Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 11:41:06 -0400
From: Tim Phillips <>
Subject: Re: Question on warming up

This is a sore topic with many.  The act of trumpet playing is engaged like the act of singing.  We respond to a desire in the head, hopefully a very clear, distinct visualization/auralization, of what we intend to produce.  The brain is then put to task of figuring out how to make this thing come about. We act, we create, and we respond.  Was that what I meant to do?  No.  How was it different?  Change it.  In singing, if we do not have the sound firmly in mind, when we go to sing the note, anything can come out (singers do this every day :).  However, if we focus on the "what" and leave the "how" to the body, then the correct note emerges - after some trial and error.

I will not argue with the Bill Adam camp that "free buzz", mouthpiece buzz, open leadpipe buzz, BERP(tm) buzz, and trumpet playing are physically different.  They are.  Muscles are used in different ways, but, the process to create that buzz is the same.  We must be responsible for the result.  Whether the resulting physical associations of working harder (which "Free" and mouthpiece buzz are harder to do than with the additional back pressure supplied by the trumpet) will carry over into the trumpet playing is a good topic for intellectual discourse, but I don't see a way we can prove it one way or the other.  Since the trumpet is not attached, the brain will react differently to the stimulus and result  (IMHO).  Since I have had many students that will buzz well and then do something completely different when they pick up the horn, I can safely say that it does not in my experience - as vast or limitied as it may be. :)

To make the connection, gained in buzzing, between knowing that you are repsonsible for not only pitch, but timbre, intonation, attack, release, and quality begins the path to more effortless playing and less guessing at what note is going to come out the bell - not to mention what that note is going to sound like...


Clyde E. Hunt wrote:
> Dear Tony,
> To the contrary, one of the reasons I advocate the mouthpieceless buzz
> is to INSURE that "we" are responsible for the buzz, and that we are
> creating the buzz "soley" with our muscles.