advice please

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by v_star, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. v_star

    v_star Member

    I've got a friend who is struggling to produce a big sound on the cornet. She is quite a petite girl, and struggles to hold the instrument, let alone fill it out.

    Her sound is thin and quite crackly, although she has potential of being a good player. Things like sight reading etc come really easily to her.

    What would you say the best advice would be for me to give her?
  2. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Tell her to eat more ;) :p


    ummm.... I dunno... once she grows more it'll be easier for her I guess....
    Good luck to her :)
  3. ScreamingSop

    ScreamingSop Member

    bigger mouthpieces usually produce a bigger sound, what about changing to a deeper mouthpiece.
    opening your throat when playing gives a much more projected soundm usually people close ther throat up when playing
  4. GJPC

    GJPC New Member

    Get her a practice mute! This is, in my opinion, the least (properly) used useful tool that brass players can have. It's not designed for the benefit of your neighbours, when used properly, it is specifically designed to develop sound. In reality, it trains the "exhaling" muscles to work in the way that produces the best sound from a brass instrument. But it will require her to work hard, but in doing so the results (again in my opinion) are guaranteed.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Feefee

    Feefee Member

    I, myself an really small - 4 foot 8 and a half and 17 years old but still manage to play sop even though i find it hard sometimes to play loud! - although i do try my very best! Tell your friend to just go for it and work on being able to play loud. It has helped me a lot. It could also be the cornet which just wont let you produce loud sounds as with my normal Bb "Besson" cornet i find difficult to play loud!
    Hope this advice helps her!
  6. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I would echo the thoughts on a practice mute. They cost about 25 quid and are very useful for building sound. But before she tries anything I would suggest that she goes along to a competant brass tutor - preferably a cornet tutor, to check that she isn't doing anything wrong with breathing, embrouchure etc. if there is anything wrong with her technique it can be corrected. Much better to correct it now than have any technique shortcomings hold her playing back in the future.

    Also, how long has she been playing? It can take a long time for players to develop their sound.
  7. SuperHorn

    SuperHorn Member

    My advice – refer to link on Denis Wick Cornet Mouthpieces. for difference in cornet mouthpieces.

    I use a Denis Wick 4RW – Roger Webster. The 4RW produces a better tonal quality and articulation (in my humble opinion) than a 4B for instance, although higher notes are easier with the B-Cup. A Denis Wick 3 is a monster to fill (fully) however, the lower register and quality of sound is fantastic, however upper register is very difficult.

    We all must remember that mouthpiece selection is the most important factor in our playing.

    I attended a seminar with Alan Morrison at Pontins many years ago and he suggested a very good diaphragm / building exercise. Pick an easy study at the front of the Arban or if you wish write out a twenty bar moving quaver exercise for the student.

    Instruct the student to take several deep breaths and then play until they run out of breath. Mark the last note they played. Let them recover for 1-2 mins and repeat the exercise ensuring that they play the exercise at the same speed & dynamic and go past the previous mark set.

    Try this out only three or four times – if done correctly, your stomach should now be hurting and this welcomes your diaphragm in brass band world.

    You should use your diaphragm to support all notes.

    Do not overdo, perhaps Once a week as a general exercise.

  8. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    Something my Trumpet teacher at uni used to get me to do if my sound was getting a bit ropey. Stick a pencil in the spit-key and play, then play the same thing with the spit-key closed. I certainly noticed the difference in tone quality.

    I agree with getting a bigger mouthpiece. The same trumpet teacher got me to change from a wick 4b to a VB1.5c. The difference was very noticable.
  9. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Or if all else fails, give up and play the violin or the piano!!
  10. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    first of all you need her to find a mouthpiece that has the biggest cup that she can play on and then go from there (this isnt a must but usually the fullest sounds are achieved by a bigger cup and the player themselves).

    The practise mute idea is in my opinion the best way to get a full sound, not only effectively, but quickly as well (improvements can be heard in about 15 minutes). Just blow at ff for about 10 minutes playing long, middle register notes and when you take it out the difference will be extremely supprising.

    Make sure she keeps at it and good luck with her future brass-playing ;)
  11. samandy

    samandy Member


    It could be that your friend needs to widen the gap between her teeth to enable more air to be released through the embouchure. Get him/her to practice long notes and try open her teeth by dropping her bottom jaw slightly. Also, she may need to relax and open her throat. Feel free to email or pm me for any further help.
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... it would help if we had an idea what age she is.

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