Open sound...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bach219, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    Hi guys I'm new here! Lovin' the place already!!!:D Well I have a question that probably most of you want to know and some already know. How do you get an open sound??? I mean for me, once I get to a high G-A...(Above staff line) the sound seems somewhat muted! One of my good friends told me that the only to achieve an open sound, is to open your throat, like a yawn. Is this true?

    Anyone else having this issue?

    Any help???
  2. MaynardTrumpet

    MaynardTrumpet Pianissimo User

    May 25, 2008
    Alot of It has to do with you breath control, and on how powerful your mouth muscles are. I've had the same thing before you. After doing Concert F scale (Our G) I tried to see how much higher I can go. (That time my limit was around the B or high C), and yea, fairly enough I barely got to my B, and it had little sound to it. So I just had to build the muscles required to play those notes, and get them now at easy. You just got to practice the Lip slurs, Long tones, and the Pencil Method can help as well.
  3. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    I also try to get a big open sound, like you. I think that somewhere in the higher register it affects all of us that look for that sound...the better the player the higher the threshold. Yes, the feel is like you're yawning but there is a point where the rest of the system (lips, air, mouthpiece pressure) just can't compensate enough and the whole thing closes down regardless of how relaxed you've got your throat. It's really a matter of efficient practice with the right guidance so that cut-off point keeps extending onwards and upwards.

    Just my thoughts.


  4. alittlebirdy

    alittlebirdy New Friend

    Oct 13, 2007

  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The big, open sound is actually something that you cannot develop over night. It is so much more than practice or yawning or any other activity.

    There is a connection in your brain between the ears, breathing apparatus and face muscles that is developed over time IF you do the right things. That synchronized activity is what gives you the big sound!

    How to start:
    ALWAYS take a relaxed, big breath (for now as big as possible).

    Play lots of long tones. Start softly, crescendo, decrecsendo until you run out of air. 10 minutes a day of long tones (concentrate on your sound during this time - don't read the paper, comics or do ANYTHING else)

    Listen to players with a big sound

    Play duets and as much ensemble work as possible

    Be patient

    If you have a good teacher, this should all come together pretty quickly. If you don't - fix that!
  6. Bach219

    Bach219 Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 25, 2008
    How does the Pencil Method work?
  7. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 30, 2006
    Re-read Rowuks advice and save the pencil for math class right now.
    Schwab likes this.
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Berlioz maintained that the trumpet had a different sound in different registers, and trumpeters and trumpet makers have been pushing that envelope ever since. If G-A above the staff are near the top of your range, then the chance of getting an "open" sound is pretty slim. If you've got an octave to spare, then it is much easier to get an "open" sound.

    Generally, when we sound muted in the upper register, the air/embouchure ratio is out of wack. We start squeezing the lips together (by fair means or foul) so that they vibrate at a higher pitch, but not in such a way that allows a large enough aperture for a loud, clearer tone no matter how hard we blow.

    Lowering the chin, as contrary as it seems, often helps.

    Good luck!
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I've often felt that visuallising myself coming DOWN to a high note works better for me than the stretch to get UP to it. That process (yes it's in my head) makes a difference for me. Mind you, I have to have done the work to physically get up there first.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Spoken like a true first trumpet player. We all look DOWN at those high notes!

    The pencil trick consists of properly forming your embouchure and then instead of blowing, you stick a pencil between the lips and while maintaining the embouchure, keep the pencil parallel to the floor. This can strengthen the muscles when done properly or destroy your chops if you do it incorrectly. My advice is to find a good teacher and leave the thinking to them as far as embouchure is concerned. Fixing messed up chops is generally a VERY frustrating thing that can last for a year or more!

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