Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

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Franco
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Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Franco »

In my trumpet playing days I studied with a former Bill Adam student who was a big proponent of "blowing pipe" (removing the tuning slide and playing on just the mouthpiece/leadpipe). This was primarily done at the start of a practice session to help get the air moving etc. I'm curious if there's anyone teaching or doing something similar in the trombone world i.e. removing the outer slide and playing just the mouthpiece and top slide.

About all I've found via google is this one youtube clip



And this guy selling a "sizzle pipe"

https://trumpetsizzle.com/products/sizz ... -bill-adam
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BGuttman
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by BGuttman »

We have used short pipes to warm up. Ralph Sauer had his "Forced Air Resistance Tube" (F.A.R.T.) which was a length of 1/2" pipe with a hole in it and you inserted your mouthpiece at one end, There are a variety of "buzzerds", basically a mouthpiece receiver that can be placed next to the input of the instrument that allows you to practice buzz (and some provide some added resistance to simulate the instrument).

Somewhat related, Jack Teagarden played just the slide into a beer glass, but this was a performance gimmick and not a way to warm up.
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Kbiggs
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Kbiggs »

There are a few other similar things out there, like:

B.E.R.P.: https://www.hickeys.com/music/brass/tro ... e-bore.php

Buzzard: https://www.hickeys.com/music/brass/tro ... -shank.php

ShortCut: https://www.hickeys.com/music/brass/tro ... -shank.php

Some people advocate inserting the mouthpiece into the leadpipe (like normal), then removing the outer slide and playing just the inner slide. It usually comes out to about a D.
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Franco
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Franco »

I was trying to dance around this issue a bit but I suppose at the risk of starting another buzz vs no buzz debate I should clarify. Bill Adam students tend to fall into the anti mp buzz camp so part of the point of "blowing pipe" is that it's long enough to have a standing wave and slot into specific pitches.

Just as a caveat I don't consider myself a real Bill Adam disciple. I'm not trying to advocate for or against anything just looking for info.
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VJOFan
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by VJOFan »

Franco wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:02 am I was trying to dance around this issue a bit but I suppose at the risk of starting another buzz vs no buzz debate I should clarify. Bill Adam students tend to fall into the anti mp buzz camp so part of the point of "blowing pipe" is that it's long enough to have a standing wave and slot into specific pitches.

Just as a caveat I don't consider myself a real Bill Adam disciple. I'm not trying to advocate for or against anything just looking for info.
The whole buzz versus no buzz debate is a pile of bull puckie. The two camps are not even arguing about the same things.

The anti buzzers hang their argument on the fact that buzzing is not the same as playing in terms of how the lips work.

The buzzers say when they buzz, they can produce specific positive effects in their playing.

Those two ideas can both be true.

There, I solved the war forever!
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Burgerbob
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Burgerbob »

To answer your question... no, it's not a huge thing in trombone land. Some people will play a little upper slide from time to time, some people use a leadpipe a bit. Definitely no huge tradition like Bill Adams though.
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Bonearzt »

VJOFan wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:19 am
Franco wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:02 am I was trying to dance around this issue a bit but I suppose at the risk of starting another buzz vs no buzz debate I should clarify. Bill Adam students tend to fall into the anti mp buzz camp so part of the point of "blowing pipe" is that it's long enough to have a standing wave and slot into specific pitches.

Just as a caveat I don't consider myself a real Bill Adam disciple. I'm not trying to advocate for or against anything just looking for info.
The whole buzz versus no buzz debate is a pile of bull puckie. The two camps are not even arguing about the same things.
The anti buzzers hang their argument on the fact that buzzing is not the same as playing in terms of how the lips work.
The buzzers say when they buzz, they can produce specific positive effects in their playing.
Those two ideas can both be true.
There, I solved the war forever!

Exactly! If it works for you, use it!
If not, DON'T!

