How can I tell what I sound like?
There is a lot to be said about the value of listening when it comes to developing a good tone.
This listening is a 2 way street. You have to listen to players who have a good tone and you have to listen to yourself. This is the hard part.
The sound that you hear behind the horn is vastly different from the sound that is projected into the audience. There is a very easy way to hear how you sound. Tape record your playing and use it as a learning tool. It is normal to not hear your own mistakes as you play. This means that many faults that you could easily fix don’t get addressed.
A tape is a harsh and unforgiving judge. Every missed note, faulty articulation, or inaccurate phrase is there for you to study. Everyone should record themselves at least twice a month. Hey if you don’t take the responsibility to correct your playing nobody else will either.