Does it take playing skill on the trumpet to be able to select good equipment?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Spideriffic, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    I am about 1 1/2 - 2 hours drive from you (northern Westchester). Fell free to come up and have a blow, I might be able to help you with your struggle, limited range, and endurance.
     
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  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    If anyone can do this for you, it is Ivan. Do take him up on this offer.

    By the way, I did mention on other posts my impression of some of the products and equipment I experienced at the recent Columbus ITG conference. By far, THE BEST trumpet I had the chance to play in the show, was Ivan's Professional Model. I have NEVER played a horn that has such controlled slotting as this horn. And the sound, is so sweet and angelic. It truly was the BEST HORN in the show!
     
  3. Tomaso

    Tomaso Pianissimo User

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    There's one thing you didn't mention, so it's obvious that you don't know about the world-wide secret conspiracy among trumpet manufacturers to build horns that simply will not reach double C. It's built-in, there's nothing we can do about it beyond offering comfort and useless advice to one another on trumpet forums. They do make some horns that will reach those high notes, but they only sell them to a certain few professionals. If they don't like you even though you might be a professional, the high-note horns are denied you; Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Kenny Dorham, and a few others never made it into the inner circle.
    Trumpet mouthpiece manufacturers have caught on too, because they also build products that won't reach high notes. With the few exceptions mentioned above, they save their better products for professionals.
    That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

    Tomaso/
     
  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    Oh dear. Looks like the cat is well and truly out of the bag.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  5. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    I think that it depends on the player. I know that when I moved from my beat up student model King cornet to my Yamaha 739T when I was in 8th grade, the difference was immediate and substantial, and it enabled me to improve my playing in some pretty big steps at that time. With that said, I was already a strong player with a fairly developed sound and focused embouchure.

    On the other hand, I have come across players whose sound is so unfocused and diffuse, that I don't know how they'd tell the difference between horns or mouthpieces. I will say this though - a high quality instrument never hurt or hindered anyone.
     
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    :shhh:Don't tell this to Jason Harrelson. While he is a bit pricey his price is reachable.
     
  7. Spideriffic

    Spideriffic New Friend

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    Wow - thanks to all for these responses. Plenty of food for thought here. And thank you so much Ivan for your offer of help with my playing. Greatly appreciated. I have some lessons coming up with a teacher nearby, but I will keep you in mind for the future. In response to requests for more information from me - I am what some on this forum have referred to as a "come back player". At the height of my playing, decades ago, I was practicing hours every day and playing in a lot of groups. Then came employment (and a family) and the end of all that practicing. Now I am reducing my workload considerably and am thinking that this is an opportunity to attempt to get my lip back. I have a degree in music education and have been teaching elementary and junior high band for more than thirty years. I'm thrilled that I just landed a spot in a good local community band. I'm also going out to jazz jam sessions here and there, and setting them up in my home as well. The guy that I have a lesson with coming up gave me a few lessons a couple of years ago and seemed to help me get my sound together. He had me buzz my lips alone, simple melodies on a low pitch, to develop the muscles surrounding the embouchure, and get the center of my lip to relax so that it would vibrate and create a good sound. I then buzz the same melodies on the mouthpiece. Then I play all sorts of things on the horn, with a lot of them based on the teachings of Carmine Caruso. I actually studied with Carmine himself for quite awhile when I was a kid. That is, exercises where the mouthpiece stays in one position on the lip throughout the time the exercise is being played. I also love to practice stuff from the Arban and Clarke books.
    My horn when I was a kid (after I graduated from student models) was the Bach Strad. So, at this point, I've had that horn for 45 years. A few years out of college I tried the Benge, and was encouraged to buy it by people that said my sound was brighter with it. I stayed with that for a very long time. I played in a club date band for twenty years on the Benge. Recently I had a problem with a sticking valve and put it aside and went back to the Bach. The Benge went to the repair shop for a bath and attention to all the slides and so on. I felt like I was getting a pretty decent tone on my Bach, and increasing my practice time. Now I have my Benge back, and the Bach is in the shop for the same treatment. I've been playing the Benge, and not happy with my sound or the way things feel. It seems to me you can go crazy considering all the variables that go into this. Does my Benge no longer feel or sound good to me because I put in more practice time on the Bach, and I've gotten used to that horn? Did the repairman get carried away with adjusting the first and third valve slides so they "just drop" (no resistance to my moving my finger) as I requested? So maybe (I'm just guessing) there is no longer as good an airtight seal with these slides, and that's impacted things in a negative way? Is it because I'm getting over a cold, and my lip is not functioning up to speed, and it has nothing to do with one horn or the other? These days I feel like I'm "fighting" the Benge, and it doesn't blow as freely as the Bach. Maybe that's the nature of these two particular horns, and others might observe the same difference. Or not. Thanks again to all for your participation in this thread.
     
  8. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Thanks for all the info, exactly what I needed to know, and you are on the right path, having covered nearly all the areas I was thinking about. Horn serviced, good practice, playing regularly with a band, and finding a suitable teacher to save you time. _YOU are committed.

    BTW the 1st and 3rd slides can be made with a little more resistance with ease. Having them drop can be rectified with a slightly thicker grease. Ivan sells a good grease called MAGIC, but if the grease is still not enough there are some heavier greases around, and a good tech can off-set them a little to make them tighter. You can check the compression by listening for a pop when you pull the slide, and then press the valve down.

    Keep us updated on your progress.
     
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Spideriffic, I think that what you are experiencing with the Bach and the Benge is a situation where you've gotten used to and assimilated the quirks of one specific horn, and as a result, it's natural to try to play the other horn the same way as the first. Most trumpets have certain quirks in how they play and intonate, and some horns have (for want of a better way to state it) a pretty specific focal point, so you and your chops get used to that.

    In my own experiences playing, I used Bach Strads for almost 20 years exclusively before I got my Schilke. The day I play-tested the Schilke I liked it, and the deal was right so I bought it. I loved the horn for about 3 days. Then I got out on a gig and my intonation was all over the place! 2-3 weeks into it, I was beginning to think that I'd made a pretty expensive blunder. Somewhere around the 6 week mark, I really started digging it. I think that the problem I had was that the Schilke played so differently than my LB Bach Strad, but my chops, having played that specific Bach trumpet for so long, were trying to play that Schilke like a Bach, automatically compensating for some of the intonation quirks that it had. Once I'd fully assimilated to the Schilke, I found that the Schilke, to me anyway, was a much better trumpet for the kinds of playing I was doing, and my intonation improved considerably, even from what it was before I made the switch.

    If you used to prefer the Benge, stick with it - I'd be willing to bet that your chops will adjust to it soon enough, and once they do, you'll feel right back at home again.
     
  10. anthony

    anthony Mezzo Piano User

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    It doesn't matter a used Conn or Ambassador is fine don't listen to everyonehere Bach every thing is Bach Bach. ..and also dents don't make a difference. You are the music.
     

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