The ordinario buzz is accomplished by exhaling, but this process can be reversed. When buzzing ingressively, a very noisy and raspy sound can be achieved. This is less controllable than the standard buzz, due in part to the simple fact that it is not practiced nearly as often.

Necessary information

            As with inhaling through the instrument normally, the ingressive buzz can be physically taxing and unhygienic for performers that don’t routinely clean their instruments or engage in basic maintenance.

            Since the ingressive buzz is less controllable than the ordinario buzz, the resultant sound can vary quite a bit. Most of the time that this technique is performed, a high-pitched raspy sound results, but that is not always guaranteed. The approximate effect is reproducible, but there will likely be some small variation between performances.

            For the tuba especially, the ingressive technique is particularly hard to control. This is due mostly to the size of the tuba mouthpiece, which is not amenable to a controlled ingressive buzz.

            In order to perform the ingressive buzz, the performer must inhale at a rapid and sustained rate. This in turn tends to make the effect exist on the louder end of the dynamic spectrum. Thus, this technique is best utilized as a momentary effect.

            If done with only a lax buzz or without a buzz entirely, this effect sounds more like a “kissing” effect; this is rarely used outside of the solo repertoire, and can be difficult to maintain with a proper seal on the mouthpiece rim.


            The author has personally never seen a standardized type of notation for this effect. That being said, most of the techniques seen for the ingressive buzz have exhibited some sort of directionality, i.e., with some sort of arrow or other symbol that points in a direction to signify the “reversed” nature of the technique. Additionally, since the aural effect of the technique is somewhat unpitched and unstable, it is the author’s opinion that it is best to use a notation that is both clear and without a specific implied pitch.

Relative Difficulty

            Advanced to Professional

Works to consider (bolded titles are particularly representative examples of this technique)

            Res/As/Ex/Inspirer – Vinko Globokar

            Aleph – Asia Ahmetjanova

Ex. 13 Euphonium Recording
Ex. 13 Tuba Recording

Ex. 13 Euphonium Recording Download

Ex. 13 Tuba Recording Download