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Author Topic: On Mouthpiece Buzzing  (Read 4286 times)
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BillO
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« on: Jun 16, 2017, 02:01PM »

Hmmm...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz5fow-pf68

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 16, 2017, 02:04PM »

One. More. Time.  Yeah, RIGHT.

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« Reply #2 on: Jun 16, 2017, 02:16PM »

That's more or less the Gordon/Anderson approach - we don't buzz, we blow against a vibrating tissue (our lips). After my student years I always found that thinking of playing a brass instrument seem to be closer to blowing or singing than buzzing. I've done a decent amount of buzzing, because I was told so, but never really saw any tremendous benefits out of it. The only benefit if any, I felt from buzzing on the mouthpiece was that it improved my intonation by freeing my from the crotches of the valves. But I guess that I could actually do the same by singing or even whistling.
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BillO
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« Reply #3 on: Jun 16, 2017, 02:17PM »

One. More. Time.  Yeah, RIGHT.

...Geezer
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 16, 2017, 02:20PM »

Personally I buzz my mouthpiece when I'm driving to a gig or rehearsal as a good warm up,  but no more than ten minutes tops!

As always:

If it works for you , great if not,  don't.

But DON"T discourage others from trying just because it's not beneficial to you!!!!



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« Reply #5 on: Jun 16, 2017, 04:48PM »

 :D
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 16, 2017, 05:36PM »

Almost every player that I think plays great or has a sound that I desire buzzes the mouthpiece. You just have to make sure you understand it's a different setting from the setting you use while playing the horn. Also, don't buzz too much. Everything in moderation.
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 16, 2017, 06:22PM »

Well, I don't buzz, so I guess I suck.

I spend the time available to me making sounds on a trombone, not trying to do duck calls on a mouthpiece.  I'm just glad someone agrees with me.  It seems they are rare people indeed.  It is satisfying that in this case it is Mr. Lindberg.
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 16, 2017, 06:50PM »

I don't buzz on the mouthpiece and I think in most cases there are more productive ways to spend your time, both on the horn and freebuzzing, but Lindberg's logic is flawed.  If you watch very carefully, he changes his chops and that's the real reason his "demonstration" doesn't work.
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 16, 2017, 06:58PM »

There are some who state you get the most use out of buzzing by relating it directly to the trombone. So, buzz a phrase, now without changing the mp relationship on the lips insert the mp into the instrument and play. It works.
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 16, 2017, 07:04PM »

I am always amazed when I hear people actively talk against buzzing.... Its definitely a what works for you thing, but surely between mouthpiece, free or leadpipe buzzing anyone can find some benefit.

I think its just such a useful tool. For pitch I think its better than singing or whistling because whilst it is a bit different to "exactly" how you play on the instrument, you are training your brain to make all the right actions. Hear the pitch, and translate it into your air and lip vibration. Sure, it might not be "identical" to how your lips are when you actually play trombone, but the adjustment is so small and the concepts (I think ) should be identical, so really it shouldn't negatively affect you at all....
It helps easily identify whether you have a strady air flow or not, it really shows if you have a problem with immediacy of sound, it shows up more clearly than on the instrument if you have trouble connecting registers.... I feel like the list just goes on.
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 16, 2017, 07:25PM »

So, what's the rational then?  Why would buzzing your lips on anything other than your instrument help you with the instrument?  Or, in other words, if you have X minutes to spend why would X minutes buzzing without a trombone be better than X minutes buzzing with a trombone?
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 16, 2017, 07:39PM »

I don't think I've ever seen anyone who is pro-buzz or anti-buzz make a demonstration where I'm completely convinced that they haven't changed anything between any form of their buzz and their playing of the instrument, and I'm not convinced that it's entirely possible to do so.

Some excellent players who advocate for/against buzzing, and I don't think it's fair to discredit anyone (...within reason) on their own personal approach to the instrument, especially if they have the chops to back it up!
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 16, 2017, 08:12PM »

If you try it, you can recreate the results. I experience the same result -- I don't think the embouchure changes so much as the resistance that helped form the embouchure suddenly is removed. It's possible that there is a type of player who can't recreate the results, which I had brought up in the unpopular "type 1 vs type 2 thread" (which was about air and where the player tries to derive resistance that creates their sound). The real takeaway from the video is that Lindberg and Sauer don't advocate buzzing, and they both have credentials to back up whatever they say. On the other hand, someone like Charlie Vernon does advocate buzzing and also has the chops to back up what he says ... so ...This is such a tired old subject....
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 16, 2017, 08:23PM »

I use to be a believer [in buzzing] but I'm less of one these days. I find a little bit of mpc buzzing (5 minutes or so using an 8" length of PVC tuning - a Sauer F.A.R.T.) helpful as part of my warmup.

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« Reply #15 on: Jun 16, 2017, 08:44PM »

...This is such a tired old subject....


Nailed it.
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« Reply #16 on: Jun 16, 2017, 08:51PM »

If you try it, you can recreate the results. I experience the same result -- I don't think the embouchure changes so much as the resistance that helped form the embouchure suddenly is removed. It's possible that there is a type of player who can't recreate the results, which I had brought up in the unpopular "type 1 vs type 2 thread" (which was about air and where the player tries to derive resistance that creates their sound). The real takeaway from the video is that Lindberg and Sauer don't advocate buzzing, and they both have credentials to back up whatever they say. On the other hand, someone like Charlie Vernon does advocate buzzing and also has the chops to back up what he says ... so ...This is such a tired old subject....


It may be tired and old, but I think its worth discussing regularly! New people join the forum everyday looking for easily accessible info, and people read through with no intention of posting just taking ideas. Sure they could use the search function, but the amount of times i have been given "old info" in regards to trombone playing that is just said in a slightly different way, well.... it can create some amazing lightbulb moments for players.
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« Reply #17 on: Jun 16, 2017, 09:07PM »

So, what's the rational then?  Why would buzzing your lips on anything other than your instrument help you with the instrument?  Or, in other words, if you have X minutes to spend why would X minutes buzzing without a trombone be better than X minutes buzzing with a trombone?

As I said, I just think of it as a practice tool. Going by your logic in this post, why would you do breathing exercises without a trombone on your face? You will breathe differently with a mouthpiece in the way and weight on your bodys left side. Why do air attacks on the trombone? You wouldn't not use the tongue when articulating (unless its a very specific circumstance).

When I buzz (free, mouthpiece, whatever) it helps me MENTALLY expect immediate resonance. Sure you can do that with the entire trombone, but i find articulating a short crisp note that is dead on the pitch, in time really takes more focus to achieve on just the mouthpiece. If I can do that on the mouthpiece, I find it translates very well to the instrument. It doesn't matter if my face is "slightly different" when the mouthpiece is in the trombone, if my brain is used to expecting a certain sound in a certain way those differences dont get in the way. I find doing an exercise like that speeds up the process of getting that sound on my instrument. Sure, I could do it without the mouthpiece, but it takes longer and certain "problems" are not as easily identifiable on the instrument than they are with just the mouthpiece.

Similarly, if I have a legato passage where some slurs through harmonics aren't quite as smooth as I would like, I will buzz it. Again, I could practice the passage over and over on the trombone, but if I take the mouthpiece and really keep an even sound, with consistent airflow through all slurs (with no harmonics to "bump" along the way) I can quickly tranfer those attributes back into the trombone more easily. Its just faster at identifying an issue and putting it in the spotlight to work on it. Its not great for everything, but I would be surprised if after buzzing to practice immediacy of sound, stable pitch and consistent airflow you didn't see improvement after putting it back in the instrument.
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« Reply #18 on: Jun 16, 2017, 09:17PM »

This is such a tired old subject....

Yet, you still managed to find $.02.

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« Reply #19 on: Jun 16, 2017, 09:32PM »

Another take on the subject from Bob McChesney, interviewed on the subject by Paul the Trombonist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHohOqu4qPM

He didn't do it when he was younger, but does now, and appears to find it a useful way of identifying problems with air flow and finding pitches/partials.  He acknowledges that the chops are not set in exactly the same way as they would be on the horn, but this is of secondary importance, because from this perspective, the aim isn't really a matter of correcting embouchure problems as such.

