• FAQ  • Search  • Memberlist  • Usergroups   • Register   • Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

Correcting a Double Buzz?


Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Fundamentals
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Harmonik
New Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2020
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:42 pm    Post subject: Correcting a Double Buzz? Reply with quote

Hello all,

(This may also fit in the range improvement forums, but I feel that this is more of a fundamental embouchure issue so I put it here. Also please bear with me, for this is quite lengthy.)

I’m a senior in high school, and I’ve been playing for about 6 and a half years.
Since last October or so, I have been struggling with a double buzz in the upper register of my playing. Prior to that, I had been able to get to a high C consistently and fairly comfortably, albeit maybe with a bit too much pressure. Around that time I started trying to build my upper register the legitimate way and without using so much pressure. That was going well at first, but at some point I had a day where I tired out pretty quickly and everything above the staff began coming out as this nasty double buzz. I thought “No big deal, just having a bad day” and put the horn down for the day. Well, it kept happening day after day and a bad chop day has turned into bad chop months.

To describe exactly what it feels like, the lower and middle register all feels fine up until the top of the staff. For a small while when I’m not totally chopped, I can get notes up to a C out without double buzzing (anything above a G quickly wears me down, though) but it feels like my upper lip is fighting as hard as it can not to buzz. I feel as if I have to use more air to get a full buzz, and like there is a ton of back-pressure. After a while, my lips feel like they start buzzing only intermittently in the upper register and the double buzz sound starts coming out. At the same time, it almost feels like the part of my lips inside of the mouthpiece are independently free-buzzing, separate from the mouthpiece. If this could mean anything, my embouchure definitely favors my upper lip.

I have absolutely no idea why this randomly appeared in my playing and I’ve been scrambling to find answers every day since then. It’s really unpredictable too, and it often seriously discourages me. As far as things I have already tried, the back-pressure feeling initially made me think it was my horn, so I cleaned it thoroughly. It still happened, even thoroughly cleaned and with a reverse leadpipe, so I figured it must be me. I tried other horns and mouthpieces and the problem persisted, so at that point I knew it was definitely me. I tried endurance exercises, and I’d been playing Caruso’s Six Notes daily, as well as the Caruso range exercise. I felt like it benefitted the corners of my embouchure as it is supposed to, but the upper lip still didn’t want to buzz. My typical warmup is maybe a bit of free-buzzing, some low long tones and lip bends, and Stamp flow studies. I’ve even tried reverting back to the poor habit of using pressure to play high, but, despite working for me to an extent in the past, this also causes the same problem. As it is, I don’t really play with that much pressure, so I don’t really think I’m just immediately killing my upper lip but I suppose I can’t rule this out.

By the way, thank you for reading this far, I know this has been a lot of background. At some point in December, I had a single day where my playing felt great and like the problem had went away. I didn’t feel like I was approaching anything differently, I just felt phenomenally better. I was hoping that the problem was over. The next day, it came back, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what made the previous day any different and couldn’t come up with anything. As of this post, I have not had a double buzz free day since then. On my Christmas break, I even took a week off to see if my lips were just beat from overuse. After getting back into playing, the problem immediately returned.

My biggest fear about all of this is that I may need to change my embouchure. I’m not opposed to this, necessarily. I don’t really “play on the red” but my mouthpiece is pretty darn close to that on my bottom lip. I feel like it may be beneficial to me in the long run if I put more bottom lip in the mouthpiece, but I really don’t know how I can find the time to make this adjustment. I am involved pretty heavily with multiple ensembles and I have a college audition coming up. I really can’t afford to completely sacrifice my playing (I play mostly non-lead parts so this isn’t always an issue in actual repertoire) in order to relearn with a different embouchure. I’ve been looking for a private instructor to get advice from, but I really don’t have any reasonable choices in my area. I feel like my only feasible option for the time being is to find a way to work with what I have.

