How to improve tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hhsTrumpet, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,789
    3,552
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I had a good sound in high school too, and it was actually a pretty mature sound. That doesn't mean that there wasn't room for improvement, nor does it mean that there was necessary anything lacking in it either. It simply matured and got better as I played more and got more experience.

    I'm very much of the belief that with a high school kid, the LAST thing you want to start jerking around with is the mouthpiece when a much better alternative is to examine what's going on with the current gear.

    I'm also not a proponent of the oft held (and just as often incorrect) assertion that switching to a bigger mouthpiece is the key to getting more resonance. Better focus and better usage of air gives you more resonance. A Monette B6 compares to a 3C - unless our young poster here has plump lips, this mouthpiece should be plenty big enough to get a resonant sound without having to go bigger. I've seen plenty of kids' chops hosed up from trying to move to a bigger mouthpiece than they were ready for.
     
  2. limepickle

    limepickle Piano User

    268
    172
    Aug 30, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    I disagree about deeper mouthpieces from the standpoint of resonance, but otherwise I think that's well stated and fair
     
  3. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    3,139
    1,603
    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    If the OP had a poor quality 7C (for example) I might have looked at mouthpiece choice but I think the Monette 6 he has is a decent middle of the road size, very good quality mouthpiece (I can't comnent on the monette magic in a "6" because I haven't played one) then he should be fine with it. I would try to build tone on what he has rather than swapping out or going on safari. There are many factors in resonance and tone quality and the mouthpiece is only one os them depth alone is not the answer. Practice is.
     
  4. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Age:
    67
    1,537
    1,272
    Dec 7, 2003
    Let me remind folks of the fact that Bud Herseth won his job on NY Bach 7Cs and Bs and Gerard Schwarz played on a slightly modified 5C. Both of those greats had fabulous resonance in their sound. So did Gozzo with a rather shallow mouthpiece. You do not necessarily need a "deep" mouthpiece to produce a resonant sound - you need the right mouthpiece to leave your lips un-impinged and a proper air flow.
    Keep up the good work, Patrick!
    Rich T.
     
  5. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    3,139
    1,603
    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Maybe I should have added had poor tone and a 7C (I personally loathe them, they are not for me for a lot of reasons) Richtom your are of course right but my point remains no need to switch from a 3C or any equivalent
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,114
    9,266
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Perhaps a secondary reminder: Bud Herseth won his job because he is Bud Herseth.
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    18,114
    9,266
    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I have great tone on a 7C and a 3C. I love that I can do that!
     
  8. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    3,139
    1,603
    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    it isn't my tone that suffers as such on a 7C and on smaller mush irons it is comfort and actually range, I can't seem to get comfortable on a small mouthpiece with a relatively narrow bore, and for someone who played a very deep, small mouthpiece with a very open bore, throat and back bore (which gave me the most glorious sound but was very hard work over g top of the stave) I have always found them difficult to feel as though I am getting air through. If I am going small I want open. I have no problems with a 7C, except personally. I tend to try to get students on to a 5C as son as I can because almost universally after they make the switch they are happier with their sound but i would never criticise a 7C just for being a 7C (except perhaps on a cornet where I think the C cup makes the sound far too trumpety for my tastes)
     
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,611
    7,954
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Playing better needs opportunities. Once our playing has reached a certain level, we only improve "tone" by increasing the amount of "soul" in every note that we play. That does NOT happen in the practice room. It happens when we play for real people.

    One of the biggest advantages of having a working pro as a teacher is OPPORTUNITY. We have to earn it, but those are the "lessons" that take us to the next level.


    Tone is not just the product of what our breathing, body use, ears and practice habits dictate! If you aren't performing much more than once a month, you need to start asking questions why that is. 2 months of church services will teach you things that you will NEVER learn is 50 years of lessons. The same applies to brass quintet playing in busy areas of subway stations, airports, parks............

    The problem with your original question is that you assume that tone is a "thing" like range or articulation that can be improved by some "technique".
     
  10. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    939
    210
    Aug 14, 2005
    I'm going to answer your question the best way I can. I want you to know that none of my answer is meant to be snide or ironic. This is just
    the best thing I know to tell you based on my experience.

    Practice techniques: long tones, slow lip slurs, ballad playing, these will all help to strengthen your chops and improve flexibility in your embochure.

    Awareness: you've already taken the biggest step -- you're aware of your sound and your desire to improve it. Always be conscious of your sound when practicing or playing. If you hear an improvement or degradation in your tone STOP and figure out what happened! Be hyper aware of your tone and what affects it in your playing.

    I decided very early in my playing days that I wanted to have a certain sound in my playing and I've worked very hard to develop it. I have made some pretty good progress, but after almost 50 years of playing I'm still getting there -- so don't think of it as a short term goal in your practicing. Your sound is an ever-evolving aspect of your playing and developing a sound is a long term proposition.

    So enjoy the process and have fun playing!

    bigtiny
     

Share This Page