Brighter tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by George.S, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. George.S

    George.S New Friend

    Dec 23, 2008
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Hello TMers

    I play in many different ensembles from symphony orchestra to big band. I have always had quite a mellow tone on my trumpet but lately have been trying to achieve a brighter tone for certain pieces and ensembles. I know the obvious solution for some people would be to change mouthpiece, however I really don't like swapping them around as I really like the MP I play on now (bach 1 1/2c).
    Can any of you more knowledgeable players out there give me any advice on getting a brighter sound without changing the mouthpiece.

    Thankyou in advance
    GS :D
  2. tunefultrumpet

    tunefultrumpet Pianissimo User

    Apr 9, 2008
    New Zealand
    I suggest listening to some recordings of bright trumpet sounds to get it in your head and then try to imitate the tone. It is possible to get quite a range of tone colours using just one mouthpiece. For me it seems to involve a subtle change in what I am doing with my tongue, mouth, lips, but it's not something anyone could spell out for you in detail, you have to experiment with matching the sound you are making with the sound image you are aiming for. Just trying to copy the tone of different trumpet players you hear on recordings can help you develop this ability. I also suggest you record yourself and/or ask other people's opinions as a double check on the tone colour you are producing.
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    Hi George,
    Markie here, You say you have a dark sound and you want to brighten it up at tad, right?
    Well... here's a quick cheap way of achieveing your goal but first you have to use your imagination(yes, imagination!!).
    Close your eyes and play longtones and listen deeply. Imagine the sound slowly growing out from your body as if its getting fat. Now i don't mean louder, I mean fatter, richer, brighter and "growing out from your body".
    Closing your eyes and imagine a knob on a stereo and you slowly turn up the treble.
    Notice I didn't say volume. The common denominator for both methods are
    "eyes closed"
    Why? for concentration of course.
    Make things in the room vibrate from the fattness.
    If you're diligent, 10-15 a day, around a week you'll be so bright you won't need the lights at night. "EYES CLOSED"
    Good luck!!!!
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    what he said!
    Great post Markie!

    I may add, what you hear behind the trumpet often has NOTHING to do with what the audience hears. If you want a lot more overtones to get to the audience, put your music stand a bit lower and blow over it.
  5. bobmiller1969

    bobmiller1969 Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2008
    Mays Landing, New Jersey
    I actually play on a few different mouthpieces depending on the situation. They all have the exact same rim, but varying cup depth and back bore. That way, they all pretty much feel the same, but do a different job.

    I really do agree what Markie said as well, but it really depends on what you mean by bright. A fatter sound doesn't necessarily mean brighter. Listening to players and getting their sound in my head always seemed to work for me. When I play lead, I'm thinking Snookie Young and Earl Gardner. When I play Jazz, I'm thinking Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw. It sounds like you're doing more classical playing, so insert your favorite player here ________.
  6. scottlashbrook

    scottlashbrook New Friend

    Jan 2, 2009
    London UK
    Follow all the of the advice above, it's sound and from what I've read from these peoples other posts, comes from experience. However I do have to ask the question, why are you concerned about switching mouthpieces? To my mind logic would suggest that you are making a relatively easy mouthpiece switch into a poss embouchure problem trying to achieve a brighter sound on what would be considered a fairly dark sounding mouthpiece. How much brighter do you want to go, and what sort of music are you using the brighter tone for? have a look at the Bobby Shew Clinic video on the Yamaha Hub website, he talks a little about Wayne Bergeron and mouthpiece selection.
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I agree with the above post. You can get a lot of different colors from one set up. I play a custom made screw rim. When I need a big change, say from classical to jazz, I can change underparts to help the change. I do have to hear the different colors in my head. I would not try to get a screw rim from Bach. It can take 90 days or longer. The reason I went with a custon set up is because I ordered a Bach screw rim mpc with underparts. 90 days later I had a rim that wouldn't screw on some of the underparts. I would have to wait another 90 days to get it fixed. I had my custom set up in two weeks and never bought another Bach mpc.
  8. George.S

    George.S New Friend

    Dec 23, 2008
    Belfast, Northern Ireland
    Thanks for the advice everybody. THis quote brings me on to another question. I often hear people talking about long tone exercises, and no trumpet teacher I have had has every done any with me. Could someone explain what they are and tell where I could get a copy of them?

    Thanks again
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    you need no copy of them. You just hold notes out for a long time. I recommend without using the tongue to get the sound started. Take a BIG breath, try and start softly, crescendo only a little and decrescendo until your air is gone. The point is that this way we have reduced many variables and have time to concentrate on beauty, steady, full and reliable. It helps build good habits.
  10. Hoghorn

    Hoghorn Pianissimo User

    Dec 30, 2008
    Manitowoc Wi. could pick up a mouthpiece with a slightly shallower cup !

    I use basically three mouthpieces

    One for lead playing
    One for...pit bands, concert bands
    One for...lets say churches

    Each supply a very specific sound and it works well for me.

    Mr. Drozdoff talks about this on his videos.

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009

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