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Author Topic: On Mouthpiece Buzzing  (Read 4277 times)
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sabutin

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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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ALT
« 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

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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, 1928
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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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