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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Full sound? in the General forums; What exactly does it mean to have a full sound? I've been told my sound was full but I still ...
  1. #1
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    Full sound?

    What exactly does it mean to have a full sound? I've been told my sound was full but I still sound a little tense sometimes, my neck bulges sometimes when I play, does that mean I need to open my throat? Right now I'm at the end of my junior year in high school and am about to march my last year of high school marching band, then hopefully I want to march with Carolina Crown. Here are a few videos of me playing, let me know how I sound (I will say one of my friends who marched with Crown said I sounded a little better in person, maybe because what I recorded with was a video camera with the cap still on, so it's not meant for this.)

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAGUqfvUN6Y]YouTube - Avon High School Filthy McNasty[/ame]
    I'm the lead player, not the soloist. I'm using a Shilke 14A4a and am playing pretty loud that's why I sound bright.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h1oiT6ScQk]YouTube - Avon High School Miss Fine[/ame]
    I'm the soloist in this one. We went on after an hour of not playing, so I didn't go for anything above the staff really.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynCme2fEUBQ]YouTube - Haydn Concerto[/ame]
    This one is like my second time reading it, and the note accuracy is awful, and the beginning I sound like my throad is real closed.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NMRcBLjiLA]YouTube - Sarabande[/ame]
    This one the beginning I am hesistant and crack a lot, but by the end I'm on fire.

    Sorry for the 5 million videos, but I want you guys who are professionals or have marched a drum corps to give me your two cents on what I can do to become a better player. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Full sound?

    How you become a better player: Get a good competent teacher and do what he or she tells you. Look for the most qualified teacher you can find. There are a lot of teachers in the Avon area, but if you are interested in becoming the best you can you need to look for the best. Someone who will work with you on air, relaxation, and embouchure.

  3. #3
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    Re: Full sound?

    Hi myshilomy,
    A full sound is one that has a wide spectral content. I sincerely feel that you will do well since you have enough intelligence and a "go get it" attitude to begin to accomplish this task.
    How to get a full sound:
    First you need to use a little imagination.
    Play long tones from soft to loud to soft (one breath) and close your eyes and IMAGINE the sound growing out from your body. Your goal is a big fat rich full sound. Now don't confuse VOLUME with a full sound. You want to play with a full fat sound even at the soft level. Don't be fooled, playing with a full fat sound very softly is very hard to do.
    Now that you have the full fat sound, you need to do something with it. IMAGINE the sound shooting from your horn. Look at something and aim the sound at it and let it fly.
    You've probably been hammered with the directive "If you want to get better play long tones, long tones, long tones, for years now.
    Here's the secret that possibly people didn't tell you.
    When you play long tones its more of a mental thing. You listen deeply and imagine the sound growing out from your body and shooting out from your horn. Long tones are 10% physical and 90% mental.
    Listen deeply and imagine. I know it sounds stupid but the first time you close your eyes and play long tones in the quiet of your room and imagine the sound growing out from your body, and it does! you'll understand.
    Last edited by Markie; 05-24-2009 at 10:51 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Full sound?

    myshilomy,
    there is NO SUCH THING AS A CLOSED THROAT!! It can't collapse and you can't influence what it does. One less thing for you to worry about! The trachea (windpipe or throat) is not made of soft, expandable tissue. What really happens here is that our neck and upper body muscles are tense. That does not "block" air, it prevents us from taking a "relaxed" deep breath. It messes our posture up and steals energy that we need to play the horn.

    Switching between "legit" and "lead" is a chore, even for a professional.

    The Schilke 14A4A is a specialty mouthpiece and what you have to do to play it, does not necessarily help your "classical" sound with bigger equipment. If you were my student, I probably would have you on a slightly deeper mouthpiece for the big band (like a 14B). Your lead playing is not "extreme" enough for this VERY shallow mouthpiece. You are probably hurting yourself more than you are helping!

    Your Haydn is not even past the "look at the score" stage. I hear you gasping for air, not playing in anything that I would call "rhythmic", choking off the last notes in just about every phrase. No musical line, dynamics or anything elementary. You do not have this piece in your head before you start playing a note, that is why you sound like crap - not because of breathing, technique or talent. If this is how you start to "read" pieces, you are not doing yourself, or anyone listening a favor! Not even the first 2 half notes and first quarter were even close to acceptable, and they could be considered "basic" playing.

    Sarabande: same problem, nothing in your head before you play the first note. You don't even really follow your metronome for rhythm.

    I can't determine if you have a teacher, pay attention to what he/she says, or are just banging through this alone. What I can say is that you are not spending enough time studying the parts before picking up the horn. Your problem is probably not in the mechanics of playing, rather in your miserable mental preparation.

