Trumpet Tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by The Kraken, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

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    My question is concerning tone.

    Is Tone:

    A function of the Trumpet itself? like say Bach, Benge, etc..?

    A function of the mouthpieces ?

    A function of the metal?

    A function of the Player?

    or in reality is it a function of all the functions listed in various degrees?


    I ask because some say my tone is very bright.

    What exactly is Bright !!!
     
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Tone is a function of the hard and software. The actual set of frequencies is set by the horn/mouthpiece and the shaping of those is done by the player. If we record 10 decent players and give them a Yamaha Xeno and a Bach 1 1/2C mouthpiece there will be a great amount of common denominator in all of the recordings when we MEASURE the frequencies. It will sound different to our ears because the STYLE of playing will vary. That is why machines are no good at figuring out what is good.

    Players with a bright sound can try to fix that with hardware (not my recommendation though). The cost is a lot more work, less endurance and range, with deeper mouthpieces. A better way is to play a lot more tunes and develop more elegance in your approach. Players accused of being bright generally have some obnoxious habits that can be cured with musical maturity. Brightness causes comments when it is TOO DAMN LOUD.

    Learn to back off and you will be fine - and be able to save money on hardware. Music is what makes us desirable - spend your time there.

    I have posted it many times: the Hymnbook is one of the best sources for tunes. Hundreds of them, text to guide interpretation and easy accessibility. No issues with range or endurance.

    Now go do the right thing.
     
  3. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

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  4. Markie

    Markie Forte User

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    Wow Kraken!!
    Now that's a hard question. OK, here goes:
    Let's first look at some basic "web" definitions
    1)the quality of a person's voice; "he began in a conversational tone"; "he spoke in a nervous tone of voice"
    2)(linguistics) a pitch or change in pitch of the voice that serves to distinguish words in tonal languages; "the Beijing dialect uses four tones"
    3)timbre: (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound); "the timbre of her soprano was rich and lovely"; "the muffled tones of the broken bell summoned them to meet"
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Your tone is 'YOUR" tone. While some will disagree with me, trumpet players can generally be divided into two broad categories. Dark sounding and bright sounding.
    For example, If you listen to Ingrid Jensen, Miles Davis, and Botti, it lacks the quality of spectral brightness when you compare their sound to Arturo Sandoval, Maynard Ferguson, and Doc Severensen. Now let me state that bright and dark is not good or bad, its just how that person sounds. Miles, Jensen & Botti are wonderful sounding players as are Arturo, MF and Doc.
    For the most part, regardless of the horn you play Bach, Martin, Benge etc., once the honeymoon with the horn is over, your sound will emerge (even if you bought the horn in an attempt to sound dark)its going to sound like you.
    I have a bright sound and if a person was to say "who does he sound most like?" I've been told Mendez. However, there was a time when I played TOOOOOOOO loud and people would back up when I would do a solo. It was akin to using the trumpet as a weapon. Now I'm still bright but elegant and have learned the importance of dynamics.
    I do however darken my sound when I want with the use of a RingMute which works well at reducing the brightness (helps shut down the high overtones). I use it when I'm doing a performance in a small venue where a trumpet's sound is like a 1000 watt bulb in a phone booth or I want to Miles-up my sound a bit.
    In short, you are your tone. Its your job to control it.
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    I have found that each of my trumpet/mouthpiece combination do have their own voice; with the right combination they even sing. Some are bright, some dark; I have found articulation can change the perceived color.
     
  6. trumpet 101

    trumpet 101 Pianissimo User

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    I agree with Markie, your tone is your tone, i tried out some trumpets in February (Bachs, Yamahas, Schilkes, and Cannonballs). I sounded like me on all of them. BUT, the overtones and how the trumpet resonated was different from one to another and easibility of playing was also different.

    Blake
     
  7. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

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    Feb 28, 2008
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    HI, guys!

    As usual, I find myself in almost complete agreement with Rowuk. I have one disagreement, however. He says:

    >>>>Players with a bright sound can try to fix that with hardware (not my recommendation though). The cost is a lot more work, less endurance and range, with deeper mouthpieces. A better way is to play a lot more tunes and develop more elegance in your approach. Players accused of being bright generally have some obnoxious habits that can be cured with musical maturity. Brightness causes comments when it is TOO DAMN LOUD.<<<<

    I agree for sure with the too loud part. However, I disagree with the suggestion to avoid over deep mouthpieces. I would say avoid shallow mouthpieces. True, you'll lose endurance and range if you switch from a shallow to a deep 'piece. Then again, you'll GAIN some back if you get used to a deep 'piece. Better to get a nice fat tone with the larger equipment, and then have a crutch onto which you can fall back should you need to than to be only accustomed to the crutch.

    Lots of practice, lots of moderation in volume. Restraint for most situations so that you can let loose on those occasional times when the director gives you the beckoning hand instead of the palm!

    Learn to "make love" to your horn rather than having your way with it. In short: maturity!

    I say this because I was (am) in your boat and will get bright if I don't follow my rules! Now, with my rotaries and my ultradeep mouthpiece, I get a mellow tone that is fairly distinctive, but not weird, or so I'm told.

    Hope this helps!!
    Guy
     
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Guy,
    it wasn't my intention to insinuate that one AVOIDs deep mouthpieces. I prefer to solve the MUSICAL problem first and then when our playing and concept have matured away from bright, to find the appropriate equipment. If the player switches to deeper equipment the result is very often THICK obnoxious instead of BRIGHT obnoxious. More elegant playing is for me the obvious first step.
     
  9. Arthur Magazu

    Arthur Magazu New Friend

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    Great tone is a function of learning to play with an open throat...I have learned to play with all types of sound textures depending on whats needed...changing a mouthpeice or trumpet can enhance the changes.. but in the end they are only plumbing fixtures...
     
  10. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

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    Well I want to say Thank You to all the replied, I continue to see that this forum as well as others contribute so much knowledge and practical debate to the art of music that enhances others even if they never ask a question, which is amazing to me.


    Thanks Again

    Now I have to get back to maturing and Thank You for the suggestion on the Hymnbook rowuk. :-)
     

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