I have an old 1962 conn 18h with a copper bell that has a .484 bore. I am generally playing lower pieces that don’t sound as good as the high register. Is there any way (other than a new mouthpiece or instrument) to get a fuller tone?
Here are a couple exercises that have helped me get a fuller tone on a small bore instrument:
- long tones: everyday, throughout the range, from very soft to very loud
- lip flexibility: I like to work with Collins' advanced lip flexibility, but I play the exercises trying to get the best possible sound throughout. Players often sacrifice sound to get through long flexibility studies, but I like to make them sing and I find the work really pays off
- slow interval studies (e.g. from Arban): imagine you're playing tuba and push a lot of air
- pitch bend notes with your lips without moving the slide, going down half steps and whole steps while maintaining a full sound (e.g. Bb-A-Bb, Bb-Ab-Bb, etc.) Play the notes on the piano first if you need help hearing them.
- play melodies very softly (exaggerate) while maintaining a good sound