That being said, I know I can’t get a perfectly accurate answer over the internet, but I’m looking for all of the outside advice I can get as I don’t have any clue as to what is causing this, why it is suddenly an issue after it hadn’t been for the longest time, and I just don’t know what else to try anymore. I’m sick and tired of it, and I want to be able to feel like I am taking forward strides once more. Thank you so much for your time, any help is appreciated.

Thanks!
Harmonik
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wohlrab
Regular Member


Joined: 30 Mar 2015
Posts: 91
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been where you are. I have two words of advice:

Don't overplay.

Find a teacher. I teach via Skype if you're not near me and if we can't figure it out I can almost certainly recommend you to someone who can. Pm me if you want.

Outside of the above advice I would be deeply wary of advice you'll get here especially since you're in a fragile state.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
abontrumpet
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 1021

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello.

I feel your pain and frustration and I have lived through it myself.

1. First thing is first, you need a private teacher, a good one.

2. If college auditions don't go well, there is always next year. No need to feel like you have to go straight into college or why working on your playing for another year is a bad thing.

Ok, so the biggest factor in fixing something like this is to rework your mental state. Issue #1 is the fear we develop towards the problem which in turn actually affects the way that we approach the instrument. We have to accept where "we are" and try not to remember "how good we were" or "what progress i've lost because of this." Those are toxic thoughts to recovery. Pretend each day as if you are starting with a blank slate and that it's your first time playing the instrument. All the "bad" things that happen as a beginner don't phase us because we don't expect greatness. Same thing has to happen here, you just have to play the way you think the trumpet should be played and keep a calm cool head about you.

There was one summer where all of a sudden, nothing worked and I couldnt even get out of the staff. It was horrifying. But everyday I said to myself: maybe today will be better. It wasn't and I put it away everyday. One day, it magically was.

Theres a couple of physical reasons that could be the culprit. One of them was an unconscious shift in embouchure placement. I think you're tackling this too much from a physical standpoint which may be your problem. There may be some of that involved, but the way we fix the physical has to be..."creative."

One exercise you can do is play very staccato clark 2 in the low register. Things usually find their way back with that. (once slurred, once tongued, once ultra staccato).

Feel free to PM me. I can show you a few "creative" techniques for this and we can have a conversation. Before my current playing gig I was a college prof and I've also studied with some pretty great people. Having gone through this I totally want to help!

Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
HERMOKIWI
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2008
Posts: 2165

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to diagnose things like this. Is it really a "double buzz" or is it more of a raspy or foggy tone? There's no way for us to know without hearing you. Thus the recommendations that you consult a teacher.

What makes this especially frustrating is that you have the problem day after day except one day everything is fine yet the next day the problem returns. What changed the one day things were fine?

I've had this situation from time to time and it is very perplexing. Usually if I just put the horn down for an hour things are fine when I pick it back up. However, that doesn't diagnose the problem because how I play seems the same to me.

Tiny things can cause big problems in playing trumpet. Something like a small change in mouthpiece placement or horn angle can create problems like what you're experiencing. Sometimes it's the relative positions of the lips and the harder you try to correct the problem the worse t gets.

I think, by and large, we all go through problems of this type from time to time. We practice to improve our consistency in addition to our skill so that these kinds of problems become less frequent. I've heard talks by both Doc Severinsen and Marvin Stamm in which they both said that there are days when things are just not working very well. So, don't get discouraged.

My "go to" exercise when things aren't working as well as usual is soft playing. Very soft playing and plenty of it. Soft playing trains the embouchure to respond to airflow with minimal effort. So it trains your embouchure to be more responsive. Try that for a couple of days and then see if you start getting better results at normal volume.
_________________
HERMOKIWI
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Proteus
Regular Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 55
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do some free buzzing.
Start by aiming to produce a steady buzz about equal to a second-line G.
Give it a week or so of effort if you can't already free buzz.
When you can do that, start moving it up and down while keeping a small but vibrant buzz. That's critical.
Graduate from there to glissandos, both upwards and downwards, then "sirens", slurring up and then back down (and the reverse).
Do this for 5-10 minutes a day as a warm-up, preferably in the early morning, then rest.
You might substitute this for your warm-up, because if you're doing it correctly you're definitely warmed up when you're finished it.

