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The Trombone ForumTeaching & LearningPractice Room(Moderator: blast) How do you get more core in the sound?
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savio

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« Reply #20 on: Jun 30, 2017, 10:10AM »

You would be suprized over the number of players who spendt formative years throwing mud at the wall. Actually to think of a beautiful sound was new to them in the pratice room.
Many players have no idea about how they sound.
Of course some help with a physical model is often a help, If the physical model is understood right. Think of all the good tips you can read on TTF, and how you can follow the tip "exactly" as worded, with no luck. Any advice can be taken more then one way. Like simple things: the letter M, how many different ways are there to say letter M? Keep your corners firm. How firm, exactly where are the corners? And the tongue! well there you are.
And most of all, If you do all the physicle model things right, but with no sound consept, it wont work. If you have a strong sound consept you know what to strive for. Sure a good teacher is usually a good help. Do play some beautiful music and try to sound like the best player in the world. That is exactly what many good players have done.


Exactly, and read what he said about sound concept. If we dont have it in our practice room, nothing we do physical will help. Basics are always good and a simple melody is basic both for technique and  musicality. Its very revealing to play because it doesn't give room for faults. Nor technically or musically. It can help sound and core because of the musical aspect. The body will strive to do the right things, if there is a sound, musical concept.

Of course this is not the only thing to do, there is many roads to Rome.

Basics is also long notes, short notes, articulation, exercises, everything. But i think a simple Melodie is good for sound concept because it is easy to listen what is done wrong, also what is done right.

It's not easy to explain. We have to feel sound and musicality. It has to come from our heart inside.

Well, it's  just my thoughts, and many like Svenne and the other pro players have more experience in how to get the good sounds. Not everything can be explained either. It has to be done in our practice room. And with a teacher.

Leif
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Geezerhorn

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« Reply #21 on: Jun 30, 2017, 10:30AM »

Is everyone confusing "core" sound with overall good sound? I am aware of four parts of a good sound:

1) strong (but not too strong) core

2) rich overtone series

3) a little edge or bite

4) openness

Is it possible for Player A to have a strong core sound but not as nice an overall sound as Player B b/c Player B has the other elements as well?

Are there more elements? I don't count articulation or decay as elements of a good sound b/c if one would chop them off the beginning and end, respectively of a wave of a good sound, that good sound would still remain. I count those elements as contributing to musicality.

...Geezer
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« Reply #22 on: Jun 30, 2017, 12:48PM »


Are there more elements? I don't count articulation or decay as elements of a good sound b/c if one would chop them off the beginning and end, respectively of a wave of a good sound, that good sound would still remain. I count those elements as contributing to musicality.

...Geezer

Usually, the sound has to fit in with, or be appropriate to the playing style. So it might be that one has a huge orchestral tone, or a compact but smooth studio one, but find oneself in a situation where it doesn't work. If the instrument type has to be played very loudly before it comes to life, or it's too lively at a relatively quiet level, it stands to reason that the sound concept is wrong for the situation.
Assuming though that you're in the right situation for your set-up, there's still room for tonal variation. Like hardening the tone out a little to fit in a parallel line under a trumpet, or thickening it out to support a tnr sax, or reinforce a bass line etc. Then there's the more variable personal approach for a ballad.
Insisting that there's only one good tone and it's unchangeable on one's horn is a little myopic, but it may explain why some people own SO many instruments.

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growlerbox
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« Reply #23 on: Jun 30, 2017, 03:04PM »

Is everyone confusing "core" sound with overall good sound? I am aware of four parts of a good sound:

1) strong (but not too strong) core

2) rich overtone series

3) a little edge or bite

4) openness


The first three of these elements I can visualise, as if on a spectrum analyser, but I'm having trouble with "quantifying," if you like, the fourth element.  That's not to say "openness" doesn't exist or can't be emulated, but it seems a fuzzier concept than the other three.
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« Reply #24 on: Jun 30, 2017, 03:45PM »

The first three of these elements I can visualise, as if on a spectrum analyser, but I'm having trouble with "quantifying," if you like, the fourth element.  That's not to say "openness" doesn't exist or can't be emulated, but it seems a fuzzier concept than the other three.

An "open" sound - as far as I am concerned, sounds as though the notes come straight through the horn from the gut, with nothing to impede them - like excessive muscular tension, an excessively tight embouchure, a closed or restricted throat, etc. I believe a lack of "openness" in tone manifests itself in the middle & lower registers as being a bit (or more) raspy or congested-sounding or nasally-sounding and in the upper registers by being a bit (or more) pinched and/or strained. I think the timbre between our very lowest notes vs our very highest notes should sound about the same. Otherwise, we risk sounding like two different trombone players. 

