Delicate Picc Sound

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ejaime23, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. ejaime23

    ejaime23 Pianissimo User

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    Jul 27, 2007
    Houston,TX
    Howdy all, I feel that my picc playing has gotten a pretty strong start, I'm able to play a lot of the major excerpts, concerti, etc. I do however struggle with the delicate side of picc playing. I feel that it's nearly impossible to play soft on the thing, being high pitched, and kind of a bright sound as it is, it naturally cuts through everything, yet hearing the pros do it, it seems like they have no problem getting under a vocalist (I performed The Trumpet Shall Sound where I was constantly having to play softer and softer, it was intense) or orchestra. So my question is how do I achieve that delicate warm piccolo trumpet sound? Please someone lay the secret of trumpet playing on me :D Thanks!
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Sometimes thinking "small" helps, if we play the piccolo like a big horn overblowing the piccolo can be a danger. Some piccs, like the Kanstul, can be hard to be quiet on, sometimes a flugelhorn mouthpiece can help reduce volume. As to being too loud on "The Trumpet Shall Sound," it may well be that the conductor is at fault--the trumpet is a loud instrument, and the range difference between trumpet and bass is large enough that we can't really bury them. If there were no complaints on "Glory to God" then I wouldn't worry about too much--the bass aria uses the "end of the world" trumpet, after all, and shouldn't be too wimpy.

    Good luck!
     
  3. JustinSmith

    JustinSmith Piano User

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    Nov 6, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    When I'm playing a 2nd part that is still on piccolo trumpet I use a slighter deeper cup mouthpiece. I play a 7E mouthpiece for most things, and some times a 7d, or 7c.
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    ejaime23,
    the picc is half as long as a normal Bb trumpet, but was never designed to play everything up an octave. The secret to playing the pic lays in the middle and low register. Clarke at pp will build your picc chops faster than any range exercizes.

    The majority of our picc work is chamber music, not Stravinskys Firebird. Our practice routines are generally pointed towards big, loud and brazen. That is a discrepancy between reality and our dream world. We mustn't let professional recordings fool us. Many professionals have the pleasure of a bit bigger orchestra, a heavier foot on the organ or an excellent recording engineer - in addition to their playing experience.

    I use a smaller (not shallower) mouthpiece when playing the picc and allow at least a week of concentrated picc practice before a gig when possible. My daughter plays oboe and we play duets too.
     

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