This will very likely solve your double-buzz issue, and you'll learn a great deal about how your chops work to control the aperture..
_________________
Getzen Proteus 907S Bb
Kanstul F. Besson Classic C
Getzen Eterna Flugel
Yamaha 2331 Cornet
Fender Squier Jazz Bass
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JetJaguar
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 1379
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cured mine by 95% using the exercises in my signature line below. They were given to my by my teacher long ago but I had not been using them diligently. Totally free. My 12-yr daughter advanced to the highest band of the West Vancouver Youth Band program largely as a result. And she went directly to 2nd part, skipping 3rd.

Give them a read, anyway.
_________________
1948 Olds Recording Model Super
Kanstul M-B4D-P mp

Take The Double Buzz Survey: https://goo.gl/JUuaNn
Survey Results: https://goo.gl/UM7Yjd
The Coady Strengthening Exercises: http://coady.coolwarm.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kalijah
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 06 Nov 2003
Posts: 2732
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My typical warmup is maybe a bit of free-buzzing


This suggests a problem.

You need to reduce your general embouchure effort for the entire range.

Free-buzzing encourages exessive effort. It should NEVER be done first thing.

Replace it with soft low notes and correctly played pedals.
_________________
Darryl Jones

Callicchio 1s2
Benge 3x+ (Burbank)
Yamaha YHF631 Flugelhorn
MP: stock Marcinkiewicz 9 or 10
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JVL
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 07 Feb 2016
Posts: 809
Location: Nissa, France

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello Darryl
i dont agree with you on these points.

free-buzzing can do harm 1) if not done correctly 2) if done for too long and intense sequences/sessions

Pedal can do harm 1) if done uncorrectly 2) if you don't respond positively to them

Bobby Shew prescribes free buzzing 1) in short easy sequences as a step of his warm up, 2) in short sequences (30 seconds for instance) more intense to gain isometric strength, far from horn practice sessions, with fluttering before and after to get rid of the lactic acid

best
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Proteus
Regular Member


Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 55
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Q&A heading for rigid polarization <sigh>. Well, freely offered...

Reminds me of when decades ago I used to play low brass and asked my trombone teacher why, if Emory Remington was such a legendary teacher, all the major orchestral trombone chairs weren't filled with his students. His answer was that every student has to take what they need from what's being offered or taught, but leave what they don't need or what doesn't work for them. So if it helps, use it; if it doesn't, don't blindly adopt it.

IMO if Bobby Shew, James Thompson and others say free buzzing works for them and recommend it then, at the very least, it's worth checking out.

Cheers.
_________________
Getzen Proteus 907S Bb
Kanstul F. Besson Classic C
Getzen Eterna Flugel
Yamaha 2331 Cornet
Fender Squier Jazz Bass
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kalijah
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 06 Nov 2003
Posts: 2732
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My point was for the OP, who is having a specific problem, free buzzing should NOT be the FIRST thing to begin a warmup.

I have developed an approach that reduces the baseline effort throughout the range.

Do I freebuzz? yes, but at specific times and in specific amounts. Or sometimes not at all. It is ALWAYS best to do calesthenics as a playing excercise. In that regard learn to do the Caruso excercises.

