The Summerglen Files

Music, Creativity, and Everyday Life at Summerglen Music in Raleigh, NC

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The Benefits of Buzzing

November 14th, 2008 · No Comments

buzzing the mouthpiece

During the last week, I’ve seen phenomenal results from brass students’ spending time buzzing on the mouthpiece–results so great, I must encourage you fine readers to take some time today to buzz! :-)

When I was a younger trombonist, few of my teachers were strong advocates of buzzing. I got the impression that buzzing was just something you did as a very young player before you knew any of your positions. Over the last few months though, I’ve had to rethink my position on buzzing, because I’ve seen people make marked improvements in their playing as a result of doing it–and one of those people was me.

Over the summer, I tried out a new technical routine compiled by Dr. Micah Everett. The routine began with a series of breathing and buzzing exercises. After doing the buzzing daily for about a week, my high range was extended by a major third, and my tone up there was wonderfully open. Since then, I’ve continued to buzz each day, and working with the mouthpiece has helped me reduce the tension in my playing and develop some great habits.

Since “seeing the light” about buzzing, I’ve turned some of my students on to it. And tonight, a kid with tonguing difficulties produced clean articulations after a week of tonguing on the mouthpiece. One of my beginners has an enormous, air-powered sound, and she buzzes every day!

For those of you who are inspired to jump here and now onto the mouthpiece-buzzing bandwagon, check out this nice article by Dr. John Ericson at Arizona State, which gives some great ideas for improving your playing with buzzing.

Tags: music education · Practice Tips

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