Bright? Bad?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tennis_the_menace, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. tennis_the_menace

    tennis_the_menace Pianissimo User

    Jan 11, 2007
    Lansing, MI
    I have a solo in one of the pieces my band is playing for band festival, and lately my band director has been complaining that my sound is too "bright"
    About 6 months ago I got a Bach Strad 43. This bell is suppose to the brightest bach bell right? Is my trumpet making my sound bright? I like my sound, It has always been the best aspect of my playing, and I have always recieved complaiments on it. I quess if my band director really wants me to darken my sound for my solo I will, but how do I go about doing that?

  2. miles71

    miles71 Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 8, 2004
    I am a High School Band director and was told all through high school I had to bright of a sound!!! For years I tried to darken it up, using giant mouthpieces and playing horns I didnt like for certain bands. While it is true you want a rich deep sound in the band, dont worry about it so much it controls you. Bright is not bad, but you have to be able to blend. It impossible to know what your director is hearing, so ask them.

    Your sound can be dictated by the mouthpiece or the horn, just because its a 43 doesnt mean it sounds bright. (I have a friend who sounds like a flugel if he plays a Bach since he has such naturally dark sound)

    Talk to your band director one-on-one sometime and ask them what they want to hear. Hopefully they have enough trumpet knowledge to help you out. If they say they want a darker sound ask them for specifics, its nice to have a student who wants to improve. Before throwing out your horn try another mouthpiece combination. Something with a "B" cup and the same rim you are playing.

    Good luck.
  3. masterfulmusic29

    masterfulmusic29 New Friend

    Dec 15, 2006
    The trick that always works for me to darken my sound is to widen my Apature. (the space in between your lips when you make your embochure.)
  4. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Try playing into your stand as previously suggested. This is the quickest and cheapest way to darken up a bit.

    Also talk to your director and see if he/she can be more specific. Saying you're to bright is like you going to the doctor and when he/she asks what is bothering you you say, "I don't know just fix me!"

    Maybe after you playing with your bell down a bit; or into your stand a bit more he/she will have the sound from you that is desired. :dontknow:
  5. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit

    I would follow Schwab's advice before I did anything else.

    If you have a nice sound and are happy with the sound you make, I would be VERY slow to let a high school band teacher try to form me to the sound HE wants to hear.

    What type of music do you like? and what do you want to do with your trumpet?

    There is an endless list of players who had a bright sound and did VERY WELL with the trumpet..

  6. Walter

    Walter Piano User

    Sep 11, 2006
    I agree with Chuck.......and as Schwab says if you aim your bell so it doen't point at the director he won't be so focused on you...FWIW.

  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    It's a bit like asking whether you're too tall. Too tall compared to whom? Yao Ming or Gary Coleman? Without a picture, it's hard to answer. For a brief time when I was in Junior High School I played a mouthpiece that made me sound as though I were playing a piccolo trumpet because it was so puny. I still have it and take it out to play it just for the absurdity of it.

    It could be a dozen things and a question of taste. What one person might consider to be dark could be considered stuffy by another. What one person thinks os bright could be thin and nasal. There's a lot to listening and you wind up being at the mercy of the person judging you on the other side of the bell. You're a young player and may not have the sufficient experience listening to a wide enough variety of sounds to be able to judge what's appropriate. Good luck, though.

  8. tennis_the_menace

    tennis_the_menace Pianissimo User

    Jan 11, 2007
    Lansing, MI
    My director has never said that my sound sticks out from the rest of the section, he just said my my sound was bright when I played my solo. I will try pointing my bell more towards my stand.

  9. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Try what Schwab says first. Then put a towel over the stand you play into. This method knocks off some higher overtones.
    What piece are you playing that is too bright? The piece may call for a dark sound so be prepared to barrow a different horn.

    Is the band director messing with your head? I hope not.

    Get your band director to buy a Jupiter Pocket trumpet. I think it might play dark.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
  10. tennis_the_menace

    tennis_the_menace Pianissimo User

    Jan 11, 2007
    Lansing, MI
    the piece is Variations on a Korean Folk Song, I have the trumpet solo.

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