Buying more horns / instruments

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by kctrumpeteer, May 19, 2010.

  1. kctrumpeteer

    kctrumpeteer Piano User

    Dec 23, 2009
    Several months ago I bought a new Bach Strad trumpet because I was a come back player and wanted a very nice trumpet (I like it and realize some ppl slam the bach strads...) but anyway all I had at the time was a Conn Coronet. I've been taking lessons for the past 7 months and have also started playing with a small brass ensemble from church. I've been thinking about expanding my repertoire of instruments and wondering how people expand and how and why. i.e. now that I have a new trumpet, I almost exclusively play on it and rarely on my old Conn. Also my instructor uses a keyboard/piano to work out rhythms, etc. So I have been jonesing for a new digital piano/keyboard where I can pick up some piano and play back for some accompaniment for my trumpet, but then on the other hand I have thought about maybe the next instrument needs to be a flugel horn or a c-trumpet. A friend and fellow trumpet player in the brass ensemble switches between trumpet and flugel horn all of the time for playing different pieces and they seem like sort of a fun instrument to have. I've heard about often needing a C-trumpet if you are looking at playing with an orchestra and I've been trying to check into local civic band/orchestra to play in as well. Of course this doesn't even get into picking up or ever getting into euphoniums sp? or baritones or other brass. Personally I think I will focus primarily on the trumpet family such as Bb, C, flugel, and the piccolo. Although I have never played a flugel or a piccolo.

    What have most people done as they progressed in playing and expanding their inventory of instruments? Any issues with practicing / going back and forth between different instruments? i.e. if I start playing a flugel will that mess with my embouchoure for trumpet playing?
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    The best order of buying for:
    1. Orchestral Playing is:
    a/B flat trumpet
    c/ C or E flat trumpet...or both
    e/ everything else
    2. For commercial/big band/jazz combo
    a/ B flat
    b/ Flugelhorn
    c/ everything else, though it is unlikely that you will need any other horns unless for the sake of novelty
    3. Brass/concert band
    in no particular order depending on vacant positions: soprano cornet, B flat cornet, flugelhorn, everything else

    As for piano/keyboards - it is always useful to have own one and learn to play it. However, if you need it just for accompaniment, if nobody in the family plays piano you may wish to consider CD accompaniments, smart music, band-in-a-box or something similar.
  3. brassplayer

    brassplayer Pianissimo User

    May 6, 2009
    San Gabriel, CA
    You might want to swap picc and C trumpet if you're in the U.S.
  4. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    One can never have too many So long as you continue to practice regularly on a Bb trumpet, I think playing the other horns will only enhance your development and range of tone colors. The smaller horns can reveal playing weaknesses that you would never find if you play exclusively Bb, so they can actually be good teaching devices. Just don't neglect practicing fundamentals on the Bb and you'll be fine.
  5. frankmike

    frankmike Piano User

    Dec 5, 2008
    buy them all

    I currently own Bb tpt, Bb flug, Bb conret (on its way),

    and am planning to buy in the next 5 years;

    C tpt, tenor trombone, valve trombone, another Bb tpt (probably some vintage holton, maybe olds), mellophone in F for tpt MPC, picc, Eb Cornet, few bulges, sopran saxophone and 1981 Honda Civic

    will that lot mess my chops guys:shock::-):thumbsup::evil::D
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Only if you don't wait for the exhaust pipe to cool off.
  7. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    I would suggest for the USA, anyway the prefered order for the orchestrally minded player is

    1) Bb trumpet/ Bb Cornet
    2) Bb Cornet/ Bb trumpet
    3) C Trumpet
    4) Eb/D trumpet/ Bb/A picc
    5) Bb/A picc/ Eb/D trumpet
    6) Everything else, including C/Bb rotary trumpets and Bb flugelhorn

    I say this because you probably want to start on the most commonly used horns, these being the Bb trumpet and cornet. You should have both trumpet and cornet because you may well be playing some chamber music in there, and a good cornet with a good (REAL) cornet mouthpiece will give you a very desireable change of tone color, especially in pieces like the Ewald quintets. :thumbsup:

    Then when you actually get into an orchestra, you'll really want a C trumpet. In the USA anyway, they are pretty much standard for orchestral use, and you'll be given funny looks if you try to do everything on Bb. :dontknow: This is especially true if you (or the others in the section) can't play exactly in tune. It's easier to be out of tune, but together if you're all playing the same type of instrument. :-P

