A personal note on the efficiency of my horns

Discussion in 'Horns' started by bandman, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    Just a note on the efficiency of my horns, and the tough way I had to realize the difference. I’m going through some rather serious health problems that will soon be resolved by a surgery (which has now been moved back to the first week in May so I can take my band to a festival on April 26th). I normally play lots of gigs, practice everyday, and I love to play with my students each and every period of my teaching life. I truly believe in teaching by example, so I demonstrate tone quality, technique, and phrasing to my students by playing for and with them everyday.

    This week I have started to notice a real difference in the amount I’m able to push into my horns. There’s just not as much “gas in my tank†as there usually is, and trying to play while “running on empty†is really tough. I was doing my normal daily routine this past Monday and I felt zapped within minutes of starting. When I started to play my piccolo routine I just put it back into the case and said forget it. Then I turned to my trusty Bach Strad Bb 180ML, which is a wonderful 1964-65 Bach. It just didn’t blow, but I kept on working.

    I then went to my Harrelson 750 which is a Bach Strad modified by Jason Harrelson. I have really enjoyed playing this horn since I bought it last year, but this week I realized just how efficient this horn is. I hate to use this phrase, but I feel like the horn does part of the work for me. This part of my workout was by far the very best playing I did that day, and then I moved on to my Kanstul flugelhorn, which was also a fun part of my day. When my students came in I kept out the flugelhorn and I played on it for the remainder of the day.

    Using those two horns I was able to produce a rich dark sound with little effort. I was able to play in the center of each pitch with ease, and my playing remained fluid. I have a great old Bach Bb, and my Schilke P5-4 is a great horn, but I can’t tell you how much difference there was between those horns and the Harrelson and the Kanstul. I noticed the same things on Wednesday and today. I’ll never give up my trusty old Bach Bb nor my Schilke, but I would love to get my hands on a new Bb that plays as effieciently as my Kanstul or Harrelson 750 C.

    It stinks that I really am having to go through some tough times to realize just how great a couple of my horns are, but it is nice that I'm able to play a full practice routine on 2 of my horns. I know which two horns will be the first out of the case after my surgery -- maybe I'll get lucky and land a new Bb soon to go with them! Maybe a new Harrelson or an Eclipse!
     
  2. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Lebanon, TN
    Thats really neat, that you have a Harrelson custom.

    Do you let any of your students play it?

    I know, if I ever get the chance, I'll visit down in your neck of the woods, and try out that horn!

    Its amazing, how on what seems to be your worst days, you can really find out which horn is the most efficient axe for the job.

    Van
     
  3. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    My horns are out in the band room everyday. I NEVER let my student touch my Schilke piccolo, but if they come in at lunch they are welcome to play my horns. They love the flugelhorn the very most.

    In a couple of weeks the students at the high school are going to Chicago for a festival. I rewrote one of the trumpet solos for C-trumpet and the section leader at the high school will be borrowing my Harrelson for the week prior to the trip and for the trip. We were trying to get a specific sound for the solo and the Harrelson gave us exactly what we were looking for.

    Horns are just things if you think about it, and if something was to happen to it I'm sure we would figure out how to take care of it. His dad is a very fine player and I'm certain he will take care of the horn while it is on the trip.
     
  4. Heavens2kadonka

    Heavens2kadonka Forte User

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    Hah, you know that THIS week was the first time I had ever played a flugel? I still have yet to play any of the other pitched trumpets, as well as a picc, or even a pro model flug and cornet! EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER PLAYED WAS A TRUMPET, PRETTY MUCH!

    Let your trumpet kids know that they are extremely lucky to have a band director like you.

    Van
     
  5. bandman

    bandman Forte User

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    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    I think I'm the lucky one to have spent my entire adult life working with young people who love music. I wish everyone could have the chance to be around as many great kids as I have over the past 25-years.
     

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