Exercises for tone quality?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter3197, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Trumpeter3197

    Trumpeter3197 New Friend

    Jun 30, 2012
    I'm a high school lead trumpet player, so I've been working a lot on range and endurance building chop exercises. They have been working well, and my range has really come along, but now I'm finding my tone quality in the low and middle register to be sub-par. My tone in the upper register is great: clear, bright, focused, and loud, but my tone in registers lower than that is usually airy, especially when my chops are tired (it sounds okay when I haven't played high yet). What are some good exercises to clear up and sweeten my tone quality? I tried long tones for about four months and I saw no effect on my tone, although it helped my endurance.

    I play on a Marcinkiewicz E12.4 (Roger Ingram) which is fairly shallow, as I am a lead player, but it's not too shallow that I shouldn't be able to get a good sound on it as well.
  2. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Mouthpiece buzzing?
  3. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    If you want some general suggestions:

    -long tones (slow) all ranges
    -lip slurs (slow and fast) all ranges

    (for the long tones and slurs, also exploit an array of dynamics during the exercises....)

    -ballads (concentrate on tone and interpretation) -- maybe a music minus one with big band type setting

    Methods (these are two that I've heard are very good):

    -Claude Gordon
    -Carmine Caruso

  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    Play Melodies

    and Songs

    and listen.
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    First, check to see that your good upper register sound is as good when you play high notes softly. If not, work on dynamics in all registers. Second, remember that pedal C is our "real" lowest open tone. A c in the staff takes 3/4ths the energy of a high c. Attack the lower registers, and learn to get those low notes to bark.

    Have fun!
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio

    If you want to play sweeter, try relaxing and not blowing so hard. Oh, you will still need a big breath, but float that breath. Take your hand. Place it about a foot from your face. Blow a steady relaxed stream of air into that hand. Feel it. Now put you mouthpiece on your horn and do the same relaxed blow. Huh!!!! Did you get it!!! Man I love it when I am right. Just remember me in the credits of your next CD, that's all I ask.

    Next Question?
  7. LiquidSean

    LiquidSean Pianissimo User

    Nov 7, 2010
    Make everything you play an exercise for tone quality.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Duets with players better than you.

    Better tone needs to be referenced to something else. You don't learn it in the practice room. If you are not playing duets with your trumpet teacher (at least one a lesson) you are missing something important........
  9. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    It seems that you're spending too much time working on high register practice,and not enough middle and low register practice.For high school 10 minutes a day is plenty.Practice softly with as little mouthpiece pressure as possible in all registers.A lot of players who use too much pressure in the upper register also use too much pressure in the lower ones Work to get a clean centered tone while playing soft,rest often.
  10. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    Roger designed (and used) that mouthpiece specifically for studio and lead playing (D above Double C, etc.), so it's not surprising that you're not having success with it in the low and middle registers. Even he uses a different mouthpiece for lower register work.

    I think the E12.4 is a great mouthpiece, so hang onto it for playing lead, but if you have a realistic expectation of getting a full, warm, pleasant tone in the middle and low register I think you should look for a different one.

    I'm sure there will be the requisite wailing and scolding about mouthpieces, but you're using the wrong tool for the wrong job.

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