Sounding like Aged Port [Hubbard's Tone]

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jerec576, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. jerec576

    jerec576 Pianissimo User

    Feb 12, 2009
    Miami, Fl
    First of all, let me throw this link as the topic of this thread, least from the first:
    Freddie Hubbard trumpet solo on Birdlike. | Jazz Trumpet Licks

    To describe just the tonality of his trumpet sound, it is:

    dark, light, bright, smooth, rough, fat, cutting, mellow, exciting, broad, energetic

    (Art Farmer on his Flumpet would be my next example)

    But how is this done? I can't put one word on the tone production, How is it that one can play and have the sound of all these antonyms and contradictions?
    So I am sitting in my room with my large dry erase board looking at every single comment on my notes about the patterns and theory behind his approach to that piece and wondering how he is able to get these certain messages across in his tonality that carry such important phrases in the musicality of the piece (I can't explain that, I see it, hear it, and feel it, but I cannot conceptualize how through theory)
    however, another question crosses my mind, I notice the tone of his trumpet. Many other players could be (COULD BE) categorized into a certain relatize sound concept. (I.e. Dark, Bright) of which descriptions I find boring and shallow.

    So why is it that I do not have that tone, or a tone in general that the sheer sound feels exciting, moving? I then checked my posture, embouchure, and gear and claimed that I was exactly following everything I had been taught, relaxed throat, tight corners, psychologically relaxed (Maybe not this one), and with a strong lip. But my tone doesn't sound anything like these famous names; its dull, and in comparison to Hubbard, it is depressing.

    Of course I then decided to ask my instructors on it; My trumpet tutor told me that that in itself has always seemed to confound him and his fellow colleagues at (UM) and claimed (loosely) that everyone had a different sound and that was just the way it was. My band director (Who was a trumpet player with a bachelors at UofM) said there was a concept of overtones, and that I should play with what I listen to.

    So I tried playing with some recordings of which solos I was familiar with (Birdlike was BARELY there, the tripelet sixteenths lose me amouns't other jumps) and it sounded similar, but still I kept what I thought to be a dull tone.

    Now playing something almost feels depressing that I seem to have this sound concept in my mind, I listen to myself, and I can just about hear what Hubbard, Dizzy, Shaw, Roditi, and Harrell would have sounded like, but I am not playing that sound. It is like playing fantasy sports in essence.
    The drink analogy would be that my sound is like a cheap desert wine in a pretty bottle and that whom I listen to is an Aged Port (As I think it best fits it)

    Note: Other forums have somewhat touched this topic/idea, but I thought it would be best not to visit an old forum that was dead, nor deep enough into this subject.

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