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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Subtone in the General forums; Recently, I took part in my high school's all - district jazz band. Dr. Brian Hogg a sax player) was ...
  1. #1
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    Jan 2015


    Recently, I took part in my high school's all - district jazz band. Dr. Brian Hogg a sax player) was our director. He talked to the saxophones about creating a "subtone". I never had a name for it, but it's the "fuzzy" sound you sometimes hear from developed players. I'm able to create this at softer volumes, but I want to know how to make it louder. My high school doesn't use mics for solos, so it's difficult to get the proper volume over the rest of the band's grounds during solos.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia

    Re: Subtone

    Subtone on the Saxophone.

    From the spectra it indicates a predominance of the fundamental and lower harmonics without the brightening of the upper series.

    To achieve this on trumpet, a deep V cup mouthpiece and play softly, I do not think this lends itself to loud playing . IMHO. Others may have better opinions.

    Regards, Stuart.
    tjcombo likes this.

  3. #3
    Mezzo Forte User tjcombo's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Melbourne, Australia

    Re: Subtone

    I think that Stumac is on the money here. The amplitude of harmonics is greater the louder you play.
    If you want to have a look at this for yourself, load up Audacity on your pc. It has a spectrum analyser function and you can observe this effect.
    tj, Oz
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  4. #4
    Forte User gunshowtickets's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Tidewater, VA

    Re: Subtone

    The sound takes a very relaxed emboucher, which is the predominant requirement for getting this sound.
    This may be also a mechanical function of you the intstrument. I have a 0.469 horn that is very easy to get this "fuzz", but at the loudest, maybe a mf. My 0.459 i hardly get it unless i use a mouthpiece with a very large throat and deep cup. The mp is not a requirement, a 5C or thereabouts should be good to go.

    Long story short, you're going to have to be mic'd if you want to get this sound to the back of an auditorium and don't think there is some magical combination of mp/tpt that will get you the sound.

    BTW, this is a great video if you haven't seen it, the point relevant to your interests is at 7:35. Mr. Sandoval speaks about something that appears to be a secret even now: Arban's.

    Gian d.
    A trumpet's just a trumpet. The music's inside *you*.

    If what I've posted offends you, please feel free to leave your need for validation below.

  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Subtone

    We do not need additional hardware for "subtones". First we need a VERY strong sound concept and need to have a very developed embouchure/body use/breathing. Then we are capable of producing a palette of colors from clouds to lightning bolts. In there we find a very introverted subtone color. It is not a "thing", it is a state that you can't describe, you produce it when you are ready! It is individual to each player. The lips must ignite with very low air pressure. All of the oestrogene/testosterone must be under control!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

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