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mouthpiece buzzing


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steve0930
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello PLayers

Big C (sounds good to me) asked
Quote:
Kehaulani, or anybody that advocates leadpipe buzzing, what do you actually do, in addition to playing and holding the most 'natural" note that comes out? And when? Every day, as part of the warmup?

On the lead pipe I use the tuner on on my phone and play scales starting with the G in the upper octave. I am focusing most on the "unnatural notes" the A Ab G and F#as I transition between the two octaves. I aim for 10 "perfect" scales a day (which might take me 3x 4/5 min sessions) I then also do some simple Arpeggios. I have no idea of "buzzing" rather trying to coax out of the "instrument" as lyrical and even a sound as I can. Somehow I feel this exercise encourages me to push the Horn off my face and be acutely sensitive (especially when I transition between octaves) to what my Top lip is doing.

Robert P writes
Quote:
Claude Gordon had books to sell. I haven't heard an extensive sampling of his personal playing, any example I've heard he sounded solid with a good sound, I haven't heard any evidence that he was in the same universe as players like Harry James, Rafael Mendez, Doc, Maynard

Robert P is not the first, and certainly not the last, to champion the idea that there is a correlation between your competence as a player and your relevance as a Teacher. Could one make the case that the opposite is true? Correct me if I'm wrong but whilst his Peers were looking to impress in the College Football Team trials, wasn't Bill Belichick more interested in playing Lacrosse?

Aristotle:
Quote:
Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.


Cheers and stay safe - Steve in Helsinki
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel like I have to answer this. First, I have only just begun Leadpipipe Blowing and am, in no way, suggesting what is valuable for others. But, as I understand it, using the Leadpipe as expounded on above, and how I, following Bill Adams basic suggestion, apply it are apples and oranges.

I use the Leadpipe Blowing at the very first of my day's playing and only on the fundamental tone, i.e. Concert Eb or thereabouts.

The primary emphasis of hat exercise is to get your chops focused on producing the best tone possible and without the "constraints" of using the full instrument.
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Tpt_Guy
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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2022 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stuartissimo wrote:

Yet there are people who do exactly that: advocate mouthpiece buzzing as a way to build embouchure (i.e. the 'warm-up by buzzing for 5 minutes' approach).

To each their own I suppose, but since the thread asked for personal opinions: I've found mouthpiece buzzing to be mostly detrimental to my playing. Because it 'encourages' me to use more strength and air(power) to make a sound. As I'm currently working on learning to play more efficiently, not less, I don't find it very helpful.

I won't make the claim that just because it doesn't work for me, it cannot work for anyone else. But I've had enough bad experiences with it through the years that I'll skip any teacher that advocates daily mouthpiece buzzing as an integral way of learning how to play.


Well, the embouchure is the formation of the muscles of the lips and face as applied to playing a wind instrument. I see no reason not to work on those muscles as an exercise, provided it is not producing harmful results. I do not equate such work to learning to play the instrument itself much the same as I do not equate lifting weights to learning how to wrestle, for example. I'm not sure anyone is claiming that buzzing teaches one how to play the instrument as a whole. I have heard and read many statements that properly used, buzzing can improve one's playing. This would be analogous to a wrestler lifting weights to become stronger and improve his wrestling. My own experience as a player was that by incorporating a little mouthpiece buzzing I was able to gradually improve efficiency. How? I used to play with a very open aperture which required too much arm pressure and air power in order to make it work. Soft mouthpiece buzzing in combination with the Earl D. Irons 27 Groups of Exercises played as instructed in the book handled this (that book is dynamite, btw). I gradually closed my aperture to a correct setting (for me) which allowed me to reduce arm pressure, and that made my chops more responsive and improved endurance. Now I don't buzz much unless I'm trying to figure something out. (I have no doubt that, given enough time, proper practice of Irons by itself could have solved the issue; I do believe that the combination of the two helped the issue to resolve more quickly.)

