Getting mellow tone from Bach Strad 43G

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by bumblebee, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Hello,

    I think I can get a nice sound from my Bach Strad 43G (made about 2006) with a Bach 3C mouthpiece, but I'm now trying to play more mellow having listened to some Chris Botti pieces (esp Regroovable from his "very best of..." album). But it doesn't seem to work...

    Can anybody suggest a technique to achieve this mellow sound? Or a new mouthpiece suggestion? Or is mellow out of reach for my Strad? (Chris Botti plays a Martin Committee horn from the 1930's I think I read, and coincidentally a Bach 3C mouthpiece)

    Thanks, Bumblebee
     
  2. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    I may be wrong but I thought I read that Chris Botti used an old Bach 3 not a 3C.The 3 is quite a bit deeper than the 3C. Also Bach's 43 bell is their brightest sounding bell,and the old Martins were pretty mellow . Now you can do certain things to mellow your tone without equipment change. First try playing at a softer volume,watch your tongue levels and attacks,try to relax and let the horn do the work, don't try to muscle it.
     
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

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    Keep in mind the 43 is a bright sounding bell. Sort of like wanting a racing car for backwoods travel. It can do it, but the driver is going to have to make a lot more compensations. Als idea of a deeper mouthpice should help.
     
  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi Bumblebee,
    The way I mellow out my 1979 silver Bach 37 is to put a ringmute on the bell rim. Its amazing how this simple ring placed in the right place (bellrim) mellows out my sound.
    Your Bach will still sound like your Bach but the brightness will be reduced. If I'm reading your post correctly, I can not think of a device that will get you the sound you are looking for better than a ringmute.
     
  5. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

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    Thanks Al, Steve, Markie.
    I do believe I'm getting closer when I play softly (need practice), and doing a search I find both 3 and 3C turning up -- wikipedia has Chris' mouthpiece as a "3". I got the 3C from the rather limited selection at my local music shop (feels good though) - I haven't tried a "3". Actually, my Denis Wick "2" cornet mouthpiece has a very deep V cup and plays richly mellow on the cornet (But not like Chris' sound) (if only I could describe sounds better).
    The ringmute I had never heard of before -- interesting, I might try and make one.

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  6. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    bumblebee sez:
    The ringmute I had never heard of before -- interesting, I might try and make one.
    ----------
    Good luck. They are devilishly difficult to make. The Ringmute is not your basic DYI.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think that mellow is a case of frequency response, and don't think that a studio production of Chris Botti is what happens in real life.

    His playing sounds mellow because it is elegant and very carefully measured. If he played your equipment, it would also sound mellow.

    How do we achieve elegant? Play lots of tunes, get our technique perfected so we have plenty of time to concentrate on the sound.

    Once you get your approach cleaned up, you will realize that hardware has VERY little to do with what our audiences experience!
     
  8. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Rowuk sez:
    I don't think that mellow is a case of frequency response, and don't think that a studio production of Chris Botti is what happens in real life.
    ------------
    I think we're tip toeing around two different things:
    A skilled trumpeter can play a song in a mellow fashion regardless of their particular spectral quality.
    However, if mellow has to do with the color of the notes coming out of the horn and NOT the ability to perform a song in a mellow elegant fashion, then mellow (such as the basic dark sound of Miles, Jensen, Botti) has quite a bit to do with frequency. When a person listens to Maynard, what is heard is a full spectral sound (which by the way is very beautiful).The three musicians mentioned above have a more stark(as in unadored), intimate, dark sound and every bit as eligant and beautiful as Maynard's sound.
    I absolutely agree that elegance can only be achieved (and maintained) with focused consistant determined practice.
    Can someone's basic sound be toned down and darkened through the use of equipment such as a ringmute or a felt bag? Absolutely.
    However, here's the downside. There are absolutely no equipment or devices that will help if the person sucks. Only determined regular proper practice can fix that.
    ---
    And yes, what we hear on a Botti recording isn't the same as Botti playing without electronic assistance.
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Markie,
    you know that I do not like hardware solutions for software problems. Mellow is a state of mind. If it ain't in your soul, the horn is insignificant. If your playing style just OOZES lusch, fat, beautiful, then YOUR sound gets the job done. Invest in you. The hardware sorts itself out in the long run.
     
  10. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    try going for a different MP, try maybe a 1.5c or a 2.5c or even try a V shaped cornet MP with an adapter? and try and relax and practice playing alot quieter but with control, also listen to chris more and more and other mellow players and try and recreate his sound
     

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