Horn grip affecting resonance and/or quality of tone?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetplanet, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. trumpetplanet

    trumpetplanet New Friend

    Dec 8, 2011
    Bristol, UK
    Sorry if this is a duplicate thread...

    I'm curious how many trumpet players here believe that the way you hold your trumpet has an effect on your quality of tone.

    Yesterday I was practising some Arban interval exercises. I had quite a fuzzy sound and so was going really slowly, trying to make sure I really hit the centre of every note. At the same time as doing this I was thinking about a forum post I once read. I don't know if it was on TrumpetMaster or THat website. It was about how many people believe that having a leather valve-block protector on your horn can ruin resonance. Now I don't have anything strapped to my trumpet (just so we're clear), but I began thinking about where my hand was placed and if minimising contact with the horn would make any difference to my tone. I did some experiments and to my surprise it did. I found that if I try not to make contact with the leadpipe, where the tube then enters the valves, or where any part of the bell then my sound it much brassier and articulate than normal.

    So, how do you hold your trumpet? have you ever noticed a change in sound as a result? Any other related suggestions?
  2. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    I play holding it normal with my ring finger in the ring and my pinky under the 3rd valve slide so it is on the 3rd valve. I think the only way your hand could alter the sound is if you have a death grip on the bell.
  3. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    There might be some VERY small effect, but this is one of those things that, if you believe it, it will happen.

    People are very good at fooling themselves.

  4. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    FWIW, I can hear the difference between my horn with a leather protector and without.
    However, I've never heard a difference with grip (other than increased comfort allowing for more ease of play :-P)
  5. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Paralysis through analysis trying to take hold here. Even with a death grip, the actual difference would have to be measured with accoustimental instrumentation :)-)). A guard can dampen the sound a little, but only to an "accoustacrat". The worst thing about a guard is all the crap it holds against you horn while you think it is "protected". I have a Conn 60B that had a guard on it. Guess where most of the dirtiness/damage was? The guard sits unused in the case. I do use a glove on my left hand due to heavy perspiration and green fingers. The Pinto you have has the ULTIMATE valve casing guard. Fuzziness is probably not an issue with the horn unless it's been years since you've cleaned it! :-o:lol:
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  6. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Long live the incomparable Olds Pinto. I've never known anyone to play one long enough to prove it, but might your hand turn poo-poo brown if you hold it too log with a sweaty hand?:shhh:
  7. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Seriously, A gentle grip with the left hand would seem to me to be the best way to hold a trumpet with the least affect on resonance, after all we have to hold it to play it. I've read in other threads of valve body damage from too tight a grip. I do not use guards and I always wipe down my horns after every session.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Believe me, if you are worrying about the handguard hurting resonance, your playing is not good enough for it to make a difference.

    That being said, everything makes SOME difference - even orange juice instead of water for breakfast.

    The beauty of playing trumpet is, that all of this stuff becomes obvious once we have practiced enough for it to make a difference.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    Schilke did make a horn where the tolerances were so tight that a firm grip would stop the valves (gotta be true, read it on the internet). It was an R&D horn and was obviously not sold.
  10. catello

    catello Pianissimo User

    Dec 14, 2009
    Winter Park, FL
    When you loosened/changed your grip, you probably reduced some pressure on your lips. Holding the horn lightly would force you to play without jamming the horn into your face and will improve your playing and development. This would have had an impact on the tone you were producing.

Share This Page