Tone too dark?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by toneobsessed, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. toneobsessed

    toneobsessed New Friend

    Feb 4, 2014
    Hi all,

    Fellow trumpet player here going into trumpet performance and keeping a tough regimen looking for info about too strong of a tone color.
    Haven't picked up my horn in a week so I figured I might be a little rusty. I started to record myself playing one of my pieces a kid I tutor wrote for homework out f boredom because I haven't in a while and when I listened to it, the sound was just a little odd. My recording system has always worked very precisely and correct for all of my other recordings so a recording error wouldn't be the problem.

    Anyways, if any of you pros wouldn't mind listening to some rusty playing and telling me why I don't exactly sound like a trumpet anymore and whether or not it's a good or bad thing, I'd really appreciate it. :)

    My director keeps telling me to stop working on my tone. Is he right? :s

    I apologize for the tuning/tonguing/range issues, I'm usually a looooot better. Rough day.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. DaTrump

    DaTrump Forte User

    Oct 21, 2011
    Huntsville, Texas
    If all these things are apparently an issue with the recording and not your regular playing, how can we make an accurate assessment of your playing? Would you go into an interview half-cocked? This isn't trying to be rude, but if tuning is off, you aren't in the center, that kills your tone. If you have tonguing issues, you aren't set right, that kills your tone. If you are having range issues, it means you are probably using improper technique, and that kills your tone.

    With all these factors against you, we don't know how you ACTUALLY sound. But, IMHO there isn't as much "tone" as there is just sound in this recording.

    Furthermore, is your sound "too dark?" I'd say no. It lacks color, and complexity.

    TL:DR "My director keeps telling me to stop working on my tone. Is he right? :s"

    Absolutely, fix your playing THEN focus on tone. Trumpet players with great tone but bad technique don't get gigs.
  3. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    Work on strengthening the chops. You need to get them back in shape. Long tones. Lip slurs, etc. get out your Arbans book. As you regain your technique and chop strength, your tone will also improve. Apparently you have now learned that laying off for a week is not something that is good for you.
  4. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Tone is fine. Work on more air support, and the rest should follow, such as intonation and accuracy.
  5. Dr.Mark

    Dr.Mark Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi toneobsessed,
    You've not played for a week and you made a recording for us to evaluate? It might be best to get back in shape and "then" send something. That way the info you get will be more appropriate.
  6. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 6, 2012
    Ft. Worth, TX
    My personal experience:

    I recently took 10 days off (not by choice), and on my 3rd day back, I still felt like I was picking up a horn for the first time in my life. Couldn't make anything work right. Just keep plugging away, dude. If it was there before, it will come back.

    For me, lots of little things need to come back into place, primarily mental approach. When I'm playing consistently, all those things are usually just there because I exercise them.

    If a very good big league pitcher misses his workouts and throwing sessions for a week, he's not going to come into a game and fire off 7 innings. He's going to work out and throw for a week before his manager even lets him on the field.
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    That kind of supports this infamous saying true of trumpet players:

    Miss one day the player knows.
    Miss two days the ensemble knows.
    Miss three days, everyone knows.
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Welcome to TM toneobsessed!

    The first words out of my trumpet professor's mouth after I played for him the first time were "That sucked!" It felt hurtful, but he was right. And uhh, your recording sucks. Keep it around for future reference to compare how much your playing improves. As mentioned above you are not moving enough air. You are also not paying ANY attention to the ends of your notes. Zero, zilch, nada. Note connection is so important. It is the stuff of what music is made. Instead of listening to the color of your sound start working on the shape of your sound.
  9. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
    I'm with your director and agree with VB. Focusing on one aspect obviously at the expense of others gives us your recording. I had this thought while listening, I wonder if you have too much lip in the cup? It was very blatty sounding and very "pitchy" throughout. Thats why we get to practice! :-)
  10. trumpetguy27

    trumpetguy27 Mezzo Piano User

    May 30, 2008
    I have two words that EVERY serious trumpet player has heard time after time throughout his career... long tones. Do them. Do them EVERY day and your sound (and a lot of other things) will quickly start coming together for you. If you don't know how to approach them find an instructor or more experienced player who does. We all know they aren't a lot of fun and we all have said "Why do I have to do these things?" but I'd venture to say that everyone who has seriously done them every day has improved their sound through proper breath support.

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