Sunday, May 02, 2010

A new buzzing exercise

Alright, I'm sure this isn't really new...not even original. Still, maybe it's new to you.

Warning: Don't injure your chops doing this. If you do it correctly, there will be very little stress on the lips. Please be careful.

  1. Buzz a comfortable, mid-range note on your mouthpiece.
  2. Now buzz it again but change two things: (a) separate your lips a bit more and (b) blow with much more wind than you would normally use. Basically, you are purposely over-blowing with a very loose setting. The lips should be separated enough that they won't vibrate if you blow with normal, more gentle air.
  3. Repeat this four or five times.
  4. Now with each new repetition, gradually decrease the air flow and bring the lips a tiny bit closer together.
  5. Notice the feeling of blowing with a very generous amount of flowing air.

My office is on the third floor of the music school. I often climb the stairs from the basement and arrive at my office out of breath. I started trying to buzz but was breathing so hard from my climb that I had to loosen my embouchure just to let all the air through.

As my heart rate slowed and my blowing became a bit more normal, I thought, "Hmm, this is interesting."

It reminds me of one of the quotes found on the "Best Things a Teacher Ever Said to Me" section of the ITA website. It has been attributed to Jeff Reynolds...

Loud is Loose

You should check out some of those other quotes as well. Over the years, we've managed to put together some pretty good stuff.