Why do we play the trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn, or any instrument for that matter? We love the sound of it. It is the sound of the instrument that called us and it is the sound of the instrument that keeps us practicing, performing, and playing it. This is especially true for brass players.
Blow Your Horn
Brass instruments, and wind instruments in general, are so closely entwined in the human experience as it is the very breath of life that gives rise to the tones produced. In this regard, the expressive potential is immense. From a quiet, soft whisper, to a growling, barking, heralding shout, brass instruments are powerful conduits of emotion. They are also very demanding instruments when it comes to the physical nature of producing music on them. Brass instruments require a daily discipline in order to maintain the slightest bit of endurance, technique, and a good sound.
Practice On Your Horn
Your tone, how you sound on your instrument, comes from the types of music you listen to, especially the particular instrumentalists or vocalists you like and listen to the most; this internalization, in conjunction with your personality and the idea you have in your head on how you want to sound on your instrument, has a huge impact on what sound you are producing on your instrument. Perhaps you like a very bright sound or maybe you enjoy a very dark tone, either are fine, so long as you know what you want, embrace it as yours, and give it the respect it deserves by working on it as much as possible.
Let It Flow
As is the case in most any endeavor, the trick is to get the maximum from the minimum – to put the least amount of effort into something and experience the optimal results. This is true when it comes to producing your best sound on the trumpet. You want to train your body to get your lips vibrating with the most relaxed airflow filling the horn up like water through a garden hose and let the horn sing a rich, full tone at a soft volume.
Here’s world-renowned, award-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis speaking on tone and this exact exercise:
If you’d like to learn more and excel on your brass instrument, contact Mark Rapp