Steady, resonant Sound

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tomek, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Tomek

    Tomek New Friend

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Poland
    Dear Mr. Hooten

    I am a new member here, so I would like to say everybody hello!

    I have a question to concern good sound through whole trumpet range. I am a trumpet student. I try to play open, centered, not forced but fat sound and I can make it but....only in the low and middle register. I can not keep the same resonance when I play in upper register. When I play above g on the top of the staff , my sound becomes thin. I also start feeling mouthpiece pressure and my lips stop vibrating as freely as in the middle register. I hear a lot of grat trumpeters and all of them play with fullness of ton, especially in the upper and high register.

    How should I work on it?

    Thank you for any help and sorry for my english:-)
     
  2. BADBOY-DON

    BADBOY-DON Piano User

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    Take every opportunity to build a relationship with successful trumpeters that live and perform around 'neck of the woods!" Go to school on them..but remember that many really gifted trumpeters CAN OFTEN NOT BE THE BEST when it come to teaching and instructing....or building the confidence needed to reach realistic goals.
    Often it takes A GREAT DEAL OF TIME AND EFFORT to find a really good trumpet instructor in your area.

    It sounds to me...that NOW IS THE TIME for you to link up ONE ON ONE..WITH A RECOMMENDED TRUMPET TEACHER that can help you JUMP THAT LEARNING GAP.
    Truly amazing just how much this could help you become a better and more confident trumpeter. Not only can they zero in on what may be road blocks....but also can inspire you to reach for new goals and spark your love and passion for playing trumpet music on the road to becoming all that you can be.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2007
  3. thomashooten

    thomashooten Pianissimo User

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    Feb 21, 2005
    Atlanta
    Hi,

    Let me throw out a quick idea and I'll write more tonight.
    When it comes to sound and judging yourself it can be tricky.

    The first thing that comes to mind when you tell me about your problem is this.

    You might have to readjust your concept of "fat". In my experience, "fat" can easily equal "dull" and "boring". I would much rather have an exciting complicated sound with many overtones which in turn can help with range and projection.

    Got to go but will write later on this and a couple of others posts I haven't gotten to.

    Thanks everyone!!
    Tom
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Tomek,
    your percieved "thin" sound is a symptom that can be caused by various things.
    The first step is always to check your breathing. You need a full relaxed breath to have a full relaxed sound.
    The second thing that comes to mind is when you try to play high before your embouchure has enough strength. The tongue arches to increase the air pressure and the high notes are playable-with a smaller sound. To fix this, you need a stronger embouchure - slurs, midrange exercizes and the like.
    The third thing is the room that you practice in. It is difficult to LEARN how to play big in a small room as there is no space for your sound to develop. Try and find a church or other large space to play in - as often as possible. Once you HAVE a big sound, you will not kill it by practicing in smaller spaces, but for further development, you will need appropriate rooms.
     
  5. _TrumpeT_

    _TrumpeT_ Piano User

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    Apr 26, 2006
    "Once you HAVE a big sound, you will not kill it by practicing in smaller spaces, but for further development, you will need appropriate rooms."

    Is that sentence supposed to mean that once you have that rich sound, you should try practising in smaller rooms? I've read the idea that one should not practise in big spaces because your tone sounds "rounder" than it really is. What do you think?
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    _TrumpeT_
    one of the biggest advantages professional players have is the appropriate spaces to play in.
    When we first blow into the horn, our habits form the initial embouchure. When sound comes back, we adjust subconciously. In small rooms, the sound reflected reaches our ears in a very short time - often too close to the direct sound from the bell for our brains to properly sort out (recording engineers talk about "early" and "late" reflections). In addition, small rooms sound pretty "bright" which also changes our tonal perspective.
    Did you ever notice how playing outdoors can be VERY tiring? That is because there are few sound reflections coming back to give our brains clues - so we play even louder. If we could hear ourselves properly, we could play equally in just about any acoustic space.
    Practicing in larger rooms helps us achieve and maintain a large sound because we
    a) have to play with projection to fill that space up and
    b) have later sound reflections giving us better clues about what our sound really does.
    Once that you have a sense of "big", playing in small rooms will not hurt you, but bigger rooms will give you further capacity to learn to play even bigger.
    A small room is probably better when studying articulation as deficiencies become more apparent.
    I think we need to practice as often as possible in the spaces that we perform in. The room is also (an important) part of the complete system: player, mouthpiece, horn, room, audience! That needs to be rehearsed too!
     
  7. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

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    Tom, so true!!

    Over the years, how have you dealt with it? What have you heard of others' doing that makes sense to you?
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I think any discussion of "fat" needs also the concept of "core," which is real difficult for me to describe. For me it's almost an intense, tangible, physical, even "solid" part of the trumpet sound (the mystic in me would describe the color of the core as "metallic") with the overtones dancing around the outside.
     
  9. BADBOY-DON

    BADBOY-DON Piano User

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    "FAT!" has always been one of those loonie-tune words...used by so many human beings when our language fails us when we try to describe the voice of what a trumpet sounds like to us.
    "FAT!"
    When I think of a FAT SOUND...it brings up all kinds of mental pictures...I see a cartoon like trumpet that is seriously overweight...sloppy....that not only sounds sloppy but lookes equally sloppy...smells bad like an old Gym shorts put away in a dark-dank-locker and worn over and over each time. Plus the valves haven't been cleaned and the slides are stuck...YOU SEE WHERE I AM GOING?
    Hummm? I wonder just how many words have been used over the years...that we use, in order to describe sound?

    Bottom Line: OK! HOW MANY WORDS CAN WE THINK OF WHEN WE TRY TO DECRIBE HOW A TRUMPET SOUND EFFECTS OUR SENSES????
    Almost impossible, huh? Each of us...hear what we LIKE or DISLIKE in our and others trumpet voicings.
    I think it was Mike Vax...that once told us at a clinic...so many players...from beginner to seasoned professional that NO MATTER WHAT TRUMPET WE PICK UP....ALL OF US PRETTY MUCH SOUND...PRETTY MUCH LIKE WE ALWAYS HAVE...NO MATTER WHAT SIMILAR BRAND OF TRUMPET WE PUT TO OUR LIPS?
    Right? Wrong?.....:) The quest for the perfect sound goes on and on...forever, n' all that jazz.
     
  10. thomashooten

    thomashooten Pianissimo User

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    Feb 21, 2005
    Atlanta
    Hello,

    Although I think it is important to practice in the room you perform in. Practicing in a large room to get a "big" sound can be dangerous. I do agree that playing in smaller rooms and even up fairly close to walls to checkout articulations and other things is healthy. ( yes big rooms feel good to play in and that is worth something) However, there are many other much more important factors to having a good sound that should be in place before you go on a quest for the biggest trumpet sound ever.
    I have noticed that some players that have a large expressive sound in the orchestra really sound quite compact up close. That is because the core is solid and not big, fat and mellow. Even more, they are in control of every small nuance in their playing.
    If you want your upper register to sound more full, make sure your middle and low register have the qualities you want. Then take it slow, one 1\2 step at a time over months or years

    Sometimes the fastest way to your goal is the slowest practice.

    Thanks
    Tom
     

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