Brass Playing Tips | Producing a Good Tone with Georgina Jackson21st 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 🙂