Tone Quality

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Original_Username, May 15, 2008.

  1. Original_Username

    Original_Username Pianissimo User

    87
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    Mar 5, 2008
    Beijing, China
    Hi everyone,

    According to my band director and couple of members from the symphony orchestra I'm playing in, I have a very bright sound and tone quality. This is good for some pieces that need me to float on top of the orchestra, but for some pieces I can seem to get a dark or warm tone. Some one said that the brightness could be mistaken for my sharp pitch which I seem to have a habit of playing in.

    Is there anyway to fix my "brightness" in tone quality (which could just be because I'm sharp) through an embouchure change? I'm looking for a slightly darker, richer, or warmer tone to my classical playing.

    If the problem is due to my pitch, should I just keep pulling my tuning slide out even more, or should is it due to the numerous dings and dents that riddle my trumpet bell (thank god none of them are on the leadpipe)?
     
  2. Elliot84

    Elliot84 New Friend

    13
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    Apr 25, 2008
    Toronto
    stamp always said think down while asending, and think up while desending. try thinking about that more while you are playing. if you think your sharpe pictch is due to the trumpet go to the music store and try out some other trumpet with a tuner and see if that is really the reason, or just practice with a tuner in general. i wouldn't change your emboucher if the one you have works well, but i havenever heard you play and dont know how 'bright' your tone is.
    good luck
     
  3. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    If you are playing sharp, I think that's what you'd be hearing from the others. Intonation is a more annoying issue than tone color. What does your tuner tell you?
    If you are actually playing too brightly and not pushing the pitch sharp, then a deeper-cupped mouthpiece (1 1/2 B) might be all you need. If it also has a larger backbore it would help with intonation too.
    As Elliot says, leave your embouchure alone until you have exhausted other avenues - possibly even a different horn. Dents in the tubing could push you sharp, but the bell dents probably won't. They could make your horn brighter, though, by messing with the harmonic structure of the sound that it is projecting.
    If you eventually decide to change your embouchure than you should consult one of the expert teachers who specialize in it.
    And if you plan to continue with the trumpet it might be time to replace your Bach student horn, although I don't know what is available in Beijing
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2008
  4. Original_Username

    Original_Username Pianissimo User

    87
    1
    Mar 5, 2008
    Beijing, China
    Well, buying a new trumpet is now out of the question. Parents want me to spend my own money and time to earn it for myself. Some goes for a mouthpiece I think.

    I know that I'm actually playing sharp though. Most times, I'm sharp on the tuner so I have to lip my trumpet until it gets "green." I'm almost never flat.
     
  5. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Sorry, I just read in your other thread about your parents' decision. Hang in there! Things will turn out OK if you do.

    How far pulled out is your tuning slide?
     
  6. Original_Username

    Original_Username Pianissimo User

    87
    1
    Mar 5, 2008
    Beijing, China
    My tuning slide?

    It's currently pulled out a little less then an inch. I'd put it around 3/4th an inch.
     
  7. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

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    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Push it in most of the way, and work to play the notes centered and in tune with your tuner. You may be subconciously blowing sharp because your horn is too flat with the slide out so far. Try it for a week and see what happens. You may feel you are blowing the pitches down, because your ear has probably adjusted to hear the sharp pitches as correct. This may recalibrate it. Don't overuse your tuner to give your ear a chance to reset.
     
  8. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    989
    2
    Jan 24, 2005
    If you tend to be a little sharp and play a little brighter than you want, you may just be riding a little above the center of the note. Try this... Start on G in the staff and play G, F#, G (quarter, quarter, half), then the same pattern but bend the G to the F# and back without the valves. So it's an eight count excersize. Keep the air moving through the bend and keep the volume the same (don't back way off and just let the pitch sag). The point is that you may notice the last G is a little lower and more resonant than the first, and THAT'S really the center of the note. You can repeat this going down by half steps (but I wouldn't go below D at first, I think it gets a little squirrelly down there) and then as you get more comfortable, try it on third space C. If the bending doesn't work well at first, do it on the mouthpiece alone, then the trumpet. After you do this a little, you may need to push in your slide a little.

    I haven't heard you play, so this may not be the problem, but it may help you find a more resonant sound. As for the mouthpiece, if you're happy with the feel and other aspects of it, I'd stay where you are as you start working on this sound/pitch thing and if you work on it consistantly for awhile and can't get any results, maybe you might want to consider something else. PLEASE don't start fooling around with your embousure on your own just because you play a little sharp! Lot's of people play a little sharp at one point or another and messing with the chops without guidance is looking for trouble.
     
  9. Original_Username

    Original_Username Pianissimo User

    87
    1
    Mar 5, 2008
    Beijing, China
    Wow. I don't know what happened today, but when I went into band this morning I played amazing! In tune on every note (though I did realize that my tuning slide was too far out). Something must have happened, but it was good!
     

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