How to sound louder w. out blowing lips out?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rviser, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. rviser

    rviser Pianissimo User

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    Dec 26, 2008
    So, I was thinking about how I like to play really loud and aggressive, and how at the same time I'm struggling w. being able to play long amounts of time. Sure I hang back a bit on the horn parts and what not, but when it comes time to solo, I usually tend to play as loud as the horn will possibly go to match the intense funk I'm playing to, hehe. So, is it possible to achieve close to the same volume w. out exerting so much effort? I'm thinking perhaps it could involve the backbore of the mouthpiece, the bore of the horn, perhaps the maker of the horn, or a combination of these or other things. Any thoughts? Thanks!

    Ryan
     
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

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    Practice for as long and as loud as you play on a gig.
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Generally when playing with amplified instruments, the trumpet is amplified too. A bright sound will print well to microphone. A darker sound spreads and is harder to make loud.

    Loudness is not the same as audibility. A piccolo in a wind band or symphony orchestra sticks out more than any other instrument due to the direct, bright, high frequency sound - not acoustic output. That is the common sense lesson for brass players. Make the ENVIRONMENT work for you instead of trying to bury it.
     
  4. soloft

    soloft New Friend

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    Jan 14, 2009
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    As everyone else has said, there is a difference between how loud you play and how easily you can be heard. You're most likely playing higher than the other instruments in the band, so you should be easily heard. But, if you really want to play louder, the technique you need is air. Loudness should not be your lips, that is a mistake I learned long ago.
    Hold your finger in front of your mouth and blow as if you are playing your trumpet. Does it feel cold? Is it concentrated in one area? Those are what you need to be looking for. Use the power of your diaphragm (sp) to project and be loud. The colder your air, the faster it is moving, and the louder it will be. The more concentrated, the more it will project. If your air stream is spread out all over part of your finger (say between two joints) your sound will spread out and dissipate faster. A way to test this without a finger is to hold a piece of paper and blow on it. Move it further and further away and try to make it move. If you do this for a while you'll be able to play louder than a 70 piece band no problem (worked for me). Just make sure you sound controlled when you play on the trumpet so you don't stick out badly.
     
  5. rviser

    rviser Pianissimo User

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    Dec 26, 2008
    Soloft, that sounds like some really good advice. I'll have to try that. Maybe what I'm trying to say is, I like the way my tone sounds when I'm playing loud and aggressively, as opposed to how it would sound if I used a mike and held back. In other words, when exerting myself at a high level, the tone sounds bright and fat and nice. When holding back, it sounds very quiet and without as much flair. Does that make sense? Perhaps I'm missing out on something fundamentally.
     
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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    Playing with a full centered sound and then projecting that sound will sound louder than if you blew as loud as you can , that only spreads the tone and then goes no where always play with control, once I was playing a big band gig and the 2nd trumpet was blasting so loud I couldn't hear myself , so I projected my sound even more, the leader asked me what was I doing, when I told him I couldn't hear myself ,he told me I was the only one he could hear, I never blast.
     
  7. soloft

    soloft New Friend

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    Jan 14, 2009
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    Rviser, having a good tone when you play loud is great. Perfect for fanfares and funk music like you are playing. However, if you end up doing classical at some point in your life, you may have to play quietly with great tone as well. No matter what volume you are playing at, you should have a fat tone. Quiet doesn't mean wimpy sound. No offense intended, that's just what my band director used to tell me.
    It is a bit hard to do this kind of advice online. If you like, I can listen to a recording of your sound and give an opinion. My email is [email protected] if you would like to try that.
     
  8. Pete

    Pete Piano User

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    The tendency is to play loud when there are instruments around us playing extremely loud. The key to sending your sound out is not to play at maximum volume, but we get fooled by the environment created by electronic instruments. Playing too loud makes the sound around us loud, but it isn't as focused as it needs to be.

    Playing at 70-80% of your maximum volume actually sends your sound out just as well if not better, and you are not going to burn yourself out as soon. Using earplugs or cotton balls in your ears to reduce the painful and grossly exagerated volumes that sometimes occur, really allows you to back off and still produce the sound necessary.The earplugs are probably more effective that any other equipment in getting the sound across in these situations. If you get used to them, you get some internal sound so you don't have to rely on forcing the sound into a loud situation. Roger Ingram talks about this in his book.Also, Bob Findley talks about remebering the feel of balanced playing and take it from the practice room to the gig.Falling into that volume trap isn't good. Many times, we tend to play much louder than we practice, and that's a killer.

    Pete
     
  9. rviser

    rviser Pianissimo User

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    Dec 26, 2008
    Man, this is difficult. I can blow hard and make the piece of paper move from a good 3-4 feet, and can tell that I'm using a lot of air to do so, but it's hard for me to apply that type of air movement to actual playing because I can't make that much air move through the trumpet that fast. When you say to try to make the paper move, should I keep my aperture as narrow as when I'm actually playing? I feel like I need to find a really good teacher and start taking lessons again and have someone who really knows this well to walk me through it.
     
  10. Pete

    Pete Piano User

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    The tendency is to think that you need to use more air as you play higher, and then try to play louder. You actually should use less are quantity, but more air compression to play in the upper register.You do have to make a complete inhalation. You also need to efficiently disperse the air with the proper compression and not try to overpower the notes with too much air.Playing in the center of the note, not high or low on the pitch really helps. If you can nail the notes in the middle, you don't have to work so hard. Wayne Bergeron is a great example of this, as well as our own Tony Kadleck.

    Pete
     

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