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James Thompson Buzzing Book


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jazztrpt
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I'd chime in here since I've been using Buzzing Basics or The Buzzing Book on and off for about eight years.

First, I think I should clear up the misconception that there is "too much" buzzing in this routine. In the notes on the "Advanced Exercises," Thompson says, "On days when one has a very busy playing schedule with rehearsals and concerts, practicing should be restricted to Exercises 1 through 4. The player should play the entire routine only on days when other playing demands are light." I think what Thompson is saying can also be applied to a day of heavy practice. If I know that I have a lot of material to practice on a certain day, I will not do the entire routine that day. In fact, I play through the entire routine maybe only once a month. I agree that it is too much buzzing to go through the entire routine on a daily basis.

In the notes on "The Final Exercises," Thompson goes on to say, "At this point some of the previous exercises can be omitted; however, one should always play Numbers 1 through 4 and Number 9... Of the remaining exercises (12 to 14c), choose only one exercise to do each day."

What Thompson says above is essentially what I follow every day. I do Exercises 1-4, 9 (pedal tones), and usually one high note exercise (I am partial to #12). I have found that this is the perfect balance for me. It enables me to explore all ranges of the instrument, without overdoing the warm-up. After doing this routine, I usually allow a few minutes of rest and then play a lyrical etude or two from the Concone. After this, I try to allow at least an hour before I play again.

Throughout the year I will alternate between the Thompson, Stamp, and Maxwell routines. I do feel like it is easy to get in a "rut" with any routine and the embouchure will welcome a change of pace.

I think the important thing is to find what works best for you. This takes experimentation and close attention to what feels good. If something hurts or feels extremely uncomfortable, STOP.

A few final notes: I believe Thompson says that an accurate way of knowing when to move on from the initial four exercises is when the lips stop tingling after doing them. Again, this is different for everyone and only you know when you are ready!

Also, my routine of 1-4, 9, and 12 takes approximately 25 minutes. Knowing that about half of this time is spent on the horn and the other half on the mouthpiece, this is between 10 and 15 minutes of actual mouthpiece buzzing (certainly not overdoing it!).
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Carusofiedagain
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The most important thing I got from the buzzing book, and Thompson when I played for him was that the reason there is so much time and buzzing spent on the first four exercises because we tend to start having bad habits before we even get to C in the staff. This is just being patient. Remember, it may take you a week to learn, but it will take you 10,000 hours to master just one concept.

As far as the book itself, the only problem I had was that I was slurring everything. I lost my upper articulation around F# on top of the staff. I stopped doing buzzing basics a bit, starting practicing tonging and breathing, and it fixed itself quickly.

I would recommend taking a lesson with JT, as he is a phenomenal teacher and resource on how to the trumpet AND music easy.
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bandteachsing
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where can I find this Buzzing Book? What is the actual title? I've used Stamp for 20+ years and would love to know more about this method. I've enjoyed reading this thread, but cannot find the book at my regular "go-to" music dealers.

thanks!
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AYates
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Buzzing Book"

BIM is the publisher
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Last edited by AYates on Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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swthiel
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can order it from Southern Ohio Music, amongst other places.
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dkruziki
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject: Buzzing Basics Reply with quote

Does anyone know if you are supposed to leave the mouthpiece set on your lips while doing all of the exercises? If so, when do you learn how to mouth breath with this setup?
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NMex
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Buzzing Basics Reply with quote

dkruziki wrote:
Does anyone know if you are supposed to leave the mouthpiece set on your lips while doing all of the exercises? If so, when do you learn how to mouth breath with this setup?


Mr. Thompson explains that, during each exercise, it is important to leave the mouthpiece set "the same" for the duration of the individual exercise. This is not about teaching the player to draw air from the mouth but rather to help make wider, the range the player is able to play with one "set".

Regards,
NMex

I want to add that the Thompson book has worked well for me. The exercises were tough at first but, you do learn how to do them and I think that the results come out in my playing.
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EBjazz
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one thing I do: Do ONLY the buzzing from Thompson (no horn) and do only horn from Stamp.

Eb
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dbacon
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or practice melodies/song forms on the mouthpiece. Make music on the mouthpiece.
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swthiel
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbacon wrote:
Or practice melodies/song forms on the mouthpiece. Make music on the mouthpiece.

I don't think that's really a substitute for the Buzzing Book work, which is focused on eliminating breaks.
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shofar
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject: Mouthpiece Buzzing Reply with quote

I found the Thompson book to be very good in every way for your playing and sound. Although I very seldom use it anymore.

One of the things I enjoy doing on just the mouthpiece is Boyd Hood's mouthpiece routine. But do each part (all 6) the same way the routines in the Thompson book are done.

I don't take the mouthpiece off my face, don't make any changes in my embrochure, and breath through my nose. Not all 6 in a row with out removing the mouthpiece. Only taking the mouthpiece off after each one of the 6.

