The Fun Factory
Posted by Chase Sanborn

Remember the Play Doe Fun Factory? You stuff the Play Doe in the top of the ‘extruder’, then push a lever on the top. This squeezes the dough through a tube with various attachments at the end, which shape the emerging dough into various configurations. The brass player’s body functions in much the same way. Your air is the ‘Play Doe’, your breathing muscles are the ‘lever’, and your embouchure shapes and directs the air stream like the attachment at the end of the tube.

To create a long, solid strip of shaped Play Doe with no voids or air pockets, the extruder must be well packed with dough, and you must maintain continuous pressure on the lever as the dough is extruded. To produce a full, confident tone, you must fill your lungs with air, and maintain a continuous, uninterrupted air stream for the duration of the phrase. Regardless of the volume or range, the forward motion of the air stream must be maintained.

When the Play Doe reaches the end of the tube, it comes out shaped like a star or other geometric shape, depending on the attachment. When the air reaches the lips, the shape and compression of the embouchure affect the way the air sets the lips into vibration. Small adjustments of the embouchure impact dramatically on the sound.

Chase Sanborn

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