That airy trumpet tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hubnub, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. hubnub

    hubnub Piano User

    May 4, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Hey all.

    I have a student who wants to know how to get that "air" in his sound when he playes Jazz. We were havng a listening session the other day to Terence Blanchard when he was with the Jazz Messengers. Terence was playing "Tenderly" off of the album "New York Scene".

    So.... after a lengthy discussion, I've decided to post it hear for all of you to take a stab at it.

    How do you get that "airy tone" in your sound?;-)

    I'm trying to get more of my students interested in TM so that is one of my reasons behind this.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    1) don't practice
    2) razor blade or boxing match to introduce scar tissue
    3) play with too little pressure ;-)
    4) watch a video of Paris Hilton before practicing
    5) overdose of Campbells Beans (doesn't add air to your sound, but does elsewhere - the audience probably won't be able to tell where it is coming from anyway!)

    that airy, smoky sound is created by backing off as far as you can. There is something very sensual about a whisper - especially from a motivated trumpet player!
  3. c.nelson

    c.nelson Pianissimo User

    Apr 13, 2007
    Alberton, Montana USA

    It is fasinating what a bit of white noise adds to "emotionality"



    and of course the whisper.
  4. jazzmaster5500

    jazzmaster5500 New Friend

    Apr 28, 2007
    do not push!!!!!!!!!!!!!!2
    Relaxation is the key here
  5. commakozzi

    commakozzi Pianissimo User

    Oct 30, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Exactly, in fact you want the least firm embouchure you can produce, but still maintain the tone. Not that this is exactly how you would do it with a horn to your face, but this might help visualize what it should feel like on the horn: smile without tightening the center of your lips and then blow air through them without buzzing. Now bring your corners down so that you have a straight line "smile" while blowing air through your lips (and still not buzzing). That feeling inside your mouth is sort of what it should feel like on the horn, but the mechanics are a little different. Basically, it's just a bad embouchure! Sounds really good to me though ;-)
  6. Smithi20

    Smithi20 Pianissimo User

    Oct 29, 2007
    Warning, it may sound easy to relax and back off as far as you can, but this needs serious control, and also, from my experience, a wide aperture in a medium mouthpiece....
  7. Ljazztrm

    Ljazztrm Piano User

    Nov 15, 2003
    Queens, NY
    Well, I can tell you how to do it on flugel. Listen to my clip at Lex Samu - Trumpet, Flugelhorn I did not have to go the Chet Baker route, thank God! Nor manipulate my embouchure, which I really don't think is a good idea if you have to make your living playing, and have to do gigs other than jazz solo stuff. All I did was put a regular washer from a hardware store into my flugel piece. The flugel piece I used on that album was a custom designed diameter (very small) with a WT underpart designed by Mark Curry. You might have to experiment with different sized washers. All I can tell you about the size that worked for me was that it was marked 280050...I think I got a little baggie of, like, 10 for $1.00. There is a cat over in Norway named Ole Antonsen (sp?) who I think is designing a trumpet piece with an airy has to do with the throat entrance to the has to be a straight fall-off with no shoulder...kind of like what the washer does to the flugel mouthpiece.

    C.Nelson, please email me at [email protected] I want to talk about your Boosey pocket cornet. Have you checked out this site? Pocket Cornets Home

    Also, about the mouthpieces again, I am now using Dr.Dave Harrison's 10.5 Wedge design...He will be coming out with a flugel model based on a Warburton FLX (super deep) cup....I think I will be able to use the washer with this piece too...I am really hoping it works out because I love that airy sound! All the best, Lex.
  8. jonalan

    jonalan New Friend

    Jan 25, 2006
    Just hear the sound you want in your head. It's amazing what that brain of ours can do.
  9. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    Your student needs to have that sound in his/her head at all times while practicing....and do LOTS of lip slurs and long tones for the next 20 years or so. And believe or not...I'm being serious here!

  10. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Pianissimo User

    Jun 23, 2006
    a have a mouthpiece with a throat about the size of a pencil. I can get a really nice airy sound out of that.

Share This Page