But I've never heard of "warm-up by buzzing for 5 minutes", though I've heard of James Stamps Warmups + Studies which has buzzed and played studies. So mostly I've heard of using buzzing as part of a warmup, or as part of a specific routine (e.g., Stamp), but that's really it. Herseth advocated playing songs (no scales, no etudes) on the mouthpiece for a couple minutes at the start of the day's practice to establish a musical mindset without having to worry about the instrument itself. I would like to note that a proper warmup is meant to get someone into a state of being ready to play.

But as you said, buzzing isn't for everyone. And as you also basically said, that doesn't mean it helps no one. If you realize no benefit from it in your own playing, it is a waste of time and effort.
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try free buzzing.
Try exercises from Thompson's buzzing book.
Don't buzz.
See what works best for you.
Seems simple.
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steve0930 wrote:

Robert P writes
Quote:
Claude Gordon had books to sell. I haven't heard an extensive sampling of his personal playing, any example I've heard he sounded solid with a good sound, I haven't heard any evidence that he was in the same universe as players like Harry James, Rafael Mendez, Doc, Maynard

Robert P is not the first, and certainly not the last, to champion the idea that there is a correlation between your competence as a player and your relevance as a Teacher. Could one make the case that the opposite is true? Correct me if I'm wrong but whilst his Peers were looking to impress in the College Football Team trials, wasn't Bill Belichick more interested in playing Lacrosse?

Cheers and stay safe - Steve in Helsinki

Well, to Claude's credit he at least did have a professional resume and performed in public unlike at least a couple I can think of who for whatever reason are regarded as "gurus" despite little or no playing resume, and in one case the examples I find of them actually playing the horn (with the other one I can find *no* examples) would in no way lead me to think they were someone with any special insight, or even someone I'd be enthusiastic about recruiting to play in the section of a local pickup band.

My original point about Claude is that his method - my awareness is that it's largely considered a range-development method - heavily incorporates pedals, the usefulness of which I question. Presumably he was an ambassador for what he preached, all I can say is I've never encountered an example of him displaying screaming chops. Players tend to regularly show off what they can do - you can't find many recordings or performances by Maynard, Doc, James Morrison etc. where they don't put their razzle-dazzle abilities on display. I don't think Arturo has *ever* played a solo where he didn't turn 6 shades of purple going to the top of his range. If someone can point me toward examples of Claude's playing like this I'm open to persuasion. I've seen one video where he briefly squeezes up through the partials to somewhere near a dub C. Okay, where can I hear him pasting big, singing dub C's or even G's in a performance situation?

One of my high school friends was a guy who was regarded as "gifted" among high school band peers - he went through Claude's SATDP book, didn't seem to do a thing for him. He had solid sound before, his range wasn't freaky before or after - he could get a nice on-the-bandstand D, Eb on a good night - nothing scary for a high school Junior/Senior. Inspired by his experience with SATDP I played pedals a lot, did absolutely nothing for me, certainly didn't fix the chronic problems I had. How I eventually made progress re: those issues and the reason I'm a much stronger player now didn't involve countless hours on special exercises or pedals, it involved analysis and being focused and tuned-in to what happens when I play.
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:

Well, to Claude's credit he at least did have a professional resume and performed in public unlike at least a couple I can think of who for whatever reason are regarded as "gurus" despite little or no playing resume, and in one case the examples I find of them actually playing the horn (with the other one I can find *no* examples) would in no way lead me to think they were someone with any special insight, or even someone I'd be enthusiastic about recruiting to play in the section of a local pickup band.


I don't doubt there's some validity to your point, but just as food for thought - Caruso's teaching evidently made a huge difference to a lot of outstanding brass players (not just trumpets), but Carmine Caruso was actually a sax player. It's not necessary to be standout player to be a good teacher.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
... certainly didn't fix the chronic problems I had. How I eventually made progress re: those issues and the reason I'm a much stronger player now didn't involve countless hours on special exercises or pedals, it involved analysis and being focused and tuned-in to what happens when I play.

--------------------------
Regarding the 'analysis and being focused and tuned-in to what happens' - did that occur because of input from someone who could 'do it', and passed that onto you?

How did you learn 'what analysis is needed', and 'on what to focus'?

