Blending... how much work?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by VetPsychWars, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Some of my horns seem to wear me out more in rehearsal than others... and they don't do that when I practice alone.

    This leads me to theorize that, the more different my sound is from the mostly-Bach section, the harder I have to work to blend with the others.

    My Custom Build Model 240 sounds a lot like those Bachs... and it feels like I can play it all day and night. I leave rehearsal ready to play for a couple more hours.

    My Lightweight 400 Model 217 sounds nothing at all like those Bachs... and I can't play it for the entire two hours without getting worn out.

    Some of the others are more in-between... and so are their sounds.

    Since I would hate like hell to not be able to play any of my horns in rehearsal or for a concert, I'll play around with some different mouthpieces I have to see if I can brighten up that Lightweight 400 and see how it goes.

    Have any of you noticed that it takes more work to blend a dissimilar horn?

  2. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    What wears me out isn't so much playing in sections with different brand horns,but playing in sections where I can't match their intonation. Check the intonation of your other horns,if you play a little sharp or flat on them ,you are most likely unconsciously adjusting your embouchure to match the rest of the section,this will affect endurance.
  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    It's not my horn, but I sit in with a swing band where no one has the same make horn, but the Bach the 4th guy plays is so dissimilar in sound, his mistakes are glaring. When I sit in, there are 2 Getzens (one is mine), Monette, Benge, Holton, and the Bach. Playing with mostly Bachs may be a tall challenge blend wise. I did bring an Ambassador one time and was told (not asked!) to not bring it again so I guess it didn't blend well.:oops: I mentioned some of my other horns and they said, stick with the Getzen. The leader did like my Conn 40B but it was the wrong sound for my part. I would ask the band leader which sound he prefers. It could save a lot of aggravation. I feel your pain. I got 18+ horns and only the Getzens are allowed to swing.
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I can bring whatever horn I want, it's not that kind of band.

    Intonation isn't an issue. The Bueschers slot really wide, so they play wherever you tell them to.

    It's just that, by nature, my Lightweight 400 with my usual mouthpiece is darkdarkdark compared to how relatively bright the Bachs are. I have a couple of different mouthpieces I can try to brighten up the Lightweight 400 instead of forcing it, which is what I think I'm doing.

  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Simplest thing I know to do is try a shallower cup. Thats great they will let you play what you want.
  6. Jappe

    Jappe Pianissimo User

    Jul 3, 2011
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Just put all the vegetables in and push the button. :D
  7. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    A darkdarkdark sound will tend to get buried in a bright section. There may be a blend issue, but I think you're probably also just having a hard time hearing yourself. You may be unconsciously manipulating your chops, trying to make your dark equipment play bright, or you may just be playing louder. Either way, a mouthpiece change is probably called for.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Blending is more a case of style than sound. That being said, the thicker sounding horns should be playing lower parts. I have a Monette Prana 3 and have the power to make any first trumpet player sound better by supporting his sound and style. If I play a thinner sounding horn than the lead we both have a lot more work. I don't think that the horns should match, the first determines the overtones and the second the resonance.

    In symphony sections, it is useful if the horns have a similar volume where they develop edge. The second should NEVER get edgier first. As far as style goes, the second player needs to "feel" the power of the first and add just enough to really make the chords ring. Once a first player has found that soul mate, they never want anything else.
  9. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I don't have a problem unless my horn is very different. Example: I have a 1940s Conn 22B medium bore. In large ensembles it just gets lost. Perfect for chamber groups. Other than that I don't have a problem. Of course if I'm playing in a big band I don't use a symphonic set up and in a symphony I don't use a big band set up.
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I played a number of years playing third trumpet in a respectable orchestral trumpet section, which got compliments from a wide variety of qualified guest conductors, as well as our music director. Not Chicago or Berlin, but honestly respectable. Not trying to brag, but we were good. When practicing I would imagine the principal player, who was as reliable as one could wish, above me, and was blessed with a second player, who had an intonation fetish, and try to match sounds with the notes sounding above me in my imagination. Perhaps this is what Rowuk describes as a “rich” sound.

    Cool thing about playing third was that I got to be Principal horn or trombone in some passages.

    Good rhythm, good intonation and an ability to mind-meld make for a respectable section.

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