    Then, as you really get better, you will probably want to play some baroque stuff, or other high range music. An Eb/D trumpet will be of some assistance here, although I usually prefer to stick with my wonderful C trumpet for all but the highest work (I'm weird, though). :-P

    Somewhere around here, you might want to get a flugelhorn, as I do run into flugel parts here and there, especially in chamber music (quintets, sextets, etc.). The cornet can be used in a pinch, especially with a really deep mouthpiece (like a Wick 2 as opposed to the 2B that I use for brass banding), but some leaders will insist that you use a flugel at times, so you should have one eventually. :dontknow:

    Similarly, once you're really into it, you'll want to get some rotary trumpets for those German and Austrian pieces, and other pieces where the blending of the brass section takes precedence over the trumpets sticking out over the top. :-P I'm a big believer in the blending thing, so I (again, I'm weird) use rotaries for 90% or more of my playing. :cool:

    Then, of course, if you're into the British Brass Band thing, you should be able to play Bb cornet with the real mouthpiece. You'll know what other instruments you'll want as you develop and see what's needed in the band. For a long time I was a principal cornet, or at least front row cornet in my first band. Then when I jumped ship to my second band, I was told that I needed to switch to soprano, which I played for the next four years or so before moving to California where I'm again principal cornet of the Silicon Valley Brass Band. Since I'd bought a Schilke soprano of my own during my stint in the Chicago Brass Band, I'm playing it this Memorial Day with a pickup brass band in San Bruno (Golden Gate Cemetery).

    Some guys in the SVBB are trumpet/cornet players, but playing tenor horn (Eb alto horn), so that's another possibility, if you prefer the lower range of your cornet. You also might want to play flugelhorn in the band. That's Eb soprano, Bb cornet, Bb flugelhorn and Eb tenor horn that you might be expected to play. Fewer horns than for orchestra!

    Hope this all helps!

    Guy Clark
  8. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    There is a reason why I put the picc before the C - most people start on a B flat anyway, so the picc is the logical choice, because it gives access to a whole new repertoire and gives a very different tonal colors. Most pieces written or traditionally played on a C trumpet are usually playable on a B flat trumpet, which is rarely true for the piccolo repertoire. Of course, having a C trumpet in your arsenal would be very handy. Even in US the B flat is still the most common trumpet and many 2nd/3rd trumpeters use quite often the B flats, though probably not as often as they did in the past. However, if you play principal/1st chair the C is almost obligatory as Guy stated.. In other words it's better to have a big horn (B flat or C) and a picc than 2 big horns (B flat and C) and no picc. No doubt, it is better to have them all, but this is a question on whether you can burn that much cash at once.
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  9. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    Hi, Nick!

    I also was thinking that a player who only has a Bb may not be yet physically ready for a picc. I had my C trumpet for use in youth orchestra before I ever touched a picc, although I played my first Brandenburg #2 on a borrowed Schilke F trumpet prototype. If I'd gotten a picc first, I'd have had more difficulty with orchestra due to the transposition issues (I don't know WHY but I've always been better at transposing from C than Bb).

    If I'd gotten a picc first, I also might have hurt myself more than I'd done already! I'd given myself an inguinal hernia from trying to play the Leopold Mozart concerto as a freshman in high school on a D trumpet that I'd cut down from a POS Bb trumpet I'd gotten at an antique shop. What I could have done to myself with a picc boggles my mind. ;-)

    Bottom line is, of course, the Compleat Trumpet Player needs all of these instruments, and maybe multiples of some of them (for subtle differences between them sound wise, or range wise, or feel in the hands wise) That's what I keep telling my wonderful wife! She only has Bb and C trumpets, a Getzen 4 valve picc she doesn't use, a Bb cornet and a Bb flugel.

    I, on the other hand, have pretty much everything except F/G picc, C picc, and currently a Bb piston trumpet. I got the Bb/C rotaries, Bb/Eb cornets, Bb/A picc, flugel, Eb/D trumpets, even a couple of low Eb and F rotary trumpets that really aren't usable currently! Probably over 25 usable horns all told!

    He who dies with the most horns wins!

  10. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    When I die, the horns will have won!!!

    Regards, Stuart.

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