But the first notes (or sounds) should not be calestenic in nature, ESPECIALLY without the instrument, if one needs to reduce the baseline effort.
_________________
Darryl Jones

Callicchio 1s2
Benge 3x+ (Burbank)
Yamaha YHF631 Flugelhorn
MP: stock Marcinkiewicz 9 or 10
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
JayKosta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 1142
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Correcting a Double Buzz? Reply with quote

Harmonik wrote:
... I had been able to get to a high C consistently and fairly comfortably, albeit maybe with a bit too much pressure. Around that time I started trying to build my upper register the legitimate way and without using so much pressure. That was going well at first, but at some point I had a day where I tired out pretty quickly and everything above the staff began coming out as this nasty double buzz.
...
but it feels like my upper lip is fighting as hard as it can not to buzz. I feel as if I have to use more air to get a full buzz, and like there is a ton of back-pressure. After a while, my lips feel like they start buzzing only intermittently in the upper register ...

-------------------------------------
What are you doing 'in the legitimate way' to reduce mpc pressure? Is the tone, volume, articulation, attack precision, etc. working?

Are you jamming the mpc into your lips - yes some mpc pressure is necessary, but bicep strength is not the answer.

Lots of good thoughts about similar situation in this thread - ('GET GOOD')
https://www.trumpetherald.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1587429#1587429

Jay
_________________
King Super 20 (S2 1048, HN White)
Bach 7
The 'next note' is the most important one.
Don't take a '20 minute mouthpiece' to a 1 hour session.
Looking out my backdoor
http://users.hancock.net/jkosta/2020_Sept_25_web.jpg beginning of Fall
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kgsmith1
Regular Member


Joined: 30 Nov 2019
Posts: 44
Location: Greater Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would suggest there are two separate questions here:
1 how do you continue to advance as a player?
2 how do you represent yourself well in an upcoming audition?

#2 is the urgent one. Don't pinball between heavy practice trying to fix yourself and taking a week off. Commit to moderate, consistent practice, always warming up, covering a variety of fundamentals every day. Do a few 15-20 min mock auditions daily to cover the list. Fake or play mp in band rehearsal if the director doesn't understand the audition is the right priority. (they should want you to succeed in the audition anyway.) ideally, make sure you get a few balanced hours of playing a day, but not much more. Warm down after any heavy playing. Lessons would probably help, if the teacher understands your audition goals.

For #1, get some lessons even after the audition. Consistency wins auditions - making big changes now means trying to play in an unfamiliar way in a performance pressure situation. You'll have plenty of time after the audition to make more radical changes.

Hope you're back to your usual self again soon and good luck.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wohlrab
Regular Member


Joined: 30 Mar 2015
Posts: 91
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why questions like the above never work on these forums. Free buzzing is deeply misunderstood by many trumpet players which is why you need a teacher with a true understanding of the Embouchure to help you understand how to free buzz properly and when. The only real advice in this thread so far is to get a teacher
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Harmonik
New Member


Joined: 30 Jan 2020
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Correcting a Double Buzz? Reply with quote

I appreciate all of the responses!

JayKosta wrote:
What are you doing 'in the legitimate way' to reduce mpc pressure? Is the tone, volume, articulation, attack precision, etc. working?

Are you jamming the mpc into your lips - yes some mpc pressure is necessary, but bicep strength is not the answer.


Legitimate being through air and tongue placement. I used to jam it, but I’ve made a conscious effort to ensure I’m not jamming it anymore. The tone, volume, articulation, and attack precision works pretty well for the little bit of time it takes before the double buzz sets in. However, it feels like it takes way more air than it should to get my lips to vibrate at all in the upper register. Tone is the first thing to go because it usually takes 10 minutes max of playing before my double buzz appears in the upper register. At that point my lips feel like they just start giving out and won’t completely buzz.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JetJaguar
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 1379
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wohlrab wrote:
The only real advice in this thread so far is to get a teacher


And the Coady exercises
_________________
1948 Olds Recording Model Super
Kanstul M-B4D-P mp

Take The Double Buzz Survey: https://goo.gl/JUuaNn
Survey Results: https://goo.gl/UM7Yjd
The Coady Strengthening Exercises: http://coady.coolwarm.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JayKosta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 1142
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:33 am    Post subject: Re: Correcting a Double Buzz? Reply with quote

Harmonik wrote:
... it feels like it takes way more air than it should to get my lips to vibrate at all in the upper register. Tone is the first thing to go because it usually takes 10 minutes max of playing before my double buzz appears in the upper register. At that point my lips feel like they just start giving out and won’t completely buzz.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Does the 'takes way more air' mean that no sound is produced with a small amount of air flowing, or does it take a large amount of internal air pressure to produce any air flow?

