How to get beautiful tonation on trumpet?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Passion, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

    Jun 11, 2009
    Like really pretty, I guess that's called "dark" tone or something.

    People say I have good tone as of now, but it's not pro sounding or the best. Ive heard better, people who are so smooth and pretty like Wynton Marsalis Classical tone, or one of those orchestra trumpet tones. At honor band, the college trumpets who played, one of them had such great sound quality, that I want my tone that great.

    Are long tones what I have to do? Give me very detailed instruction please, like what you would tell a student in lessons to do.

    I get lessons very very irregularly due to money issues in family, so anyone with a great tone give me detailed advice, and I promise ill follow though. Im not just looking for quick solutions, honestly.
  2. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    I've been accused of having a great tone. It's true that when I'm in the zone, people have been known to tear up.
    How did it get that way?
    1) I was probably born with it
    2)My first heros were trumpet players with beautiful tone (Herb Alpert, Mendez, Al Hirt, Ferguson,)
    3)I sing through the trumpet. This means there's a beginning middle and end to the notes I play, I really accentuate dynamics, and I listen to myself via a Zoom H2 on a regular basis and I ask myself, "does it sing?"
    I don't agree that a dark tone is pretty. I don't agree that a bright tone is pretty. If you want a fatter sound then just imagine the sound growing out (from side to side) from the horn by doing long soft tones.
    Not louder, fatter. A full or fuller spectrum sound. You can almost feel the sound grow out from the horn when you do it correctly.
    In a nutshell, It's all in what you do with what you've got. You stated that people like your sound. I'll tell you what, make what you play "sing" and your question about tone will be so yesterday.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  3. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

    Jun 11, 2009
    Lol, I like your response. Ill difinitely will keep in mind of making what I play, 'sing'. I never really thought in that sense of playing music, but I like it!
  4. ChaseFan

    ChaseFan Banned

    Mar 25, 2008
    Deeper mouthpiece cup, larger mouthpiece throat and backbore.

    Legato tonguing sounds mellower.

    Adequate amount of air for playing with a full tone, but don't play overly loud.

    Phrasing is important.
    Don't just play the notes, but phrase the song like a great singer is singing the song with understanding and emotion.

    Instead of trying to get your trumpet to sound like a mellow cornet, play cornet instead of trumpet.
    With a true deep V-cup cornet mouthpiece.
  5. Keith Fiala

    Keith Fiala Pianissimo User

    Feb 21, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Great tone starts with a focussed and efficient aperture, as well as proper use of air.

    Start with long tones, but play them EXTREMELY soft! Get them as PPP as you can. Also keep in mind that your vibration points need to be relaxed enough so that they freely vibrate. Playing loudly can cause stiffness in the lips and will hinder your tone.

    No one is born with great tone... you're either shown the proper way to play with beautiful sound, or you guessed correctly.

    Keith Fiala
  6. Passion

    Passion Pianissimo User

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ha ha, guessed correctly, I like that. My trumpet teacher says I have a mature tone, the type that makes people want to listen to, and bandmates, Mom and people tell me my playing is pretty. Thing is, I guessed at good tone because I never worked at it. It's probably my teeth or mouth naturally. But I want my tone amazingly well like Wynton or something.

    Thing is, on youtube I listenned to this Julliard girl play and was like, "I want a tone like that too!"

    Look at this video people, my goodness, she's amazing!

    YouTube - Katie Miller NTC Undergrad 1st place Juilliard
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  7. BackAttackJazz

    BackAttackJazz New Friend

    Jan 21, 2008
    To preface, I am admittedly new to the threads, so you may take my advice with a grain of salt. =)

    Establishing a beautiful tone consists of different areas of focus for different each his/her own. If you are certain that the basic fundamentals of your playing are intact and comfortable, such as mouthpiece placement on the embouchure and a steady, focused air stream, you can proceed on to the finer details.

    The next step is to listen, listen, listen. The aural training that you develop simply by absorbing a polished, beautiful, lyrical trumpet sound (from many professional classical trumpet musicians) pays off tremendously in the recreation process when you pick up the trumpet yourself.

    Also, I like to record myself. I understand that in a situation where money is an issue, it's difficult to find an adequate recording device to provide yourself an accurate portrait of your sound, but I truly feel the process helps immensely. Whether it's a simple series of long tones or a complex etude, I can quickly find my areas of strengths and weaknesses and proceed from there. After a second listen, perhaps I notice that I was flat and dull-sounding on the upper note of a large interval. Well, I bust out the good ol' Arban's Book and flip to pages 125 or so and do some interval exercises. Regardless, I really find that recording is very beneficial and adds that "performance element" which naturally aides in anxiety control and such.

    I hope this was at least a little helpful! =)
  8. muchan

    muchan New Friend

    Jul 18, 2009
    Hickman's little book with note bending exercises address this. He says everybody can develop a beautiful tone. (so I hope we don't need to be born for that...)
    15 Advanced Embouchure Studies Hickman Music Editions:

    So far, I'm still having problem to bend whole note above middle G without popping to lower register, but as far as I could manage, my tone improved with this book.
  9. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Although it might be intimidating, I'd consider videotaping yourself (you don't need to show your face) and posting up a clip for more direct feedback.

    Aside from that, do you have an ideal sound in your head? You should! If you don't, that's step one. Go to as many live brass oriented concerts as you can (recordings don't count!) and develop a concept of what sound you want. Then work on taking full breaths and keeping that sound concept in your mind. Without hearing you, it's tough to give more specific advice.
  10. rbdeli

    rbdeli Mezzo Piano User

    May 8, 2009
    Listening to great sound.. Re: How to get beautiful tonation on trumpet?

    For great tone, I think Doc is one of the best. He plays on a very old album of all ballads with Henry Mancini, called Brass on Ivory. His sound is outstanding; warm, mellow. It really sings. This should be required listening for all young trumet players, in my opinion.

    Tomofei Dokshizer was known as having the trumpet with the sound of a human voice. Timofei Dokshizer | Famous Trumpet Player
    I have to agree, his tone is really unique.

    Then, there's Maynard. Not everyone thinks of Maynard having a great tone, but he does! Check out his album, The Ballad Style of Maynard Ferguson. I think you can find clips of this album here: Maynard Ferguson MP3 Clips
    Maynard plays with a remarkably warm sound on this album. I especially love the track, As Long as He Needs Me. Incredibly tasteful.

    My dad, who inspired me to play the trumpet, thinks Harry James had the most unique tone in the world. I can't quite get used to all of the vibrato, but Harry James was one of the very first trumpet players to inspire me. His recording of The Brave Bulls was one of my favorites as a kid. A lot of what we consider good or great tone, is obviously based on our tastes.

    If you don't have Pandora Radio, I highly recommend it - especially if you have an iPhone. This is a great way to get accustomed to hearing different styles of players and their tone. Pandora Radio: Pandora Radio - Listen to Free Internet Radio, Find New Music

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