"C" Trumpet Wonderings.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by paultandberg, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    If the music is written for the C trumpet it is.... like reading a chuch hymnal (where the songs are written in C). On a Bb you would have to transpose as you read. If you had a C-Trumpet you would just read the music with your normal Bb fingerings. The only catch is that your eye and your head will be fingering an "A" (lets say with 1st & 2nd valves) but your ears will hear a note that you normally call a "B". This takes some getting used to, and is worse with other pitched horns (D, Eb, F, G, A-Picc). You also need to spend a bunch of time on page 125 with a slow metronome and a tuner to re-learn where all your pitch centers belong. They are not always the same as on your Bb (like sharp A's and flat D's, etc....). On my C trumpet the 2-3 valve low Ab (sounds like a Bb on a Bb horn) is WAY flat and I have to really listen to lip it where it needs to be in a way that I don't have to do on my Bb horn.

    I played a musical last week... I was on the 2nd book. I got there first and the guy playing 1st showed up and played the whole book (written for Bb) on his C trumpet (and on an Assymetric mpc). Initially was was "WTF!!??"... but, the guy was pretty much nails. The book had lots of goofy key changes and often went from key of B to Ab, or F#. Lots of runs with accidentals too. He blew right through it. The book had a bunch of D's and maybe one or two licks higher than that up to one with an F#. He was great. He has just trained himself to think in C rather than our Bb centric training.
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    Jiarby. Thanks, I was just checking. I play C trumpet (as well as Bb, cornet, trumpet, flugel and Eb tenor horn) and reading Rowuk's post I suddenly thought perhaps I was doing it wrong. ;-)
  3. paultandberg

    paultandberg New Friend

    Nov 25, 2006
    Good advice, all. Thanks. I wanted to talk and I got to listen and learn.

    And I chatted with Gus' instructors, his two at school (the concert and jazz band directors) and the fellow he takes lessons from at UND (the university's trumpet guy). The vote was unanimous for getting a nice "C" trumpet. And there was a graduate student at the University who had a nice Yamaha 8445S for sale. So a deal was struck and Gus got his new horn.

    It sounds like adding the C to the playing stable will involve some new brain wiring, so one new horn is enough. For now. (time will tell how much use the C gets, but the school does have an orchestra that has no trumpet, and Gus does want to play along with some flute and piano players he knows, including his sister and mother).

    As for the jazz horn, that can wait. Good advice to just let him get to know and grow with his current main horn. His instructor at the university happens to have a Shew, along with a couple Edwards (he is a playing artist for Edwards), some vintage cornets, and a fluegel. So this summer, Ronnie said he and Gus will do a little "instrument touring".

    But, for now, playing Christmas tunes on his new C with Sis on the flute, Mom on the piano, and me singing or guitaring, or just sitting back and having a nice ale while I listen, will be enough.

    (meanwhile, I'll be boning up on fluegel horns, just to be ready. Jupiter, Yamaha, and Kanstul, oh boy!)

    Thanks, I appreciate the sharing,

  4. paultandberg

    paultandberg New Friend

    Nov 25, 2006
    Oh, and I got a Korg metronome/tuner for Gus' Christmas stocking (so he will leave my guitar tuners alone).
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The Yamaha is a WONDERFUL horn. You did everyone a favor by getting the instructors involved. They are in positions to create opportunities for your son and THAT is how we stay motivated and get better! Even better, when you ask advice from an educator and then actually TAKE that advice, you ahve a friend for life.
  6. Jfrancis

    Jfrancis Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2008
    Hannibal, MO
    I play both "C" and "Bb" instruments. The funny thing about range as well, is the overtone series laid out in a different collection of pipe. I can actually play a bit higher on my Bb because I have some different overtone range choices. Strange, and maybe just me, However, I am good for a double high "C" on my Bb (concert Bb), however on my "C" trumpet - High "G" is all I got.
  7. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Above the staff is somewhat harder for me as well on the C horn I have( not a real good one):oops:
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    With the C trumpet, a flute player must have a C foot. Most flutes I've encountered have had a Bb foot. A "foot" is the section on the right end when playing. A C foot is available for conversion on most current makes and models. Otherwise a Bb floutist has to transpose the same as a Bb trumpeter.
  9. paultandberg

    paultandberg New Friend

    Nov 25, 2006
    I am not a flutist, but I think this is wrong. Flutes (standard concert flutes, standard band and orchestra flutes, your regular old flute) are "C" pitched instruments that play a C when a C is read and fingered.

    The "B" foot is a a slightly longer foot (section piece) than the standard "C" foot. When this longer B foot is used, it allows the flute to play one chromatic step lower on the scale than it would be able to with a standard, and shorter, C foot. So instead of bottoming out at a C, as you would with a C foot in place, with the longer B foot, you can play a B.

    (I call the C foot standard, but I expect quite a few "more accomplished" players use a B foot. Why not, it's an extra note. Why have only one foot when you can have two at your disposal?)

    But, regardless of the foot at hand, you are still playing a C-pitched instrument that will sound a C when a C is read and fingered (as opposed a Bb-pitched instrument, like a Bb trumpet, which will sound a Bb when a C is read and fingered.

    I am really not the person who should be explaining this (for several very good reasons). I am just keeping the spot warm until the right person shows up.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  10. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    If I may, the answer is, yes, but Rowuk is referring to Bb charts being read by the C trumpet player...[Following that, big band charts are printed for Bb trumpet, that means learning new fingerings and struggling to get a section sound].
    So what he means is there would be different fingerings for a trumpet in a different key trying to play the music written for Bb.
    The c trumpet player would have to take everything written for Bb down a step.
    For a Bb trumpet player to play music written for piano he must take everything UP one step. Yes, your fingerings remain the same, but not for the actual notes on the page.

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