Improving tone quality

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

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    air is normally not "crappy sounding". THINK a bit more. I am pretty sure that your solution is between the ears and not in front of your teeth.
  2. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Pedro
    let's hear you play.. record something and post it
  3. canninball3

    canninball3 New Friend

    Apr 4, 2010
    Ok ill record myself but can someone show me how to post it up here.
  4. Jfrancis

    Jfrancis Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Hannibal, MO
    A few ideas . . .

    Make sure you are playing in the center of the pitch. You can do this by playing etudes on a good-quality, no-leaks, metal straight mute. Lip the pitch up and down until you make the mute "buzz" - that's the center of the pitch. Play lots with the mute in, until your muscle memory hits it every time.

    This is your sound! There is no point improving the sound, until you know that it is centered.

    Then, start playing scales facing into the corners of the room. Shoot for producing a good sound, try to mimic someone you've heard. The corners provide a natural surround sound for you.

    Also think about singing more, and trying to produce good sound. I feel that there something psychologically productive about this.

  5. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Interesting and important point. So my follow up question to this of the original student posting the question is, What have other people said about your sound?"
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Try this for a week (you should start to hear a difference). Warm up very soft using a tight mute,such as a practice mute,or Harmon without the stem. Do this for a half an hour, playing long tones lip slurs,arpeggios,scales etc.,with rests between each.Now practice your lesson soft without the mute. When in band don't play more than 80% of your top volume.

    This should clean up your tone and center your sound. Like I said give it at least a week.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I am usually careful about how I ask for information. I really want the player to think. Why? Because leading the witness normally results in the wrong confession.

    If we make the question multiple choice, the choice of answer is based on what the player thinks will give them the answer that they want to hear! What got accomplished? Nothing.

    Any of you that watched Perry Mason could have actually learned some valuable lessons in how to ask questions.

    Sure, we all know that weaker players need better breathing, a more centered tone, better body use and less pressure. Without the BRAIN telling the muscles what to do and the EARS telling the brain the result, not much is accomplished. I think the first step in proving that one is willing to move forward is to demonstrate the power of ears and brain. Without that, I have a standard response for instant better tone, range, endurance with little or no additional effort: Buy a recorder:
  8. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    What a forum! I can learn about the law, medicine, and trumpet in one convenient place. I studied "law" at "Law and Order" (all the variants). :-)
  9. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    One stop shopping.

    I think Rowuk makes a very strong point here. Not just changing trumpet tone but changing anything in your life to improve it has to start with the idea of it and a clear message from your brain, to yourself to make that change. Visualizing is a good way to get there ..... but for sounds, I guess it would be Audioizing.:lol:

    There, I've made up a new word. Somebody alert the Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    But there is too much bias in this single method. You only "hear" what you think you want to "hear" unless you have mastered the "Zen" thing. This is why I feel it is also important to ask the very simple question, “What have other people listening to you told you about your sound?” Answering this question as inputted by others provides more insight as to the individual’s actual problem.

    This is known as an open ended question. It is highly valuable in assessing and implementing feedback. This is how we learn to improve through evaluation and feedback.

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