From my listening experience, most tenor trombone players (and I'm waging this battle as well) do not have as open a sound in the lower registers as we ought to have while some bass trombone players have a marvelously open-sounding lower register. A lot of players, both tenor and bass, have what I refer to as a marching-band or hard sound in their lower register, as opposed to a more round ballad-type of sound; the ballad type being more "open". That's not to say that the ballad sound can not be strong. It can be as strong as anything.

For me, developing more openness in my sound has been (and is) a tricky process; just the right balance of tension in the chops. Too much tension and my sound is buzzy. Too little and it becomes unstable.

Yeah, it's tough to describe, but I know it when I hear it. And the above points are just my own thoughts on the subject.

...Geezer
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« Reply #25 on: Jul 01, 2017, 01:17AM »


From my listening experience, most tenor trombone players (and I'm waging this battle as well) do not have as open a sound in the lower registers as we ought to have while some bass trombone players have a marvelously open-sounding lower register.

...Geezer

This is why we have SATB instruments, so that they can work in their best ranges?
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« Reply #26 on: Jul 01, 2017, 04:27AM »

This is why we have SATB instruments, so that they can work in their best ranges?

Sorry. I'm not familiar with that term.

However, I am of the opinion that we should sound fabulous through-out the entire range of our instrument or we are doing a disservice not only to our own playing, but to the instrument itself. That means striving for a great core sound as well as all the other elements of a great sound.

But we have probably strayed from the original topic of HOW to develop a good core sound. I just wanted to make the point that a core sound is an element of a great sound and that there are other elements b/c the answers posted so far seemed to suggest to me that the respondents were confusing the issue.

...Geezer
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« Reply #27 on: Jul 01, 2017, 04:37AM »

SATB = Soprano alto tenor bass
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« Reply #28 on: Jul 01, 2017, 04:51AM »

This is a great topic and one that has been discussed many times. I always enjoy reading the advice given. There are so many elements. Here are a few items that haven't been mentioned yet.

One must have a feeling of ease in their core (throat, chest, abdominal muscles) at all times.

Slow lip slurs can help to build your embouchure. Harrison had a great post on that a few years ago together with a YouTube link as I recall.

I started a discussion on the concept of resonance a year or two ago. The idea is that a good core sound comes only when your inputs to the instrument are sympathetically resonating with the instrument. This goes together with always playing with a feeling of ease.

Practicing soft but not too soft.

One other comment: you mentioned you had good intonation. That may be true, but, for other brass instruments to resonate and play in tune together with you, you must have great sounds d.
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« Reply #29 on: Jul 01, 2017, 07:43AM »


But we have probably strayed from the original topic of HOW to develop a good core sound. I just wanted to make the point that a core sound is an element of a great sound and that there are other elements b/c the answers posted so far seemed to suggest to me that the respondents were confusing the issue.

...Geezer

Core is a relatively new term to me, I'm assuming this a new word for centre?
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« Reply #30 on: Jul 01, 2017, 08:08AM »

Core is a relatively new term to me, I'm assuming this a new word for centre?

My concept is that core is the density of the center of the sound. It's abstract but it's definitely a thing.

...Geezer
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« Reply #31 on: Jul 02, 2017, 03:35AM »

Getting more core in your sound is less about adding or developing core to your sound but more about taking the Junk out of your sound. Many people in attempt to play with a "Big Dark Sound" often play with an unfocused hollow sound. I will go out on a limb an assume this is what is happening. Think about getting a smaller, maybe even brighter  sound out of the big .574 horn and you will start to find that core that you are looking for. Once you have found that hold on to it and get rid of everything else in your sound.
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« Reply #32 on: Jul 06, 2017, 04:44AM »

This is a great topic and one that has been discussed many times. I always enjoy reading the advice given. There are so many elements. Here are a few items that haven't been mentioned yet.

One must have a feeling of ease in their core (throat, chest, abdominal muscles) at all times.

Slow lip slurs can help to build your embouchure.
Harrison had a great post on that a few years ago together with a YouTube link as I recall.

I started a discussion on the concept of resonance a year or two ago. The idea is that a good core sound comes only when your inputs to the instrument are sympathetically resonating with the instrument. This goes together with always playing with a feeling of ease.

Practicing soft but not too soft.

One other comment: you mentioned you had good intonation. That may be true, but, for other brass instruments to resonate and play in tune together with you, you must have great sounds d.

