesting advise.
    I started playing the trumpet on my own, and I started it by buzzing without the mouthpiece. I have a great flexibility to create different pitches without the mouthpiece, but I think this might be the source on my difficulties to create a clean beautiful sound. Also my range is nothing to be proud of, as well as my flexibility with the horn (or just the mouthpiece...)
    Could it be that I´m so used to buzz without the mouthpiece that I´m not able to relax my lips when I go to the horn?
    Also I think this might be the problem for me not to be able to use the toungue properly.....
    thanks anyways for the new ideas!

    Wow ! Really ? You started by playing a trumpet that had no mouthpiece ? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you. If I'm not, then I applaud your resourcefulness! I've been dabbling with mouthpiece-free playing lately, just as an experiment, and it takes me a long time just to be able to produce a tone.
    -S

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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    Hahahahha reading what I wrote now, made me understand your confusion... Sorry for my english!
    What I meant whas that when I starded playing, I read I should buzz with my lips. Beeing that the case, I got used to buzzing with my lips before going to the instrument, and because of that I think it might have messed with my embouchure!
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  4. #24
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maurito Sosa View Post
    Hahahahha reading what I wrote now, made me understand your confusion... Sorry for my english!
    What I meant whas that when I starded playing, I read I should buzz with my lips. Beeing that the case, I got used to buzzing with my lips before going to the instrument, and because of that I think it might have messed with my embouchure!
    Anyways I tried to play now without the mpiece and it worked hahhaahahhaha
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  5. #25
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    Lots of interesting ideas here. Some more thoughts:

    The trumpet is an inanimate object. We, as musicians are the actual "trumpet" and the trumpet itself is just an amplifier.

    There seem to be two schools of thought on lip buzzing and there are merits and cons to both as anything in life.

    One is that by lip buzzing you are forming a more natural embouchure that should help in all aspects of playing the hunk of metal. The problem is that a vast majority of people do NOT form their "playing" embouchure the same as when they free buzz. I have seen free buzzing help in a myriad of ways with younger students primarily in creating a more centered focused sound. Vice versa, I've seen free buzzing royally screw up players who have been playing for a few years already by it physically changing their embouchure which resulted in a lack of mature sound, range, flexibility, etc...

    The other school of thought on free buzzing is that it's useless and just tires you out and promotes bad habits.... My sincerest apologies to you who are in this camp but I honestly find this thinking to be very closed minded. If one thinks about the way the body functions and the physics of the trumpet itself, a centered and full free buzz could be very beneficial to a players sound/range/flexibility/what have you. For instance, a lot of problems with younger players is that they are double buzzing (double buzzing simply means that the top and bottom lips are not cycling at the same frequency creating almost a multi-tone) and/or not hitting the correct pitches and so the tone of the note is fuzzy or not resonating the way it ought too. Ten -fifteen seconds of having them buzz the pitch and it's fixed and even sounds decent.

    The problem lies in understanding what free buzz is used for. I do not think it should not be used to change an embouchure or to focus on creating tension in the lips to create a solid buzz. For my students and teaching, it should only be used to focus on center of pitch and sound production issues, and even then sparingly as bad habits can form if it's something done without being paid attention.

    All that being said, I personally know trumpet players who buzz way better than they can play and others who can't buzz their lips if their lives depended on it... and all are wonderful players.

    There are lots of examples out there that involve creating buzzes such as Mr. Carrol's suggestion on an earlier page. I believe we focus too much on the details and not enough on the product. Remember, the music comes first. No one cares if you can play a loud DHC or a gorgeous sounding middle G whole note (or even buzz either or). What matters is end product, how does the music sound?

    Your mileage may vary, one size does NOT fit all. Do your own research before you blindly support/bash something.

    The "secret" to playing trumpet truly lays in being relaxed and using your air flow to it's maximum potential. The trumpet is a wind instrument... not a breeze instrument.

