C trumpet beginner

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by ctm2aud, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. ctm2aud

    ctm2aud New Friend

    Apr 15, 2006
    Newport News, VA
    Greetings all!,
    I've played b-flat for a long time but never C. I was wondering what I would be getting into if I got a C trumpet: different fingerings? What else might be different? I'm trying to estimate what kind of learning curve to anticipate. Thanks in advance for your replies!
  2. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    C trumpet is the same fingering as the Bb trumpet. The things to address is the blow of the instrument and the sound you hear in your head. Since you have played the Bb for a long time, the sound you hear will confuse you at first. To be competent on the C you have to practice the C. The shift in the key must also occure in the head. If you do this, you will be fine.

    Welcome to the key of C. It can be ffun and most enjoyable.
  3. ctm2aud

    ctm2aud New Friend

    Apr 15, 2006
    Newport News, VA
    Thanks, that's a relief. I haven't purchased a C horn yet but I'm considering it. Some posts I've read have talked about difficulty with intonation on some C horns and variants in fingering. Perhaps I should post in the equipment area to get some insight on different manufacturers.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    It is not so much that the Bb is more in tune than the C, but that different notes are out of tune. Learning the C can do wonders for intonation on the Bb. At first you'll be reading down a step and adding two flats to everything to transpose. Gerald Webster had us play our C's ifor everything, and playing Barnum and Bailey's Favorite at tempo is a fun challenge. If you spend whole days transposing you'll look at the clock and transpose the time down an hour: at this point you'll know you're comfortable with the transposition. Have fun!
  5. BudBix

    BudBix Pianissimo User

    Sep 25, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I've been practicing my C a lot in the past year. I think the best thing to do is to play on it as much as possible. It really does take a few months to feel at home on it.
  6. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    You'll like the C if you stick with it...

    It will require a good ear; and some patience at first. The fingerings will be the same if your reading music in C.

    If your reading in Bb and using the C you'll need to transpose or vice versa.

    It is only while transposing; if you do it on the fly; that you'll encounter different fingerings.

    I can't transpose in my head; it's just not possible for me due to some injuries that I sustained in a car wreck back in 2001. So I notate whatever chart I'm playing ahead of time for the proper horn/key.

    I use my C mainly for Church and wedding gigs. Every now and then I'll transpose some Bb music to C and use it in the community band that I play in. It's a very versitile horn and once you endear your self to it the sky's the limit.

    If you're going to buy a C I'd reccommend enlisting the help of someone you trust to ensure that you get a good horn. I was lucky and bought one from my teacher; so I knew that it was in excellant shape and had been in orchestra pits around the world! An added bonus is of course that It belonged to my teacher so sedimentally I get to keep a small piece of her with me all the time!

    Good luck!
  7. stchasking

    stchasking Forte User

    Jun 11, 2006
    Susan Slaughter plays Bb parts on a C trumpet. I saw and heard her play Buglers Holiday with Doc Severensen and she use a C trumpet. I played in a community band and one of the trombone players learned to play C trumpet using Bb music. He said it was easy since he just learned different fingerings early in life. A C trumpet is a great horn for second parts on the Messiah.

    Enjoy your new instrument. Have fun.
  8. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    Member of the Vulgani,

    Unless you play a lot of Bb in an orchestra then you look at the clock and add an hour (or two or three and a half) !!

    I've only recently started to use a C and have found it very useful (at least you only have to worry about an hour or two most of the time)


  9. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    whether or not the C trumpet is a sensible purchase depends on what you will be playing. If symphonic or chamber orchestral music is planned, it makes sense. If you are playing wind band only, it may have little or no benefit. Marches in Eb are more fun than in Db.................
  10. ctm2aud

    ctm2aud New Friend

    Apr 15, 2006
    Newport News, VA
    Thanks guys for all the replies. Verizon (phone company) has failed me these
    past few days so I have been unable to post. (picture 500 e-mails!) I played Handel's Messiah a lot of years ago on a b-flat and transposed on the fly. It wasn't too hard at the time.

    At the present time I would mostly use a C trumpet for church work. Our music director is a trumpet player so we have the potential for some regular duets. I don't have a C yet but I'm considering selling one of my two b-flats to finance it.

    Thanks again, you guys are great!

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