Help with Tone Quality?

Discussion topics covering the brass player's experiences and needs

Moderator: The Moderating Team

TrumpetGuy05
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:25 pm
Contact:

range

Post by TrumpetGuy05 » Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:14 pm

Hey, how's he doing? Kind curious to see what's happened, now that the marching season (at least in the band world, hehehe) is over.

Something I forgot to mention, though someone else did I think. Something to watch for is the "Chet Baker" embouchure. By this I mean a really low lip setting, as in closer to the chin and all. Not saying anything bad about Chet, just that I've never been able to do well in the upper range with my jaw quite that far down.

Best of Luck
Carolina Crown, Trumpet 05-06'
UNC Medical School 09-Whenever

User avatar
BAA-GA
Soloist
Soloist
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:01 pm
Location: Atlanta

Post by BAA-GA » Tue Dec 13, 2005 10:51 am

Just a quick update on my son. Well he had a blast in marching season, his first, their band did quite well this year. The practice definitely helped him with breathing or knowing what it took to play out. He just completed tryouts for the Spring placement. Good news was he went from the Concert Band (freshman, 3rd band) to first chair in the Symphonic Band (2nd band) for the Spring. He is hoping he will make the Wind Ensemble (first band) next year.

Sound is improving but still a ways to go. The band director noticed that he has air escaping from this mouth (corners) when he plays. Needs to work on pointing corners down. And relaxing when he plays. Sometimes he is so tense that you can see the pressure in his neck and muffles the tone.

Thanks all for your input and any other would be appreciated.
Mitch
Bugles Across America - Georgia
www.buglesacrossamerica.org

TrumpetGuy05
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:25 pm
Contact:

Post by TrumpetGuy05 » Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:50 pm

Hm, I was thinking, one of the greatest things I did in regards to improving my technique was to buy a monette. That sounds really dumb I am sure, and "the sound comes from the player, not the mouthpiece", but hear me out. I used to have problems with air and tone, and I remember how frustrating it was. But, when I got my monette, most of these problems were alleviated to some extent. Monettes are free blowing, so if he's maybe releasing air from his corners to relieve pressure, that might help. Also, they make playing easier, so you don't need as much pressure. I came back from a camp two weekends ago, got back, my chops felt great. I'm not in any better shape endurance-wise now then last year, but I wasn't tire at all. This is playing on a B1-1, compared to a 3c last year mind you (the monette is much bigger). I dunno, just that, monettes force you to use technique. They make you use air, otherwise the horn shuts down. This is also a way to gauge fatigue, that is, when the horn stops (your air is getting weak, etc.) This most likely sounded like a monette sales pitch, but take it as you like. I'd suggest trying a mouthpiece on dillonmusic.com (free trial period), and then picking it up cheap on ebay (save 200 on mine). Not a cure, just an option to consider.
Carolina Crown, Trumpet 05-06'
UNC Medical School 09-Whenever

User avatar
BAA-GA
Soloist
Soloist
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:01 pm
Location: Atlanta

Post by BAA-GA » Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:29 pm

Ok. So if I was looking. What Monette is closest to a Bach 3C which is what he plays on now? Do you know?

Thanks for this suggestion.
Mitch
Bugles Across America - Georgia
www.buglesacrossamerica.org

TrumpetGuy05
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:25 pm
Contact:

Post by TrumpetGuy05 » Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:27 pm

The closest to a 3c would be a B-6 I think, though a B-5 might be a scratch deeper. For a full chart check monette.net, they have all of the sizes charted.
I'm thankful to have a B1-1 and a Prana B4L, both of which have done me an immense amount of good. My tone and articulation are much better on the B1-1, and I gained a 6th on my range in the last two and a half weeks on the B4L. Best thing is, they make playing so easy that there isn't anything to do but be musical. [/u]
Carolina Crown, Trumpet 05-06'
UNC Medical School 09-Whenever

User avatar
BAA-GA
Soloist
Soloist
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:01 pm
Location: Atlanta

Post by BAA-GA » Mon Jan 09, 2006 7:42 am

I checked out the website. Nice pieces but I was bit on the sticker shock......$175 to $215?? Can you find them anywhere else?
Mitch
Bugles Across America - Georgia
www.buglesacrossamerica.org

User avatar
bluestarcontra
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 10:10 am
Location: Denton, TX
Contact:

Post by bluestarcontra » Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:03 am

No mouthpiece is going to provide a quick fix for tone quality; I certainly wouldn't recommend a Monette for a younger student. If he doesn't have one, he needs to find a good teacher that will take the time to instruct him.

On another note, there's a lot of talk here about what he needs to do with his mouth, face, chin, etc. Something very important that a lot of people don't realize is that you don't actively think about these things when you're playing--or at least, you shouldn't be. He should be taught to focus on developing the tone he wants; proper physical habits will follow suit. Everyone's bodies are different; some things that one might consider to be bad actually work for certain players, based on their facial structure. Trying to force students to think in terms of "okay, drop the jaw, chin up, do this..." etc. can actually build bad habits with students, and can contribute to them developing a condition that's becoming more and more prevalent among musicians called focal dystonia. Someone with focal dystonia experiences "lock-up" of sorts when trying to perform a certain action; for example, a pianist with focal dystonia can drum their fingers on a tabletop, but if they reach for a keyboard their hand will ball up in a fist. Quite simply, students need to be taught to think about music above all else. If a student learns what good tone is, hears a lot of examples, and practices with that goal in mind, he will make the natural adjustments in his playing along with encouragement and direction from a good private teacher.

I would highly recommend reading the masterwork for all brass playing, and really musicianship in general, Song and Wind, by the late Arnold Jacobs. It has tons of insight that all musicians, no matter what level or age, should read and understand.
Dave Seip
Tuba, University of North Texas
Contra, Blue Stars D&BC 00-03
http://www.thebigdog.cjb.net
KKPsi-BT alumnus
"Do you hear that? That's the clue phone...and it's ringing for you."

User avatar
BAA-GA
Soloist
Soloist
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:01 pm
Location: Atlanta

Post by BAA-GA » Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:02 am

I agree Dave. I was really looking for myself. :)

He plays on Bach 3C which is fine for him and his level of playing. I do agree on the differences although some basic technics are needed. He does have good examples of "classical" trumpet for sound. Hearing and imitating sound is important. Recently his band had a guest professional trumpet player play with them. I could tell he was impressed by the sound.

I will look up the book. I'm interested in it myself. Thanks.
Mitch
Bugles Across America - Georgia
www.buglesacrossamerica.org

TrumpetGuy05
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:25 pm
Contact:

Post by TrumpetGuy05 » Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:21 pm

In terms of stuff to listen to for technical/tone, there is none higher than Marsalis.
Carolina Crown, Trumpet 05-06'
UNC Medical School 09-Whenever

Post Reply