My trumpet sound is quite mellow/dark (advice requested)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Haste2, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Haste2

    Haste2 Piano User

    Jun 16, 2010
    I play a Bach 5B. My trumpet is somewhat bright, but... well, I'd like a brighter sound. (I'm a classical player) Do you think an equipment change might help somewhat? (I'm accustomed more to deep mouthpieces) Or, perhaps a better idea is to change something in my practice habits or type of music I pay attention to? I'm not sure merely striving for a "better" sound will help it get any more bright, because there are many kinds of good trumpet sounds...

    Any advice?

    EDIT: I was searching around and I found advice from rowuk that it wastes energy to fight your equipment tendencies.... that's common sense, but sometimes I have doubts about what I feel is right. Looks like I'll seriously need to figure out the equipment that's best for me. I've previously experimented with mouthpieces before, but back then I WANTED a darker sound.... how times have changed.

    Also, are there any good exercise to improve single-tonguing control in various dynamics and ranges? I particularly have trouble tonguing perfectly in control when I'm playing fortissimo. In band when I'm required to play loud, short notes (when they pop up sporadically) I either SMACK them when I use wind power, or it's not loud enough when I try to strike the notes just right.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Use a different vowel sound with your mouth. Instead of "oh", try "ah" or "ee".

    If you really MUST try a different mouthpiece, try an Austin Custom Brass ACB5.

  3. GijsVis

    GijsVis Piano User

    Jul 23, 2012
    Try a lightweight trumpet (eg. Conn 28B), my sound is way brighter on them, and if you really run out of other options, try a shallower mpc. Take one with the same rim, only shallower.
  4. sj3209

    sj3209 Piano User

    Nov 22, 2006
    Amador County, Calif.
  5. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    I know that one shouldn't changer mouthpieces if not necessary: but Stomvi have their Mouthpiece System which can be ordered as exact copies of any mouthpiece commonly in use; and with it come 7 (yes, seven) different cups... Try it out!
  6. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    5C or 3C w/at least 24 drill

    The Horn
    Burbank 6* /6*G Burbank Trumpet

    To produce a clear attack on the first note, a responsive lip and a fast air stream are the most important.

    Practice using the "HEE" attack

    Moisten the lips and press them together (not pinched).

    Take a big (relaxed) breath (do not overfill).

    And blow, striving to make the attack with no tongue as clear as you can. The air stream must be fast like a bullet.

    Then when you add the tongue to this type of blowing, you will have an attack that has full sound.

    Learn and develop your K Tongue-Modified (CG)
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Ah, you have left the dark side and finally come over to the right, erh, I mean bright side.

    Yes, if you want a brighter sound, the mouthpiece is where I would start. Much cheaper than a horn. if you can obtain what you want just by changing a mouthpiece then the cost is going to be small (hopefully $30-$50 bucks, cheaper if you find something used). As ultatrumpet suggested, I'd start with a 3C and see what it does for you. Borrow a few mouthpieces and see what they do.

    If you still are not satisfied, then there are horns that tend to play brightly. An Olds Super for one- great lead horn. My Kanstul 1502 (Callichio clone) is another. Kanstul Chicago is another. Or, a King Liberty 2B or the original King Liberty. all produce bright sounds.
  8. ultratrumpet

    ultratrumpet Piano User

    Jul 10, 2009
    Old Lyme, Connecticut
    Not all Bach 3C's are created equal.
    The best Bach 3C I've found and use is Arturo Sandoval's favorite Bach Mount Vernon 3C (ASBMV3C) with (his) #24 throat. You can order an exact copy right down to the older Bach Mt. Vernon Blank style and backbore, contact Jim New at Kanstul (888.KANSTUL) $125. The Sandoval MV3C has a slightly wider rim and a slightly smaller cup and slightly different backbore than the "standard" BMV3C. Have it gold plated at for $35 email [email protected]
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  9. Gandalf20000

    Gandalf20000 New Friend

    Oct 9, 2010
    Texas, United States
    I change my mouthpieces (the rims are fairly similar in size, and both have tight backbores, so the difference is mainly in the cups) depending on whether I play jazz or classical, but I've managed to get either sound on either mouthpiece. If you're striving for a brighter tone, a good thing to do is listen to a lot of bright lead players (Bill Chase, Wayne Bergeron, etc.) and tried to emulate their sound. Developing flexibility in your tone is as important as developing high chops, good articulation, good flexibility, etc... If you want to develop a cleaner articulation, I would personally try to take a very systematic approach: start playing softly and tonguing, and gradually get louder. When you find that you start losing control, back off a little bit and ensure that articulations at all softer levels are perfectly controlled. It can be slow, especially when you're impatient (like myself and 99.9999% of other trumpet players), but it's better in the long run.

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