student with a question

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Young Trumpeter, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Young Trumpeter

    Young Trumpeter Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2006
    Hi i'm going into my sophmore year of high school, and recently i've been starting to listen to more and more trumpet players, specifically jazz players. i have a question about some things i've heard but i'm a little afraid that i'll just sound young and ignorant compared to whatever pros may be reading this so if that's the case, please don't be mean haha.

    some players i've heard have a kind of muffled, soft, laid back type of sound rather than the loud brassy energetic sound i've been used to hearing. how do they do that? is it some other horn, a mouthpiece, a mute, or some lip technique?

  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    You are probably talking about Chet Baker, or maybe Tom Harrell, or Guido Basso or other guys like that. Dave Douglas aslo has a 'pinched' tone.
    I can replicate those guys sounds by adding more air volume to my playing to open up my lips a bit wider. There is a difference between a bad tone and a the one you describe, so try to listen and distinguish them.

    It also might be a flugelhorn.
  3. ptynan

    ptynan Pianissimo User

    Sep 13, 2005
    Antigonish, NS
    What do you mean by that?
  4. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    The best I can say is that it just comes down to where each player places him/her self genre wise.

    You will most likely not find a bright "lazer" tone in a jazz quartet. These kinds of groups are more often found in jazz clubs or hired as back ground music. In this case, the musicians want to be soft and as non-offensive as they can so that the patrons can enjoy a nice evening / meal. (The use of mutes, Flugels etc are good tools for this).

    The louder, brighter players may play in larger ensembles that may be hired for a dance, cruise, recording etc. These guys will most likely be a little harsher on the gas pedal.

    But in answer to your question (How do they do it?) I would just say, relax and listen to everyone else around you, take your time, and think soft easy thoughts. (Try to stear away form the proverbial "trumpet player").

    Also, I guess it depends on what type of music you are playing. As a trumpet player you are expected to be able to play lots of different styles.

    Dont be afraid of asking questions here, this is the place to do it for sure. I am sure there are far more amatures than professionals in here. My opinion is just that, my opinion. I am sure I will think of something better I could have said after I post this (c'est la Vie)

  5. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    It's funny how everybody has a different idea, here's mine.

    Get the sound in your head that you want and keep listening to it. Pretty soon you will develop the sound in your head. This coupled with the equipment that you choose. A deeper mouthpiece will give a more mellow or darker sound. Different trumpets will have different sounds.

    There is no real one thing that will develop your sound, it's a mixture.
  6. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I mean that these guys have a more laid back soft tone, like the original poster mentioned.
  7. cmcdougall

    cmcdougall Piano User

    Feb 3, 2005
    I am not much older than you (19) but I have noticed this about trumpet playing, many times the great performers are doing the exact opposite with their bodies, breath, and air as I thought just a few years ago when I was a sophomore. The great players with that relaxed, fluid, soft tone are not using small amounts of air as I used to think, in fact they are using large amounts of air and using their bodies very efficiently with no tension to make the most beautiful sound possible, such as Chet, some Miles Davis, and most Wynton Marsalis. The great lead players who have that great projection and in most cases intonation in the upper register are NOT using tension and "lip" to make those great sounds they are using air, letting the air work for them and eliminating tension from the picture as much as is possible when you are playing 3+ octaves. When I figured all this out for myself my tone got much better and I began to make leaps and bounds compared to what I had been making in increasing my range and more importantly the "size" of my sound and intonation in my upper register. Like James Stamp said, when descending think up, when ascending, think down.
  8. Young Trumpeter

    Young Trumpeter Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2006
    well i do know a little about most of the players mentioned and it makes sense, but i'm not sure i was clear enough. it was more along the lines of a freddie hubbard soung...that kinda muffled laid back soft thing that goes past even chet and the others mentioned above. i dont know if this helps in anyway but hubbard was probably the player that sparked my interest in this sound the most.
  9. brian moon

    brian moon Forte User

    I think that they get that sound a few ways.

    1) Trying to emulate someone else's sound that they like. Hearing that sound and tonguing the way that you desire to hear it.

    2) Using equipment that makes it easier to produce that sound. Wynton is a great example.

    3) Not paying attention to tone clarity and clean technique, but instead, to a feeling.

    4) Playing on overworked chops so much that the tired sound becomes a part of your playing. Freddie Hubbard and others. This, along with #6, will really help you get that cotton ball sound

    5) Puffed cheeks, air bubbles around the chops. Once again, Freddie and others.

    6) Chet matches the resistance in his horn. I can't think of an instance where I have heard him overblow his instrument. I think the Freddie sound that you aspire to comes when he is matching the resistance and not windjamming his horn. I am not saying that you shouldn't use good air support but you don't want to force it through the horn if you want a relaxed sound.

    7) In the equipment area. A deep, small diameter mouthpiece.

    Numbers 4 and 5 are detrimental to your legit playing. You can probably survive #3 if you just do it when you play a certain style.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2006
  10. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
    I just want to reinforce that before you try to do some of the steps listed above, learn to play with a good legit tone before you learn to make a more personalised tone.

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