WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Lip buzzing not happening Reply To: Lip buzzing not happening


You’re welcome, Eric.

I did have the feeling that I was fortunate to have been playing somewhat open to begin with, at least up to a point on the staff. I think I’ve always played that way. My problems started probably at about E on the staff and got very worse very quickly.

I don’t mean to contradict anything Greg recommends or WindWorks, but playing efficiently is less about the formation of the lips when initially setting the mouthpiece on my chops and more about what happens when I release air through them.

The trumpet mouthpiece is a lot smaller than a trombone mouthpiece, regardless of whether you’re playing a 10 1/2C or a 1 1/2C…there’s only so much room between the inner diameter of the cup…our lips are either in there, or they’re not…

For me, the “mmmm aaaaa ooooo” thing was (is) much more of a mental image that helped me, rather than a change in my initial setup.

I believe my initial setting was fine, it was what I was doing afterwards that was the problem–rather than engaging the corners of the aperture to contract towards the air column / center of the mouthpiece, I was rolling my bottom lip under my top lip, blowing the air to the ground and pulling back the corners of my mouth, thinning out my lips, compressing the lips top-to-bottom like a clam and blowing harder to compensate for the fact that I was cutting off the air…

I was in a perpetual tug-of-war with myself once I got above the staff…the sound usually cut out above G above the staff…

I place my lips together when putting the mouthpiece on my face still today, but I leave them relaxed and I let the air part them when I release the air, only contracting the aperture corners as much as necessary to keep air from escaping the sides. I still get a sympathetic oscillation this way.

I usually start my day this way, not aiming for a particular pitch, just releasing air and observing what note sounds. Usually it’s a G on the staff for me, but occasionally it’s a low C.

My bottom lip is usually tucked inside the bottom of the cup and my top lip is just inside the top of the cup (probably different on trombone). When I contract the aperture corners towards the air column/center of the mouthpiece, it sometimes feels like I’m “gripping” the mouthpiece and my understanding is that the aperture is reduced this way–rather than by my clamping the lips down top-to-bottom (like a clam).

When I release air through the leadpipe, it feels to me just as easy to get the F on the staff as the octave above it, it just feels slightly different…like the vibration is happening further inside the aperture than the lower pitch, and the air feels thinner/faster…IF I don’t BLOW actively…

It’s a very subtle thing and we can revert to actively blowing, which typically is much less efficient–unless it’s for loud notes / long duration notes, etc.

I had a great day today playing Clarke Technical studies and was able to get through them softer than I have been and really had a feeling of momentum, like I was riding a wave of air and as I pressed the valves down it felt like the higher pitch(es) sounded automatically… I think when things are going well, my understanding is that I’m slightly engaging the aperture corners and am gradually reducing the aperture and it feels like I’m kind of supporting the notes with Air and Shape.

Keep at it, you’ll develop the sensation eventually–once you get it, that helps a lot; however, it’s still something you’ll probably have to watch out for. I still catch myself occasionally blowing inefficiently, rather than releasing air / using the momentum, etc.

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