WindWorks Trumpet Academy Forums WindWorks Charlie Porter on MPC buzzing


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    • #24034

      Hello Greg and everyone else!

      Watched this video by Charlie Porter today: where he talks about mouthpiece buzzing and lip buzzing. Any thoughts/opinions on this? It seems very contradictory to the idea of eliminating the buzz of the lips on every note below high D, which if I remember correctly Greg is proposing. Still, Charlie also mentions that the pitch on the buzz will be different than the pitch on the trumpet.

      Another video where he discusses similar topics:

      I feel that I’m guilty of being the kind of player that has “no form”, in Charlies own words, just putting the trumpet of the chops and having bad sound, range and endurance due to the muscles not working properly, but on the other hand I am with MTM working to NOT have a buzz on the lips when playing the trumpet.

      Just a bit confused about the process and my own playing. Would be glad to hear any thoughts on the topic 🙂


    • #24060
      Ronald Carson

      I am following WindWorks and do not think you have to do it the Porter way. This will work for some (or many) and Porter cautions that it can be done wrong by pinching the center.

      When I do the peel off I get air and I am quite certain I am not using mouthpiece pressure to change notes. However, when I play high D (above staff or stave) and peel off the center of my lips collapse into a buzz that is a low F (first space). However, I cannot go from a buzz to a note. I set embouchure, tongue, and jaw to the shape I know that will get the note I want and it is there. Right now that is up to a D above the staff (stave). I can play E above the D, I just do not feel I own the note. I can play the scale up to high G, but that note is a little it and high F are not ready for “prime time”.

      I am currently working on the Allegro E and Presto F. I review one note and work on the practice charts and then I work on the beginning of the next note. I am pretty sure I could skip to Presto G or maybe A, but I am sticking with the process. I feel like it is building up to a more dynamic range bit by bit.

      I used to play with a tight center and mouthpiece pressure. Now, I do not and have a better sounding, dynamic range using WindWorks and no pain.


    • #24089
      Greg Spence

      I actually gave Charlie a lesson a few years back but we certainly didn’t do any peeling. Whilst there are elements of what he says that I am in total agreeance, I have a few issues with it both from a psychological impact perspective and over exertion perspective and I understand of course that is not the intention. There are micro but visual changes happening when “peeling off” and he even says he “relaxes a bit” when putting the mouthpiece back on to which I feel, why engage in the first place, it might encourage unnecessary clamping of the oscillator.

      I totally respect Charlie as a monster player and fantastic, enthusiastic teacher and there have to be differences and ultimately I encourage people to try things and see if they work for the individual.

      You will be able to find footage that totally contradicts everything that I say. It is up to the individual to experiment to find what works.


    • #24094
      Ronald Carson

      Just to clarify a couple of things:

      WindWorks does work on the principle of each note has a particular shape. My understanding, so far is that shape has to do with:
      1. aperture corners
      2. jaw position
      3. tongue position

      So while I was writing this, I remembered Greg demos peeling off in Allegro Range Development video. When he peels off, he is about an octave lower. I suggested you watch that video, of course, you are not supposed to get there until you have completed through the Moderato Stage.

      If I free buzz a note and put my horn to my lips it sounds awful. I know the lips must be vibrating to play the note. I may be totally wrong, but I do not think the lips must be buzzing that frequency to play the note. I have seen others do just that, but maybe it does not have to be that way to play the trumpet. I think the lips can vibrate at the frequency of the note by letting the horn do its thing or you can vibrate the lips at that frequency and play the horn. Again, I might be wrong.

      I really should not ineffectively write about what Greg is teaching. Watch The Leadpipe – Shape Revisited.

      The leadpipe video is very instructive how the trumpet can be played more efficiently. There are other ways of playing, but are they efficient? If I could play like Charlie Porter I probably would not be at this site learning to play. I feel rather certain, however, that Porter would probably approve Greg’s teaching.

      I hope I have not further muddled things. Follow through with Greg’s teaching and do not rush the process.

      • #24097
        Ronald Carson

        Oops. While I was working on my second post, Greg chimed in.

        I also meant to say: “…or you can vibrate the lips at that frequency by buzzing and play the horn.” I think the former is better that is let the horn do it thing.

    • #24106

      Thanks for all the answers!

      I definitely agree that it is up to each and everyone to find out what works for them, and I know that Greg isn’t anti-mouthpiece buzzing, thanks to the disclaimer in the largo stage haha 🙂

      I’m just trying to find the similarities and differences between what Greg and Charlie are saying, just to sort out my own thoughts on the topic. As Greg says, maybe their opinions don’t differ that much in reality, and maybe Charlie isn’t aware to what degree he is manipulating to get the buzz and so on.

      But I still feel that I may be some sort of “worst of both worlds”, meaning that I don’t have a freely vibrating oscillator but instead is pinching in the middle AND have “no form”, not activating the muscles supporting the embouchure.

      Is it possible that I am one of the few people Greg would suggest buzzing to, in order so “set everything straight”, and then at the same time work on the leadpipe with no buzz in order to play with a more efficient oscillator?

      Anyhow, I’m sticking with the process, trying to find out what works 🙂 thanks again for all the input!


    • #24502

      I ran across the same video and it made me think as well as some of Charlie’s videos are what got me on the comeback trail. And he’s clearly a very accomplished trumpet player.

      There’s also a video from Paul Mayes “Trumpet Professor”, who is also obviously a very accomplished player and teacher and who’s posted some helpful videos; one of the videos, however, seems to imply that he buzzes his lips to a point in which the sound not only continues as he pulls the trumpet off the mouthpiece (and continues buzzing/blowing) but the pitch actually goes up…

      While I respect both of these players and teachers and have benefited from the videos they have posted, neither of these concepts makes sense to me.

      Wayne Bergeron points out in a clinic he gave which someone posted online that he doesn’t buzz while playing and he demonstrates, similar to WindWOrks, that the vibration stops.

      It seems to be common sense that less is more–we should only have the aperture as tight as needed at any given point in our range and the more open we can be the less strain, more volume, etc. we’ll have.

      Charlie and Mr. Mayes have most likely forgotten more about trumpet than I’ll ever know and I’ll probably never be at even 1/2 their level; however, I have been playing (off and on) for 40 years and have learned a lot over the past year or 2 and it seems that when I play my best and have the best sound and endurance it’s when my aperture is more open, not when it’s tighter.

      Buzzing the lips, mouthpiece and leadpipe seem to help focus the lips and allow them to vibrate better once playing the horn again, but it seems to me that’s like swinging a baseball bat with weights on it–when you take the weights off, swinging is / seems easier. But that doesn’t mean you should leave the weights on in a game.

      My $.02.

    • #24756

      While I admire Charlie’s playing, I’ve learned that for me, this kind of thinking and suggestion of “buzzing tightness” or a “buzzing set” can be disastrous. For me, the amount of tension required to lip buzz when doing a “peel off” is considerably more than producing a note on the horn. I can’t imagine setting myself up to play that way. I have experimented with lip and mpc buzzing in effort to become more efficient and encourage a more focused set. I easily cross the line between benefits, and sound and flexibility consequences, which I’m experiencing now. Ultimately, it’s my responsibility to figure out what works for me. Greg’s approach and concepts make more and more sense with time and practice.

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