All things being equal, what gives each trumpet player his/her unique sound

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by coolerdave, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. Mark_Kindy

    Mark_Kindy Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 11, 2010
    Gainesville, FL
    I think a lot of it comes from what we think of in our sound, though I know from experience that I changed my sound by opening up the teeth slightly when I was younger. I also know I sound much brighter on my Conservatory than on my Strad. I'd definitely feel that, for me, at least, the sounds I can produce comes from all three factors, though my mind more so. Great thread!
    codyb226 likes this.
  2. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I'd really would like to do a study of many professional trumpet players playing the same song, on the same instrument, with the same mouthpiece and pass the results through the voiceprint technology.

    Still it's just as we promote the "play before you pay" that I do believe their are variables in the same make and model instrument, and worse, there are myriad and uncountable differences between each of us. Thus, my summary is that such is a "golden fleece" chase.
    coolerdave likes this.
  3. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    okay .. I do agree that our experiences and perception of the sound affects our interaction with the horn..
    back to the wine glass ... we create the standing wave by rubbibg our finger on the rim ... and some people use more pressure or move their finger faster. Isn't their an optimal technique for the most pure sound? In which case 2 identical glasses would sound the same. Which brings me back to the trumpet ... we can do al kinds of things to change the tone but is that actually our being in-efficient?
    You guys really brought up a good point ... I will paraphrase what I am getting ... no matter how objective I think I am being my hearing, my brain still has to process the sound and at some point my percpetion is what is real to me and what I believe is a good tone. ( sort of a duh moment here)
  4. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    Every human being is different. Physical traits, learning ability, innate natural talent, hard work, and experience will determine what an individual sounds like. Give a truly great player a very inferior instrument and that player will make it sound as good as it can sound. Give it to a bad player and it will sound bad.
    My dentist told me I have a small oral cavity for an adult male. I hate to sound like a braggart, but I have a huge and gorgeous sound and have been told so by some very well known trumpeters and other fine musicians. I use a medium size mouthpiece - a GR 65M and a Schilke B1. I "hear" a certain sound in my mind a I can more or less bring it out.
    I learned some time ago to stop "chasing" sound and let me be me and my chosen equipment allows me to put forth my sound. I can imitate other players, but not duplicate other players. We are all unique.
    coolerdave likes this.
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Cooler Dave, I very much doubt that you could find two glasses as would perfectly match in the ring tone, and that is whether they are blown or molded. It is only crystal that responds like such, and again such is widely variable one to another although they have the same shape and dimension. Too, there is a variable created by very subtle temperature and barometric changes. Some overtones from crystal ringing are not audible to the human ear yet scientific instrumentation can record them. Yes too, some of us can hear what others cannot, and that is without human audiology exception requiring a hearing aid. There lay the rationale for my wife not wanting to accompany me to concerts whereas she hears the "squealing" overtones of many instruments. Oddly, these "squeals" are filtered away in most recordings.

    Once upon a time there was a musical instrument that operated on the principal of crystal ringing. Unfortunately, it was comprised of lead crystal elements as poisoned the players.
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    It's what comes from the player's heart, pure and simple.
  7. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    I'm not saying it was a good sound .... that was a while ago, right after I found the Severinsen. It could very well have been a nice sound to a duck, a little nasal, sort of like a foul Willie Nelson. :lol:

    coolerdave likes this.
  8. the newbie

    the newbie Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2011
    San Francisco
    I heard... some guys have techique, some guys have soul.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    If 20 fine players all play the same horn and just play a half note G in the staff at medium volume, you will hardly be able to distinguish who played. Why? Because the sound of the trumpet is based on the (fixed) overtone structure of the instrument and the contribution of the player for that one note is minimal. Close your eyes during tuning in the next band rehearsal. The difference that we hear is support and vibrato.

    Give those same players a musical phrase and descriptions like dark, smokey, light, bright, brilliant, dull, dynamic, mature are added.

    I personally think that STYLE is what we identify as TONE. This is also why high note systems do not change the playing field. If you don't understand the style, what you play sounds inadequate. Playing against the music robs the players range and endurance.
  10. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    That's pretty interesting .... a listener ( and even some musicians) tells you they like your "tone" .. so the musician in us thinks about the "actual tone" when in reality they were probably meaning sound ... phrasing all that "stuff"
    So in theory, one should be able to make changes to their embrouchure if needed for various reasons and as long as it doesn't negetively impact your ability to get full resonance ( for lack of a better term) or technical ability all should be good?

Share This Page