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Author Topic: On Mouthpiece Buzzing  (Read 4545 times)
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sabutin

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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.

S.
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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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savio

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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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sabutin

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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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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.
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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Kanstul 1662. Bach 45B. Kanstul 1555. Besson Euphonium. Kanstul 66-S Tuba. Sackbuts in F/E/Eb Bb/A
And several horns I should sell.
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