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Thread: Does a lighter gauge = lighter tone

  1. #1

    Does a lighter gauge = lighter tone

    I have an Adams - beautiful horn... .55 guage w/silver bell model... I don't know if it's just me or not but... I find the tone somewhat thin/light in a CB setting... I'd like the horn to lay down a thick, rich, full, (probably darker) tone that fills out harmonic structures ....

    Is the light guage of the horn contributing to a lighter tone? Or, do I just have to practice more? :-)

    I use a wick ultra sm4u mpce... just in case that's a factor.

    Thanks for your opinions/thoughts.

    Brian

  2. #2
    I think the lighter metal has a lighter sound, and it's more responsive in some ways. I moved from a .55 to a .60, and for me the .60 has a slightly deeper sound. A student bought my .55, and he sounds darker than I do, so part of it is the player. But we all choose a horn that help US play they way we want to. My student is using the same mouthpiece as you, BTW.

    When I play one of the heavier Adams, like the .70 or .80, the sound is deeper. But for me that is too deep. I want a horn that can play a bit lighter when I'm playing music that is more playful. The newest .80 that I played was at ITEC2014, and it was a fine instrument. The response, by which I mean the ease of blowing, was amazing for a heavy instrument. But it would not be as satisfying on some of the lighter songs I play. There is always a tradeoff if we are trying to cover very diverse music. For the the .60 was a good middle ground.

    But part of the Adams magic is its ability to resonate. That's partly why Adams is so particular about keeping the metal thickness uniform over the length of the instrument. For the next week, from your first note in warmup to your last note in practice, focus on encouraging (NOT forcing) the horn to resonate. You may even be able to feel this in your left hand. You want to get the entire instrument to resonate along with your music. It's a feedback thing, or a cooperative thing. You have to listen to and "feel" in your airstream the difference between just pushing air through and when you are getting resonance from your airstream.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. #3
    You can hear my student and me in this video, him on a .55 with sterling bell, and me on a .60 with sterling bell.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf3otNxGgKk
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  4. #4
    Dave - would you say that resonance is the junction between airstream, tone and intonation? I remember being able to feel the resonance in my Adams when I first received the horn. Not so much anymore. I wonder if bad habits build up over time causing a move away from what the horn is supposed to do towards what the performer is forcing the horn to do.
    Yamaha Neo w/Trigger, Lacquer
    K&G 3.5D

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JakeGuilbo View Post
    Dave - would you say that resonance is the junction between airstream, tone and intonation? I remember being able to feel the resonance in my Adams when I first received the horn. Not so much anymore. I wonder if bad habits build up over time causing a move away from what the horn is supposed to do towards what the performer is forcing the horn to do.
    Something like that. It's a difficult thing to put into words! But airstream, tone, and intonation are undoubtedly all part of the equation. If you are playing off-center (out of tune) then the horn is not encouraged to resonate. A full airstream is necessary. And producing a good tone will produce the characteristics that produce resonating.

    Many, many people have experienced the old habits sneaking back in, whether with a new horn or mouthpiece. The same thing happened to me, and recently I've begun to remind myself to play my Adams horn, not my Sterling, not my Besson. I even find that in more obvious ways, like intonation. I can NOT get myself to stop lipping down my high G concert, for example, even though it does not need it! I learned several months ago that I was doing something similar with many notes in the midrange, subconsciously thinking they needed it. I had to remind myself to play the pitch in my head and trust the horn to be there for me. It works much better that way and improved my accuracy as well!
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  6. #6

    Thanks Dave

    Thanks Dave

    I will try to develop a feel for the resonance of the horn... a new concept for me !

    ... become one with the horn...

    kind of like Yoda talking to Luke Skywalker...

    Thanks.

    Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I think the lighter metal has a lighter sound, and it's more responsive in some ways. I moved from a .55 to a .60, and for me the .60 has a slightly deeper sound. A student bought my .55, and he sounds darker than I do, so part of it is the player. But we all choose a horn that help US play they way we want to. My student is using the same mouthpiece as you, BTW.

    When I play one of the heavier Adams, like the .70 or .80, the sound is deeper. But for me that is too deep. I want a horn that can play a bit lighter when I'm playing music that is more playful. The newest .80 that I played was at ITEC2014, and it was a fine instrument. The response, by which I mean the ease of blowing, was amazing for a heavy instrument. But it would not be as satisfying on some of the lighter songs I play. There is always a tradeoff if we are trying to cover very diverse music. For the the .60 was a good middle ground.

    But part of the Adams magic is its ability to resonate. That's partly why Adams is so particular about keeping the metal thickness uniform over the length of the instrument. For the next week, from your first note in warmup to your last note in practice, focus on encouraging (NOT forcing) the horn to resonate. You may even be able to feel this in your left hand. You want to get the entire instrument to resonate along with your music. It's a feedback thing, or a cooperative thing. You have to listen to and "feel" in your airstream the difference between just pushing air through and when you are getting resonance from your airstream.

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