Mechanics of Brass Playing

 HOW TO BUZZ THE LIPS CORRECTLY
WITHOUT THE MOUTHPIECE OR INSTRUMENT

            RULES:

1.      Always performed with an embouchure that has been thoroughly lubricated with saliva, regardless of the degree of lubrication used in normal playing.  The proper way to lubricate is a.) wet the teeth and gums, b.) wet the mouth corners and c.) wet the entire outer embouchure area IN THAT ORDER.

2.      The membrane (red) of the lower lip must be rolled in (not curled in) and slightly over the lower teeth, while the tip of the overlapping upper lip is simultaneously reaching down to make its light contact (just touching) with the lower lip at the vibrating points, as in the letter “M”.

3.      Very few performers ever succeed in buzzing pitches as high as they can play them on their instruments, so do not expect too much in the immediate future from buzzing in the way of range.

4.      Always practice buzzing with the air stream traveling in a DOWNWARD direction, regardless of your particular physical playing type.

5.      Buzz so lightly that the air stream will be emitted only from ONE SPOT on the embouchure formation.

6.      Do not become alarmed if the buzz is not emitted from the same spot on the embouchure formation where the actual playing takes place.

7.      All buzzing procedures must be commenced with a HOOO no tongue attack. [This keeps the tongue out of the equation. And  phrase-wise, only buzz  in a cantabile “straight slurring” fashion]

8.      Never practice the buzzing routine while the embouchure is in a fatigued condition.

9.      Do not make a habit of using any buzzing procedure for a warm-up.

10.  While playing the instrument, the performer should always place, inhale, play and NEVER inhale, place, play.  Do not permit the buzzing procedure to confuse the order of points in normal playing.

11.  Buzzing is used as a correctional procedure, not as a method of playing.

12.  Because it is quite possible to buzz incorrectly, no infractions of the rules must be tolerated.

 Buzzing Instructions:

       Without any assistance from the mouthpiece or the instruments, form the lips as prescribed in #2 (above) and practice sustaining notes to the fullest extent of the playing breath and slurring phrases in a cantabile fashion.

              [The above material is excerpted from The Encyclopedia of The Pivot System]

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