  6. #26
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    When I started playing, back in the 1950's, the standard teaching method was to start students with free buzzing and then mouthpiece buzzing and only after some proficiency was developed would one start on the actual instrument. In fact, if a student could not free buzz, they were switched to the clarinet - or the drums.

    This buzzing was done in conjunction with lips pulled tightly across the teeth and the edges of the mouth pulled back by the cheek muscles - resulting in what is generally called the "smile embouchure".

    I could free buzz enough to pass the first stage but have never been able to actually buzz a tune with just my lips. I could buzz tunes easily with the mouthpiece but have never been able to buzz as high with the mouthpiece as on the actual trumpet.

    I played with that embouchure until I put the trumpet down 40 years ago and when I picked it up again about two years ago, I started with that embouchure.

    But, I then found out about the "pucker" style and finally switched to that. It works much better for me now - but I cannot free buzz at all with my lips puckered. So, as several have said, it requires a different embouchure for me to buzz than I use for playing and thus it does not do me any good.

    I can mouthpiece buzz but I carry a spare cornet in my car to use whenever I am on the road so I find that I don't really need to mouthpiece buzz, either.

    I have no objection to anyone who likes to do it or finds it beneficial but for me it has never been a significant contribution to my ability.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    Well, here goes.

    Certainly whether or not the lip "buzzes" due to the feedback from the physics of the horn or not, buzzing is an effective tool to help the player to understand the mechanics of how the lips and contributory muscles work when playing. Laurie Frink includes some free buzzing and mouthpiece buzzing in her routine. James Thompson does not care too much about free buzzing and is more interested in the interaction of the lips and the mouthpiece. It goes without saying that lips will not be set the same way off of the mouthpiece as they are with it as the rim of the mouthpiece provides a degree of structure. Just a Herbert Clarke warned that a drop of medicine can cure but three drops can kill, buzzing can be overdone - more time should be spent playing and care should be taken to not spend SO much free buzzing that the player doesn't forget his/her mouthpiece setting.

    Drozdoff know what he's talking about and the "peel" is an excellent tool. Buzzits, BERPs etc are well thought out devices too.

    I am not going to go into why I think buzzing is therapeutic however, for those who want to following that path, those were a few random thoughts about it. I understand that some people can prove that "the reeds" don't vibrate without the action of the air column of the leadpipe or instrument with physics. OK, we're not trying to land a man on the moon, just play the trumpet with more ease and efficiency.

    Like the old Alka Seltzer commercial advised, "Try it, you'll like it".
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  8. #28
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    I agree with you. I found free buzzing and mpc buzzing with a berp beneficial. This is an age old debate. To buzz ,or not to buzz... . I buzz, berp, and keep a pocket trumpet in my truck. It does work for me. I will say that it is not as good as time on the horn! But for those times when "face time" isn't practical or possible, I will keep on buzzing and berping!
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    First of all, there are more than one approach to free buzzing (lip buzzing). Caruso used a version of it therapeutically, Pops teaches a very relaxed octave below lip buzzing, Callet teaches what he calls spit buzzing. They are all different with different purposes. BTW I think Drozdoff has backed away from his peel away exercises). The bottom line for free buzzing is that if you know what you are doing and why you are doing it, then it can work. If it doesn't work for you, don't do it. Dogmatism and trumpet pedagogy are not a good mix

  10. #30
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    Re: Buzzing without the mouthpiece.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Freedman View Post
    First of all, there are more than one approach to free buzzing (lip buzzing). Caruso used a version of it therapeutically, Pops teaches a very relaxed octave below lip buzzing, Callet teaches what he calls spit buzzing. They are all different with different purposes. BTW I think Drozdoff has backed away from his peel away exercises). The bottom line for free buzzing is that if you know what you are doing and why you are doing it, then it can work. If it doesn't work for you, don't do it. Dogmatism and trumpet pedagogy are not a good mix
    +1000
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    The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8

    Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson

    Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.

    By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!

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