Trumpet Tone

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

  1. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Arthur is quite correct, but it goes further: Great tone also requires knowing what a great tone sounds like, and then how to shape our internal cavities and adjust our air flow and lip positions, etc to accomplish GETTING that great tone. Then, it takes practice to be able to do it without thinking about it at the same time. Ideally the tone color adjustments are done automatically, just as vocal inflections when speaking are done automatically. Then, you can concentrate on the music making (the most important part!)

    Instruments have their own impact on the tone, as do mouthpieces, but the greatest impact is in us, ourselves.

  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I'm brand new in here and a beginning trumpet player ... Just wanted to say how rich this conversation is for someone like me .... Thanks everyone for these great insights.

    How about the other direction ... If you want to brighten a dark tone?

    I have an Eastman 420 horn with a red brass bell and the mouthpiece I picked out that I really like is a Denis Wick MM1C, which makes the horn even darker, compared to others I tried. The MP just suited the trumpet nicely and got the most beautiful sound out of it.

    But it would be nice to be able to make it brighter without using a mute ... How do you do that?

    Thanks for any thoughts ....

  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    can you explain to me what can close on a throat? I have been reading this for years, studied anatomy to figure this out and haven't found anything applicable.

    The trachea is pretty much fixed in diameter and really can't collapse. The tongue, if that far back, causes us to gag and the only thing that is really left are the vocal chords, which can cause grief, but in a different way.

    I would appreciate anything that you have discovered.
  4. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    HI, Rowuk!

    I believe that this is the Glottis, the valve that shuts off the air system when we eat or drink.

    If you were to mime picking up a heavy load, you might go "Huh!" in your throat while exhaling (don't do this when REALLY picking up something heavy, as this is how one can overpressurize and pop a hernia!). (or when you do the Valsalva manouver, or strain at the toilet). The part of your airway that shuts off the air flow in this case is the valve that needs to be as open as possible while playing trumpet. This valve is almost certainly not the vocal chords, as I feel them lower in the throat than this.

    I seem to be able to do a variety of shapes and sizes of airway in my throat, but it's as hard to describe as if you wanted to tell people how to wiggle ones ears with out the use of fingers! ;-).

    If you listen to the pitch of the noise the air makes when inhaling and exhaling, the larger opening makes a lower pitched noise than when the airway is constricted.

    Hope my (now ancient) biology degree is helpful here!

  5. The Kraken

    The Kraken Piano User

    Mar 28, 2007
    Gold Coast - 805
    Sounds like your talking about the mammalian diving reflex.

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