How you guys find your own signature sound or tone colour? I'm thinking particularly of the way you play your instrument.

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    Edit makes it no clearer - it does make it funnier, though ;-) – Tetsujin Apr 5 '18 at 7:27
  • @Tetsujin :) Unfortunately I couldn't think of a way to 'clean up' the wording! – topo Reinstate Monica Apr 5 '18 at 7:30
  • I thought this was pretty straightforward the first time I read it- then I thought of answering it and I was at a loss, lol – kat Apr 30 '18 at 1:43

I think most creative processes have to include ways to generate ideas, and ways to filter and refine ideas - and this applies just as much to finding our own sound as anything else.

One way to generate ideas is simply imitation - listening to players you want to sound like and trying to find out what they do to achieve that.

Another way is exploration - going to the extremes of what you can do on the instrument, trying random things, and trying to make sounds you haven't heard before - and keeping it simple and just enjoying making each note sound as full and interesting as possible.

One way I filter down ideas is to have a philosophy of playing. As I am a rather stupid person, I rather like to have a limited set of techniques that I reach for, rather than mastering every technique I learn about. For example, on bass, my 'core' technique was always a rolling 3-finger fingerstyle - you can't do everything with that technique, but it is quite adaptable.

Another way to filter down ideas is simply being honest about your own limitations and abilities. Not everyone can do everything, but most people are relatively good at something.

Ultimately your own style will tend to emerge whether you want it to or not!

  • Very often by accident – skinny peacock Apr 5 '18 at 14:43
  • I agree with that last statement- your personality has often has a way of coming through in your music. I don't think there's really a way to intentionally play with a signature sound, though. – kat Apr 30 '18 at 1:47

Blow hard then give it a good squeeze - bagpipes.

Make sure the end is wet first - oboe.

Don't let it dribble on your foot - trumpet.

Bend it slowly & gently - guitar.

Don't squeeze it too hard - accordion.

Keep your wrist loose - drums.

Don't brag about it being bigger - viola.

Brag about it being bigger - cello.

Don't slide it in & out too quickly - trombone.

Suck as well as blow - harmonica.

(couldn't resist ;-)

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    On double bass I was told to use two fingers at a time... – topo Reinstate Monica Apr 5 '18 at 7:57
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    On double Bass, I'd be inclined to use both Hands – skinny peacock Apr 5 '18 at 14:41

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