Discussion of the Mariachi brass sound please

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by patton45, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    weddings with a Mariachi band. Now I know how they cut the cake!

    I played a Stomvi mariachi model at the Frankfurt music fair last year. It was super easy to play, but I could not imagine using it in a symphony orchestra (except maybe in the symphonic dances from West Side Story). Everybody in front of me would get a laser haircut!
  2. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    I have ran into quite a few Mariachi bands because my Mom's entire family is from California and I lived their for a while. A lot of the trumpet player's play what we would call Intermediate trumpet's a lot of them around 50% of the ones I saw where playing Getzen Externa's and the Doc Severinson Model in silver was very sought after. I would say 6 out of 10 where playing Parduba(sp) double cup MP's no matter what trumpet they where playing. The ones that did not have a Getzen where all over the place Bach Strad.'s, a lot of old Old's models Ambasdor,Mendendez, Speicials etc......I even saw one guy playing a gold plated Vega pea-shooter.

    I have a friend that was in a Mariachi band and when their lead trumpet player would get sick or have an emergency he used to call me up to fill in. I am not going to kid you though I did not have any where near as authentic of a sound as the normal guy did. That was so long ago I can not rember what mouth piece I was useing for 100% accuracy but it was my smallest one and I want to say it was an Old Rudy Muck cushioned rim that I really did not like but worked good for that type of sound. The guy I filled in for actualy gave it to me as a gift and it was well used most of the plateing was gone when he gave it to me but it had no nicks at all. I want to say it would be close to say a Bach 8-10 in an A cup. I rember that the back bore was tight compared to what I normaly used. I have not heard from my firend since H.S. or I would call him up and ask for you but I do not know how to reach him. I had a Bach trumpet but not a Stradaverious. I do not recall what Bach's intermediate lineup was made up of in the early 1980's.

    I have never been to mexico just California, Georgia and Texas so my Mariachi experince is limited to those locations. I never ran into a Mariachi band when I lived in Europe but it sure would have been interesting to see and hear their interpratation and instrument selection!!!

    I would say that ideally given a choice I would imagine the thinest lightest bell with a smaller then average bore would be the ideal but I am just guessing on that. The reason I say that is because you do not have to fill a large hall up with sound just the small area in front of you so a horn that blows too freely would just tire you out faster and these guys play for some time before they stop to take a formal break and they are walking around while they play. So I am thinking the entire trumpet ideally would not blow that easy and this would also reinforce the chop's a lot better since the air colum would not be as big your lung volume would go further and last longer. I think that the reason so many of these guy's use Parduba double cup's is because few of them have a small bore trumpet so this helps effectively shrink the size of the trumpets bore and large leadpipe abd add's some restriction etc.......Just a guess though not saying this is a fact! If you had a trumpet built specificly for this purpose I am thinking that almost any mouthpiece would work well. So in theory you should be able to configure a Bach Strad so that it would be really good at Mariachi style music. Since the 180-37 already has a light weight bell I would guess that a smaller/tighter then average leadpipe would change the nature of this trumpet enough that in the right hands and witht he right MP it would do well at this role. Just like you can configure it for Orchastra work by changeing the leadpipe and MP to free'er blowing deep cup designs etc.......

    Does anyone know what they guys use in Mexico???? That would be very interesting to know?
  3. ElJman85

    ElJman85 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2012
    the style is learned by practicing and experiance. I had to go through it during my teenage years. There's a lot of technique that goes into it, like a rougher tounge to get that sharp sticatto tounging. The vibrato is suppose to be thick, and the sound yes has to be bright, but warm. you get this by opening up the back of your throat. Listen to a bunch of recordings, I'd reccomend the early Mariachi Vargas recording with Miguel Martinez on trumpet. He's the guy that revolutionized our style back in the 50's and 60's. You can still find some of these albums on cd!

    also one last piece of info/ adivice and excuse me for the foul language. Don't play like a pussy! The style is suppose to be bold and dynamic. Really strong! Not loud as in blasting, but as in big. you'd be surprised how many "mariachi trumpeters" I encountered who have a really weak sound. And it's a pet peeve of mine. The sound is suppose to be BIG. I've been told by Jose Hernandez from Mariachi Sol de Mexico, to make the trumpet sing when playing and that the style is all about feeling it.

    hope this helps!
  4. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    Here is So Cal I hear them ALL the time .... and to be honest I can't stand the stuff ...I don't know if the vibratto was started to cover intonation problems .. and the constant sizzle because they play outside alot and the players had to crank it to be heard ... but the shallow cup mp makes sence ( not a fan of that thin sound either).. those guys really play aggressive .. I have to hand it to them to be able to play that hard and make it through a gig.
    so lots of wide vibratto and sizzle ... and when you think you have enough add more
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Were it not that my late brother bought me my sombrero, it would be on my yard sale table to sell. Still, I really enjoy mariachi music, but personally I'm not that good at the tempos/rhythms all by myself. Inhibitions, as too, I nearly died in Mexico, having been shot with a veterinary (nicotine) dart in a barrio. By the Grace of God and a peon with a cart, I didn't. WARNING: Never enter a barrio that's quiet!
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  6. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I really like my Parduba 4.5 HJ mpc and I have a plain 4.5 for cornet also, but both are Akrights. I wish I still had my original John Parduba & Sons 4.5 HJ Harry James was noted for playing a #5 Parduba mpc which he began when he played for Benny Goodman in a hotel across the street from the Parduba shop in NYC ( as I've read somewhere ).
  7. ElJman85

    ElJman85 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2012
    try 18 hrs of non stop playing. Ended up with a busted lip but with a lot of money! XD
  8. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    I play with a band for several years and to match the sound, I had to over-ride everything I had learned in school.

    You play with a tight throat and a restricted air stream.

    Tonguing is much more pronounced and the vibrato is much faster.

    Smaller mouthpieces and bore size also helps.
  9. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Ya, I've seen that a lot of the Mariachi guys use small, Parduba double-cups (which in that case the previous post about a Rudy Muck double-cup makes sense). But that seems to be the case for many guys that play Latin music. I, myself, like the sound, because I like laser-bright (maybe because that's my natural tone!)
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  10. Ocdlaw

    Ocdlaw New Friend

    Jul 13, 2015
    Rancho Santa Margarita CA
    Forget all that. The suit costs more than my trumpet!

Share This Page