Your ideal sound concept

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tpter1, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    I got thinking this morning during and after my warm-up. Yesterday, Manny posted about his sound not being what he wanted during a warm-up sesion, and taking the time to ask himself "What do you want to sound like?" as a re-focusing and recovery strategy.

    What is yours? What do you consider an ideal trumpet sound? How did you arrive at that concept (what/who influenced or influenced that concept the most)? This has been discussed before, but I feel it is becoming such an important issue I thought it necessary to bring it up for some of the newer folks who may not have had the opportunity to discuss it with us. Please chime in!

    For me, it is a quality of warmth that surrounds or envelops you in sound. Rich, full, strong but not edgey; relaxed.

    This concept was originally inspired when I heard Phil Smith, years ago, play Mahler 2. He was warming up ahead of time, just before the concert when everyone was on stage, with Clarke 2nd study. It just flowed; the notes were so connected and smooth it was like glass. Then he began working the hughe decrescendo on the high C. Huge, full attack faded to nothing; no loss of pitch center or tone quality, just a fade to absolute nothingness. Being young and not having ever seen the part before, I thought is was a G on top of the staff. My jaw nearly hit the floor when I realized what it actually was. Also, listening to Ed Carroll playing on a NY Trumpet Ensemble recording. Fluid, smooth, full, beautiful singing quality. Hearing Manny play on those Monette videos was really an eye opener for me; you can see how relaxed he is; how the horn is an extension of his body and mind; then hearing him with M.O. (even online in with RealAudio he sounds amazing) on Bolero and Mahler 3...clear, rich, ringing and commanding presence.

    So, what is yours?
  2. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    My ideal sound gravitates to the common elements that I hear from Mr. Herseth, Charles Schlueter, James Thompson, Phil Smith, Michael Sachs, Charles Vernon, Manny and so many other great players that I have heard live. While recorded sounds are great, they are so 2-dimensional compared to the real thing.

    If anyone is interested, I wrote about what I feel are the most important components to discover a Resonant Sound in my own playing. Modeling great sounds of other players is a very large part of this process.
  3. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    I agree with Derek, for me it also comes back to common elements I hear in several players sounds. Phil Smith, Bud Herseth and Chris Martin are the main sounds I like to think about.

    Derek is also right in that recordings are nothing like hearing it in person, that is why it is vital for anyone that reallys wants to get a good sound to go hear top players live as much as possible. To be able to close your eyes and not only hear the player you want to sound like, but actual "see" them doing it helps me greatly.
  4. Billy B

    Billy B Pianissimo User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Des Moines, IA
    I think the key to listening is to note the similarities between the great players rather than the diferences. I can hear many similarities between Doc, Bud and Maynard.
  5. Sophar

    Sophar New Friend

    Jan 30, 2005
    The greats things that I have learned about trumpet playing are not in any book!
  6. Alex Yates

    Alex Yates Forte User

    Aug 11, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I agree. Sitting next to Jim Thompson for three years in lessons was worth ten-fold the actual instruction. Getting to hear him live with the ASO and side by side when we got together was invaluable. I can say the same for my time with Leon Rapier. Most times, during the journey of mimicking others or trying to replicate someone else's sound, we find our own voice.
  7. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    I don't think there's a day that goes by that I don't have Maurice André's beautiful sound pass through my head. For me, it is perfection even though he'd be the first to tell you you he's not perfect. Then Vacchiano is a close second because of the flow of sound that has influenced many of the other players already mentioned.

  8. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    I know that this is an older thread, but I really like what Alex mentioned in her post. I look forward to my weekly lesson. We always begin with several Rochut etudes. I begin by playing the first line or phrase of the etude and then my instructor picks up where I end. We do this back and forth for the entire etude. The dynamic is typically gentle, and I find that dovetailing in and out of his sound reinforces my own sound model. I have been doing this for many years now (always alert and mindful of his part, fingering through the notes as he plays), and our sounds are extremely close when we play.

    Occasionally, I will miss several weeks in a row (typically just scheduling conflicts), and on the first week back we have drifted apart somewhat when playing these etudes. As I lock back into his sound, several phrases into an etude, we begin to match closely again.

    I find that aspect of the "ideal" sound has lots of overtones that come from a relaxed approach, but also from a complete pressurized breath to help energize the sound. No pushing, just letting the sound out. When I do this, along with a marvelous sound model sitting beside me, my body just does what it needs to in order to generate a mature, vibrant, resonant sound.

    It's that "behind the bell" sound (from a live player) that really allows me to release any tension and just let the sound flow. I may be very selfish when it comes to studying weekly (it's something that I value tremendously), but when I think about the finest symphonic players, they are sitting beside the best sounds in their orchestras everyday (even though they are probably not actively taking private lessons!). They subconsciously cultivate those great sounds that they are hearing around them everyday and meld them into their own sound.

    I like to think about that illustration of the camp fire with the glowing embers. When the embers are within the fire they glow with seeming endless strength. When you pull a single ember from the fire and place it by itself away from the fire, it's glows strong for a short period of time before fading and then going out completely. When a player is separated from great sounds, it's not long before there is diminishment (no matter how subtle). I have chosen to stay close to the fire to keep the vibrancy alive in my sound. It's amazing to me what this simple investment has done for my playing!

    Great topic Glenn!
  9. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    Wow... I'm surprised to see this come back.

    It really is about listening, isn't it? Wheather it's Phil Smith, Maurice Andre, Manny, Jim Thompson, Ed Carroll, et al, it all comes down to listening and surrounding yourself with beautiful sounds and probably even beautiful imagry. That's a neat idea with the Rochut etudes... I might try something similar to that with my students.
  10. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Prior to studying with Alex I'd have had great difficulty in answering this.

    She helped me find my voice and it's the same one Glenn describes.

    I try for full, rich, warm, and Legato Melodic sounds. This is the essence of who I want to be.

    Rather then have any one player in mind I use the voice in my head and "Sing" the way I want to sound. I think most of the time it works well for me.

    I think if I were to think to much about it I'd want my sound to be made up of so many different people's that I'd never get it right so most of the time I just put the horn on my chops; listen to the voice in my head as I read the music and play!

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