Help coming up with non-mariachi-sounding trumpet parts

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bwanabass, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 20, 2013
    Syracuse, NY
    I'm looking for some help and advice here. I have been collaborating with a song writer that is writing pop-folkish original songs. He sent me a bunch of tracks to check out and write trumpet parts for. It's been a lot of fun and has been very rewarding, but I am getting a bit frustrated with the sound of some of my melodic lines.

    When I create supporting lines and long tones, they blend nicely in the mix and compliment the overall sound and melodies that are going on. However, during some of the more sonically empty parts of the songs, where I have room to create a bit of a melodic hook of my own, I am finding that my lines sound very Latin and do not always fall in stylistically. The parts are harmonized and match the progressions going on in the song. I love the sound of the harmonized parts, but those melodies tend to sound very Mexican. It may be my natural inclination to create these sounds, but I want to write horn arrangements that work in the context of the overall song.

    I have been playing music for a very long time, know my scales, and am familiar with modes, but after years of writing bass lines, I am having a hard time finding variety in my
    new trumpet melodies. I will have to get permission to post a song for you all to hear, hopefully soon.

    Can anyone share some tips or strategies that have worked?

  2. Shadrack

    Shadrack New Friend

    Jan 5, 2013
    NYC area
    When I get into a rut developing good lines for trumpet or riffs for my bass, I stop and just list to music that I love. Oftentimes, I get inspired by listening to the genre for which I am trying create music or find something totally new to bring me back and get the creative juices flowing. I know that it sounds simple but listening to music, exposure to different tunes, and just taking a break does it for me. I kind of have the same problem in that my lines end up having a Latin feel to them.

    Also, are there trumpet lines from years ago that you can redevelop or rework?
    Bwanabass likes this.
  3. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Bwannabrass,
    The best way to change the personality of your sound is to immerse yourself in another sound and record your practice to study. If you like cool and stark, listen to Kinda Blue or Birth of the Cool alot. If it's classical Mendez, Phil Smith, Marsalis or Balsom. Music is kinda like the nature of people. We act like those we hang around. We sound similar to those we listen to alot.
    Hope this helps
    Bwanabass likes this.
  4. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 20, 2013
    Syracuse, NY
    Thanks for the reply! Yes, I am definitely listening to lots of music to help with ideas. I'm pretty new to *writing* trumpet parts from scratch, so I don't really have any old work to rework. I'll have to take some breaks, I think. Being away from those parts and then revisiting them later might send me in a different direction.

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