Makes some sense.
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« Reply #20 on: Jun 17, 2017, 03:41AM »

I don't think I've ever seen anyone who is pro-buzz or anti-buzz make a demonstration where I'm completely convinced that they haven't changed anything between any form of their buzz and their playing of the instrument, and I'm not convinced that it's entirely possible to do so.

---snip---

I buzz the m'pce exactly like I play the horn through almost all of my ranges. Same angle, same setting on the chops, same air. In and out. No change.

And...I freebuzz into the m'pce (or horn and m'pce) throughout the ranges and volumes with as little change as it is possible for me to manage. I have been doing so in daily practice for over 30 years, so I've gotten pretty good as it. It is indeed "possible to do so." Is it necessary to do so? No. Will it help one become a better player? If done right, yes. But it's not a necessity by any means.

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« Reply #21 on: Jun 17, 2017, 04:01AM »

So, what's the rational then?  Why would buzzing your lips on anything other than your instrument help you with the instrument?  Or, in other words, if you have X minutes to spend why would X minutes buzzing without a trombone be better than X minutes buzzing with a trombone?

I think that is actually a terrific question, whether on this thread or anywhere and it's a very short hop from mpc-buzzing to free-buzzing, so why not look at it as well. And since the OP mentioned it...

It's been said that free-buzzing is weight-lifting for the chops. Well, if we are working our you-know-whats off on our horns, how much more weight-lifting do we need? What I need most after a hard play session is REST, people! lol

So if we temporarily drop the "free-buzzing is weight-lifting for the chops" meme, then why do it at all? The only answer I can come up with is that it could help us focus the tiny muscles of our embouchure and therefor air stream for high-range building. Looking at it from that angle, a very little bit would go a very long way; as in maybe 10-20 SECONDS of it, twice a day or so - not for building strength so much as for building control.

Otherwise, if we are on vacation or unable to play our horns, then I see free-buzzing - and for that matter, mpc-buzzing - as a dual purpose endeavor; an exercise to focus our air stream AND weight-lifting for the chops - if done for much longer stretches - like maybe 10 minutes, twice a day.

...just throwing this on the wall to see if it sticks...

...Geezer
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« Reply #22 on: Jun 17, 2017, 04:18AM »

Old boring thread? Well there is enough interest in the matter to start a worm.

Is everybodys embouchure the same?
Is buzzing good for everybodys embouchure?
Does all embouchures work with mpc buzzing/free buzzing exactly the same way as the actuall playing?
Is it important that the embouchure is exactly the same?
Are there other benefits from buzzing then tacing care of the embouchure?

I did watch Christians video closely. To me it is abslutely imposible to se if hes embouchure chnages or not between on and of, because his hand and fingers are in the way. Not important though, the difference in resinisrance does make most players embouchure change anyway.

I have my self tried lots of buzzing ways. I am 73 years of age this year, done a lot of playing over the years, I have permitted myself to some experiments as I am retired and some embouchure problems would not the catastrof as it would be some 20-50 years ago.

I can free buzz. I can free buzz going into the trombone. I can buzz the mpc going in to the trombone with no apperent change in the embouchure. I can mpc buzz i a slightly different way that makes the trombone change the pitch when meeting the horn. And lots of more way. All ways you can thing of. I know more about how my embouchure works now.

Today I do both free buzzing and mpc buzzing. Very little, and not to build chops, my embouchure is taken care of on the trombone. The buzz is mainly for fun and ear training. (There are some special cases.)


As Sam say, try and se if it works. If it doesnīt, donīt do it.
Usually when this boring subject comes up somebody say (usually me): lots of fantastic players buzz. Lots of fantastic players donīt buzz.

Viveīla la difference!
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 17, 2017, 04:47AM »

I buzz the m'pce exactly like I play the horn through almost all of my ranges. Same angle, same setting on the chops, same air. In and out. No change.

And...I freebuzz into the m'pce (or horn and m'pce) throughout the ranges and volumes with as little change as it is possible for me to manage. I have been doing so in daily practice for over 30 years, so I've gotten pretty good as it. It is indeed "possible to do so." Is it necessary to do so? No. Will it help one become a better player? If done right, yes. But it's not a necessity by any means.

S.

You've just said you buzz your mouthpiece exactly like you play the horn through almost all of your ranges. You've also said you free buzz with as little change as possible.

I'm possibly being semantic here, but, is it really zero change? Are you not changing anything?

I take from your comments that you goal is to get as close as possible to the real thing. I'm asking purely out of curiosity, without the intension of posing these questions to you rhetorically!

I won't (and couldn't possibly) deny that you've had incredible success (and I imagine also with your students) in applying your approach to the horn!

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« Reply #24 on: Jun 17, 2017, 06:25AM »

Here's how I look at it, in a bit simplistic way that applies to most embouchure but not all.

A GREAT balanced freebuzz is more correct than the way you play on the horn.  So instead of looking at it as "the buzz is different than the way you play" look at it as "the way you play is different than the way you buzz" so the goal is to make the "play" equal the "buzz."

This is a great way to improve your embouchure, not just do it "for fun" or as something to wonder about.

The hard part is figuring out the "GREAT balanced buzz" configuration, and that is what I do in lessons.  It's impossible to describe in words because it's usually many small adjustments, and it changes (needs to change) as you develop.

Freebuzzing really is much like weightlifting, in that form is of ultimate importance and a very small amount goes a long way. 
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« Reply #25 on: Jun 17, 2017, 07:31AM »

I'm reminded of the time when there was a big golf tournament. I knew who I was going to play against. So a couple days prior, I went to see him. I was squeezing a tennis ball. He asked me about it. I told him it was to strengthen my grip and I tossed the ball over to him. I knew what I was doing. The day of the golf tournament he could barely hold a club.  Evil

So all you guys (none, really) against whom I may be competing for a chair this coming week. I urge you to earnestly and aggressively take up both mouthpiece-buzzing and free-buzzing NOW!  Evil

Lol. The moral of the story is to work into something totally new slowly at first.

...Geezer
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« Reply #26 on: Jun 17, 2017, 07:33AM »

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/K4DJbz8CLSE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/K4DJbz8CLSE</a>

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« Reply #27 on: Jun 17, 2017, 08:51AM »

Greg Spence (Mystery to Mastery) does make a lot of sence. Probably not for all.

Quote
This is a great way to improve your embouchure, not just do it "for fun" or as something to wonder about.

Same with this, maybe for some but not for all.
I do it just for fun, sometimes I buzz a phrase I have problem playing to help get it in my head,(allthogh I found out singing is also a very good tool) or I practise cirkular breathing on the walk to the underground. Does it improve my embouchure? Donīt know, actually I donīt care. But I really donīt think so.

As a teacher teach what you believe is good. As a student take everything whith a grain of salt, try and evaluate.
Sometimes you have to try for at least a couple of moths to be able to know if its good for you.
(I tried for several years)
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« Reply #28 on: Jun 17, 2017, 01:44PM »

Buzz in moderation
Know what you are going to buzz (I buzz hymn tunes some tongued some slurs)
Hold the mouthpiece with a light "grip". Hold it with thumb and index finger like the mouthpiece is your mom's finest crystal goblet
I place a finger at the end of the shank and "half hole" it for so.
Buzzing can help tonguing issues
Make sure you are listening carefully
Buzz in front of a mirror and observe what the corners of your mouth are doing. Then do the same thing with the trombone.   
None of my teachers were strong advocates of buzzing except to help correct a problem.
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« Reply #29 on: Jun 17, 2017, 02:36PM »

I think that is actually a terrific question, whether on this thread or anywhere and it's a very short hop from mpc-buzzing to free-buzzing, so why not look at it as well. And since the OP mentioned it...

It's been said that free-buzzing is weight-lifting for the chops. Well, if we are working our you-know-whats off on our horns, how much more weight-lifting do we need? What I need most after a hard play session is REST, people! lol

So if we temporarily drop the "free-buzzing is weight-lifting for the chops" meme, then why do it at all? The only answer I can come up with is that it could help us focus the tiny muscles of our embouchure and therefor air stream for high-range building. Looking at it from that angle, a very little bit would go a very long way; as in maybe 10-20 SECONDS of it, twice a day or so - not for building strength so much as for building control.

Otherwise, if we are on vacation or unable to play our horns, then I see free-buzzing - and for that matter, mpc-buzzing - as a dual purpose endeavor; an exercise to focus our air stream AND weight-lifting for the chops - if done for much longer stretches - like maybe 10 minutes, twice a day.

