Mouthpiece Buzzing

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Mouthpiece Buzzing

Post  JonathanPhillips on Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:12 am

Glad to have found this forum. I was bummed that I had to miss you at the Dayton Trumpet Hang. I had questions!!! The main one concerns mouthpiece buzzing. I read somewhere that you didn't advocate this. Did I read erroneously? If you do, why? Don't? I have been using James Thompson's "The Buzzing Book." The recommended exercises are fine, however, it doesn't seem to make a difference in my trumpeting. Would another approach be advisable? My Dad played his trumpet with grace and skill for 64 years before his death. Never once, did I see him buzz a mouthpiece or leadpipe and he was GOOD! My goal is simple; to be a really good Church trumpeter/cornetist and to do it right! Any advice would be valued and appreciated.

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AV's Take on Mouthpiece Buzzing

Post  Allen_Vizzutti on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:35 pm

Playing the mouthpiece is great. And can be a big help improving sound, getting loose and warming up in the car on the way to that all important early morning recording session in rush hour traffic. BUT...I play the mouthpiece, I don't buzz into it. A buzz type sound does come out of it though. There is confusion because I have been teaching "Blow Don't Buzz" for years. The key to an open sound is projecting the air through the mouthpiece and aperture with high energy in order to create a standing wave of whatever wave length you need for a specific pitch. Of course we don't think about the wave length, just the pitch. If your lips are moist, your aperture is not too wide, you don't use excessive pressure and you use smooth steady air flow, you will produce an open sound. If you buzz your lips to play you will sound like a beginner or a cat choking on a hair ball after smoking a pack of Camel straights.

Side bar: buzzing your lips without the mouthpiece can be relaxing and beneficial. I just don't play the trumpet that way. It's a separate deal. I recommend wearing a dark colored shirt when you buzz your lips though so the drool splatters are not too obvious. Also, avoid doing this with anyone in the immediate vicinity. No one wants to experience your spray. Cheers, AV

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