Tone Quality

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Dreamer, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    As a new student, I have a question about tone. Is it the mouthpiece, or is it the horn that is the determining factor on tone?
    I have a YTR-2335S with a Bach 3C. The lower register can sound full and round, but starting at middle C and up the tone will get on the edgy side of bright. Perhaps it is just me. I read on another forum that tone quality was 90% mp and 10% horn. Is this true?
     
  2. keehun

    keehun Piano User

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Minnesota
    Actually...

    Tone Quality is: 99.998% you + 0.001% Horn + 0.001% Mouth piece.

    If you are talking about tone color, that's a different story.

    Take it easy. If you try to push your range when it's physically not possible (for great tone quality), one tends to develop bad bad habits that will haunt them for a long time (like, me!)

    The 99.998% you is comprised of a good teacher, good practicing, and YOUR EARS. YOU MUST focus and concentrate on what the ear hears. Also, listen a LOT to real good recordings. You will learn things that can't be taught by listening to great players.
     
  3. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    I stand corrected.....what I should have asked about was tone color!

    Thanks!
     
  4. keehun

    keehun Piano User

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Minnesota
    I still think we are talking about tone quality.

    Your primary issue seems to be bad tone quality above the middle staff C. That "problem" can't be corrected by a mouthpiece. If you get a edgy sound to it, it's because you are using too much pressure (and/or not enough air).

    I remember... When I was in 7th grade (I'm a senior in HS now) I got Yamaha 14C4 mouthpiece (super shallow, "for high notes") and I still remember the face of my teacher when she found out I was using 14C4 from Yamaha for the past 3 months or so. She smacked me and I went back to Bach 3C she was having me use... Haha.

    I now play on a Bach 1-1/2 with plenty of range for HS repertoire.

    Anyways, I think the real key for you to fix your tone problems is to work on improving the muscle control and strength of your embouchure and getting a good teacher.

    Be patient! It takes time!!! There are no shortcuts in the world of trumpets (or music... or anything in life for that matter)...
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Color is a very much misunderstood concept. Many try to reduce it to the amount of harmonics (dark/bright sound). It is not that easy. The elegance of our playing really is what the audience hears as the color. Even if the tone is mathematically bright, a smooth player will give the sense of "smokey/sensual". Just about every first trumpet in a symphony orchestra that plays a C trumpet has a brilliant sound. No one notices because of the extremely sensitive playing style.

    The original answer is still 100% - it is you. Hardware does not solve software problems
     
  6. Moshe Mizrachi

    Moshe Mizrachi Pianissimo User

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    Feb 17, 2010
    Although mouthpiece type and trumpet type do help in producing a specific tone quality, Rowuk is right in that the player's style is also a significant contributing factor in how the sound is perceived.

    My Wick 3 mouthpiece on a .485 bore Conn 5A cornet gives a nice tone,
    but the tone is more like a large-bore flugel rather than the gentle small-bore flugel sound I prefer.

    So I play very softly and I use a lot of slurs and legato to make it sound a little bit closer to the very gentle tone that is my goal.

    The OP uses a Bach 3C which is actually a rather shallow cup,
    the shallowest of all of the Bach C cups,
    so if he wants a fuller or darker tone then he should definitely get a deeper Bach 3B or Bach 3A.
    And it is normal for the tone to brighten up as one plays higher.
    It happens to me, and I have read others state that it happens to them.
    No matter which mouthpiece I use, it will sound like it is 1 or 2 cup depths shallower when I go above High C. The tone sounds thinner, and the extra air compression makes it sound harsher. My attempt at "elegance", as recommended by Rowuk, when playing above High C can counter-act some of that, but only some.

    When Maynard Ferguson was playing ballads up to Double High C, his tone was very bright (although not nearly as bright as that of Bill Chase), but Maynard played with an "elegant" ballad style, ballad phrasing, that made it sound beautiful in spite of the bright tone. Just as Rowuk said.

    So the choice of mouthpiece,
    the choice of trumpet,
    and the player's choice of playing style,
    are all significant factors in tone.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  7. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Hi trumpet dreamer,
    Tone is a product of you.
     
  8. Moshe Mizrachi

    Moshe Mizrachi Pianissimo User

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    Feb 17, 2010
    The Yamaha 14C4 is "super shallow, "for high notes""?

    http://www.yamaha.co.jp/english/product/winds/product/others/mouth/ssmmouse/index.htm

    I suspect that the Bach 3C is shallower than the Yamaha 14C4.

    The Kanstul Comparator at
    Kanstul Mouthpiece Comparator
    shows that the Bach 3C is shallower than the Schilke 14C2,
    and the Yamaha system is roughly comparable to the Schilke system.
    In fact, Yamaha mouthpieces have a reputation for being slightly smaller diameter but with slightly deeper cups than the Schilke equivalents.

    That Kanstul Comparator shows that the Schilke 14C2 is about the same cup depth as a Bach 1-1/2C, and I suspect the same is true of the Yamaha equivalent 14C4.

    Perhaps you meant a Yamaha 14A4A, a close copy of the famous Schilke 14A4A piccolo mouthpiece, but even that is not nearly as shallow as the Schilke 13A4A or the Schilke 6A4A.

    I'm not trying to argue.
    I was just curious which Yamaha mouthpiece you had used.
     
  9. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Aug 14, 2010
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    Thanks for all of your input! Let me elaborate just a little...my tone is not what I would consider "bad", just as stated previously in that it gets quite bright as you go up the register. The notes from G to high C and above are laser bright. And I was under the misconception that this was a result of the particular horn / mp combo. Trumpet manufacturers make lot's of claims regarding bell material and the resulting tone quality. But if it is mostly me that is determining both the color and quality of the tone I produce, perhaps I should just stick with my Yamaha 2335S and worry about an upgrade.
     
  10. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    733
    33
    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    Thanks for all of your input! Let me elaborate just a little...my tone is not what I would consider "bad", just as stated previously in that it gets quite bright as you go up the register. The notes from G to high C and above are laser bright. And I was under the misconception that this was a result of the particular horn / mp combo. Trumpet manufacturers make lot's of claims regarding bell material and the resulting tone quality. But if it is mostly me that is determining both the color and quality of the tone I produce, perhaps I should just stick with my Yamaha 2335S and not worry about an upgrade in horns.
     

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