...just throwing this on the wall to see if it sticks...

...Geezer

Freebuzzing...done right...helps you to find your own natural embouchure(s).

What I am about to say will sound somewhat like heresy to many very fine players and teachers, but I am going to try anyway.

I have known since high school that the embouchures needed to produce say a 12th partial F on a tenor trombone and a BBb tuba pedal Bb are not "the same." I could play both pretty well in high school, and they did not relate physically except in the fact that they were both produced by the same physical system. The lip masses used were entirely different, just for starters, and of course the rims were widely different in diameter. I didn't think about this much...I just played...until I was in my late 20s/early 30s and wanted to expand my ranges...and the quality of my playing in those ranges...further than I had been able to do so using various Carmine Caruso approaches...basically up and down from the approximate middle, nose breathing and leaving the m'pce on the chops throughout the whole (playable) exercise until a note did not sound, then resting a minute or so and starting where you left off and doing the same thing. When you rested, came back and one of the notes didn't sound, that was the end of the exercise. It slowly dawned on me that what Carmine had not pointed out was that the replaced m'pce didn't always go back in exactly the same place, that I adjusted my chops quite unconsciously...quite automatically...to continue up or down in the same direction. This was more noticeable in the extreme ranges, and particularly noticeable as I approached and went down beyond the pedal ranges.

So I started looking into why and how this happened, initially using cutoff rims and a mirror. When I began to understand the mechanisms in each direction, I began to try to freebuzz using the same exercises, and eventually combined freebuzzing, rim buzzing, m'pce buzzing and playing the horn on the exercises as well. I found numerous quite consistent "break points"...areas where there was almost the effect of slurring through adjacent partials on a horn, even when there was no horn involved...and I further observed that (with the exception of ranges above say the 10th partial D) I could manage to go from any of the buzzing things to the horn with very little change in those "break points." They were fairly consistent, in fact they were more consistent when I was freebuzzing than they were when a rim was involved, on or off of the m'pce and horn. (I leave the altissimo ranges...above that 10th partial D as far as I am concerned...out of this equation somewhat because I need what I call "the metal muscle" of the rim to play up there. Not using pressure...just as a sort of guitar-like capo to make the string...the lips, in our case...shorter. Smaller. Less "massy". Whatever...)

Hmmmmm....

Eventually I realized that there is no change in any note on the horn...not range-wise and neither volume-wise...without a concomitant change in the aperture. The aperture gets smaller or larger as one changes ranges, and also smaller or larger as one changes volumes. In the lower ranges...and this is entirely personal and also entirely depending on the rim diameter being played...when the aperture reaches the edges of the rim an adjustment needs to be made to go lower. What are those "adjustments?" That's what the individual must find.

In the upper ranges another system takes place. If one is using too much lip mass as the ranges go up from the middle...a very common problem, especially with large horns and m'pces...the musculature needed to make that "big string/big reed" chop vibrate at the desired frequencies is stressed too much, and eventually the notes simply do not sound or sound woofy, floppy and/or thin. But if...as happens in Carmine's "Rest when a note doesn't sound and then start again" approach...you start again with less lip mass, ease of high playing increases immediately.

Now...how is all of this about finding one's "natural embouchure(s)?"

That's where freebuzzing comes in.

I regularly freebuzz as high as C and D above the treble clef, connected to and from all of the ranges below. (I use my fingers to lightly imitate the rim on the red of my lips above about 10th partial D to do that.)

I also freebuzz down from the higher and middle ranges...again, using my hands to stabilize my cheek muscles in the sub-sub-pedal ranges (like 4 and even 5 octaves below the pedals and even further) right down to a place where I am almost buzzing a tempo instead of a note. Depending on the rim diameter, there always comes a range point where no matter what I do I cannot fit the needed aperture for those low ranges and volumes inside of a given rim...it's higher on small rims, progressively lower on big rims including the widest tuba rims, but eventually no practical rim can contain the necessary apertures in the sub-pedal ranges.

So...and I warn you, do not mess with this too much until you fully understand what is happening and always reestablish your best middle, high and low balances, connections and sound on the horn after experimenting with this...try freebuzzing a usually very reliable midrange note. I usually start my own practice like this somewhere between 7th partial G and say the G an octave below that. They are the most reliable freebuzzing notes...for me...the ones that are easiest and most comfortable. Say you choose a 5th partial C. Quietly say the word "pop" without letting the final "p" explode. Just let your lips come to a gentle rest place when you do that. Now...without changing that rest place...try to freebuzz a 5th partial C. (It helps to have a pitch reference handy...the lips without the centering influence of the horn will often fool you otherwise.) If the note doesn't sound, doesn't sound clearly or feels as if you are using a great deal of muscle to stabilize the note, try gently moving your lower lip back and forth in relationship to your upper lip until the note sounds and feel better...less stressful, more musical. Try this for a couple of minutes. When (and if) you get a good freebuzzed middle C, you have found your own physiognomy's natural embouchure for that note. If you cannot do this, try notes somewhat higher or lower than that C. If that doesn't work, rest a little and then establish that "pop" balance, just see if any note comes out while moving the lower lip back and forth gently in relationship to your upper lip. If that doesn't work? Forget about it and go practice. Try again tomorrow.

But...if a stable note does appear, try continuing that note while you put your horn to your face. Does it feel...weird? Sound bad? Can you make it sound better somehow by some motion(s) or other(s)? That's how far you have come from the way your face wants to play that note without the encumbrances of a rim, m'pce or horn. Try to find ways to produce at the very least a compromise between those two things. Try to connect it to other notes above and below it. Again...not too much. Don't get carried away, and always come back to establishing how you play when you are playing as well as you can do so.

5 minutes tops the first day. Then go practice and forget about it.

Tomorrow?

Try again.

Rinse and repeat, up and down the horn...always being sure to eventually establish/reestablish your own good playing. If you do that, you will never hurt yourself, and your "good" playing embouchures/settings (call them whatever you want) will start to more resemble your "natural" settings.

Patience...it took me a couple of years to get really good at this, but the benefits that eventually appeared in my playing were quite noticeable.

Bet on it.

Later...

S.
« Last Edit: Jun 17, 2017, 08:59PM by sabutin » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: Jun 17, 2017, 06:03PM »

I wonder why technical aspects like buzzing, high/low notes, loud, but never soft... Amazed, fast, never slow..., etc, always are discussed even if we all know its a different answer to each one of us?

Why this big interest for technical aspects? I'm of course not on a level like Sabutin or Svenne and will never be. Still, isn't it more interesting to discuss more about music aspects? How to reach and develop music inside us self, how to make music in different ensembles orchestras , develop our self as a chamber musician or do solo things? How to listen around, how to play in different settings, how to use our internal radar to fit in? What is the role of our trombone in different ensembles?

Of course we need technique but isn't it a different approach for all since we are all different? As solo players we want tips on how to develop our own musical voice. As chamber players we want a personal approach that will fit into different ensembles and players. How to use our internal radar/ears to fit into any musical situation. How to play different styles? That's really the interesting aspects for most of us, isn't it?

When I studied music I always did basic things, but my teachers always had a musical approach to whatever I did.

To all you young people, or older beginners, always focus on music. Even on long notes, make every note speak and have a connection to next note. That's more interesting and learning than a hopeless discussion about buzzing the mouthpiece or not.

Leif
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« Reply #31 on: Jun 17, 2017, 06:20PM »

To be fair - I didn't ask, I just posted the video.

I've never found MP-buzzing useful, and my free buzzing is, well I don't do that either, except for fun. bvvvrrrrb, bvvvrrrrb.

Today I tried Lindberg's little demo, and if I hold my embouchure exactly the same through the process, as I buzz a top of the staff Bb on my MP, then the lower F comes out (sounding like cr@p) when the trombone is placed on the MP.  The dynamic loading to the trombone is Bigly (Trumpism  Good!) different from just the MP alone.

Which brings me to my next question.  Why would one expect that the exact same embouchure conditions would apply to the MP alone as to the MP + ~9' of ~.5" tubing hanging off it (the trombone)?

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« Reply #32 on: Jun 17, 2017, 07:11PM »

I wonder why technical aspects like buzzing, high/low notes, loud, but never soft... Amazed, fast, never slow..., etc, always are discussed even if we all know its a different answer to each one of us?

