air; slotting; focus; rotary trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chapmand, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    I was doing a search and got very frustrated by overly vague titles. :-? I hope my title has enough info to let future readers know what the thread is about.

    -------If you want to skip over the next few paragraphs (background) and get to the actual question I have: scroll on down, my friend! -------:-)

    I recently purchased a Bb rotary trumpet from George Schlub. It is modeled after the Gansch horn.
    (for those unfamiliar - it is a vertically set rotary valve trumpet so that one can play with one hand while turning pages, switching mutes, scratching ones head, etc).

    I have been practicing nightly with this horn using only one mouthpiece working on getting used to it. I have done two big band gigs with it. The first gig left me a little unnerved, but thought I should give it another chance. The second gig was better, but still I had issues with some seemingly simple musical moments.

    I was finding it difficult to place simple notes. Most particularly second space A and a few others nearby this note.
    I generally play first, but in this group we do try to keep everyone happy and so sometimes I have 2, 3 or 4th. I was finding that this occurred when I was not playing first. - also... can I blame it on the trumpeter to my right who tends to play quite flat (except when he's knocking out high notes - then he is either in tune or tending to go sharp)?
    When I practice i have no difficulty with these pitches. (and I generally do a lot of low range drills for finger dexterity, etc.)

    Is there anything I need to know about air control, slotting, etc. for a rotary that is different from a piston trumpet?


    thanks in advance for any help in taming this sexy horn!
     
  2. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    May 27, 2014
    chicago
    i have heard that rotary trumpets are very different from piston trumpets and need to be approached differently. maybe you are just not used to the sound of this horn in the ensemble yet. or perhaps you have taken this horn into a situation where your ear leads you to try and muscle it into blending into a situation it is not naturally compatible with. if it pushed you off your "center", you could be getting random and unexpected results. just a guess.
     
  3. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    thanks for the ideas.
    -still hoping that perhaps some players who deal with both piston and rotary have some insights or hints based on the uniqueness of the designs.
     
  4. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    Any rotary isa very different beast from any piston, due to the massive differences in build. In a piston, the valve block is more or less half-way through the whole length. That means that quite a substantial amount of tone develops BEFORE the valve block - and that is why the leadpipe in pistons is of such overpowering importance.
    On your Ganschlub (let's call it that), I expect that you have less than five inches from mouthpiece to valve block... and all the rest of the length is bell. That means that there is much more bell resonance to pistons, usually resulting in a darker, bigger tone. And, of course, it means in most cases that you need more air for the same kind of sound as in a piston. And that can lead to situations like this:
    A friend of mine (principal trumpet in a professional broadcasting orchestra concentrating on musical theatre) was doing most of his playing on a very lightweight Schilke (don't know the model number). Then he married a German girl and moved to Germany, looking for a trumpet position there. He got one as principal trumpet in theatre orchestra of his wife's home town - on condition that from now on, he should play rotaries. The horn was ordered for him from Gerd Dowids, to match the horns already in the section.
    As he did not speak any German at the time (and Gerd's English was negligible - he has improved), I accompanied him there for the grand moment of collecting the horn.
    When he finally got his hands on it and wanted to try it out, he just produced hot air - not a sound. It was so much harder to play than the Schilke he had used the ten years before.
    In the long run, he did not manage to get comfy with the Dowids, so after one and a half years he left that theatre (and his wife) and returned to his original orchestra and the Schilke...
    Hope you are having better luck with your Ganschlub. Try changing round mouthpieces - in general, rotaries like bigger mouthpieces (deeper cups). I usually play mine with an A cup, even if I don't use my own creation, which is a 1 1/2 Bach rim crafted onto a #2 Denis Wick Cornet mouthpiece and a shank adapter.
     
  5. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    Your final comments are interesting. I have been using a shallow monette B6LVS1. I will try some other mpcs.
    I have been playing large bore piston trumpets up to now... (king Legend) and a Mag Meg Cannonball which is very open and free blowing.
    so the air thing was not a problem. In school I was a horn player so I have some rotary experience.
    Thanks for the story and the input. much appreciated.
     
  6. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    French horn does not really help there... except for a bit of knowledge how to treat them.
     
  7. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

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    Edmonton, Alberta
    One other thing having played the horn helps with is when I need to play shaker while playing my piston trumpet, I can hold and play the trumpet with only my left hand.
    ...anyway....
    :oops:
     
  8. chapmand

    chapmand Piano User

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    Jul 26, 2010
    Edmonton, Alberta
    barliman - do you find it challenging to switch between piston and rotary?
     
  9. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

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    No, not really; but then, I've practically grown up with rotaries. But I am very aware of the differences, and act accordingly. To be sure, my Ganter Custom Bb rotary leans more to the light-weight Austrian tradition of rotaries; I know I would not be comfortable with a Monke. But I would never play the same mouthpiece on rotary and piston - it just won't work.
     
  10. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Dale,
    Great to see you giving the Schlub a work-out. It took me only a short time to acclimatize to the rotary, but I have played rotary instruments before, so maybe just do not notice any major issues. Usually start with soft and slow ballads, working on ease of tone and work up speed and checking for intonation with a Tuner - only use the Tuner as a reference, not playing to it. I do this with any new horn, just so I get to know the intricacies of a particular horn.

    I did not find any issues with the Dingo, except that the valves were so fast, and the change of note was quicker than the piston. I can happily swap between horns on the run. I use an Asymmetric Opera mouthpiece = 1.5 Bach, and is wide and deep. I found the Schlub very good for intonation and for going up above the stave. It is a really fun horn to play. Keep me informed and feel free to PM me if you think I can help. I have used it in Big Band, Orchestra and Concert Band - it works well.
     

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