Tone and Slurs...Can you Help me Out??

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by jazztrpt006, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. jazztrpt006

    jazztrpt006 New Friend

    Jul 16, 2008
    Wpg, Mb
    Okay so well I have two inital questions and would appreciate any help/advice on either one, thanks<3:

    1.) As some of you may know I am really stressing on improving my tone to become more warmer, relaxed (eg. freddie hubbard, clifford brown.) I've been doing a lot of listening ect, and as many have said: just think of the tone you want and then go for it and you should be able to find it when you play.....well its easier then it sounds. No matter what I do I can't seem to get any other tone out then wahts already there....I tried focusing on just one note instead of many and still nothing. Is there any other help that anyone can provide to lead me in the right direction.??

    2.) Lips Slurs: Okay well this is onething I have been avoiding to work on as I can barley do them. I was just wondering if everyone sounded the same when just starting working on these. Like say playing a passage such as starting on C , in the staff then slurring down to G, back to C then E then down to C, G, then lower C.....and how when playing or for me anyways im misspitching the E on the slur up and the slurs going down are faster than slurring up....not in time...and overall the general sound when doing them well.....lets jsut say its nothing nice to listen to.

    Does/has everyone expereiced this too and will this stop overtime with practice of to share any stories/experiences facing simular issues?; just so I know I'm in the same boat as everyone else. and will get over this eventually....

    Thanks for any help that you may be able to provide<3
  2. mrmusicnotes

    mrmusicnotes Piano User

    Nov 11, 2007
    Trying to emulate the tone of a great player is a great place to start working on improving the quality of your tone.I would try to make sure your keeping everything relaxed (throat, mouth,shoulders,etc.)and breathe from the diaphram.A good posture,everythng in line keeps the throat open so make sure your sitting up straight while playing.Long tones especially the lower ones played nice and soft should be practiced also,there great for tone.Flexibility is challenging for everone especially when just starting out Get out your Arbans,turn to the lip slurs ,start from the beginning and practice them everyday.Make them part of your daily routine.Progress comes slow but steady.I think these really dial in ones perfect set up becaues you cant play them without the correct embrosure,and they will improve you tone.Hope this helps a bit.
  3. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I would second what mrmusicnotes said, and add on a suggestion for slow scales in order to help with tone. Take them slow, concentrating on blowing through each note and keeping the sound consistent throughout the scale. Same thing with the lip slurs, take it slow, and try to keep the same sound. Basically its just a matter of getting used to it and we have to take it slow to start with
  4. cobragamer

    cobragamer Pianissimo User

    Jan 26, 2008
    I would do long tones but I would tongue each not doing a proper attack. Make shure you play through the note with constant air.
  5. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005

    Okay, first of all, you need to realize that this process will likely take years to accomplish. That's not a joke, and it's not an exaggeration. So, get ready for the long haul when it comes to getting 'your sound'.

    Slurs -- if you haven't done a lot of work in this area then I would do the following:

    -always do the slurring exercises slowly
    -start with simple two position slurs, meaning slurring from one pitch to another (and back)
    -start by slurring up then down
    -start low and work your way up - I start with low F#-C# then work my way up in each fingering position. As you ascend the horn, the harmonics will cause the interval you are slurring to change
    -practice with a metronome
    -use 'alternate' fingerings as well as traditional fingerings
    -gradually move toward more complicated slurring patterns
    -gradually move up in range
    -gradually spend a little time practicing slurs faster as well as the predominately slow exercises

    Long Tones -- These are important. Play long tones as part of your daily regimen. I like to use them when practicing my scales to kill two birds with one stone. When playing the long tones, try to get your ultimate sound in your playing. You won't be able to, but try.

    Always think about your sound when practicing!!!! The first step to achieving the sound you want is to always be aware of your sound when playing.

    And once again, this takes a LONG time. It can be frustrating at first, but hang in there. My experience over the years (others my vary) was that this was one of those things that came in 'plateaus'. Bang away at it, feel like you're getting nowhere....BOOM, one day you sound better. Bang away at it, nothing seems to change....BOOM, one day you sound even better. Bang nauseum.

    I've been playing for 40 years, and have been consciously working on my sound for at least 35 of those years. I've made some strides, but my sound is still the number thing that I think about and pay attention to when I play, and despite those strides, it's still the aspect of my playing that causes me the greatest concern.

    Good luck,

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  6. omelet

    omelet Pianissimo User

    Oct 13, 2007
    charleston, sc
    Do not avoid what you are not good at. Rather, do the opposite.
  7. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    As an ordinary mortal, I find that mental discipline is 90% of the battle! :-P
  8. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Work on your sound by playing long tones, start softly gradually geting louder then softer. For lip slurs start on 2nd line G with 1&3rd valves going up to 3rd line B and back down to G and up to B over and over again softly, Ab to C using 2nd & 3rd, A to C# 1st and 2nd Bb to D 1st ,B to D# 2nd C to E open, when these are clean and even add the next harmonic GBD,AbCEb,AC#E,BbDF, BD#F#,CEG.
  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I love the myth about listening to your favorite players with the expectation that some magic will bring that style and sound to ones own playing. I believe this is is BAD advice for players without TONS of experience. It also happens to be UNTRUE.

    Most players are incapable of ever getting close to the monsters. Why? Less musical talent, musical creativity, dedication, drive, environment. Even hinting that work alone will help is lying to the player. At no time in anybodies career can we assume that the player will get better. We can identify talent, attempt to get talent hooked up with talented teachers and even then, all that we have is HOPE.

    So, my take on this is a bit different. If you want it, earn it. If world class is the goal, start today to get your breathing world class. Don't worry about Freddie or Cliff. Get YOUR act together! Long tones, scales, slurs - even played badly are a start. Don't even worry about transforming your playing until you have built a SOLID, WORLD CLASS foundation. Don't just listen to the monsters, get some music paper and transcribe their solos - ALL OF THEM. That gets you into their heads! If you want it - EARN IT. Those guys dedicated their lives to the cause - no shortcuts will get anybody else there.

    What you will discover when you start really digging in is that YOU are your OWN creative force and that opens possibilities that fit YOUR soul.
  10. Darthsunshine

    Darthsunshine Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA

    What you say is certainly true, especially as to players with insufficient experience. Listening to MF in high school was fun and inspirational. We all wanted to be MF, but we blew out our lips (and minds) trying to emulate his range and tone. Totally counter-productive to our development. However, as I pursue the comeback trail 30 years later I've got a lot more perspective. I can listen to MF with admiration, but also with the understanding that his style isn't my style, and never will be. Now it's just fun to listen to good horn players for motiviation/inspiration purposes.

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