Why this big interest for technical aspects? I'm of course not on a level like Sabutin or Svenne and will never be. Still, isn't it more interesting to discuss more about music aspects? How to reach and develop music inside us self, how to make music in different ensembles orchestras , develop our self as a chamber musician or do solo things? How to listen around, how to play in different settings, how to use our internal radar to fit in? What is the role of our trombone in different ensembles?

Of course we need technique but isn't it a different approach for all since we are all different? As solo players we want tips on how to develop our own musical voice. As chamber players we want a personal approach that will fit into different ensembles and players. How to use our internal radar/ears to fit into any musical situation. How to play different styles? That's really the interesting aspects for most of us, isn't it?

When I studied music I always did basic things, but my teachers always had a musical approach to whatever I did.

To all you young people, or older beginners, always focus on music. Even on long notes, make every note speak and have a connection to next note. That's more interesting and learning than a hopeless discussion about buzzing the mouthpiece or not.

Leif


Lief,

Fistly, I agree with everything you have said. I want to offer a slightly alternative view that I think leads to the same thing you are saying.

Of course, we all want to be musicians and play in a way that expresses our own musical ideas. Personally though, i think it is extremely important to master simply being able to play your instrument. I believe iys rarer than you think. You need to be able to play at a moderate dynamic, you need to play loud, soft, articulated, smoothly, high range, low range.. etc... the list goes on. I believe that telling students that technical aspects come second to expressing themselves musically can create just as many problems as vice versa. I have heard not only students but professional players perform in ways that they insist are "musical" but really its just an excuse for poor technique. If a player is not capable of playing a passage at a certain dynamic or tempo, many of them search for alternative ways to execute the passage. I think most players as well are not willing to admit they have holes in their technique, so claiming what they do is a "musical choice" excuses them from admitting they cant play certain passages. Playing a particular note with a sound uneven to those around it, or adding ralls or accels where not written can be a nightmare for those around trying to blend with that player.

In an audition context, you need to find a balance of being able to express yourself, but also stay faithful to what the composer has dictated to you on the page. A panel of players want to know firstly that you are capable of playing exactly what is written in a way that they feel they can work with. If you add your own unpredictable "musical" ideas, it suggests that you do not respect what the composer has written, or that you are incapable of playing exactly what is written. If the panel wish to hear other ways of performing music from you, they can ask you to do it again slightly differently in an audition. I once played ride of the valkyries 7 or 8 different times in the final for an audition where the panel asked for different tempos, articulation and sound each time.

In the ensemble, you absolutely need to have your ears open and your radar up! But you need to be prepared to be able to do technically whatever you hear around you to blend. If you are pushing your own musical ideas in an ensemble without paying much attention to what else is going on around you, you are going to annoy a lot of people. If you dont have the technique to play softly enough to blend with an oboe or flute, then you are not being musical. If you dont have the technique to be able to play at a volume and sustain of other low brass players in the section you are not being musical. If in your solo work, you can't play a particular high or low note without changing your sound quality, or cant articulate a fast passage at a tempo indicated you are also not being musical.

Being the most musical player does not mean much if you cant control what you do well enough to play with others. Being a master of technique also opens up your musical pallet so that when appropriate, you have a much larger choice of musical tools to play with.

Whilst the end goal is the same, I spend most of my practice time making sure that I am capable of playing whatever is asked or required of me. There are plenty of excerpts and solos whuch I think would sound better with my own ideas added, but really, apart from me, nobody really cares. They want to know I am a human player, but foremost that I am capable of controling my sounds in a predictable manner faithful to the music I am performing.

I think it is important to refine your technique so that you can be musical in any context. That is why I think so many technique conversations come up here. To tie in with this thread, for me, buzzing helps me gain control of my instrument so I can play with an employable sound.
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« Reply #33 on: Jun 17, 2017, 07:26PM »

Freebuzzing...done right...helps you to find your own natural embouchure(s).

What I am about to say will sound somewhat like heresy to many very fine players and teachers, but I am going to try anyway.

I have known since high school that the embouchures needed to produce say a 12th partial F on a tenor trombone and a BBb tuba pedal Bb are not "the same." I could play both pretty well in high school, and they did not relate physically except in the fact that they were both produced by the same physical system. The lip masses used were entirely different, just for starters, and of course the rims were widely different in diameter. I didn't think about this much...I just played...until I was in my late 20s/early 30s and wanted to expand my ranges...and the quality of my playing in those ranges...further than I had been able to do so using various Carmine Caruso approaches...basically up and down from the approximate middle, nose breathing and leaving the m'pce on the chops throughout the whole (playable) exercise until a note did not sound, then resting a minute or so and starting where you left off and doing the same thing. When you rested, came back and one of the notes didn't sound, that was the end of the exercise. It slowly dawned on me that what Carmine had not pointed out was that the replaced m'pce didn't always go back in exactly the same place, that I adjusted my chops quite unconsciously...quite automatically...to continue up or down in the same direction. This was more noticeable in the extreme ranges, and particularly noticeable as I approached and went down beyond the pedal ranges.

So I started looking into why and how this happened, initially using cutoff rims and a mirror. When I began to understand the mechanisms in each direction, I began to try to freebuzz using the same exercises, and eventually combined freebuzzing, rim buzzing, m'pce buzzing and playing the horn on the exercises as well. I found numerous quite consistent "break points"...areas where there was almost the effect of slurring through adjacent partials on a horn, even when there was no horn involved...and I further observed that (with the exception of ranges above say the 10th partial D) I could manage to go from any of the buzzing things to the horn with very little change in those "break points." They were fairly consistent, in fact they were more consistent when I was freebuzzing than they were when a rim was involved, on or off of the m'pce and horn. (I leave the altissimo ranges...above that 10th partial D as far as I am concerned...out of this equation somewhat because I need what I call "the metal muscle" of the rim to play up there. Not using pressure...just as a sort of guitar-like capo to make the string...the lips, in our case...shorter. Smaller. Less "massy". Whatever...)

Hmmmmm....

Eventually I realized that there is no change in any note on the horn...not range-wise and neither volume-wise...without a concomitant change in the aperture. The aperture gets smaller or larger as one changes ranges, and also smaller or larger as one changes volumes. In the lower ranges...and this is entirely personal and also entirely depending on the rim diameter being played...when the aperture reaches the edges of the rim an adjustment needs to be made to go lower. What are those "adjustments?" That's what the individual must find.

In the upper ranges another system takes place. If one is using too much lip mass as the ranges go up from the middle...a very common problem, especially with large horns and m'pces...the musculature needed to make that "big string/big reed" chop vibrate at the desired frequencies is stressed too much, and eventually the notes simply do not sound or sound woofy, floppy and/or thin. But if...as happens in Carmine's "Rest when a note doesn't sound and then start again" approach...you start again with less lip mass, ease of high playing increases immediately.

Now...how is all of this about finding one's "natural embouchure(s)?"

That's where freebuzzing comes in.

I regularly freebuzz as high as C and D above the treble clef, connected to and from all of the ranges below. (I use my fingers to lightly imitate the rim on the red of my lips above about 10th partial D to do that.)

I also freebuzz down from the higher and middle ranges...again, using my hands to stabilize my cheek muscles in the sub-sub-pedal ranges (like 4 and even 5 octaves below the pedals and even further) right down to a place where I am almost buzzing a tempo instead of a note. Depending on the rim diameter, there always comes a range point where no matter what I do I cannot fit the needed aperture for those low ranges and volumes inside of a given rim...it's higher on small rims, progressively lower on big rims including the widest tuba rims, but eventually no practical rim can contain the necessary apertures in the sub-pedal ranges.

