C trumpet question

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by bigaggietrumpet, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. bigaggietrumpet

    bigaggietrumpet Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 23, 2004
    Nazareth, PA
    Ok, so a while back at an orchestra rehearsal, one of the guys in the section brought a Bach Strad C, just the usual one (I can't think of the exact model number right now). Well, me being the curious one that I am, I asked if I could try it out. First time I've ever played a C trumpet. Hated it. Why? Because, after 9 years of playing the Bb, I have in my mind a pretty good idea of what a certain fingering sounds like. And the C trumpet was just screwing that all up. I couldn't get a good tone, and doing passages was very different indeed.

    So my question for those of you who switch between the two, and even other keyed trumpets, how do you prepare yourself mentally and physically for the change so that it isn't so awkward?
  2. trumpetpimp

    trumpetpimp Piano User

    Dec 6, 2003
    You just have to get used to it. It does take a little bit of time but if you practice switching enough you don't really notice it any more. I find if I don't play C for a few weeks it freaks me out the first couple notes I play on it but I get back into it pretty quick. The same thing happens if I neglect my flugel or cornet. The sound is so different that it's disconcerting at first.

    As trumpet players we have to strive toward absolute versatility. Not just in style, dynamics, and articulations, but also in the equipment we use. I often spend practice sessions sitting in the middle of all my instruments(I feel like a sun dial). I want to be able to switch back a forth between my two Bb's, C, piccolo, cornet, and flugel very easily because I never know what I'll need to double on.

    My Bb will always be my baby but playing C, piccolo, flugel, and any other twisted piece of metal is a fact of life for us. If you buy a C I think you'll get used to it in a day or two and after a few weeks it'll feel like home just as much as your Bb.
  3. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    As trumpet pimp stated, once you play it for a while it isnt a big deal, you just pick it up and play it, no "mentally or physically" prep is needed.

    Once i got the hang of transposing the C became my horn of choice. I would rather take the C and transpose than play B flat in an (non jazz) ensemble.
  4. eoliver

    eoliver Pianissimo User

    Nov 15, 2004
    Albuquerque, NM
    I totally agree. I use my C for everything except for Jazz, Latin, and solos written for specific pitched trumpets. But it's my prefered horn. The more you play it, the better it feels. Lots of practice on all horns has helped me get used to where everything is on each horn. One thing to remember is that open pitches on C trumpets will sound especially wierd, and you may have to use alternate fingerings. Transposing on C is also a lot easier than on Bb. Anyway, good luck if you decide to go C.
  5. MahlerBrass

    MahlerBrass Piano User

    Oct 1, 2004
    Houston, TX
    You gotta get used to it, when you first pick it up and read music, you see a C and want to set for a Bb, but the horn doesn't let you do just that. Being flexible on horns is a very important part of being a trumpet player. I had a concert this weekend where I played a few pieces on C, then on picc, then back to C, we have to be able to do that without showing any weakness. If you get bored sometime take a swing by Huntsville and I can show what I mean. :eek:
  6. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I strive for one sound on all my horns. I have played my C on Broadway, in big bands and all kinds of places.
    I try to produce MY sound no matter which horn I am playing.

  7. Bryan_sop_trumpet

    Bryan_sop_trumpet New Friend

    Jan 22, 2004
    Cambridge, UK
    I have a Courtois C trumpet which I got a set of Bb slides for. I found it a bit strange playing in C at first, but after a while I got used to it and I enjoy it. I also find transposing from some keys easier on C for example from F, mostly because I do a lot of transposing up or down a 4th (Bb-Eb and vice-versa)
  8. Adam V

    Adam V Pianissimo User

    Nov 1, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    It's different for everyone.

    Some people are freaked out by the feeling of having a concert C come out of the horn when the open fingering is played.

    As for me, there was no problem the first time I played a C trumpet. Yes, I did notice the added resistance, but for the most part it wasn't THAT much different than Bb.
  9. peteb

    peteb New Friend

    Dec 16, 2009
    Greeley, CO
    It seemed like it took me forever to get used to playing the C. What I did was use it for my "warm-up/routine" work. Now it is my main horn. However, I try to play a little on each horn every day. This helps me avoid the awkwardness of a horn switch.
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    We are creatures of habit. The biggest difference between the Bb and C is in our heads. The sound may be a bit different, but if our heads are not in control, this is not even worth discussing. Each pitch of horn offers something, maybe easier fingering or less edge in the sound. The MUSIC has nothing to do with that. Make music, not hardware excuses.

    I play mostly Bb in the symphony. The C is too "uniform" in sound for my taste. That is only a preference in my head. If my Bb died before a concert, I would play the C and not tell anybody. My only fear is that some clown would come up afterwards and tell me that I have never sounded so good................................................

Share This Page