Do you think that any of those things could be successfully explained or described in a book, youtube, etc.?
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
Robert P wrote:
... certainly didn't fix the chronic problems I had. How I eventually made progress re: those issues and the reason I'm a much stronger player now didn't involve countless hours on special exercises or pedals, it involved analysis and being focused and tuned-in to what happens when I play.

--------------------------
Regarding the 'analysis and being focused and tuned-in to what happens' - did that occur because of input from someone who could 'do it', and passed that onto you?

How did you learn 'what analysis is needed', and 'on what to focus'?

Do you think that any of those things could be successfully explained or described in a book, youtube, etc.?

did that occur because of input from someone who could 'do it', and passed that onto you?

It didn't happen as the result of lessons - I had various teachers who didn't have the vaguest idea how to help me including one blustery old guy who touted himself as a "master of embouchures". The one thing I got out of it indirectly was it got me thinking about the topic of embouchure mechanics, any specifics of what he "taught" was useless or detrimental, creating a stumbling block.

How I learned what needed to happen was a lot of trial and error, experimentation and observation. A big issue was realizing that often what it felt like was happening wasn't really what was happening. Apparently this is fairly common. I read that Maurice Andre, supreme player that he was went for a long time under a misconception as to what his tongue was doing until someone proved to him what was really going on with either X-rays or MRIs of his mouth cavity during playing.

In recent history there was someone in here who I exchanged a lot of PMs with who had some problems and was operating under various misconceptions and was pretty stubborn about relinquishing them - he misunderstood where the gap between his teeth lined up when playing a note - he was convinced the gap between both his teeth was behind his upper lip. i.e. that the junction of his lips was somewhere near the gumline of his lower teeth which is of course absurd. I told him he wouldn't be able to play *anything* if his notion were true.

He thought his lips overhanging his teeth was a problem - I pointed out that I had my upper central incisors shortened specifically to create *more* overhang and demonstrated by measurement that I had more upper lip overhang than he did and that it had only improved things for me. I didn't tell him he should do what I did, only related what my experience was.

I've related a lot of my thoughts in various posts in here. I've thought about putting out a book and starting a YouTube channel. I've made a lot of progress from where I once was - have more range and power than I ever dreamed was possible for me once upon a time, I feel like when I get to where I've got an easier, fatter, more consistent double C than I have now it would add gravitas.
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Last edited by Robert P on Mon May 16, 2022 12:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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steve0930
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P
I respected your last post. Gosh the Trials and Tribulations we go through on the Horn - just like life. I know sometimes you and I have "clashed" but I suspect we have more in common than not. (although clearly you are light years ahead as a player)
cheers and stay safe Steve in Helsinki.

PS Right now packing the bag for a trip to Barcelona - only job my Number 1 supporter has for the trip - wining dining and sleeping arrangements for our first night - not as easy as it sounds cos it's going to be an arrive-late-night sleep over at Munich airport...
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2022 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert P wrote:
... it got me thinking about the topic of embouchure mechanics, ...

----------------------------------
Thank you for sharing your experience.

I think there is too little discussion and information about 'embouchure mechanics' - especially for getting beginning players to have 'good mechanics' and to not develop bad habits. Yes, teaching young players about 'mechanics' is probably very difficult, and NO I do not know how to do it!

For players who have achieved some ability, but who have trouble making further progress, it is often the situation that they need to change their mechanics. Without a source of good information it can be difficult to realize 'what is wrong', much less 'what is right'.
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Lip gotta be able to vibrate!
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Robert P
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2022 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steve0930 wrote:
Robert P
I respected your last post. Gosh the Trials and Tribulations we go through on the Horn - just like life. I know sometimes you and I have "clashed" but I suspect we have more in common than not. (although clearly you are light years ahead as a player)
cheers and stay safe Steve in Helsinki.

PS Right now packing the bag for a trip to Barcelona - only job my Number 1 supporter has for the trip - wining dining and sleeping arrangements for our first night - not as easy as it sounds cos it's going to be an arrive-late-night sleep over at Munich airport...

Thanks - I'll have to go back and look to see where we've clashed so I can get riled up again. Grrr...
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