So...and I warn you, do not mess with this too much until you fully understand what is happening and always reestablish your best middle, high and low balances, connections and sound on the horn after experimenting with this...try freebuzzing a usually very reliable midrange note. I usually start my own practice like this somewhere between 7th partial G and say the G an octave below that. They are the most reliable freebuzzing notes...for me...the ones that are easiest and most comfortable. Say you choose a 5th partial C. Quietly say the word "pop" without letting the last p explode. Just let your lips come to a gentle rest place when you do that. Now...without changing that rest place...try to freebuzz a 5th partial C. (It helps to have a pitch reference handy...the lips without the centering influence of the horn will often fool you otherwise.) If the note doesn't sound, doesn't sound clearly or feels as if you are using a great deal of muscle to stabilize the note, try gently moving your lower lip back and forth in relationship to your upper lip until the note sounds and feel better...less stressful, more musical. Try this for a couple of minutes. When (and if) you get a good freebuzzed middle C, you have found your own physiognomy's natural embouchure for that note. If you cannot do this, try notes somewhat higher or lower than that C. If that doesn't work, rest a little and then establish that "pop" balance, just see if any note comes out while moving the lower lip back and forth gently in relationship to your upper lip. If that doesn't work? Forget about it and go practice. Try again tomorrow.

But...if a stable note does appear, try continuing that note while you put your horn to your face. Does it feel...weird? Sound bad? Can you make it sound better somehow by some motion(s) or other(s)? That's how far you have come from the way your face wants to play that note without the encumbrances of a rim, m'pce or horn. Try to find ways to produce at the very least a compromise between those two things. Try to connect it to other notes above and below it. Again...not too much. Don't get carried away, and always come back to establishing how you play when you are playing as well as you can do so.

5 minutes tops the first day. Then go practice and forget about it.

Tomorrow?

Try again.

Rinse and repeat, up and down the horn...always being sure to eventually establish/reestablish your own good playing. If you do that, you will never hurt yourself, and your "good" playing embouchures/settings (call them whatever you want) will start to more resemble your "natural" settings.

Patience...it took me a couple of years to get really good at this, but the benefits that eventually appeared in my playing were quite noticeable.

Later...

S.

Wow! Vintage Sam!

I certainly got a buzz from reading your thoughts on this!

...Geezer
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« Reply #34 on: Jun 17, 2017, 07:39PM »


Lief,

Fistly, I agree with everything you have said. I want to offer a slightly alternative view that I think leads to the same thing you are saying.

Of course, we all want to be musicians and play in a way that expresses our own musical ideas. Personally though, i think it is extremely important to master simply being able to play your instrument. I believe iys rarer than you think. You need to be able to play at a moderate dynamic, you need to play loud, soft, articulated, smoothly, high range, low range.. etc... the list goes on. I believe that telling students that technical aspects come second to expressing themselves musically can create just as many problems as vice versa. I have heard not only students but professional players perform in ways that they insist are "musical" but really its just an excuse for poor technique. If a player is not capable of playing a passage at a certain dynamic or tempo, many of them search for alternative ways to execute the passage. I think most players as well are not willing to admit they have holes in their technique, so claiming what they do is a "musical choice" excuses them from admitting they cant play certain passages. Playing a particular note with a sound uneven to those around it, or adding ralls or accels where not written can be a nightmare for those around trying to blend with that player.

In an audition context, you need to find a balance of being able to express yourself, but also stay faithful to what the composer has dictated to you on the page. A panel of players want to know firstly that you are capable of playing exactly what is written in a way that they feel they can work with. If you add your own unpredictable "musical" ideas, it suggests that you do not respect what the composer has written, or that you are incapable of playing exactly what is written. If the panel wish to hear other ways of performing music from you, they can ask you to do it again slightly differently in an audition. I once played ride of the valkyries 7 or 8 different times in the final for an audition where the panel asked for different tempos, articulation and sound each time.

In the ensemble, you absolutely need to have your ears open and your radar up! But you need to be prepared to be able to do technically whatever you hear around you to blend. If you are pushing your own musical ideas in an ensemble without paying much attention to what else is going on around you, you are going to annoy a lot of people. If you dont have the technique to play softly enough to blend with an oboe or flute, then you are not being musical. If you dont have the technique to be able to play at a volume and sustain of other low brass players in the section you are not being musical. If in your solo work, you can't play a particular high or low note without changing your sound quality, or cant articulate a fast passage at a tempo indicated you are also not being musical.

Being the most musical player does not mean much if you cant control what you do well enough to play with others. Being a master of technique also opens up your musical pallet so that when appropriate, you have a much larger choice of musical tools to play with.

Whilst the end goal is the same, I spend most of my practice time making sure that I am capable of playing whatever is asked or required of me. There are plenty of excerpts and solos whuch I think would sound better with my own ideas added, but really, apart from me, nobody really cares. They want to know I am a human player, but foremost that I am capable of controling my sounds in a predictable manner faithful to the music I am performing.

I think it is important to refine your technique so that you can be musical in any context. That is why I think so many technique conversations come up here. To tie in with this thread, for me, buzzing helps me gain control of my instrument so I can play with an employable sound.

I understand and agree with what you say bigbassbone1, but there is a balance between all aspects depending on who and where we are? I dont have good technique so I do in fact a lot of basics to at least keep the little I have... :/ I hope..

In fact I buzz everyday with all the young students I have, I'm just a teacher and some days I doubt everything I do as a teacher. I'm never sure...maybe I should be  :/

Leif
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« Reply #35 on: Jun 17, 2017, 08:53PM »


I also freebuzz down from the higher and middle ranges...again, using my hands to stabilize my cheek muscles in the sub-sub-pedal ranges (like 4 and even 5 octaves below the pedals and even further) right down to a place where I am almost buzzing a tempo instead of a note. Depending on the rim diameter, there always comes a range point where no matter what I do I cannot fit the needed aperture for those low ranges and volumes inside of a given rim...it's higher on small rims, progressively lower on big rims including the widest tuba rims, but eventually no practical rim can contain the necessary apertures in the sub-pedal ranges.



Freebuzzing 5 octaves below 'the pedals'?
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« Reply #36 on: Jun 17, 2017, 09:12PM »


Freebuzzing 5 octaves below 'the pedals'?

Yes. I didn't believe it myself, at first. I had to write down the ranges where my freebuzz stopped and started again a number of times before I began to be able to keep track of the octaves and trust what I was doing. It's a very...involving...pursuit. The mind tends to give up at a little below the double pedals. But freebuzzed triple pedals are normal now, and sometimes...when the stars are right...I just keep on going down using Caruso interval exercises into the Never-Never Lands of controlled horse lip flapping...but quite identifiable...pitches.

I know...it sounds like wasted effort at best.

But it's not.

Bet on it.

At the very least it is a great lip massage.

Bet on that as well.

S.
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ALT
« Reply #37 on: Jun 17, 2017, 11:20PM »


But freebuzzed triple pedals are normal now, and sometimes...when the stars are right...I just keep on going down using Caruso interval exercises into the Never-Never Lands of controlled horse lip flapping...but quite identifiable...pitches.



From what I can gather off a quick google search.

  = 116.5hz

Pedal Bb = 58.27hz

Double Pedal Bb = 29.14hz

"Triple" pedal Bb = 14.57hz = 16th notes at 220bpm

"Quadruple" Pedal Bb = 7.28hz = 8th notes at 220bpm

"Quintuple" Pedal Bb = 3.6hz = 220bpm


Is this what you are referring to? Do you identify 220bpm as a Bb?
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« Reply #38 on: Jun 18, 2017, 05:05AM »

Yes. I didn't believe it myself, at first. I had to write down the ranges where my freebuzz stopped and started again a number of times before I began to be able to keep track of the octaves and trust what I was doing. It's a very...involving...pursuit. The mind tends to give up at a little below the double pedals. But freebuzzed triple pedals are normal now, and sometimes...when the stars are right...I just keep on going down using Caruso interval exercises into the Never-Never Lands of controlled horse lip flapping...but quite identifiable...pitches.

I know...it sounds like wasted effort at best.

But it's not.

Bet on it.

At the very least it is a great lip massage.

Bet on that as well.

S.

Lip massage. lol

It is hard to imagine "buzzing" that low. If I take it to THE most ridiculous extreme and manually cause the lips to go out and back in at a rate of about once a second (or even slower!) simply by expelling a small puff of air, is that even a note? I'm wondering at what point the movement of the lips no longer produces a wave.

I'm also wondering if you have recorded yourself "buzzing" at the very lowest frequencies and then speeding it up via a wave editor to determine if you can make the pitches go up in tune by intervals?

Conversely, it might be fun and maybe even enlightening to record yourself fine-buzzing (or mosquito-buzzing, as I like to call it) in the altissimo range and then slow it down by octaves to see if the pitches hold true.

