Day 1 of my PBuzz Adventure


Exploration: I took the PBuzz and began to explore the different sounds it can make. I believe that exploration is incredibly important when learning a new instrument, especially if you have prior knowledge. I am a brass genius, okay, I took one semester of French Horn in college, but you get where I’m going here. I know the basics of buzzing on a mouthpiece and creating a sound on a brass instrument. I believe if you took brass methods in college you have enough knowledge to learn to play the PBuzz and eventually teach it.


Celebrations: I would like to celebrate that in my first thirty-minute practice session I did not throw the PBuzz across the room and give up on it entirely. I worked with a tuner and a piano to work on matching pitch. I truly need to figure out what I’m doing to match pitch to be able to put that into words to teach to a child, who may not yet know the basics of matching pitch on a brass instrument. If you’re a brass player, you’ve got a huge advantage here. We can go head to head in a recorder duet later (I’m a flute principal) and I’m sure you’ll understand how I feel at this moment with the PBuzz. At the end of day one, I can find an F (Do) consistently. Bonus points for this flute player.


Challenges: My PBuzz is lazy apparently and does not want to smoothly move as I move the slide as there is a bit of a hitch coming from F to move the slide upward. I don’t know what that is about but I will investigate further. Two, my lips hurt. This will be something I believe the children will say and as I say with recorder or any other new instrument, it takes time to develop the proper mechanics to be successful and a little pain means a lot of gain later. I can’t play much past thirty minutes with a few minutes of rest between trials. I imagine the children will feel the same way. On recorder, there isn’t the painful lip factor, but there is the lightheaded feeling some of them get and I’m going to say that’s the same for our purposes here. The roadblocks are similar. PBuzz will take a lot more getting used to, in my opinion. Maybe a brass player would have a different perspective?


All in all, an interesting first day of experiencing the PBuzz!