D Trumpet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Alan Dismukes, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. Alan Dismukes

    Alan Dismukes Piano User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Last week during my lesson I mentioned to my teacher how I had been doing a lot of listening to Bach's Christmas Oratorio, and how taken I was with No. 8, the bass aria "Grosser Herr, so starker Koenig" with its prominent trumpet part. He responded by providing me with a copy of the sheet music. Of course, it was written for D trumpet so he had me try it, forcing me to transpose for my Bb trumpet.

    Then he asks if I have ever played on a D trumpet. My only experience with anything other than a Bb instrument is when I swap out the slides on my cornet to play in A on rare occasions. So then he says that he has a D trumpet I could borrow and that it would be an interesting experience. He comes back a moment later and hands me a Bach Strad model 304 D trumpet with an optional tuning slide for Eb. He said he would not be using it anytime soon and that it wasn't a great horn anyway, but that I would find it a good experience.

    I have had a lot of fun the past few days playing "Grosser Herr" in D and the Hayden Concerto in Eb. However, I am still bedeviled by my lack of range in the upper register.

    My Christmas wish list keeps getting longer. Now, I not only want to fix up my various vintage horns, but I want a flugel, a C, a D, and a ....
  2. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    in our church we have a small brass group consisting of 3 trumpets and a french horn. we play on the 3rd Sunday of the month and through the advent season. My wife writes and plays the descant part, I play the melody and the french horn and other trumpet plays the alto line. the other trumpet player plays on a D/Eb, C or Bb horn which ever has the easiest key signature to play. he transposes real well but when he plays that D/Eb horn the pitches just don't match up to our Bb horns. I feel sorry for the guy, he is a real nice guy who took lessons from a local symphony player for years but only plays at our church. He is not real musical but plays more like a robot. I just don't have the heart to tell him to put the D/Eb horn away.
  3. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    The transition from any Bb to a horn in any other key will be a tough one. The upper register issue is you getting used to the horn, and the nature of the beast. Higher-pitched trumpets tend to get a little squirrely, and they are much easier to force than a Bb. They are more delicate horns, in a sense, and require much more patience and work to get the feel for. Resistance is different, feel is different, and the sound is different. However, have fun with it! I think you should work on your transposition, get a few C parts, play them on Bb, then get a C eventually, and play everything else on a C, and just have fun learning how to become fluent in transposition from all horns to all keys. It takes work, but it's a great, and invaluable skill to have.

    Happy Holidays
  4. Nerf

    Nerf Piano User

    Dec 7, 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Most Baroque trumpet parts written for D trumpet can be (are) played on an A piccolo. You just read the part in bass clef up one step. That will have you playing in the key of F. A very easy key to work with. You can the let it rip! :cool:

    If the horn you're talking about is anything like the Bach model D180 I still have nightmares about that horn! I have pretty big hands & it's difficult for me to play it w/out dropping it! :dontknow: That's why I prefer the 189.

    As for transposing...my college professor was a HUGE advocate of orchestral excerpts!! He had us transpose ANYTHING IN THE BOOK on C trumpet no matter what key it was written in. I still have problems with F trumpet parts to this day! They're easier on Bb, but he wouldn't let us use them. One way you could start to become better acquainted with transposing is to get yourself a hymnal. Pick a few hymns you KNOW & work on transposing them on your Bb. Then you can get in touch with your church's pianist/organist & set up a time to play them together. The fun starts when he/she picks one & you sight read it & transpose on the spot!!! :shock: Do that for a little while & pretty soon you'll be a pro! :cool:
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The problem #1 is not the transposition or even the range. It is the fact that Bb trumpeters without experience try and knock walls down up a third. That does not fit with this music or with the task at hand.

    Just try playing it piano or max mezzo forte. It is still tough, but not as much. I used to have a Selmer picc and during a rehearsal once the felts broke down and clogged up the valves. The other trumpet players weren't there yet and the bass couldn't stay longer so I played it on my Bach 72*ML Bb using the 10 1/2E mouthpiece from the picc. No fun, but definitely doable if you lighten up.

    By the way, these pieces were composed for the clarino in D which has NOTHING to do with a modern D trumpet or picc. The picc is used because it offers a lighter sound and greater security in that range. The problem with the picc is that it does not have the blend of the baroque trumpet so this repertory often ends up being a trumpet concerto with orchestra, bass and chorus accompaniment. I am sure that Bach had more of a "partnership" in mind. Get in a cooperative mood before attacking this piece!
  6. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    rowuk is right the modern picc and D trumpets are nothing like the sound of the clarino trumpets they were written for. There are a number of fine recordings with historical instruments that are qiute enlightening. the trumpets parts do need to be played lighter. But remember that you will be playing with modern instruments which have a louder sound as well.
  7. Nerf

    Nerf Piano User

    Dec 7, 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA
    So....where can I/we get these recording of "period instruments"?! I have to say that I have never heard a clarino trumpet before. I've made the "kitchen/bathroom/back-yard-workshed" version of a Bb trumpet with a funnel, 9 feet of aqarium tubing & my mouthpiece. It's rather difficult to play! Keep in mind that that's putting it mildly to say the least! ;-)
  8. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    Also, as it's been said, remember that you cannot "muscle" higher-pitched horns about the way that you can a Bb. When playing a higher pitched horn, we are far more suscpetible to the whims and quirks of the instrument. It takes a lot of practice, but when you get used to a horn, you're to a great start.:D

Share This Page