In both cases above, the slowed-down or sped-up pitches will not have the same timbre as other true pitches due to lack of overtones.

...Geezer
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« Reply #39 on: Jun 18, 2017, 05:14AM »

220 bpm =   prestissimo.
220 bps =  
110 bps =  
55  bps =   pedal A
27.5 bps =  double pedal A
13.75 bps = triple pedal A
6.87 bps  = qudruple pedal A
3.435 bps = quintuple pedal A = bpm 206.1 = All The Things You Are?

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« Reply #40 on: Jun 18, 2017, 10:03AM »

Lip massage. lol

It is hard to imagine "buzzing" that low. If I take it to THE most ridiculous extreme and manually cause the lips to go out and back in at a rate of about once a second (or even slower!) simply by expelling a small puff of air, is that even a note? I'm wondering at what point the movement of the lips no longer produces a wave.

I'm also wondering if you have recorded yourself "buzzing" at the very lowest frequencies and then speeding it up via a wave editor to determine if you can make the pitches go up in tune by intervals?

Conversely, it might be fun and maybe even enlightening to record yourself fine-buzzing (or mosquito-buzzing, as I like to call it) in the altissimo range and then slow it down by octaves to see if the pitches hold true.

In both cases above, the slowed-down or sped-up pitches will not have the same timbre as other true pitches due to lack of overtones.

...Geezer

I hear the pitches quite clearly, right on up and right on down. Do they sound "like" the notes when played on a trombone? Of course not. But when I sustain a given freebuzz and then place it in the m'pce on the horn with the least possible adjustment, the resultant note sounds good...often quite a bit better if I'm not yet warmed up and balanced well.

Are the lowest buzz pitches the fundamentals in the low range or are they perceived overtones? I don't know and neither do I particularly care. They do good things for my chops and that's the bottom line. The only bottom line as far as I am concerned.

The exercises are done in simple major scale patterns. I can transfer the notes into differently sized m'pces down to whatever limit a given rim enforces...on my 6-ish rims, for instance, I can now transfer freebuzzes to the m'pce...or m'pce and horn or cutoff rim...down to somewhere around a double pedal Bb. (Or lower, sometimes.) After they become non-transferable, I continue freebuzzing down in the same slow and simple, easy-to-hear, scale-wise intervallic exercises. When a note does not sound...just as in the higher Caruso exercises...I stop, rest a minute or so and then proceed from where I stopped. The perceived pitches continue down in scalewise order and the vibrating lips seem to me to vibrate progressively slowerbut still too fast to count. When the notes stop and do not start again, I stop the exercise. I am so much concentrating on the buzz, the air and the pitch that I rarely try to "count" the octaves, but the couple of times that I did so...I wrote down the octave every time I reached a new sub-pedal...I was bumping up against 5 octaves below the pedal range. Maybe I'm hearing overtones that I am isolating, maybe not.

The most important things about these low range freebuzzings to me are these:

1-They really massage my chops with very little needed tension.

and

2-My musculature tires out...more rapidly as I get lower. I find this very interesting, for the following reason. Down into the subpedals I am using almost no corner tension whatsoever, and as I go lower I actually have to support my cheeks lightly with my hands to continue the buzz. But I still lose the buzz when whatever musculature I am using tires out. It's certainly not my air support muscles, and the only other musculature that is involved is either some part of the tongue...a relatively strong and tireless muscle, as our politicians have so generously shown us for eons...or the muscles of the bottom throat, right behind the lower jaw.

Now...Gunther Schuller, who was originally a pretty good french horn player who studied with the best of the best due to his father's connection with the NY Philharmonic...once talked to me about making a "pear-shaped" form in the throat and mouth to get a big sound. This didn't resonate very well with me at the time...my bad, I think...but in these subpedal ranges, that is as good an image for what is happening in my mouth as I could possible invent myself. And it is musculature that is not used very much otherwise. Not in normal life or in brass playing. Maybe that's the mechanism that improves my overall playing when I practice these sorts of subpedal activities.

Frogs know.



That's how they produce their otherworldly resonance.

Ribbit!!!

Later...

S.
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« Reply #41 on: Jun 18, 2017, 10:27AM »

220 bpm =   prestissimo.
220 bps =  
110 bps =  
55  bps =   pedal A
27.5 bps =  double pedal A
13.75 bps = triple pedal A
6.87 bps  = quadruple pedal A
3.435 bps = quintuple pedal A = bpm 206.1 = All The Things You Are?

Svenne-Thanks for he math.

I just freebuzzed an A major scale starting at A=220 bps. Clear and fairly easy to buzz on down to A=13.75 bps. Harder down to A=6.87 bps, but still clearly discernable as an A an octave lower that the previous octave and seemingly vibrating progressively slower as I traversed that octave. The next octave is questionable. It is certainly not vibrating at 206.1 bpm...I am not even sure that the lips are buzzing any slower...yet I hear a quite easily discernible A major scale descending from the octave above. I can go down about another octave in terms of perceived pitch, but the lip frequencies are not even close to being 103.05 bpm. But...my throat continues to progressively open through those two or three lower octaves.

Heard overtones?

Ear/mind tricks?

Could be.

But they are still demonstrably useful exercises.

I really ought to go to someone doing high-level acoustic research in a university and let them measure what's really going on down there.

Thanks again...

S.
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« Reply #42 on: Jun 18, 2017, 01:55PM »

To be fair - I didn't ask, I just posted the video.

I've never found MP-buzzing useful, and my free buzzing is, well I don't do that either, except for fun. bvvvrrrrb, bvvvrrrrb.

Today I tried Lindberg's little demo, and if I hold my embouchure exactly the same through the process, as I buzz a top of the staff Bb on my MP, then the lower F comes out (sounding like cr@p) when the trombone is placed on the MP.  The dynamic loading to the trombone is Bigly (Trumpism  Good!) different from just the MP alone.

Which brings me to my next question.  Why would one expect that the exact same embouchure conditions would apply to the MP alone as to the MP + ~9' of ~.5" tubing hanging off it (the trombone)?



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« Reply #43 on: Jun 18, 2017, 04:25PM »


I just freebuzzed an A major scale starting at A=220 bps. Clear and fairly easy to buzz on down to A=13.75 bps. Harder down to A=6.87 bps, but still clearly discernable as an A an octave lower that the previous octave and seemingly vibrating progressively slower as I traversed that octave. The next octave is questionable. It is certainly not vibrating at 206.1 bpm...I am not even sure that the lips are buzzing any slower...yet I hear a quite easily discernible A major scale descending from the octave above. I can go down about another octave in terms of perceived pitch, but the lip frequencies are not even close to being 103.05 bpm.


S.


Have you ever ever made a recording of yourself completing this (or similar) exercise? I'd be curious to hear it.



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« Reply #44 on: Jun 18, 2017, 07:31PM »


Have you ever ever made a recording of yourself completing this (or similar) exercise? I'd be curious to hear it.

No. Not successfully. I tried on my iPhone but the sound quality was unacceptable. I don't spend much time (or money) trying to "prove" what I am doing to others...I'm really way too busy simply doing it on any number of levels...and on the evidence of the general lack of wide acceptance of my really quite thorough, 245 page book on what I am doing and the several YouTube videos (also fairly low quality) that I put up a number of years ago, the doubters would continue to doubt no matter what I did.

I present my results on a few websites. A few people pick up on them; a few more come to see me to hear exactly what I am doing live and in the flesh, and the rest?

Best of luck to them.

As a teacher who really influenced me more that any other used to say...he didn't much like having his named bandied about so I do not identify him publicly, but he was not known as a "music" teacher..."You either do it or you don't."

All the rest is just excuses.

I have given very clear instructions on how I go about this particular practice, just as in my book I have given equally clear instructions on how to approach other things that I have discovered about brass playing in general. Check them out for yourself, or...if you have a real interest...come visit me in the Bronx. I welcome all questioners, even the ones who think I'm full of it.

Later...

S.

P.S. If you are one of the doubters, go look at my resume on my website. You don't put together something like that by being a faker.

Bet on it.
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« Reply #45 on: Jun 18, 2017, 08:14PM »

I don't spend much time (or money) trying to "prove" what I am doing to others

...and on the evidence of the general lack of wide acceptance of my really quite thorough, 245 page book on what I am doing and the several YouTube videos (also fairly low quality) that I put up a number of years ago, the doubters would continue to doubt no matter what I did.

