Posted by John Swensen on September 12, 1999 at 16:16:06:
In Reply to: Physics of mouthpieces and buzzing posted by Lonny on September 12, 1999 at 13:30:59:
My personal theory about mouthpiece weight is that a heavier mouthpiece, because of its greater mass, is more stable, and vibrates less from the force of the buzz, than does a lighter weight mouthpiece. Therefore, more of the energy of the buzz (particularly, the lower-frequency components of the buzz) makes it into the horn, rather than dissipating as it shakes your lips, hence, more, heavier sound. Since tubas are rather flexible, rather than rigid, to sound vibrations (otherwise, you would not be able to feel the horn vibrating as you play), the mass of the tuba doesn't do much to stabilize a mouthpiece.
As for buzzing, you need to buzz the precise pitch, if you want a clean start of a given note.