Lip buzzing is a very controversial topic in the brass community. Some musicians say that it’s very beneficial for working on the embouchure, while others are against it. Everyone has a right to choose what he likes, but it’s wrong to believe that a lip buzz is just a waste of time.
Buzzing the lips – is an essential step for building up the strength and lip coordination. However, it’s not only about how our lips function during playing. It’s all about the development of the form and support of the embouchure which also effectively trains the muscles involved in producing sounds. It’s impossible to create a good sound from the body if you don’t have the necessary compression.
But you should not think about the lip buzz as a prerequisite to playing the instrument. It means, lip buzzing doesn’t help you to learn how to play a trumpet, but it really has an impact on how you play and brings lots of benefits, if you want to improve your technique.
Why do you need to do a lip buzz?
- It’s the fastest and easiest way to improve your embouchure, its the form and function. Doing these exercises, you develop the ability of your lips to support themselves, which is very important for producing the sound.
- It builds up the balance between agility and strength, which makes it easier to focus the response of the lips to the airflow and provides a necessary endurance. Buzzing also sets your muscles in the right place. Actually, the problem begins when musicians rely on the mouthpieces and believe it helps to hold lips together. You should pay more attention to the position of your lips. Make sure that they produce enough resistance.
The lip buzzing is an effective part of the warm-ups before starting the trumpet practice. And it doesn’t take much time. The musicians, who practice this technique daily, usually spend from 2 to 3 minutes in a day. It’s not that much, isn’t it? To begin with, it’s better to spend no more than 15-30 seconds.
How to do lip buzzing correctly?
You should pay attention to two things in order to do lip buzzing correctly: the air pressure and lip resistance. Your task is to create the right balance between them.
- The air pressure. Note, that too much air results in lips blown wide open and inability to buzz the lips. At the same time if you don’t have enough air, it would not work out at all.
- Lip resistance. Don’t push lips too hard together and don’t keep them too loose. In all these cases, you get just the air coming out from the lips, not a buzz.
Tips to get the correct lip buzz needed for the trumpet:
- Build a correct airstream. You can blow through the mouthpiece backwards or use a lip buzzing training device, which you can order from our company. Your task is to push the air through the device so hard that it kind of returns back.
- Open a jaw and pull the lips across the teeth. You should not keep them very tight. Start blowing the air and then slowly close the lips until you get a buzz. At this step, you get the right position of the jaw and the right firmness of the lips.
The right position of the lips prevents the cases when musicians have a very small or very open lip aperture. Too open lip aperture could be the reason why you can’t play softly or have a fuzzy tone.
Lip buzzing helps to play correctly from the physical point of view, improves your breath and lip resistance. It results in a clearer, softer and more beautiful sound. A lip buzz is an important fundamental part for playing the trumpet with the right balance between strength and agility.