MY thought is that I use mouthpiece buzzing when I don't have access to my horn or have a very limited time to practice.
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Franco
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Franco »

VJOFan wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:19 am
Franco wrote: Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:02 am I was trying to dance around this issue a bit but I suppose at the risk of starting another buzz vs no buzz debate I should clarify. Bill Adam students tend to fall into the anti mp buzz camp so part of the point of "blowing pipe" is that it's long enough to have a standing wave and slot into specific pitches.

Just as a caveat I don't consider myself a real Bill Adam disciple. I'm not trying to advocate for or against anything just looking for info.
The whole buzz versus no buzz debate is a pile of bull puckie. The two camps are not even arguing about the same things.

The anti buzzers hang their argument on the fact that buzzing is not the same as playing in terms of how the lips work.

The buzzers say when they buzz, they can produce specific positive effects in their playing.

Those two ideas can both be true.

There, I solved the war forever!
Exactly! I've found both things beneficial at different times. Doesn't have to be one or the other.
CalgaryTbone
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by CalgaryTbone »

I like the BERP or occasionally a leadpipe on the end of the mouthpiece for my small amount of buzzing that I do most days. I like the extra resistance that makes it feel more like playing the horn. Ralph Sauer's FART by the way is just a short piece of clear plastic tubing. He drills holes in specific spots to change the resistance (by covering a hole with your finger) to allow pitches to sound that are problematic without that feature. He told me that he never marketed it because it seemed like a rip-off for something so simple to make yourself, and I think he even put the dimensions and locations to drill the holes online for free to save people from having to experiment to find the right spots. I find that a leadpipe occasionally makes it difficult to make certain pitches sound - I'm guessing that at some point in your upper register, with that length of pipe at the end of your mouthpiece, you get too close to the fundamental pitch (like your pedal B flat on your horn).

I find a small amount of buzzing to be useful for my playing - too much seems to be slightly detrimental. I know some fantastic players who buzz all the time, and some others that never or almost never buzz. Do what works for you.

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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Bach5G »

Sauer recommends a ~9” length of tubing with a hole about 3” in. J Reynolds suggests a length of approximately 1/2 that. The tubing (clear plastic PVC tubing used for irrigation systems) is like $1/foot at the hardware store/garden centre. A couple of bucks will set you up for life. You might want to soak the tube in a disinfectant (hydrochloriquine?) from time to time.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by harrisonreed »

If I could make a million pieces of plastic or plastic tubes and sell them to every college band director for $9 a pop under the guise that it is "better" than buzzing, I'd convert over to that camp full stop.

I know a couple trombonists who buzz the upper tube. It's just another thing that trains you up on something that isn't playing the trombone, learning to use the room, or achieving the correct resistance and rate of flow over your tongue and through your chops.
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Doug Elliott
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Doug Elliott »

Everybody has an opinion.
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Vegasbound »

Dick Nash used a lead pipe and mouthpiece to stay in shape on holiday etc, and in his book Don Lusher stated that while at his home Dick gave him a lead pipe and a book of “Bach 2piece inventions” to use while travelling etc
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VJOFan
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by VJOFan »

harrisonreed wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 2:59 pm I know a couple trombonists who buzz the upper tube. It's just another thing that trains you up on something that isn't playing the trombone, learning to use the room, or achieving the correct resistance and rate of flow over your tongue and through your chops.
That is an illuminating position. In any training there is work that has a high degree of specificity, and work that trains less specifically, but adds to facility in different ways or addresses weaknesses that are not as easy to get at for some when doing the entire, specific thing.

Any participant in a field may be comfortable with different degrees of specific versus nonspecific training.

Harrison seems to be out on one end of that spectrum. A player that uses a breathing gym daily may be on the other.

There is no danger in well thought out, intentional, nonspecific training. A smart practitioner can sort out what is appropriate for their needs.

That does lead to scrutiny of pedagogy. Teachers need to be mindful of what the ultimate goal is and make sure the student develops a very clear model of that excellence. That should come before any type of practice techniques are imposed. And the teacher needs to evaluate whether the practice begin prescribed is actually useful to that student.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by harrisonreed »

So, I have seen something like blowing the upper tube help someone with a weak, pinched sound open up their sound temporarily. You do like 30 seconds of it and they suddenly sound like a million bucks. By the next day they are back to square one and need to be reminded again. Overtrain it, especially on just the mouthpiece, and they go from sounding good to terrible again.