How can doing those things hurt? I think they are fundamental.

...Geezer
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« Reply #33 on: Jul 18, 2017, 05:12PM »

Everybody's advice and suggestions are great, and indeed should be considered.

But, one big consideration no one has mentioned.....the type of mouthpiece you're playing on a particular horn.

You might be trying to get a great core sound on your horn, but there's now way that it'll happen if the mouthpiece isn't matched to you and your horn.

Many of us have spent years trying to fix some aspect of our playing, only to have the correct mouthpiece solve everything instantly.

Well....there's no 'magic bullet....but, the correct mouthpiece (in balance with you and your particular horn) will be very eye/ear opening.

Get to some place in order to check out a bunch of mouthpieces. You might save years of frustration!
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« Reply #34 on: Jul 18, 2017, 07:13PM »

Is everyone confusing "core" sound with overall good sound? I am aware of four parts of a good sound: (etc.)

Geeze, I personally would classify "general good sound" according to the ADSR curve, or at the very least ASR. I know LOADS of players with an EXCELLENT tone quality in their Sustain, but their Attacks are always too soft/non arrticulate or often crack. I personally am one with a good Attack and Release, but my Sustain COULD actually use a bit more core-building lately.

Not that this helps the OP... Just my personal thoughts.

Back to the conversation.... carry on!  :D
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« Reply #35 on: Jul 18, 2017, 08:09PM »

Everybody's advice and suggestions are great, and indeed should be considered.

But, one big consideration no one has mentioned.....the type of mouthpiece you're playing on a particular horn.

You might be trying to get a great core sound on your horn, but there's now way that it'll happen if the mouthpiece isn't matched to you and your horn.

Many of us have spent years trying to fix some aspect of our playing, only to have the correct mouthpiece solve everything instantly.

Well....there's no 'magic bullet....but, the correct mouthpiece (in balance with you and your particular horn) will be very eye/ear opening.

Get to some place in order to check out a bunch of mouthpieces. You might save years of frustration!

I am not sure I agree with this.... I agree that finding a mouthpiece that makes projecting your sound concept easier is exciting, but I just do not think that any mouthpiece can solve core technical issues. You can get more core in the sound without blaming gear. Going somewhere to play "a bunch of mouthpieces" I think puts you in danger of causing more problems than what its trying to solve.
What I think should happen is that you take the question of this thread to a competent teacher who can see and hear you play. They should advise you on exercises and routines to practice that put in place good habits and can get you producing quality sound easily and consistently. If after working on the exercises etc... for some time, and i mean proper time, not just a week or two, you don't see improvement, then perhaps the teacher could suggest a gear change, but be present when you try stuff out, so you have ears in front of the bell as well as your own from behind. This is important, because the sound you hear from behind the bell is rarely an accurate representation of what an audience hears many meters out in the performance venue.

What I think I am trying to say is that you will see more benefit and understanding of your instrument and how to make it work by experimenting in the practice room with techniques and concepts that help you produce sound, rather than randomly trying gear that may or may not slap a band aid on poor technique.

You will notice that the very best players will usually say in regards to gear, that they "sound like me on whatever I play" but choose gear that makes what they do easier, not out of necessity. They have the ability to sound good on whatever. They are in control of what they play, Its Not the gear dictating how they play.

For my own curiosity  (I am always happy to be proved wrong and learn) what was the context in which you found a mouthpiece that as you say; "solved everything instantly"?
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« Reply #36 on: Jul 19, 2017, 01:20AM »


..one big consideration no one has mentioned.....the type of mouthpiece you're playing on a particular horn.

You might be trying to get a great core sound on your horn, but there's now way that it'll happen if the mouthpiece isn't matched to you and your horn.

Many of us have spent years trying to fix some aspect of our playing, only to have the correct mouthpiece solve everything instantly.

Well....there's no 'magic bullet....but, the correct mouthpiece (in balance with you and your particular horn) will be very eye/ear opening.

Get to some place in order to check out a bunch of mouthpieces. You might save years of frustration!

I could have written this post. For years I used a VB 11C, then a Marc 11, but it was only when i changed my main horn and m/p almost at the same time did I get close to my sound concept.
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« Reply #37 on: Jul 19, 2017, 02:46AM »

I think nearly all posts have some points that affects core and sound. So that means there is many factors that makes it.

I think the first thing we need is a sound concept. Without it can be difficult to work against a goal. Then we need equipment that suit us. A good slide, a mouthpiece that fits us and the trombone. Then we need to work and practice. It takes time but also we need to work correctly. A good teacher that guide us can speed up things. Then we also need to play and listen to others. So we learn to make our sound fit in to ensembles. Core is the essence to make it fit and project out to the room.

