So I received my visualizer yesterday, and for the first time ever saw what’s going on behind the mouthpiece. I don’t know if this is common or not, but… in my case, the center lower bit of the top lip (the procheilon, as I just learned it’s called) extends downward in a pointy sort of way – only noticeable when I pucker.
As I buzzed up the staff with the visualizer, I noticed a second, larger aperture open on the *right* side. Whoa.
Well. I’ve been playing for decades with the mp slightly to *left* of center – using the smaller aperture, apparently – and with the horn pointed somewhat to the left. It appears that I may have been playing this way because placing the mp in the lateral center didn’t working for me in the past, so i unconsciously adapted. (Of course I then asked myself: Could this explain why my double buzz has been an octave lower? Because of this other, larger aperture on the right side starting to open and vibrate?)
After centering the visualizer on this larger aperture and observing for awhile while letting the air produce a buzz, I switched to the mp, and then finally to the horn, aiming the bell pretty much straight ahead, which is where it seems to sound best now. Wow. Big, beautiful sound from pp through fff. Flexibility seems a bit improved as well. And the double buzz seems to be gone, at least it is so far.)
(It may be helpful to note that I had good classical technique back in college, but my consistent, useable range was limited to D concert above high C. So no piccolo repertoire for me.)
Anyway, I’m not a teacher, and I may totally be misinterpreting what I’m seeing and hearing. But I’m going to be using this new positioning for the time being.
So +1 for experimentation, and +1 also for finally getting a visualizer. The journey continues.