As taught by Keith Underwood and Immanuel Davis, buzzing exercises help create the correct embouchure, which allows students to compress air in front of the embouchure, rather than squeezing the throat, stomach, or over-blowing. Students should have a tongue-controlled embouchure, which can be achieved by doing buzzing exercises.  Buzzing encourages the ‘tongue forward’ position, which involves putting the tongue behind the lower lip.  When the tongue is behind the lower lip, students need to exert less effort from the abdomen, which is more efficient and effective.  Other benefits include a well-supported sound using light breaths, versus mediocre sound from labored breathing.  Therefore, students could keep the tongue behind the lower lip to improve practice and performance.

A well-controlled tongue embouchure allows students to utilize the spit-buzzing technique, advocated notably by Jerome Callet and Keith Underwood.  These buzzing exercises encourage students to use the ring of muscles around the lips.  Students should compress the air with a wide, forward tongue to create a flexible embouchure.  The following describes the steps for creating a buzzing embouchure:

  • Place the tongue down and against the back of the lower lip.
  • Curl the tongue slightly, and place the tongue against the top row of the front teeth. Place the top lip on the top of the tongue, so the tongue is touching both lips. Both lips should touch each other as well.
  • Spit off the top of the tongue, and attempt to spit buzz a short sound.

When students know how to buzz, students can buzz the articulation, contour, pitch, dynamic, rhythm, and vibrato.  Students can benefit from buzzing by using small motions of the tongue to make clear articulations, and better identify the correct shape of the embouchure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>