Trying to Darken my tone

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bach 1 1/4C Man, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. Bach 1 1/4C Man

    Bach 1 1/4C Man Pianissimo User

    Jun 10, 2004
    I have a dark tone in the middle to low register but in the uppper register its a little bright not a bad bright but it could be darker. I play on a Bach Megatone 1-1/4C mothpiece I'm thinking of getting a new Bach 1-1/4C meagtone with a number 3 or 24 or 7 backbore.
    No. 24: bigger, darker, symphonic
    No. 7: dark, Schmitt style
    No. 3: dark
    I would like know have you done the same thing I love my mouthpiece size and a switch like that is not an option
  2. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    Hello 1.25 C

    Mouthpiece choice (countless variants) is very personal matter than can only be addressed through personal experimentation. I don't have much to say, unfortunately.

    Let me shoot this thread over to to General Trumpet Discussion (if I can...the pleasure of being a mod) and let's see what they say.

    Best and I'll watch there with interest,
  3. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    Have you tried the standard weight 1 1/4C?
  4. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    Yes. A director friend of mine has a beautiful dark, consistent tone, and she uses a mouthpiece size considerably shallower than I (I use a 1C). My switching from a 3C to the 1C didn't affect my range too much, but it really helped my tone, though not everyone can say the same. It just takes experimentation.

    Along those lines, in order to get the full effect of how a mouthpiece is, I've found that you have to use it for about a month to get the complete feel of the mouthpiece (switching just for a short time always feels "refreshing", but it's not a good thing to do to make an informed decision about what MP size is good for you).

    :-) Hope I helped some.
  5. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I managed to erase my reply over in Wise Talk :x Harry Glantz told one afternoon, "It's the player that is important not the horn."
    Before you spend the family fortune on mouthpieces, get the sound you want in your head. Try with your present equipment to make that sound.
    It doesn't sound like too much is wrong with your present setup.
  6. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Although I'm not nearly as qualified as those who have already posted here, I must agree with Wilmer. A lot of it is going to be mental. Don't ask me how it works, but if I just focus on what I'm looking for when I pick up the trumpet, I find that I am able to get that sound, regardless of mouthpiece.
  7. butxifxnot

    butxifxnot Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    :D Smart and witty. I wish you lived closer to me so I could get some lessons. Then you could've saved me some money on mouthpieces as well. :roll:
  8. rjzeller

    rjzeller Forte User

    Mar 7, 2005
    Rochester, MN
    Okay, first of all -- the equippment WILL make a difference. I've helped enough kids pick out new horns, and heard enough pros play different models that there are clear differences in the sound from one horn to the next. There is also some clear difference in the sound between mouthpieces.


    That is all secondary to the musician. I have to side with the others here who have admonished you to make sure you have a good, clear idea of what sound you want in your head first. I don't know why this works, but it does. I'll let the theorists explain that one. But generally speaking, if you're capable of a good sound (which it sounds like you are), then maybe you just need to think more about the sound you want in the upper register when playing and how you want that sound to be, then just play.

    I guess when you combine the two main points above, what I'm trying to say is don't look to the equipment to fix a problem. It can improve the strong points (can also heighten the weak points too), but rarely does equippment "fix" a problem.

    To be sure there are times when it can -- but typically this occurs only after you fix your approach to the playing first, and thus don't need the artificial assistance the old equipment used to offer.
  9. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    I really like these quotes when a topic begins to move to a discussion about “Dark” sound:

    From David Krauss (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra):

    Another quote about sound from the Jan 2001 ITG Journal article with Mark Gould (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra)

    I really enjoyed the concepts that David Krauss presented at the ITG conference in Denver. You may find some ideas that are helpful in this article. Once you are in the resonant center of the sound, equipment choices can help you to change the color of the sound.
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Interesting topic. I can remember some people preaching to "play on the 'Dark Side' of the pitch" and I used to wonder at it. My philosophy was always to play as dead center as I could - pushing your chops toward the dark side, or the lower side of the pitch seemed like it would be counter productive and would force you to play out of center, which would cause a loss of focus and resonance. Anyway that's how I always saw it.

    Are you sure your sound is bright up high, and if it is, is it necessarily a bad thing?

    I agree with the others that your sound concept is important, but if you focus on playing in the center with the best focus and resonance, you will probably be as dark as you need to be. It is a trumpet after all and the very nature of the instrument is a brilliant sound.

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