When playing a brass instrument, we primarily engage unconscious muscles. What makes our instrument special is the fact that it's only an amplifier, and vibrations are generated directly through our own bodies, unlike any other instruments.
Malte Burba's unique method focuses precisely on this point. Through targeted exercises that can be performed independently of the instrument, we can develop a better awareness of our breathing, tongue, and embouchure muscles.
With continuous practice, our intuition becomes more activated, resulting in a more efficient and stable playing apparatus. Specific exercises on the instrument enhance this effect.
The system is based on simple physical principles; further information is available here: burbabrass.com
The first lesson includes a theoretical introduction to the method, followed by the development of an individual practice program.
To schedule an appointment, please use the "Contact" page or directly through the email button. (Online lessons via FaceTime or Skype are also available.)
Here are some questions that I often encounter:
Changing your embouchure is only necessary when the inner edge of the mouthpiece is resting on the upper lip red. If the mouthpiece sits with the inner edge on the lower lip red, changing is not mandatory, provided that the embouchure remains stable at one point.
As long as the inner edge of the mouthpiece, as described above, does not sit in the lip red, the angle or placement - whether up, down, left, or right - doesn't matter at all. The key factor for the embouchure angle is mainly our dental alignment. Our intuition naturally finds the most favorable angle. Please do not try to change something just because it may look "nicer" visually. What matters is what comes out in the sound.
For people who are impatient and unwilling to think in longer time frames, the method is not suitable at all. No practice strategy in the world will work for these candidates because they are
simply too lazy. However, patience, discipline, and perseverance can also be trained.
When playing a brass instrument, there are no instant solutions. Schools that promise to master the instrument in 4-5 weeks may be impressive from a marketing perspective but do not correspond to reality. To learn and automate a movement, up to 10,000 repetitions are necessary. The smallest time interval in which we can perceive a change/improvement is about 3 months. We are talking about small steps here. Indeed, training in the method is exclusively functional, but it doesn't mean we cannot make music. The question should rather be, "Am I willing to overcome my inner resistance and practice daily?"
At first glance, exercises without an instrument may appear abstract. However, through simple examples like the lip trill, it can be seen that the exercises are very close to playing the instrument. The physical exercises engage our intuition, positively influencing the playing apparatus. We are essentially programming our intuition. Some of my students also refer to exercises without the instrument as "brass player yoga."
When making music, we should not think at all and let our feelings flow freely. "More air" means, from a physics standpoint, that the sound becomes louder. Cause and effect are reversed in
this statement: when we give more air, we usually support much better, resulting in a positive outcome and a constant in the system. However, the amount of air is not decisive for pitch. The
quantity of air is often overemphasized.
Through functional practice with the method, we create a positive balance between thinking and "letting go."
In general, we should always question our habits to continue developing.
The misconception that circular breathing is harmful, possibly causing brain cells to die, is complete nonsense. Learning circular breathing has more of a therapeutic effect: it improves relaxed inhalation, active exhalation (support), and tongue agility in one exercise. The ability to sustain a tone "forever" is rather secondary in this functional exercise.