Is it impossible for some people to develop good tone?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpeter3197, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Greg, you're right .... nobody is going to instantly get "good" tone by switching trumpets .... But, on the other hand, to suggest that different trumpets don't produce different tones is just wrong. They're wind instruments. Their function is to PRODUCE TONE. Some do this better than others. Going from a complete piece of junk to a top flight pro horn will change anyone's tone. Nobody can produce the same exact tone on a complete piece of junk that they can on their own excellent instrument. Physics doesn't work that way.

    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  2. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    True. It's just that some people might think that equipment is the best way to improve their tone, when it's not.
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    While there is little doubt that a better instrument can produce a better tone does not mean itself that a player can produce a better tone with it. It is normal that they cannot until they become accustomed to the better instrument. Too, this often works in reverse. Truly, the most versatile great players would sound better than me or most of us on the same instruments we now play.

    What quality an Olds Ambassador is seems to be arbitrary, but that is the trumpet I mostly play among other student quality instruments I encounter. With it and other instruments I produce music as satisfies me, my family and friends ... and I've heard nothing negative about it from the Jammin' group I now play with. I've said it many times before, but if you're teaching/tutoring beginners, it is only fair to demonstrate with an instrument of comparable quality to that which the student uses. Still, I feel that GM could tale his Olds Ambassador or Olds Recording and play just about anything he plays on his Martin Committee which to most audiences would not be a discernible difference.
  4. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    from GZENT: "It's just that some people might think that equipment is the best way to improve their tone, when it's not."

    True that!!! (I was guilty of that :roll:) Now I know that work gets you where you want to be. Gear is important but it's the work that makes the difference. Now ... back to the shed! (I wish ... it's 95 degrees in the TShed)

  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Good gear makes what you can already do, easier. No magic, no voodoo. I can sound like I want to on a Conn Director, and I can sound like I want to on my Bach Strad. I have a much easier time of it on the Strad, though, so I can devote more attention to musicality instead of compensating for the instrument.
  6. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi Trumpeter3197,
    The first thing to look for is equipment failure:
    Are the corks good?
    Are the braces tight?
    Is the horn clean?
    If all those things are as they should be, then here's something you might try:
    1.Making the sound fat and 2. getting the sound out of the horn:
    Play a series of long tones. Notice how they sound brassy and crackly?
    Now, play a series of long tones again but this time slowly reduce the volume.
    This should get rid of the nasty brassy duck call sort of sound.
    Playing loud is so easy on the trumpet that it can get in the way of a good sound.
    Working on Tone:
    Play a series of long tones with your eyes closed. Listen to the sound deeply. While you do this, imagine the sound growing out from your body as if it's growing fat. Not louder but wider. Be sure you don't confuse fat with loud. When the sound gets nasty, reduce your volume.
    Getting the sound out of the horn:
    When you play, look at something that's at a distance and shoot the sound out of your horn like a laser to whatever you are focused on. Don't let the sound fall just a few feet from the bell of the horn.
    One last thing. The more you listen to great trumpet players, the more you will emulate them. Alison Balsom and Rafael Mendez are two that come to mind.
    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Working as a teacher way to long, I find when I have something very important to say, my messages get lost if I combine them into a chain of thoughts. Tone and finding one's voice is too important an issue to lump all my thoughts together.

    Yes you do, and yes I love it.

    Because I heard your guitar work and I know how it will influence your trumpet work.... I mean the cool harmonics you use... it is your trumpet voice too... and why the rush... because it IS that good and unique, that it needs to come out.. now... it's within your power to do so. I want to motivate you in what ever way possible to do this.

    I just received 21 students' feed back over my last 6 months of bedside teaching on the wards. They all said how I worked them so hard, harder than any attending they have ever had. It was painful for them, but nurturing. They had never had an attending push them this hard. And they are better physicians as a result. They ALL said the wish I was their attending physician throughout their third and fourth years. Then all gave me a perfect 5.00 evaluation.

    Turtle, that is how I teach, that is how I nurture. I push and push, but give valuable feedback along the way... feedback eases the pain.... so here is your challenge... get to work on getting your trumpet voice, and do it quickly... Why? Because you can... you had a greater teacher than I could ever be... Your guitar.... Don't let your guitar down!
  8. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    Hey, where'd the OP go? 9 pages of long tone discussion....... ROFL
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Yep... I knew it... all the weighing in on the importance of long tones... he's likely been playing on huge long tone... all this time.
  10. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010

    Oh. Well, that's a horse of a different color. Gee, I misinterpreted you .... my bad. I thought you'd gotten into the patients' meds and were just raggin' on me for the fun of it. :lol:

    I guess I was wrong. I can see where you're coming from in what you were saying before. Thanks for pushing me, then. I had been thinking of picking up the trumpet again ... There's a new trumpet prof at the University ... A Dr. Jeff Richmond. Maybe I should check and see if he gives private lessons. I hear he's all about jazz.


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