I present my results on a few websites. A few people pick up on them; a few more come to see me to hear exactly what I am doing live and in the flesh, and the rest?

I have given very clear instructions on how I go about this particular practice, just as in my book I have given equally clear instructions on how to approach other things that I have discovered about brass playing in general. Check them out for yourself, or...if you have a real interest...come visit me in the Bronx. I welcome all questioners, even the ones who think I'm full of it.




I own your book, have checked out both of your videos, and read a lot of what you have offered online through your website, and various forums. Fascinating stuff. Some of your ideas are certainly not for me, (as I imagine mine wouldn't be for you), but, I can respect, acknowledge and appreciate that what you do works for you personally, and at a very high level, as per your impressive resume, etc. At the very least, you've opened my mind up to new perspectives and possibilities.

As for trying to "prove" what you can do, I totally get where you are coming from. Time & money....and the effort vs reward ratio...but, you are claiming something here that I've not heard anyone else even suggest, let alone heard anyone actually attempt it. Free-buzzing several octaves below the piano? It's well beyond my imagination, hence, I'd be curious to hear it.


As for a visit? If I ever find myself in your neck of the woods, first beer is on me...bet on it :)

 
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« Reply #46 on: Jun 19, 2017, 04:35AM »

For me - the "proof" is in the recording. But you obviously don't need that kind of proof yourself, Sam. And I think that is what separates the truly good players from the rest; they can hear how others hear them while they are playing. Not all of us can and I suppose there are degrees. Some have absolutely no clue how others hear them and some do so profoundly. There's probably a bell curve.

...Geezer
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« Reply #47 on: Jun 19, 2017, 05:12AM »

I hear the pitches quite clearly, right on up and right on down. S.

I'm pretty sure Sam has learned to hear those pitches very clearly in his brain, and that has a lot to do with why he can play them. 

That's something I struggle with after I get past my comfortable range in either direction, and probably why some of those upper notes aren't as secure. 
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« Reply #48 on: Jun 19, 2017, 01:30PM »


I own your book, have checked out both of your videos, and read a lot of what you have offered online through your website, and various forums. Fascinating stuff. Some of your ideas are certainly not for me, (as I imagine mine wouldn't be for you), but, I can respect, acknowledge and appreciate that what you do works for you personally, and at a very high level, as per your impressive resume, etc. At the very least, you've opened my mind up to new perspectives and possibilities.

As for trying to "prove" what you can do, I totally get where you are coming from. Time & money....and the effort vs reward ratio...but, you are claiming something here that I've not heard anyone else even suggest, let alone heard anyone actually attempt it. Free-buzzing several octaves below the piano? It's well beyond my imagination, hence, I'd be curious to hear it.


As for a visit? If I ever find myself in your neck of the woods, first beer is on me...bet on it :)

As my not-quite-mythical teacher used to say, "You either do it or you don't." You have to do it...or at least try to do it. Not me. I've already done it, and I've already fairly clearly explained how to do it.

So...for starters, sit down and try to see if you can freebuzz. Even one midrange note. It doesn't have to be "like" the way you play your horn, it just has to be a note...maybe a whole note at MM= 70 or so. If you cannot do this after a few minutes of trying...remembering all the while to concentrate not only on the freebuzz but also on the air that will drive that freebuzz...then forget about it and go practice. Maybe try again later, when you are warmed up. If you can do it, then while keeping essentially the same setting try to freebuzz the next lowest note in that scale. Good? Try the next one. And the next, on down. When you cannot freebuzz a note, stop and rest for a minute and then try again on that note. (That one doesn't have to be "like" the way you normally play or the way you have been buzzing. It just has to sound.) If you can, keep on going down until you cannot...after taking a short rest...freebuzz a note in whatever range you stopped. Then go practice.

Tomorrow...or maybe later in the day or night...try it again.

Rinse and repeat. After a few days you will probably see some progress. When you do, then try doing the same thing from the same range only in diatonic seconds. (Striving to maintain the same general feel as you go down until it no longer works.)

Say you started on a middle C. Like this:



Try that for a couple of days.

Then 3rds, 4ths, etc.

See what happens.

That's basically how I did it, but I could already play double and triple pedals on all of my horns and m'pces. How did I learn that? The same general exercises and approach, only on my horns and m'pces.

Rinse and repeat, always looking for the next lower notes/feels...Carmine Caruso, upside down.

Bet on it.

Later...

S.

P.S. You have my book? Try this with intervals down going up as well.
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« Reply #49 on: Jun 19, 2017, 01:41PM »

"Do, or do not -- there is no try."

-Yoda

I know who your teacher is!
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« Reply #50 on: Jun 19, 2017, 02:36PM »

"Do, or do not -- there is no try."

-Yoda

I know who your teacher is!

Nope.

You don't.

Not even close.

Sorry...

S.
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« Reply #51 on: Jun 20, 2017, 12:41AM »

Guys, that's so fun to read at times...I guess it depends on your embouchure philosophy.

Buzzing on the way to work, or just because you don't have your instrument/mouthpiece is one thing, doing it systematically as a part of your daily routine is a completely different thing.

Free buzzing, mouthpiece buzzing, rim mp buzzing, leadpipe buzzing - you name it. The fact is, on most mouthpiece the pitch you get on most mp is not the same get by playing the same mp and same embouchure setup/tension on your instrument.

Still, free buzzing or mouthpiece buzzing can help us establish the relation between pitches and our embouchure set up. I hope we all agree on that...
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« Reply #52 on: Jun 20, 2017, 02:07AM »

I do it for fun! This morning after my coffee I did some "horselaugh" or flapping the lips by blowing, not a tone just a flap-flap-flap-flap, a frequency, nobody could hear this as a tone. I thought. I did it again and ask my wife: can you hear this frequency as a tone? She said : yes I can can hear some overtones guid me to the low frequency tone. Wow! Can you sing it? She sang an F, and then I heard the F my self in the flap-flap-flap. So I relized that the low flap-flap-flap is really a very low lipbuzzing, with a very low pitch, much lower then the piano lowest tone, even the bigest churh organ.

Why do I tell this? Well just for fun I guess. It is true though!
 Hi
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« Reply #53 on: Jun 20, 2017, 02:27AM »

I've been a lifelong mouthpiece buzzer. If I was having trouble making smooth connections on the horn, or my sound wasn't as I liked, mouthpiece buzzing was my go-to.

In January, I had a lesson, via skype, with Doug Elliott.

It occurs to me that I haven't buzzed a mouthpiece since that lesson. Not even once.

Doug gave me some exercises to focus on, including freebuzzing, and pointed out some other physical movements that were specific to me. For now, if something goes awry in my playing, my focus goes straight to Doug's suggestions.

Perhaps I will start to add some mouthpiece buzzing back into my process, to see if it can still be of some use to me. But for the now, I'm not missing it.

Andrew
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« Reply #54 on: Jun 20, 2017, 02:54AM »

I think that I the last month spendt about4 minutes alltogher on mouthpiece buzzing. Once in my life my teacher tought me mouthpiece buzzing,I really doubt the benifits for me. But it seems to work for others. I have spendt much time trying to evaluate the mpc buzz, doing it for a month, not doing it for a month, two months, three months. For me the embouchure seems to be better without it.

FOR ME! MAYBE NOT FOR YOU!

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« Reply #55 on: Jun 20, 2017, 03:34AM »

I see that the debate "to buzz or not to buzz" rages on.

I believe William Shakespeare commented on this topic some years ago.

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28
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« Reply #56 on: Jun 20, 2017, 04:55AM »

That figures. Never played trombone, but horns in.
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« Reply #57 on: Jun 20, 2017, 07:42AM »


---snip---

The fact is, on most mouthpiece the pitch you get on most mp is not the same get by playing the same mp and same embouchure setup/tension on your instrument.

---snip---

No, Nick. The real "fact" is that which mouthpiece you are using has little or nothing to do with the commonly experienced pitch change when a m'pce buzz is transferred into the horn. Most of us have to learn how to m'pce buzz in a manner that is similar to the way we play on the horn. That single learning experience made such a difference in my playing that I cannot begin to tell you about it. Everything got better. Quickly. And...I have seen it work for many students as well.

On all brass instruments.