The act of blowing the tube is not any type of training that builds anything, it's more like a reminder -- "use more air, stupid; it could be this bad, but you have this wonderful horn that makes it so much easier". The deliberate training of this task might be time better off spent doing deliberate and critical playing and listening in a room that sounds good. In other words, the first thing I do warming up or playing in a new room is to play a few F's to hear and feel the feedback. I make a few mental notes and adjustments, and then it's off to the races. If a player needs 30 seconds of leadpipe blowing to remember how much better playing with the whole horn is, so be it, but that is 99% a mental exercise and 1% getting the chops going. Exactly the same as blowing Fs to test the room, except the player will still have to do that after they blow on their tube.

I would never call someone out on buzzing a tube or mouthpiece for 30 seconds or so before their first notes. It's when people are sitting at a piano, buzzing along with scales and chords for an extended period of time that I want to remind them that they forgot the rest of their horn.
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by afugate »

harrisonreed wrote: Thu Dec 09, 2021 3:29 pm So, I have seen something like blowing the upper tube help someone with a weak, pinched sound open up their sound temporarily. You do like 30 seconds of it and they suddenly sound like a million bucks. By the next day they are back to square one and need to be reminded again. Overtrain it, especially on just the mouthpiece, and they go from sounding good to terrible again.

The act of blowing the tube is not any type of training that builds anything, it's more like a reminder -- "use more air, stupid; it could be this bad, but you have this wonderful horn that makes it so much easier".
This is exactly how I use this when working with kids. It's a tangible reminder that the horn should be doing the work. We remove the slide and then blow until they feel the horn begin to vibrate in their hands. I tell them when the horn resonates is when the horn begins to work for them. Up to that point, it's working against them. And when the slide goes back on, the sound is much, much better.

After about a week they generally get settled into using better air without the need to pull the slide.

(Note: This may be more mental/metaphor than correct physics. There are many here who are more informed than me. It just seems to work for the kids I work with.)

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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Wilktone »

I first was introduced to this idea about 30 years ago by a trombonist named Bill Gemmer. I don't recall where he go the idea from.

Bill taught me to play different pitches than are instructed in one of the videos from the OP. In the Brass Tips video Matthew Parunak is playing a D in the staff with the slide removed ( :bassclef: :line3: ).

Bill taught me to play an Eb in the staff, which involves you supporting more ( :bassclef: # :line3: there's no icon for the middle space in the staff). Then you play an F above the staff with the slide removed ( :tenorclef: :space5: ), the C above that, and the F above that. So essentially you're playing the overtones on the straight tube, which are different from the overtones on the instrument (I think because of the lack of a bell flare to even out the overtones into what we're familiar with).

I think the idea behind it has been covered above. I haven't thought about this in quite a while and don't really use it in my own teaching or practice. It's sort of like buzzing on the mouthpiece, it can give a student a quick "pick me up" to boost confidence, but I think it's one of those things that can be easily overdone and that there's perhaps better, more direct, ways to reach the same goal.
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by Thrawn22 »

Only time I've advocated blowing pipe is to trumpet students. I find in my experience studying Adams routine from Adams disciples that it hasn't translated well to bone playing. A lot of the bone players i waa learning Adams with were put off by it. There were the occasional few that would do it now and then but not religiously.
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by WGWTR180 »

I use this!
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Re: Leadpipe/slide playing as part of warm up

Post by rickfaulknernyc »

BGuttman wrote: Sun Dec 05, 2021 7:32 pm Somewhat related, Jack Teagarden played just the slide into a beer glass, but this was a performance gimmick and not a way to warm up.
I think the word "gimmick" undersells Teagarden's slide-and-glass playing. It's a remarkably expressive sound (and incredibly hard to do well, BTW.). A classic example (everything after the vocal is played with the glass): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyH2ez3io7Y
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