Band director (and myself) wants a darker sound out of me

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RB-R37297, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

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    Nov 2, 2003

    Sarcastic, perhaps....

    You ask for advice, but then do not seem really receptive to those that see beyond your post.

    You say you sound bright, you say you have tension problems that you have been working on with your teacher, you say that your teacher wants you to play into the pitch more, you say you have impurities in your sound....but it seems that you are dismissive of advice that tries to address the core of your problems.
     
  2. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

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    Nov 18, 2006
    There is lots of good advise here already. Some players tend toward a bright sound because of their physiology such as oral cavity and so forth. I happen to own a Getzen 300, I keep it at one of the schools where I teach. The bell taper is very tight and the horn gets a bright sound. I put a bigger leadpipe on it but the sound didn't change that much. I occasionally use it for outdoor dixieland and german band gigs. I would not use it in a concert band or orchestra situation. It is a great horn for rank beginners to produce a decent sound on. A more mature player, supporting the sound is going to get a bright sound out of that instrument. In the meantime, the 3B mouthpiece might be a good fix (works for Charlie Davis) and "thinking dark" will help.

    When you get another horn, something like a plain jane Bach 37, Sonare, Yamaha Xeno, or Getzen 3050, and many others with the right specs. will very likely solve your problem. Ask your private teacher to help find you a good used one.
     
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    "thinking dark" will help.
    Now that's good advice!
     
  4. Phil

    Phil Pianissimo User

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    Cookeville
    Being a freshman music major, I'm obsessed with making my sounder darker, more open and full. I used to play very bright, in a very shrill, nasally, piercing sound.
    Things I'm using to help improve my sound is doing long-tone flow studies, like the Cichowicz flow study. I started slow with a tuner trying to concentrate on being in tune and at the same time completely relaxed taking in a big, full, open and relaxed breathe by saying "home" in reverse.
    This next statement is true to an extent: holding your breath once you finish inhaling will create tension and choke your tone.
    When I blow into my trumpet, I'm thinking of saying a big fat "tu" (with a long "u" as in "you") that is more like a "du." This is called voicing, the proper vowel placement of the tongue while playing, and it makes a world of a difference. Really focus on keeping that open and relaxed feeling while playing.
    Don't be afraid of taking at least 10 minutes to work on this when you are getting ready to play in class or for a gig.
    Last but certainly not least, pick your favorite professional trumpet player and buy his/her CDs and listen to them a lot, get their sound in your head. I'm working on that one as I type this ;-)
     
  5. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    To get a darker sound, I cheat and use a RingMute and it works great. Usually when people see the foam ring, they doubt its effectiveness. However people notice the difference in the sound and audiences like it. Basically the RingMute dampens the brightness of the sound.
     
  6. kalijah

    kalijah New Friend

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    May 5, 2008
    The size of the oral space does not color the sound. If manipulating the jaw affects the embouchure then that is a result. Not the best way to darken the sound.

    Do lots of soft/low practice and listen for a rich tone.

    Loud tones are bright, soft tones are dark. Other than adjusting your equipment there is little you can do to affect it.

    Just go for the most musical tone possible and stop worrying if it's dark enough.

    Also, you are probably more dominant on the recording because you are louder, not "brighter".
     
  7. aptrpt12

    aptrpt12 New Friend

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    Dec 14, 2009
    Boston/Providence
    Quick basic lesson to darken the sound. The inside mouth chamber is small and you are playing a note with what could be called an eee sound or position of the toungue in the mouth. To get that darker sound you need to enlargen the inside chamber as if you are yawning and position the inside mouth as if to say auw. Your biggest trick, which is why you will have to practice, like everyone has indicated, is to play that position over the entire range of the instrument.
    There is also a quick and dirty way and that is to change up your mouth piece. If one was playing say a Bach 3C, you could change to a Bach 3. That will darken the sound. It is a very deep cup, and it takes off that edge and brightness.
    Good luck.
     
  8. kalijah

    kalijah New Friend

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    May 5, 2008
    A great way to mess up the embouchure and to interfere with what the jaw and tongue need to do to coordinate with the embouchure.

    Again the mouth chamber size alone has basically no effect on the sound. It is a myth. You are confusing playing with vocalizing. There is a difference.
     
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

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    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I thought it was ok advise. You want to stay open. Arban has you tongue tu not te.
     
  10. Phil

    Phil Pianissimo User

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    Cookeville
    Of course it isn't just the size of the oral cavity alone, but it's not a myth. There was an article in the ITG journal not too long ago of a guy making an analogy of the tongue position with putting your thumb at the end of a hose. This is just a simplification of Arban instructing his students and us to tongue "tu" and not "tee", "te", "tih", etc.
    The size of the oral cavity, placement of the tongue, air support, "proper" embouchure (by proper, I mean one that has an aperture, has the aperture somewhere in the middle 1/3 of the mouthpiece, and seals), and general concept of sound (what you hear in your head) are the most important ingredients for a good tone quality.
     

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