It's a sort of epiphany experience. Like "OH!!! That's what you've been talking about!!!"

I repeat...it is not necessary to learn this technique to become a fine player, and if one is satisfied with how things are going on the horn it is just presents more unnecessary work to learn how to play...slightly differently. But satisfaction is a dangerous position in craft and in art both. There's always more to learn, and this is one way to do so that doesn't...if done right...threaten the whole physical balance upon which one has based one's expertise. It essentially shines a light on how that balance has been achieved while simultaneously showing ways to improve that balance.

I don't mind that many people do not want to deal with this idea, but when they present reasons like the one you used above...reasons that I know damned well are false due to extensive personal experience both on the horn and teaching...I have to call them out.

Sorry...no hostility intended. Just trying to get at the truths of the mater.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #58 on: Jun 20, 2017, 07:49AM »

I do it for fun! This morning after my coffee I did some "horselaugh" or flapping the lips by blowing, not a tone just a flap-flap-flap-flap, a frequency, nobody could hear this as a tone. I thought. I did it again and ask my wife: can you hear this frequency as a tone? She said : yes I can can hear some overtones guid me to the low frequency tone. Wow! Can you sing it? She sang an F, and then I heard the F my self in the flap-flap-flap. So I relized that the low flap-flap-flap is really a very low lipbuzzing, with a very low pitch, much lower then the piano lowest tone, even the bigest churh organ.

Why do I tell this? Well just for fun I guess. It is true though!
 Hi

Precisely.

Thank you, Svenne.

When you get down to it, every frequency...every measurement of repeated vibration in time...is a "note." Some entities...depending on their size, from say a mosquito up to a planet...might perceive things that we hear as "notes" as tempos. Or vice-versa. Add in the universal overtone series to that mix and you have a heady idea about how the universe is actually constructed.

Go here to read the introduction to my book. I cover this idea in some depth there.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #59 on: Jun 20, 2017, 07:55AM »

I've been a lifelong mouthpiece buzzer. If I was having trouble making smooth connections on the horn, or my sound wasn't as I liked, mouthpiece buzzing was my go-to.

In January, I had a lesson, via skype, with Doug Elliott.

It occurs to me that I haven't buzzed a mouthpiece since that lesson. Not even once.

Doug gave me some exercises to focus on, including freebuzzing, and pointed out some other physical movements that were specific to me. For now, if something goes awry in my playing, my focus goes straight to Doug's suggestions.

Perhaps I will start to add some mouthpiece buzzing back into my process, to see if it can still be of some use to me. But for the now, I'm not missing it.

Andrew

i believe that Doug's approach...the whole Reinhardt concept, done right...brings one to pretty much the same place as does mine.

All roads lead to Rome.

Except of course the ones that don't.



Later...

S.
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« Reply #60 on: Jun 20, 2017, 08:03AM »

Sam, one question. You are of course one with more experience and level in music than most of us others here. You seem to tell us lot of good advices how to buzz the mouthpiece or without. But since all this buzz discussion started with Christian Lindberg tell he dont buzz. And Svenne tell lot of times it fits some but not necessary all players. He tried everything up through the years I think. Now, to the questions.

How could a player like Lindberg become the best solo trombone player in the world without doing any buzzing? Since he have done nearly everything that is possible and not possible on a trombone, could he been doing more if he had been buzzing the mouthpiece? Seems to me he got max out of the trombone?

(That reminds of the word one idiot can ask more than 10 wise can answer. But I think you have an answer somehow :D )

Leif


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« Reply #61 on: Jun 20, 2017, 08:08AM »

I see that the debate "to buzz or not to buzz" rages on.

I believe William Shakespeare commented on this topic some years ago.

"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5, 19–28

Cosmic!!!

The human condition in a nutshell!!!

Except for say artists on the level of Bach and Mozart and Beethoven and...you know...down the line to people like Jascha Heifetz, Charlie Parker and other musical masters of performance.

But it does not pertain here.

"...a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Perhaps we are all "idiots" simply for wanting to learn how to play our primitive blowtube on the same level as are the greatest pianos and violins. But other than that?

It "signifies" if it helps people to approach closer to their performance goal.

I prefer this one, myself.

Quote
WHOEVER KNOWS THE MYSTERY OF VIBRATIONS INDEED KNOWS ALL THINGS.
       -- Hazrat Inayat Khan

Or perhaps this one:

Quote
A MAN'S INCLINATION IS THE ROOT OF THE TREE OF HIS LIFE.
       -- Hazrat Inayat Khan

Quest on, Patrick.

In the end, it's all we've got.

Later...

S.

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« Reply #62 on: Jun 20, 2017, 08:16AM »

Sam, one question. You are of course one with more experience and level in music than most of us others here. You seem to tell us lot of good advices how to buzz the mouthpiece or without. But since all this buzz discussion started with Christian Lindberg tell he dont buzz. And Svenne tell lot of times it fits some but not necessary all players. He tried everything up through the years I think. Now, to the questions.

How could a player like Lindberg become the best solo trombone player in the world without doing any buzzing? Since he have done nearly everything that is possible and not possible on a trombone, could he been doing more if he had been buzzing the mouthpiece? Seems to me he got max out of the trombone?

Leif

He could have been even better. With or without m'pce buzzing.

None of us ever even approach "perfection."

Bet on it.

Carmine Caruso...over and over again:

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                           We're only human!!!


Bet on that as well.

Later...

S.
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« Reply #63 on: Jun 20, 2017, 08:36AM »

He could have been even better. With or without m'pce buzzing.

None of us ever even approach "perfection."

Bet on it.

Carmine Caruso...over and over again:

Bet on that as well.

Later...

S.

Thanks, I believe you might are right.

Another question, can buzzing done wrong harm us or destroy development? And what is the most common faults we do?

I actually do some mouthpiece buzzing but mostly as kind of warm up or together with my small students. I never thought of how to do it, we just try to get it buzz and hit the intonation often with a piano.

In music aspects I tend to sing inside me to get the output I want instead of buzzing.

And Sam, could you listen my mp3 in "performance" section and tell me how to play that kind of music? I believe you have done that more than any else here. If you have time of course. The thing is I'm very unsure how to do it, even if I like to play that kind of style.

Leif
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« Reply #64 on: Jun 20, 2017, 01:16PM »

Hey Sam,

If it's inspirational quotes from musicians you want, then try this one ...

“At the very 11th hour, an artist might do something that will eclipse everything else.”
Van Cliburn

Best,
Patrick
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« Reply #65 on: Jun 26, 2017, 12:43PM »

In my travels to the ITF right now, We just stopped north of Cambria at the elephant seal viewing area.  I counted about 80 of them on the beach and in the water.

Their vocalizations seem like about 4 hz and it sounds like about a C or D to me.  Some of them are lower and I might identifying the "pitch" as a G below.  I never really thought about low pitches like that before.
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« Reply #66 on: Jun 26, 2017, 08:18PM »

I actually do agree with this. However, if you are not able to buzz into the mouthpiece, you possibly are not able to buzz into the instrument. My sister cannot buzz her lips at all, much less can she buzz while the ends of her lips are pinched. In my experience, if you are able to buzz into the mouthpiece first, it is much easier to learn how to play the instrument.
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« Reply #67 on: Jun 27, 2017, 12:16AM »

My sister cannot buzz her lips at all, much less can she buzz while the ends of her lips are pinched.

Trying to buzz with pinched lips is a good way to guarantee failure.
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« Reply #68 on: Jun 28, 2017, 04:52AM »

In my travels to the ITF right now, We just stopped north of Cambria at the elephant seal viewing area.  I counted about 80 of them on the beach and in the water.

Their vocalizations seem like about 4 hz and it sounds like about a C or D to me.  Some of them are lower and I might identifying the "pitch" as a G below.  I never really thought about low pitches like that before.

There is a line between frequencies that we identify as pitches and those that we identify as tempos. I haven't done or seen any hard scientific research on this, but my guess is that it is an individual thing exactly where that line may be. If you're interested in the ramifications of this as far as musicians are concerned, go read the intro to my book. I cover it in some detail.

S.
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Visit <http://samburtis.com/>. Lots of information on that site in the form of articles plus a link to my method book "Time, Balance & Connections-A Universal Theory Of Brass Relativity" which includes several chapters of the book.
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