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Thread: Tips on narrowing/brightening tone?

  1. Tips on narrowing/brightening tone?

    As a euphonium player, I've always strived for a darker, richer tone. (As is only natural of a euphonium player) I've been playing a lot of baroque lately, though, and have found myself desiring a better ability to play clearer and lighter in order to better fit the style. Perhaps it's a fundamental mistake to play in this style on euph, but I figured I would ask and see if anyone has advice or insight into the matter.

    Thanks,

    Sebastian Davies
    Sebastian Davies
    Besson New Standard (1976)
    Student, Euphonium Fanatic, etc.

  2. Quote Originally Posted by XenopodTheEuphonist View Post
    As a euphonium player, I've always strived for a darker, richer tone. (As is only natural of a euphonium player) I've been playing a lot of baroque lately, though, and have found myself desiring a better ability to play clearer and lighter in order to better fit the style. Perhaps it's a fundamental mistake to play in this style on euph, but I figured I would ask and see if anyone has advice or insight into the matter.

    Thanks,

    Sebastian Davies
    A couple of suggestions:
    1. Articulation matters - use the tip of the tongue to help achieve the clearer and lighter articulation ('t' vs 'l').
    2. Shape of oral cavity matters - try different vowel shapes - the bigger the cavity the darker the sound.
    3. Can you play everything quieter by 1 dynamic (but maintain the contrast between different dynamics)? That would also lighten everything up.

    An other suggestion - which is only a possibility - this may not apply to you:
    4. Equipment can matter - medium and "medium deep" cup mouthpieces like Bach 5G, 4G will play clearer and lighter than a deep cup like SM4, SM3, etc. Also, some horns (Yamaha 642, 842 in my opinion) are very strong willed and strongly favour a particular sound.
    Ted

    Besson Prestige BE2052-8G-0 Euphonium
    Besson Sovereign 956 Baritone

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    176
    I'll second the vowel shape for the embochure. While we should be using bassoon syllables, play like a rogue trombone and using "tu." If you have access to a brass horn, that too has a brighter sound. I was in a relationship with another euphonium player and would occasionally bum her brass Weril euphonium for pieces necessitating either a brighter or "meaner" sound. I won't get into the latter of my last statement for the sake of this thread.

  4. Sebastian,

    This is another reason to have an English Baritone. When I played in a traditional brass quintet, I found that on many selections I just could not make the euph "small enough" to blend nicely with 2 x trumpet, horn, tuba. Back in the day, i would use my Holton Superbone instead of euphonium when I needed the narrower sound. Now I use baritone. I use a Bach 5G and have a lot of flexibility in dynamic range and tonal shading between narrow and broad. But the tone is always more focused than euphonium.

    Doug
    Sterling Virtuoso 1065HGS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HGS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

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