This has really made quite a difference in my sound and smoothed things out quite a bit because of the scalular (sp) movement in these exercises. It is a great way to start the day. Nothing is forced. If it doesn't come out, it doesn't come out, again never forced. What I have found as I approach things this way (very efficient), everything on the horn is much more centered and my sound when I practice or play rehearsals or gigs is much more vibrant.

This even holds true when my chops feel tired, different, strange (and that's just about every day, as the older I get, my chops feel different almost daily) when I'm practicing or even when I am gigging, I find things just work and sound better with less and less effort.

Talk at y'all soon,

Rog
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gdong
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to dig this one up from the grave.

But buzzing basics is the single best thing that ever happened to me.

I started with doing 1-4. A year later, added 1-8. A year after that, I'm back to 1-4 and have been doing 1-4 every day for my warmup for the last 6 years. I add extra ones on days that I have less giging/rehearsals.

I HAVE NOT HAD AN OFF DAY ON A DAY THAT I DO 1-4 IN THE LAST 6 YEARS.

My range and power keeps building up, and I am physically prepared for any other kind of practice in the day. 1-4 covers everything we do on the trumpet except articulation. Highly recommended. I've put pretty weak students on the 1-4 routine and had them become top players in their schools after a year. It's mindless and it works because its consistent, metered, and short in duration but focused in scope. 1-4 takes less than 15 minutes with your iPod and can be done with a practice mute and cupped mouthpiece in a hotel room or early in the AM.

Pleas PM me for pointers or explanation of buzzing basics. I can't give enough praise to Ken Larson for putting me on this stuff back at Interlochen!
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oceandrive
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
can someone comment on the question, if this method is a good way
to improve the high range - meaning expand range and make it sounding better?
thanks, chris
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swthiel
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

oceandrive wrote:
Hi,
can someone comment on the question, if this method is a good way
to improve the high range - meaning expand range and make it sounding better?
thanks, chris

Ii would say yes, to the extent that improved high range is the result of better, more efficient playing. I don't have exceptional range (right now I won't use anything above a three-ledger-line E when I perform), but I've found that the Thompson and especially the Stamp exercises give me a more consistent sound in the range I have and keep my playing registers connected.
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gdong
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since my previous post, I have studied for 2 semesters with Laurie Frink and been through her system. She had me keep my buzzing basics 1-4 as my daily, no-matter-what-I-do-it, warmup. After that, I would have a 60 minute session devoted to her system (which draws heavily on Caruso and Chicowicz). Then I spend the rest of my time working on music/improvising/composing. (Derekganong.bandcamp.com for the CD).

I've been stunned with the results. I went from a burly/power trumpeter to a flexible and accurate trumpeter, without sacrificing the huge sound that is promoted by buzzing basics. I also got all my harmony/high trumpet skills up to par with the Bb business.

I think the consistent air/flow/breath that is bussing basics was perfectly balanced by the targeted physical practice of Caruso. Bend studies, buzzing, noodles, intervals, 6 notes, developed scales, harmonics, pedals, spiders, and flexandos all had their place in various evolutions in my daily work. I view buzzing basics as a practice multiplier: every practice is good practice if buzzing basics is satisfied.

So yes, buzzing basics goes very well as a foundation for actual targeted practice.
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Blue Trane
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is a noodle?

What is a flexando?
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trumpet56
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My daily routine when I am not gigging, is James Thompson exercises from 1-9 with a break between 4 and 5. I then I do a Stamp warm-up, Clarke technical studies with lip and valve bends with different articulations, and finally expanding intervals with both valve and lip bends. This keeps me in good shape, plus of course breathing and stretching exercises before I begin on the mouthpiece and horn.

I can relate to Thompson's exercises as they are to me a combination of both Stamp and Caruso's methods. The mouthpiece buzzing from Stamp and the 5 note warm up of Caruso. I studied both these methods intensively as a student and enjoy Jim's synthesis of the two methods, although I don't leave the mouthpiece on the lips throughout the exercise or breathe through the nose (Caruso).
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gdong
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue Trane wrote:
What is a noodle?

What is a flexando?



A noodle is a lip slur type exercise with common notes throughout, and a flaxando is a glissando with a crescendo and Caruso mouthpiece removal rules. I think both are in the flexes book.

Much of the frink stuff is focused on making the registers more connected and making intervals feel smaller: training muscles to do things efficiently and quickly and in time.
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Roel.Flores
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not a great buzzer and have never been but I have been doing buzzing in the past month. I can only buzz up to 2nd line G and never any higher.

Is there anyone in the same boat who was used this book and seen your buzzing range improve?
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gdong
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roel.Flores wrote:
I am not a great buzzer and have never been but I have been doing buzzing in the past month. I can only buzz up to 2nd line G and never any higher.

Is there anyone in the same boat who was used this book and seen your buzzing range improve?


Not everyone is a good buzzer (free buzzer = no mpc). There is so little resistance. There are many great players who can't really buzz. And even with extended practice, sometimes buzzing never really gets that much better.

Both of my thompson/caruso teachers have told me that what our muscles gain from the action is the objective of buzzing, rather than a beautiful buzz itself. I have slowly gotten my buzz up and now my buzzing component goes to high C.
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