Differences between the Trumpet and the Cornet

Discussion in 'Horns' started by Trumpet guy, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Trumpet guy

    Trumpet guy Forte User

    Feb 9, 2008
    Hi all,
    Ok, I know that the trumpet and cornet have their uniques sound qualities, but is there any difference in the feel/resistance of these two instruments?

    For example, if I used a Bach 3c mouthpiece with a Bach Strad Trumpet (my current set up) and then used a cornet mouthpiece of the same rim and depth of cup on a similar level (pro) cornet. what would be the difference in playability and "feel?"
  2. ewetho

    ewetho Piano User

    Jun 24, 2007
    Kankakee, IL
    For the most part they'd feel a bit different as most of the resistance you feel tends to be acoustic anyway. Now you have a different mouthpiece to start with.

    The big thing is to approach the horns differently to get the sound change you want. If you just marshall in the tone like you would a trumpet you will sound more like a trumpet. Try to be a bit more fluid.

    They will in the end be similar though. But depends on your horns too. If they have a restrictive student type leadpipe on your cornet it may be quite a bit tighter. Guy I play with finds his Long model 37 Bach Cornet more open feeling than his 37 trumpet both with 5C mouthpieces. But also very close and the mouthpieces feel exactly the same.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The cornet is a COMPLETELY different animal. Resistance is not a pure mechanical phenomenon. How well you hear the instrument makes a big difference in how you perceive the blow. The cornet does not have the projection of a trumpet and therefore will seem freer blowing in smaller acoustic spaces and get "stiffer" in large spaces.
    We generally use cornets because of the sexy sound, not because of the mechanical characteristics. I find the cornet easier to play intimately.
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Never take a cornet to a trumpet fight.

    Cornets are great for section work, assuming it's a cornet section. They're also great for solo work, especially technical ones. Never play a classic cornet setup when a trumpet is called for in the music, though, and don't try to play one in a trumpet section - you will have trouble projecting enough to be heard, especially if the trumpet players are playing loudly.

    As for the similarities, if you have a Bach 180 ML 37 trumpet and a Bach 181 ML 37 cornet to compare side-by-side, with corresponding 3C mouthpieces, they will be more alike than different. The cornet will be just a little more gentle and easier to get around on. The bigger differences are evident when you go to the extremes with each instrument, for example comparing a bright, lightweight trumpet played with a more shallow mouthpiece to a heavy, short model cornet played with a deep, conical mouthpiece.

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