Becoming a flugel player for good - not a good idea?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by DiaxII, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

    Oct 22, 2009
    I'm a local apartment trumpet player, meaning I play for myself though I approach trumpet playing seriously: trying to play every day and maintain a regular practice routine.
    I bought a flugel 5 years ago on eBay. It's a simple Yamaha YFH 2310. It was stored in its case all the time. I was never tempted to play it until today - was too busy with other things: working on scales, arps, etc. on my trumpet. Here it comes a day when I think: "Why not?".

    I pulled it out of the case, oiled the valves, began to blow into it and... was blown away! :-)
    I played it for as long as I had time (I would lose my endurance on trumpet two hours before I finished with flugel).
    There is something about its sound and the easiness of playing that makes me think: "Should I become a full-time local apartment flugel player from now on?"

    I know that for a working professional trumpet player it would be a big fault to transition to a flugel and... of course - it would be impossible in the first place - who needs a full-time flugel player?
    For an amateur like me it's different: I'm free to play trumpet or flugel at my will or not to play either and drink beer instead.

    However there is something that I'm worried about while it could be not so significant in reality. The easiness with which I played on the flugel is relative to my current trumpet playing experience and it means once I transition to flugel completely I will lose my trumpet chops (which are not so great by the way).

    I'm not so worried that I won't be able to occasionally pick up and play trumpet if I want to in the future but I have a feeling that once I transition to flugel full-time I will lose that feel of easiness that I experienced first time. Do I explain it clearly?
    In other words I'm worried that with time my chops will settle down to the flugel-requirements level and it won't feel so easy as I felt it today.
    Do you get the idea?

    Let me give you an example that might explain what I mean if it's still unclear.
    Imagine that a powerlifter pushes up 150 kg in some kind of exercise regularly.
    One day he decides to try a lower weight, say 120 kg and finds it much easier to push! (I'm sure you didn't expect that! :-))
    And he thinks: "Well, I like this weight much better, let's stick with it!"
    After a month this becomes his new top weight and it doesn't feel any longer as easy compared to his previous higher weight.
    What is worse, when he wants to return to 150 kg he finds he can't push it.
    Silly example but it illustrates my point... somehow. I hope it makes sense.
    Of course, brass playing is not powerlifting but I assume you don't take my silly example literally?

    So, will full-time transition to flugel turn it with time into as hard an instrument as trumpet when it's compared to trumpet played as the main instrument?
  2. sj3209

    sj3209 Piano User

    Nov 22, 2006
    Amador County, Calif.
    Nope. Always will be easier. It is for me.
  3. J. Jericho

    J. Jericho Fortissimo User

    Mar 16, 2011
    Play what you want. Unless you have some bad playing habits, there's no harm in switching, and these bad habits would carry over anyway, so enjoy the flugel and the trumpet.
  4. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Why is trumpet less difficult than trumpet for you? Do you adopt a different style of playing? More relaxed? More lyrical? Less emphasis on range? Do you completely avoid anything "technical"? My point is this--if you play your trumpet the same way you play your flugelhorn they should be equally "difficult" or "easy". Time was when I was consumed with higher, faster and louder. These days I want to make a beautiful sound, it's a greater emphasis on dynamics and expression; and playing is a lot more fun. Can I still run up to a double G if I want to? Sure, but that rarely happens these days. Can I play technical passages if I want to? Sure, and when I incorporate them into a piece I'm playing (which is rarely) they have a lot more impact on the audience. I have found that the pursuit of a big, rich sound satisfies my (musical) soul and that's a good feeling. So I play the horn that speaks to me in the moment. I'll always have the picc and my Eb/D for the situations that call for that--but my flugelhorn, and my low trumpets soothe my soul. By the way, Chuck Mangione was a trumpet player who left the trumpet to concentrate on flugelhorn, didn't seem to hurt him much. So, in the final analysis my suggestion is to do what makes you happy.
  5. Leslie Colonello

    Leslie Colonello Pianissimo User

    Dec 17, 2016
    Go with the flugel if it seems easier for you. Why question your own findings?
  6. Pinstriper

    Pinstriper Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 26, 2013
    I find the flugel gives me more feedback and I find the pitch center and tone better. It also requires you to support the air really well, so in my admittedly worthless opinion helps reinforce good habits. For everything but developing range, that is.
  7. fels

    fels Piano User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    I have played several flugel features in concert. I love playing flugel. I also love trying to increase my trumpet range.

    Times i really enjoy playing fugel:

    After playing high range exercises
    Warming up with pedal tones
    warming up with soft lyrical tunes
    playing my favorite ballads

    There may be all kinds of technical reasons for these - but the main reason is that i enjoy it. A side benefit --- many players complain that it is difficult to play high range on flugel -- found that the combination of the reasoned exchange between flugel and trumpet - benefits both -- i can go above the staff on fugel easily now - whereas when i first started playing it i could not.

    The final judge is- i enjoy playing flugel.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
  8. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    There is more than way playing the flugelhorn...and so many reasons :roll:
  9. DiaxII

    DiaxII Pianissimo User

    Oct 22, 2009
    Good responses so far. Keep them coming.

    Regarding Chinese flugels.
    Has anyone tried out those from eBay priced around $270 that come from JinBao factory? Do they play, how they play, do they last over couple years?
    The price point suggests they are just models of a real horn priced at least 5 times higher and that's not the limit.
    However I notice a plenty of ecstatic reviews and opinions on these JinBao horns all over the web.

    You get what you pay for - you can't beat that slogan. If it were true those flugels wouldn't be usable at all. So many people are happy with them. Is it real?
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    That's some of the draw to playing cornet, too. A deeper mouthpiece, a little easier to get around on, a more intimate sound, etc. I don't think playing a flugel full time is a good idea if you're planning on finding a group/band to join in the future. A trumpet is generally a more versatile instrument as far as fitting into a lot of different genres of music. Keep practicing both, and play your trumpet like a trumpet and your flugel like a flugel, from both a physical and a mental standpoint.

    I always had a flugel on hand when I used to regularly play with a big band. Some lyrical solos were just so much nicer on a flugelhorn, and playing it on a few charts in every set gave my trumpet chops a break, too.

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