Using less mpc pressure places a bigger demand on your embouchure muscles to form and maintain the aperture. So it is not surprising that those muscles fatigue sooner.

The mpc rim's size and shape is a very important consideration to most players. Having the rim provide a good 'air seal' to prevent leakage is important, and also the 'comfort factor' because some amount of rim pressure on the lips is unavoidable (and helpful to assist aperture formation).

Jay
_________________
King Super 20 (S2 1048, HN White)
Bach 7
The 'next note' is the most important one.
Don't take a '20 minute mouthpiece' to a 1 hour session.
Looking out my backdoor
http://users.hancock.net/jkosta/2020_Sept_25_web.jpg beginning of Fall
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mac Gollehon
Veteran Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2014
Posts: 212

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consecutive lip separation will result in fatigue followed by more fatigue. Maintaining the seal of lips together needs to start from the corners inverted and continue to center but with the center of lips being the point of least resistance. So with that in mind always work from the corners to the center because being too tight in the center contributes to less than optimal vibration and resonance followed by fatigue and finally double buzz. If consecutive lip separation be comes the norm than so will the double buzz. This all happens in degrees.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Andy Del
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 30 Jun 2005
Posts: 2371
Location: sunny Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer is going to lay in that area of reducing mpc pressure and upper register. The exact reasons why, and the best possible solutions are not going to come from a discussion forum on the internet, but a teacher who knows and cares enough to get things sorted out for you.

Skype is going to be your answer.

Like all the others who have made a WAG (that’s a wild a$$ed guess) mine would be along the lines of efficiency in your set up and that your efforts to reduce pressure on the face has taken you away from efficiency to the point things go awry. More than that, it would take hearing and seeing to make further comment.

Cheers

Andy
_________________
so many horns, so few good notes...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
BBB1976
Veteran Member


Joined: 30 May 2016
Posts: 117

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:25 am    Post subject: Correcting a double buzz Reply with quote

Hi

I found mouthpiece buzzing got rid of this.

Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Seymor B Fudd
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2015
Posts: 982
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kalijah wrote:
My point was for the OP, who is having a specific problem, free buzzing should NOT be the FIRST thing to begin a warmup.

I have developed an approach that reduces the baseline effort throughout the range.

Do I freebuzz? yes, but at specific times and in specific amounts. Or sometimes not at all. It is ALWAYS best to do calesthenics as a playing excercise. In that regard learn to do the Caruso excercises.

But the first notes (or sounds) should not be calestenic in nature, ESPECIALLY without the instrument, if one needs to reduce the baseline effort.


I agree. Ever watched a heavy weight lifter go for 300 kg not having done a serious warm up?
I just don´t get up to run at max speed around the block directly after lifting my ass from the chair I sit on writing this. It´s a mystery that so few seem to apply the common knowledge that the embouchure is made up by muscles.
Concerning the double buzz - could it be that the problem is simply a lack of focus? Too wide mpc? Etc. Too much air too little "check" on the vibrations? Another WAG
_________________
Cornets:
Getzen Custom Series Schilke 143D3/ DW Ultra 1,5 C
Getzen 300 series
Yamaha YCRD2330II
Getzen Eterna Eb /M V 1 1/2 C/Schilke 14B
Trumpets:
Yamaha 6335 RC Schilke 14B
King Super 20 Symphony DB (1970)
Selmer Eb/D trumpet (1973) Selmer 2 D
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Fundamentals All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group