Discussion of the Mariachi brass sound please

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

  1. ChinTurret

    ChinTurret New Friend

    30
    28
    Jun 8, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    I recall seeing Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano in concert at George Mason University a few years ago. It was my first "sit down" and listen experience with Mariachi music. Several things struck me. First those cats had iron chops. Excellent musicianship and showmanship. After about an hour it became boring musically. Each trumpet played the same part, and each chart lacked any attempt at dynamics. It was full bore FFF from start to finish. No dynamics and no harmony. I had my fill.

    The show was entertaining but I doubt I'll go back again.
     
  2. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    4,813
    3,001
    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    My wife and I have a house in Boise Idaho where we spend a little time a few times a year. Next door live a lovely older couple who are Mexican. Antonio is a former mariachi band trumpet player. I finally got him to play a little with me, right outside between the houses, and he immediately went into the rapid vibrato so common with that style. He wasn't bad for over 80 and not having played for maybe ten years! I felt privelidged to be able to do that, for sure.
     
  3. PINCHUNO

    PINCHUNO Piano User

    382
    51
    Apr 4, 2005
    Tenerife
    I'm amazed at the first reply to the OP. Very bright sound and a ridiculously small mouthpiece? Really? It's anything but. Bright, depending on the song. Most use rather large mouthpieces. The vibrato is of paramount importance. You also have to know hundreds of songs and be able to improvise backing to the vocalists on some tunes. Has nobody heard mariachi Sol? They have 3 trumpets and on many sections of the arrangements, the unison sound is very dark and warm. Almost classical in some cases even though the style is not. Please do some research before posting whatever comes straight into your head.
     
  4. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    4,813
    3,001
    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    "Please do some research before posting whatever comes straight into your head."

    As quoted from the world's foremost authority on Mariachi Brass. Thank you for your work in this field.
    I am certain you have scoured every corner of the earth ( and universe ) to get an exhaustive compilation of research and facts so as not to miss one example of Mariachi music.

    This was posted straight out of my head, by the way, no research done whatsoever. :cool:
     
  5. PINCHUNO

    PINCHUNO Piano User

    382
    51
    Apr 4, 2005
    Tenerife
    I live in the Canary Islands, Spain. Here there is a very wide range of professional bands, from salsa/merengue, Symphony orchestra, big band, dixie, rock, funk, folklore and at least 50 different Mariachi groups. I'm a pro musician and apart from having done many arrangements for many different kinds of Latin bands, I have heard enough Mariachi, both live, on record and in Mexico, Europe and in England, to know full well what Mariachi music is all about. Also, my father and most of his family have many decades of experience playing Mexican music. So yes, I think I know what I'm talking about.
     
  6. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    4,813
    3,001
    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Ok
     
  7. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    1,466
    658
    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    Nice credentials. I must admit it has been a long time since I brushed up against Mariachi music and I have forgotten how much fun it is to listen to and how difficult it is to do well. I never did it well and respect those who do. Around my neck of the woods we don't get much of it and I must admit that the vocals in Spanish just detract from the beauty because they just add jiberish to it. (sorry if I offend anyone, unintentional) Bright brass with lots of vibrato sounds good to me but I think there is more to it than that. As stated above, showmanship/musicianship and improvisation are wonderful traits to have too. The vocal parts are necessary to make it complete, I understand that, they just go over my head. Best wishes.
     
  8. oldtxguy

    oldtxguy New Friend

    17
    4
    Nov 12, 2013
    South TX
    I'm no expert musician, but I've played Mariachi for close to 20 years as a "trumpudo", (made up term we used for trumpet player) and all I've ever used is my Bach Strad with 3c. Some of us had bright tones and dark tones. Each has its place, but what is consistent is the vibrato. The slower songs like motivos, solamente una vez, quizas manana, etc.. I slow down my vibrato. Songs like el cascabel, la negra, jaliso call for a more articulate stacato with a quick vibrato.

    The key is to feel the music you are playing and the sounds will come. If you play it with passion and love, you will get the women ;) That's Mariachi!
     
  9. larry tscharner

    larry tscharner Forte User

    1,466
    658
    Apr 30, 2010
    dubuque iowa
    How true. The mariachi sound comes from the player more than the trumpet. I only got it after my mind was firmly wrapped around the concept of bright, damn the dynamics, and gaudy vibrato. Granted there is more to it than that but it was a start. As I said above, I never did enough of it to get good at it. Best wishes.
     

Share This Page