Ever Noticed a Horn plays better when...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Peter McNeill, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    This is just my opinion, and one based on experience over the past few years. But I do have a question.

    I have loaned a few horns out to some seriously good musicians over the past few years, and when they come back, they play much better, in terms of tone and accuracy for slotting. Two players in particular, even if it is a cheap Chinese horn, it comes back just so much better. On one occasion an Eb was loaned, and I watched these two players perform Vivaldi trumpet Concerto for 2 trumpets, one player had a Schilke Soprano Eb cornet, the other my Chinese Eb. On return, he said "That was hard work, but OK" based on that he knew it was a cheap horn.

    I have loaned out a few horns - they do not get a bath, just oiled and greased. They have all come back better players on return.

    So my question is:
    Does something happen to the metallic structure when played well over a period of time that makes it play better?
    So buying a 2nd hand brass instrument from a reputable pro gives the horn an edge over the :Brand new: horn from the factory?

    Any one else experienced this?
  2. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    I have noticed a similar thing in that a trumept always plays better when it belongs to someone else Phsycological I would call it........
  3. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Copper alloys are pretty amenable to cold strain hardening which operates on defects within the crystal structure. So if the instrument is played hard and consistently, it's conceivable that a low intensity version of this could be going on.
  4. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Yes on all occasions the loan has been over a few months, so the horns are played hard whilst they have them. These are seriously good players. I actually enjoy loaning horns to these guys, and always look forward to getting them back, I feel something is happening to make them better. Strange, I cannot fathom why they do play better than normal.

  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Some random thoughts on the subject.

    I think that the crystalline structures can change over decades, months for me would be a stretch.
    All of my horns play better when they are regularly played because the inside is MOIST. A dry horn is always a bit stuffy.
    Our mind is a very poor tool for middle term comparisons.
    Our mind is a poor tool for AB comparison as it also is used to control lips and breathing.

    That all being said, yes, I get the impression that my horns change when I loan them out. Maybe it is the measure of gratitude played into the horn from the person who borrowed it?
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I purchased my Getzen Classic 900 from a professional player and it sounded magnificent when I received it - but I soon played that nonsense out of it.

    Seriously, it still sounds wonderful and rates up there with my Harrelson Bravura - depends on the genre I guess - Harrelson for small groups, Getzen to blend.
  7. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    you know --- I might conjecture that if you took the same horn -- and played alongside a professional, or even someone who is "slightly" above your level of playing ---- then you will automatically become a better player without exchanging horns.

    I really believe this is mostly a "psychological" phenomenon.

    one story I have is that in my regular community band, I sit 3rd chair (sure I can play well beyond that -- but the conductor in that band, often says "if you can't play the passage, or don't like the passage, you don't have to play it") - plus there is a dozen trumpet players, who is going to miss me playing? --- when I go substitute for another community band for my yearly stint for a Memorial Day concert, this band is very heavy on trumpet music, has only a handful of trumpet players, and they EXPECT me to play the very very difficult 3rd trumpet part (which can be challenging, and IMHO, really out of the reach of the average community band expertise)
    ---- so you can imagine how my playing turns out --- my regular band, I skip stuff I dont' like, don't play stuff I don't like and more or less acquiesce to what is expected of me -- which is often NOT MUCH -------------------------------------- when I go play the Memorial Day concert for the "other" band, well I give them the professionalism, and the SOUND, and playing quality they EXPECT from me
  8. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    It has been proven conclusively that people's memory of sound is not as good as they think it is. Audiophiles, for example, frequently invent differences where there are none, and double-blind testing has proven it.

    Because you're away from your horn for a while, you forget the smaller nuances of it. When you get it back, you're noticing it with "fresh ears" and all of the various things you were habituated to are new to you.

  9. Pinstriper

    Pinstriper Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 26, 2013
    I've noticed this happens with new golf clubs. They always hit better for a while. Once the credit card bill comes in, it has learned how to maximize my swing flaws.
  10. BigDub

    BigDub Fortissimo User

    Dec 19, 2009
    Hillsborough, NJ
    Show someone a peeled apple. Have them smell it. Blindfold them. Substitute a peeled potato and have them take a bite out of it. A couple of bites will be required before they realize it's a potato and not that apple.

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