Magic Choral Trick #1 The Brass Player Buzz

Once upon a time I was a very good singer, and a truly less than mediocre French Horn player. However, even when I no longer played in a band I would haul out the horn and play for a few minutes, because it seemed to make such a difference to the freedom of my singing voice.

To this day, I have absolutely no idea why this is – but to this day whenever a singing student, or a whole choir needs more freedom or excitement in the sound I ask them to stop and do a brass player buzz.

If you’ve never played a brass instrument, this is how it’s done. Wet the lips slightly, then compress them together and force air out. It’s going to sound a lot like an elephant – oh yes, and I usually ask choir members to put their hands up in front of their faces, to avoid spraying their neighbours!

The effectiveness of this can be tested easily. Ask the choir to sing one phrase, then stop them and get them to buzz – then have them sing the phrase again. It’ll be like you’re now hearing in technicolour!


About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on November 18, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Great tip – ask the Celebrate Choir

  2. Janet is telling the absolute truth, I have tried it many times and it really works!!! And I know about elephants–saw and heard many this month when on my African Safari.. I love the Buzz!!! Cheers! Gloria

  3. This is a great idea Janet!!

  4. Keep up the great work. I will be following and trying to put into practise all your tips.

  5. YAHOO! I am always looking for good warm-ups for my choir. I like the brazz player buzz and the yoga breathing. I like sounds that make them laugh. I love how they sound after we laugh and laugh after a good joke. Especially when things are a little tense……..

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