Range vs Tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Aarix, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Aarix

    Aarix New Friend

    Dec 24, 2010
    Hey Guys, I'd thought I would talk a bit and get some insight and opinions.
    I'm a senior in a very small band. 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 horns, 4 saxophones, 1 clarinet, and 3 flutes.

    Let me tell you my style. I LOVE exerting energy, I love playing high, brash notes. I'm not cocky but my playing comes off as it. If somethings tough I embrace it. I get better from it. I love it, the energy of playing out is fun. What angers me to death is when the whole band is against me for playing loud, I'm well in my control to play but the problem is NOBODY plays out, especially the trombones. They don't embrace anything so when there comes a time where they have their own melody like in soul man that requires them to play out, they sound horrid and takes breaths to much because their not used to it. Its sickening, I mean why play an instrument if you don't sound like you're having fun. Even my friend whose 1st chair Saxophone agrees. When I was 2nd chair we had a first chair who played pretty, majestic and had a nice blend of volume but couldn't really play a high A well, I played that note in 8th grade. It got me thinking since I could never match that tone BECAUSE I worked on range because I felt it was more important. I now believe its just a style we have. I can play a G (4th ledger line) but whats the point I can express it because our concert songs our dumbed down for the people who play like their forced to be there. Its aggravating to say the least.

    Last year we had a state pep band and everyone played out, loud and strong. This year, I single handily out of 65 people, kept the tempo going on a crazy fast song thanks to my other friend on the drum set.

    At this point, I don't know whose at fault and what I should do. My style of playing is best for pep band and jazz. I keep a balance for our gentle concert songs but Tone is average for my rank. Is it wrong I worked more than my fair share of range and power?
  2. mctrumpet98

    mctrumpet98 Pianissimo User

    Sep 29, 2011
    Down Under
    And people wonder why there are trumpet ego memes and jokes...

    There's nothing wrong with being able to play high and loud. But if you have a bad sound, no one will want to listen to you.
  3. Aarix

    Aarix New Friend

    Dec 24, 2010
    It's not bad but I've seen people with equal experience surpass me in general sound. But it's not too bad.
  4. misty.sj

    misty.sj Forte User

    Jan 27, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    You say that if something is hard you embrace it. I think playing soft but full, with a beautiful tone, is hard. Try it. You will see what I mean. Take that as your challenge. You are playing in a group. Their job is not to be your back-up. Here is your challenge. Blow them away with your beauty of tone and your control.
  5. lou gonzalez

    lou gonzalez New Friend

    Feb 18, 2009
    henderson nv
    the guy who played "chinatown"-for the movies opening-had a gorgeous sound, and was one of the last of that breed of "legit" guys
    who played on bigbands, and was the lead trumpet on stuff like "american in paris"-his name is uan racey, he left us last year...
    he said play very,very softly with huge support, and attention to color. he said to try playing a high note like e or f above the staff
    starting with a ppp "hoooo" attack, and expand by 1/2 steps & whole steps, slurring, slowly, softly, up, down: e up to f, down to e, down to eb, up to f, down to e,down to d, up to eb, up to f/keep expanding on the softly played notes/this will build some sound, color, and control...
    get the 1st clarinet/1st violin parts and make the parts sound beautiful at mf...
    practice the pppp to ffff to pppp long tones,like the adams routines, expanding by 1/2 steps going out from F# in the staff to the octaves above& below...this will fatten the sound a bit, get some core/it's about controlling the energy and focus
    you are smart enough to question what you have worked on/now work on stuff like transcriptions, memorizing, listening to players you like and adapting what they do to fit what you are hearing. learn a tune, then work it in all 12 keys/work on sounding like frank sinatra or joshua bell/listen to harold land, clifford brown, and stuff you don't normally listen to...expand your horizons, expand your ears/
    go slow, be thorough, be working hard at patience-and keep in mind the kids you play with may not be dedicated to playing great, but school band is about learning to play together, to look after one another, to develop social skills, to become a family, to become human. it's easy to get mad about someone who doesn't put forth much effort/it's hard to inspire them to do better...but inspiring someone will teach you the joys of contributing and helping and teaching...and you will never ever learn so much about you and your subject as you will by teaching...it's what we are all here for/ good luck.
  6. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    I go for good tone over high. didn't used to be that way, but I've learned. I like ballads better than rocking out as well. Like to try to make the horn sing, not scream. Never was much of a high note guy, and now that I've aged, I've lost a few of my uppers. Maybe with some more practice I'll be able to get them back regularly. Just don't get to play enough in a band orchestra setting:oops:
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    It's all a style thing. Really. It is no surprise that we hear "style and class" so often together in sentences. Yes, we can "lead" an orchestra or band from our chair, but that doesn't mean that we have the right to dictate. The fact that you have energy and range simply doesn't complete the package needed to be a real musician or even (a step lower here) a proficient player!

    Style is about getting inside the composer's head, factoring in things like the time period (including arts and sciences) and emotion. All background stuff, but what comes out our bell should reflect that, rather than a "this is how I play and you'd better accept that" mentality. Our instrument of choice is too noble to accept that kind of attitude.

    It is hard to play in a small band, and I'll believe you that the trombones suck, but we just let the guy with the stick rant and do our best to make music the way they and the composer want.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Ohhh the sacrifices we make as artists!
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    In my heart of heart, people come to hear me for my tone.
  10. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    Something a lot of people don't realize... when you try to play with style, most people overplay the style not even realizing it.

    You might be overplaying and not realizing that the rest of the ensemble is not.

    Record it and listen to the recording. What you hear during performance is colored by your enthusiasm.


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