WindWorks Trumpet Academy › Forums › WindWorks › Lip buzzing not happening
Been on the lip buzzing this since November 2018. It has never happened. Maybe a bit at first, but I was not forming the lips properly. Since seeing one of your recent videos on getting the air and lips to form and work properly and working extensively with the tissue and visualizer, there is no sense the lips are even close to buzzing as you show way back in Large Upper Register Development. Any clues to what I am missing or doing incorrectly? It seemed like in these early videos you didn’t place much emphasis on this technique. However, in getting to Presto and Ruby, now you are saying they are vital. I’m worried…. Thanks
REPLY FROM GREG:
Sorry to see that no one has responded to this.
My two cents is to lead with the air, engage the ” corners” to bring the lips into the airstream and let “it” (lips vibrating) “happen”…. The less we get in the way the better…
I had the same issue for a while. Spent a lot of time blowing air through the leadpipe (i.e. no sound coming out) and experimenting to find at what point the vibration started and then taking pipe off mouthpiece to again find the point at which the vibration stopped when taking off the leadpipe. Trial and error * 100.
Agree with John that aperture corners important. I found when it all started to work as per Greg’s demonstration, my corners were slightly more inwards and the lower lip slightly more forwards. It felt very strange but very soon everything came together. You may find changes that work for you are very different I suspect. You are providing a structure with the corners where the lips want to vibrate and are not being forced to by a hurricane.
When moving through Ruby you will need to have the aperture corners controlled. This is possibly the biggest change for me. Not to diminish all the other teaching from M2M. Good luck.
A very interesting discussion. It would be interesting to know on average how long it took for WindWorks subscribers to achieve a sympathetic isolation.
Of course I meant sympathetic oscillation!😊
Hey Eric, it took me years to come up with this and get it working for me. Hopefully sharing it in this way will expedite the process. Enjoy your isolation, haha….
See the quick video reply I put in the top comment.
You are the best Greg! After eight hours of teaching you still have the energy to post a very helpful video; much appreciated! I realize now as well that this conversation was really about the more advanced exercise of achieving sympathetic isolation with the V for victory. You know the stage of the game I’m at; I was thinking more about being able to produce a sympathetic vibration with the Leadpipe and mouthpiece and how long WindWorks subscribers found that took for them. I suspect there would be a whole spectrum there.
Brass playing aside, it’s been a fascinating and enjoyable journey just learning from you what it truly takes to change your wiring and physical approach to any activity. Many,many thanks!
e.heidenheim, you asked how long it took for WindWorks subscribers to get a sympathetic oscillation on the leadpipe and mouthpiece.
For me, it was right away for the lower part of my range. My problem may have been different than others. I think I played rather open, actually, and used a sympathetic vibration up to a point in my range but choked off with my throat, over blew and pivoted my bell down as I rolled my bottom lip under my top lip /blowimg the air down to the floor…
I found it useful to “check in” to see if I was getting a sympathetic vibration or was actively buzzing for quite a while. It helped me get into the habit of playing more relaxed, paying attention to the air–really getting in the habit of letting the release of the air do the work and stop my actively trying to produce the tone and rather move to releasing the air and responding to the air with my “Shape” to produce and/or refine my tone, etc.
I never focused much at all on lip buzzing, but understand that it may be useful for some. Maybe I will at some point, I’m still developing my range and the extreme upper register is achieved by an active lip vibration within the mouthpiece (above High C).
But I worried doing lip buzzing would make me go the other way, towards being too tight. I don’t worry about that any longer as I do focus on the air and reacting to that, rather than starting/focusing on the lips.
Hope that answers your question / helps FWIW.
Thanks for the reply John. From my perspective, you are very lucky to be someone who achieved the sympathetic oscillation on the lead pipe right away. I am someone who had at a young age was taught the ‘mm’ formation of the embouchure with the lips right together and it has taken me many months of reprogramming just to be able to consistently form a healthier shape. But at least, with Greg’s patient help, I’ve made progress in that regard. Creating a vibration with that shape remains elusive but that’s okay. Truly learning what it takes to reprogram a subconscious motor response has been fascinating and I look forward to continuing the journey. I feel very fortunate to live in a time in which resources like WindWorks are so readily available. Recently I also stumbled on Dion Tucker’s website, “The Chops Shop.” Dion is a top of the line jazz trombonist who has played in the Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra and his approach is very similar to Greg’s.
All the best,
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.