Improving tone quality

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by canninball3, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. canninball3

    canninball3 New Friend

    Apr 4, 2010
    Im a freshman in high school, and ive been playing the trumpet since i was in 4th grade, and ive always have had horrible tone quality and i was wondering what could i do in order to improve it. Everyone in my section keeps telling me to do something about it, my teacher tells me to do long tones which i do everyday for at least 15 minutes. Ive been doing it since like December but i havent heard any improvement. I play on a french besson international series trumpet, and i just got a bach 2 1/2c mouthpiece. Ive been on a 5c before i switched. So can anyone help me
  2. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    Long tones, lip slurs, lots of listening, and ALWAYS try to make music.

    Find someone you think has great tone and just listen, listen, listen.

    This can be live or recorded in my opinion.

    You should probably do a search on the forums here though as I assume that
    the subject of this thread has been posted before.
  3. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Everything AKtrumpet said is correct, I would add to do the long tones and lip slurs softly. You might also want to play some easy chorales or hymns very softly. You might also want to talk with your teacher about the proper use of air.
  4. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    You could have too much lip in the bowl. I see a lot of beginners who have no embouchure development just blow into the mpc and the resulting sound is splatty, blatty, and obnoxious. If you don't work on changing the tone with your lips by practicing, it will always sound S,B,&O. It will take more than 15 minutes of long tones. What the other posters have said is a very good place to start.:thumbsup:
  5. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    mow some lawns; get some bucks. go to the closest university take some lessons. you sound hooked on the trumpet. give yourself the very best shot to succeed. good luck!!!

  6. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    find a good instructor .. preferably someone who has a reputation and list of successful students.
    It's hard for anyone here to know what that "bad tone" is ... I wonder if you are pinching off the air... ( sounds like a duck call)
    I am going to assume that you have also checked your horn for leaks... when I was a kid in 6th grade I sounded horrible then one day I saw I had a leak in my lead pipe.. about a 1/2 inch solder joint that cracked. Put some electrical tape on it.. night and day.
    I also had an instructor who had me play intervals staccato (ie Arban pg 125) .. he said he didn't know why but it helps improve tone ... first hand it did work for me.
  7. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    This is probably your BEST bet.
  8. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    This is working for me,

    Start with a completely relaxed face, bring the horn up to the most comfortable position with only enough pressure to make a seal, take a good breath through the nose and release the air into the instrument without using the tongue allowing the air stream to separate the lips and letting the horn sound at its resonant frequency, this may take a bit of practice.

    I start my practice sessions with this exercise,

    Starting on 3rd space C play as above for 30 seconds then rest 30 seconds, continue down by semitones to low F#, this will take 19 minutes, concentrate on the best richest sound.

    Excessive tension I have found to be the killer of good tone, I aim to play as relaxed as possible throughout my whole range.

    Regards, Stuart.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I guess, my first question is: what is so bad about your tone? If YOU want to fix something, YOU need to know what the symptoms are that cause criticism. If you were hearing this already, you wouldn't have the problem.

    Please describe to me what doesn't sound nice. I won't make this multiple choice. YOU need to think about what could be bothering others. Once we have a description, most of the things mentioned here could help - AFTER we teach you what to listen for.

    I had a 20 year old student a couple of years ago that had been playing for 10 years and had a really crappy tone. He had been to several teachers and they worked on his chops, breathing, body use - he still sounded like crap because they did not address the problem. It took 4 weeks for him (twice a week with me) to even start HEARING differences. After that, everything went pretty quickly.

    I do not advocate bandaids until we know what we are covering up and why. Putting a bandaid over skin cancer may make the sick person feel like they have done something positive. The results are predictable to those interested in a real solution.
  10. canninball3

    canninball3 New Friend

    Apr 4, 2010
    Thank you everyone for the advice and i will do everything you guys told me. And Rowuk, My tone most of the time sounds really airy, thats the biggest problem, with my tone

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