I sound awful

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Aarix, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This one you figured wrong. Do not believe in the value of your equipment, believe in the value of your practice goals.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Somehow, this clip and sound does nothing for me. It is too technically precise. No passion. Play with passion. It takes time to get there.
  3. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    Aarix -- of course you will find detractors to my advice -- but I challenge you to "think" and do long tones -- for instance, a second line in the staff G on the trumpet -- play that at ppp and for 20 minutes (breathing as necessary) -- do that every other day (might take a week or 2 to work up to that) -- and then re-evaluate yourself on the trumpet for sound in a month (((record yourself at the beginning of the month -- then a month later))) - I can almost hear your improvement already . ie. you can also refer to Cat Anderson method, as this is an element of that.
  4. smokin valves

    smokin valves Pianissimo User

    Sep 11, 2011
    I know people with exactly the same problem, and it seems the solution is to play pedal notes and learn to make them sound good. I tried it for myself and it has made my sound so much better. Just practice articulating and playing low notes. Another thing, what mouthpiece/trumpet are you using. If the mouthpiece is very small (small diameter rim and small volume cup) that could affect your sound.
  5. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I'd second everyones recommendation to play pieces - but I'd also recommend rather than just playing full performance pieces, play a lot of (relatively) short etudes. We sometimes lose focus and get caught up how to make ONE piece sound musical rather than a variety.

    I would also suggest LISTENING to a lot of music, preferably trumpet.
  6. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    This reminds me of my band contest solo during my senior year in high school. The band director's son, whose father was a trumpet player himself, played Haydn's Trumpet Concerto Part 1, and I played Hungarian Melodies by Vincent Bach. The band director's son played his solo to absolute technical perfection; the judge told him he might have selected a more challenging piece and that he should play with more feeling. I had been overpracticing my solo prior to performing, and I started out with my lips pretty much shot. I did what I considered quite well until the last note, which I could not sustain for the full value. The judge made no comment at the time. I felt I had screwed up, thanked the judge, and left.

    When the results were posted, the band director's son got a score of Excellent; my score was Superior. In his notes, the judge loved my performance, especially the passion I put into it.

    Lesson learned: Technical perfection keeps the audience from saying "Ouch!"; passion keeps them awake.
  7. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    And most importantly....AURAL CONCEPT.

    That is to say, your mental picture of what the trumpet should sound like to you behind the bell, while you're playing it. The feedback you get from behind the bell while playing is very different from the sound that the audience hears from 50 feet away (in most acoustic environments anyways...In a big echo-y concert hall you can get a pretty good idea of what you really sound like).

    I went through a pretty dramatic embouchure change. I basically started from square one again, sounding like someone who had just picked up a trumpet for the first time and being barely able to play a C in the staff. Within about a year I was sounding pretty much like me again. How did this happen? Why doesn't everyone who has been playing for 1 year sound as good as me? It's because I had a very clear concept of what it should sound like when I played. Consciously or sub-consciously, your body makes tiny adjustments every time you play to try to bring you closer to that sound picture you have in your head. If the sound you have in your head is not good, your playing won't sound good either.

    Listening to recordings or seeing live music is all well and good, but it's really hard to replace the experience of sitting next to someone with a sound you want to emulate.

    And yeah, more soft playing.
    coolerdave likes this.
  8. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    Don't try to sound like someone else. I have four trumpets, each of which has a unique tone; however, it doesn't matter which one I play, I still sound like me. Just a little different flavor of me. As much as I would like to sound like Mendez, or Marsalis, or Phil Driscoll, it doesn't matter which horn I play, I'm still gonna sound like me. So I work on my own tone, knowing I'm stuck with it. At least I'll know that however I sound, I'm working toward being the best sounding me I can be. You'll never get anywhere in this world trying to be someone else.
  9. patkins

    patkins Forte User

    Nov 22, 2010
    Tuscaloosa, AL.
    You are getting good responces, but, are you hearing? Give us some feedback. My collegues are genuine and we desire to help.
    Best Regards
  10. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate.

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