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Brass Playing Tips | Producing a Good Tone with Georgina Jackson

21st May 2020

In this short video & blog, top UK Trumpet player Georgina Jackson discusses some simple ideas to help improve your tone and approach to playing.

Georgina Jackson is a professional Trumpet player and singer. Working for years with many famous faces, such as Frank Sinatra Junior, Nancy Sinatra & Seal. Georgina learned her trade as a lead trumpet player with touring Big Bands in Concert Halls, on Television and Radio broadcasts. She has even performed at the Proms in London both singing and playing!

Top Tip #1 – Listen to Other Players

  • Listen to a wide range of different players, across all genres
  • Think about what you like about certain players tone
  • Can you describe it? Is it dark, bright, rich, full and how does it make you feel?
  • Deconstruct your own tone and assess how it changes
  • Keep your ‘ideal sound’ in your head and imagine before playing

Top Tip #2 – Stay Relaxed

  • This is SO important! Try to practice relaxing your body and mind
  • Think about your whole body; shoulders, neck & tongue even!
  • Most of all think about your breathing and opening up your lungs
  • Try singing before you play, why not sing the first few lines of your music?
  • Don’t forget to relax mentally as well as physically
  • Let your lips naturally vibrate in a relaxed but controlled fashion

Top Tip #3 – Adjust your Air Flow / Aperture

  • Experiment with this small exercise
  • Make tiny adjustments to your aperture
  • Consider how those tiny movements affect your sound
  • Play with the feeling that your sound emits best with

Top Tip #4 – Visualise Your Air

  • Take a nice BIG breath with a relaxed feel
  • Imagine the air has to resonate all around the Trumpet and out the bell
  • Visualise the air as a column, or as a paint machine colouring the room with your sound!

Top Tip #5 – Practice a Melody

  • Pick a simple short melody so you can concentrate on tone
  • Be attentive to your breathing and your relaxed state
  • Try using different dynamics to ‘shape’ the music differently
  • Consider how your air flow and support changes when using different dynamics
  • Practice adjusting your aperture to try with more or less air
  • Record various versions and analyse your sound

The most important thing is to make music you enjoy playing! Good Luck – Georgina 🙂