Double buzz

Double buzz refers to a multiphonic effect on the trumpet or other brass instruments. During normal play, the upper and lower lips will vibrate at the same speed. If, however, the lips are set to vibrate at different speeds two pitches may be perceived.

While a brass player can train to play two identifiable pitches at harmonic intervals the sound is generally unpleasing to the ear and usually dissonant. The phenomena is commonly an accidental occurrence when a player's lips are tired, or when a player switches to an unfamiliar mouthpiece. Some players find that the double buzz goes away within a week or two of practice without paying any special attention to it. For others it may worsen with time. When the latter is the case, the technique used to produce the effect is stored into muscle memory and occurs consistently on particular notes or places of an oft played piece of music.

In many cases, a double buzz may result in a perception of octaves. This is common when students are learning to play above D6 (concert pitch). In these cases, it is most common that the upper lip is buzzing at a rate two times faster than that of the lower lip. This effect is additionally sometimes called for in modern music.

A double buzz results from an uneven balance of pressure between the upper and lower lips. Tilting the horn either up or down will balance the pressure. Others suggest focusing on producing a clear tone on the mouthpiece only. It can be helpful to experiment with the double buzz and learn to produce it on demand. Learning to control it may help in learning to "turn it off" during regular playing.

A completely different approach, favored by pedagogue William Adam and others, is for a student to not pay any attention to the physical aspects of the phenomena and focus only on producing a clear, focused sound on the instrument.

The double buzz can sound similar to a technique called growling, in which additional noise is produced from the throat while playing. The double buzz is distinctly different in that all noise and vibrations are initiated by the embouchure.

Media

External links

* [http://www.eddielewis.com/trumpet/essays/dblbuzz.htm Double Buzz] Essay by Eddie Lewis which attributes the cause to long term fatigue


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