There has to be a balance between all this factors too. Too much attention to one factor can disturb. But i believe work and practice is what we have to do everyday. We see all the good players have worked a lot.

Ok, one coffee and I see if I get the core. It's going up and down every day, but the clue is to not give up!

Leif
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« Reply #38 on: Jul 19, 2017, 06:07AM »

Q: How do you get more core in the sound?

A #1: Long tones

A #2: Relatively slow melodic playing

A #3: A well-balanced embouchure/air/support mechanism, including an open throat and not too much back of the tongue action

A #4: Well chosen, well balanced equipment. The right equipment and size(s) for your own particular tonal preferences

A #5: Not neglecting the middle and lower ranges

A #6: More long tones

S.

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« Reply #39 on: Jul 19, 2017, 08:01AM »



For my own curiosity  (I am always happy to be proved wrong and learn) what was the context in which you found a mouthpiece that as you say; "solved everything instantly"?

Sure...I've run into many occasions where I have definitely run across a mouthpiece that gave me the concept of the sound I've been after for a horn, and my imagination.

(Mind you, I've been playing seriously now for over 30 years in all kinds of musical situations, and I've had great teachers and mentors along the way who influenced my concept of trombone sound....not to mention all the other players that one gets to sit next to and listen to along the way.)

The most basic example (as I'm sure it applies to countless other trombone players of my generation):

- as a younger player, I had my 'legit' horn and my 'commercial' horn. I had a great core sound on my Conn 88H with a Bach5G mouthpiece, and I had a Bach 16M as my 'commercial' horn. I'd played and practiced my Conn much more than my Bach in my student years, and whenever I played the Bach, I was playing fine and making it, but I was never totally happy with the sound. All I knew was that Bach made mouthpieces. I knew of Schilke, but none others. (This is back in the early '80's, and there wasn't much to choose from when you lived in western Canada, or even in Toronto.)

So, I tried a million different Bach 11C's until I found one that matched up with the horn without sounding too 'woofy' and unfocused... and, as a bonus, might have given me some extra high range without backing up the air.

Then, I discovered different manufacturers and found out that were indeed different possibilities. Eureka!

Wow...I tried a Purivance in the old Bach, and presto...instant core, instant high range.....(but, it cut like a  laser beam most of the time and I couldn't use it in a pit situation or small jazz combo situation.)

Then I discovered Marcinkiewicz variations.....again! presto!....and then I finally discovered that Schilke made mouthpieces that were smaller than 51B's or 51's.....and again, presto!.....the old Bach sprang to life in ways that my shoe-box full of Bach mouthpieces couldn't do.

And, as my playing changed through being stronger, more understanding of what's needed for high range, low range, what the tongue's doing, remembering to breath properly again and again, etc. etc. etc......

We can't forget that the human body changes over the years, as well. People get dental work, lose weight, gain weight, change diets, get glasses, get hit in the lip, get scars, loose teeth, chip a tooth, break an arm, loose postural strenght, etc.....and all of these life changes can effect a brass player.

We're physical being trying to make sounds on inert substances! Everybody is different.

(...my kudos go to Sam Burtis, who has made this point over and over....and also, his trick of putting teflon tape on the shanks of mouthpieces is another wonderful tool in finding the core sound that a particular mouthpiece will give on a particular horn....I'm going through this on my current Bach 16 brass slide/ Bach 16M bell combo right now....the leadpipe is extremely worn at the top, but I like the overall feel and sound of the horn....I got it at Dillon's a couple of years ago....maybe it was one of Sam's old horns? (lol))

Point being, I've switched main horns several times, and along with that goes the search for the right mouthpiece.

I really envy someone who is able to use the same horn and same mouthpiece their whole career....they'd save a ton of money!
And today's students have a huge advantage, as they're growing up in a time of many choices of horns and mouthpieces.
There's almost no excuse now as to not finding a combination that will work for any individual if one is fortunate enough to be able to try out the different offerings.

So, I can waste a lot of space and time here with my own example, but I'm not alone.

Enough of me....I'm waiting for another mouthpiece to arrive in the mail in a day or two! And, I won't stop contemplating a switch in horns either even if this mouthpiece doesn't give me some 'core' and nimbleness that I'm looking for on this horn. What I have is working, but I've played other horns to know that there are some fantastic options out there.

.... good teachers, good role models, good horn, good mouthpiece, good practice routines, good health = good 'core'

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