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!