    My recommendation is to change your priorities. There has been enough posts on daily routine and breathing. You could use a BIG dose of that. Then comes learning to play simple tunes in time and groove. Once that stuff is clean, then we advance to harder stuff.

    Do me a favor: don't post unprepared stuff. When you publish something, your signature is on it. If all I can expect is miserable, why should I even bother? Prepare something easier than the Haydn. When you are happy with it, post it, then let us comment. Better for everybody - especially you.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  5. #5
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    Re: Full sound?

    I agree with Rowuk. It is tough to offer advice on playing techniques when there exist other variables, such as unprepared pieces and mistakes. All I can advise you to do is get a very good teacher, and listen to everything they say. This should help you tremendously.
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    Re: Full sound?

    Rowuk, the whole point of this thread was to help me with my sound, not criticize me playing the Haydn. I'm only a high school student and it honestly just feels like you ripped a certain body part off that I would probably get in trouble for saying. I know that the Haydn was bad, but it was a video I already had of me playing by myself for the camera, so I posted it. There was dynamic contrast, because I remember a emphasizing them, but like I said, with the camera I had the only difference you can tell is pianississimo and fortississimo. And a for that song a Shilke 14A4a might not benefit some people the most, they might have better range or endurance than me. That was my 5th song of that performance I think and I had played a lot that day and felt I needed it to finish strong. Just because a song doesn't have double g's or double c's, doesn't mean I can't use it. I use it for songs that are at the top of my register.

  7. #7
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Full sound?

    Myshilohmy,
    you completely missed the point of my posting. Your problem is not the mechanics of your playing. Your problem is that you don't turn the brain on (enough) before playing and THAT causes all of the symptoms that I mentioned (and some more that I didn't).

    I also don't know what you mean by "just a high school student". I wasn't aware that they were exempt from common truths.

    I did not criticize your range either. I said that balancing the use of a 14A4A and bigger hardware was probably not good for you. The 14A4a is very shallow and that means we do different things with our face to keep the chops from falling in the cup. Those things are not useful with bigger equipment. They can kill consistency unless one really knows what they are doing. I have stopped using mine because it is too different.

    In any case, if you were proud of your playing, you would not have posted the Haydn, or the Sarabande. That told me a lot about how you think, but nothing really about your playing! YouTube is an audition on the internet.

    For the record, the lessons that I give also cut through the BS and go right to the source. If you listen to what I say, instead of being defensive about things that I did not, you will get the positive message that moves you forward. I have posted it a hundred times at least: no hardware solutions for software problems.

    I could have posted all sorts of cures for the symptoms showed, but why should I when one single PROBLEM is all that needs to be immediately addressed?

    Preparation is the number one virtue for anything in life that you take seriously. That is not just practicing the horn, it is also studying the score and your part, getting the musical essence before a note is played.

    There is no excuse for sloppy, or indignance - when you get called on for what you did. If you don't want an honest reply, don't post. I think that your playing is worth the investment that I talk about. Don't let me down! Post something really well prepared.

    Robin
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  8. #8
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    Re: Full sound?

    No, I respect you and you know far more than me and I want your opinion, but keep in mind I have been playing for a few years and I think you are an adult, and what you work on when you play is different than what I work on. You are mentioning stuff I might not have ever even heard of or never really think about and it is like a teacher teaching a high school economics course to a fifth grader, most of it will go over his head. So while my private lessons teacher would say aside from the beginning the Sarabande was good, because he knows I'm only a student. He is honest and tells me what I do wrong, but he keeps it simple because he knows I am a student. You are sort of treating me like I have been playing for 50 years and am doing everything wrong and should know better. Once again, don't take this as an insult, I am just saying that you are posting ideas I have rarely heard of or even thought of.

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    Re: Full sound?

    While the words are a little pointed, you might want to listen to what Rowuk has to say. He's helped me and hundreds of others and many of us play reallllly good. Think of him as the Simon Cowel of trumpetmaster. Pointed as hell and usually right. Now if you have a healthy ego strength, you'll suck it up and study what he's telling you and be measurablly better the next time you post.
    I want to see another post of the same songs in about six months. Don't let this beat you. Suck it up, Work it up and Kick Ass!!! You're a trumpet player!!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Full sound?

    No no no don't get me wrong I respect Rowuk a lot (well I respect all of you a lot, because most of you are more experienced than me) and he has a lot of knowledge to share, it's just some of it is above my head and I get frustrated. I'm sorry Rowuk (or anyone for that matter) if you found previous posts offensive, I just get mad when I'm confused sometimes.

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