Favourite Bach Stradivarius

Discussion in 'Horns' started by BrassBandMajor, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. OldSchoolEuph

    OldSchoolEuph Mezzo Forte User

    Apr 1, 2011
    OK, lets be honest about this - it DOES matter how much talent a person has. It also matters how physically suited or encumbered they may be. That's reality. But some of the most exceptional performers I have known were not particularly gifted when they started. Conversely I have seen great natural talent put to little or no use. Hard work to overcome modest limitation seems an ideal formula for exceptional success.

    In the same regard, equipment matters. Finding a tool that makes it easier to achieve the desired result translates to spending more time and energy refining one's technique and expression instead of simply fighting to make the horn work. The right equipment, and what that is will be unique to the player, is a key component of allowing hard work to manifest into excellence as a player.
  2. Bb Bill

    Bb Bill New Friend

    Nov 15, 2016
    South central Alabama
    According to Clarke, it does not, and I see his logic. There have been two students that come to mind (these particular two are separated by 22 years, one trumpet, one tuba, both 13 years of age) I taught that had no real talent at all, but they were very intelligent and highly motivated. They both made all state. And, like all of us, I have had students who hit the Big Trifecta: Talented, smart and motivated. Anyone could teach those students. I was just lucky enough to be "the guy." You can tell the difference.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018 at 5:04 PM
    True Tone likes this.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Actually we are closer than you think. I mentioned frames of reference. This is a core issue for my value system as I believe that we only really understand things in the frame of our references. This means if I am at a personal limit, or have bad habits, I have to find someone with a wider frame to introduce me to things that I do not know. Whether or not the American dream is a reality is another question. My problem with it is due to the fact that mostly we are in our own way and WE intellectually limit our possibilities. I most certainly agree with the right mentor or teacher that we can develop fantastic technique and range. I am not sure that musicality is any more learnable than common sense. I personally know many players with more range than sense as well as many with very uneven qualities (range but no groove, articulation but no tone)

    Can we judge people by the company (hardware) that they keep? I think that we can understand a lot about a persons playing habits when they voice strong preferences. I understand the differences between instruments and how much is based on frames of reference. That does not mean that I “judge” those people, but it does mean that I do know quite a bit about their playing habits and in the course of a lesson or two how I can widen their reference. Those willing to reflect have nothing to lose. Those with an agenda lose out. I learn from every member here - regardless of their technique or musicality. I have met several members personally and have not been disappointed or embarassed.
    True Tone likes this.
  4. Bb Bill

    Bb Bill New Friend

    Nov 15, 2016
    South central Alabama
    This was just awesome!
  5. WannaScream

    WannaScream Pianissimo User

    Nov 27, 2013
    I just bought a like-new Vindabona. I sold my old '79 37 last year, thought I was done with Bachs. At least, the garden variety 180 series (I like the Artisan and the Commercial). But I went horn shopping, and had been curious about the 72MLV, partly because they are rare. I play tested it against a bunch of other horns, Bachs included, and it's sound and playability really stood out. It has a rich, colorful sound (many say dark), great intonation, and notes that can be tricky on other horns speak easily on it.
    Bb Bill likes this.
  6. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Bingo! I've been saying this for years. Sure, a really good trumpet player can make about any trumpet sound good, but you don't know how much he's working to overcome any shortcomings it may have. Equipment does matter, but great equipment won't do much of anything to improve a player's range, technique, style, reading skills, musicality, etc. What good equipment does is make what you can already do, easier. Less effort fighting an instrument = more musicality.
  7. Bb Bill

    Bb Bill New Friend

    Nov 15, 2016
    South central Alabama

    So much yes!
    Dale Proctor likes this.
  8. vwagen

    vwagen Pianissimo User

    Mar 1, 2016
    +1 on the 72MLV. After playing a 72 at a local music store, I really found I enjoyed the richness of the sound. On a whim I stumbled on a Mt Vernon Vindabona from 1964, on eBay, but sold locally. I Won the auction, had it fixed it up and it is just amazing. I can’t believe I stumbled on it. I did end up putting a Melk leadpipe on it (after trying a few) and I feel like it is tailor made for me. It has a rich, orchestral sound and yet for me it has better range than my 37. After finding the shop card, I found out that it was one of 125 Mt Vernons build with that spec, and one of the last out of the NY factory.
    Bb Bill and TrumpetMD like this.
  9. Bflatman

    Bflatman Forte User

    Nov 27, 2008
    Manchester, England
    I am hesitant to just jump in, in particular I am entirely self taught and can perhaps be seen as an accused who chooses to defend himself, somewhat of a knowledgeless fool, but the topics discussed are in my view critically important to every serious trumpet player.

    First of all I come from a background of having learned many things in particular body use principles, this has led me to succeed in physical activities from archery to shooting to flying to well dozens of things. In all things I have been declared a natural. A natural in everything, I dont think so.

    Rowuk is in my opinion the most knowledgeable player and teacher I have ever seen, the things I have discovered or worked out about trumpet playing have all been confirmed by him and that leads me to have enormous respect for him. I know that if I want the real deal on how to play and improve I only have to ask him and he willingly delivers.

    Lets talk turkey

    I do not believe that the troubles players have with instruments can be laid at the door of the instrument. I believe that it is almost exclusively the inadequacies of the player that emerge when he or she has problems. I dont mean inadequacy in a bad way I simply mean an inability to exploit the instrument due to characteristics that the instrument has and that the player cannot easily work with.

    Rowuk articulates this well but his explanations can sometimes appear pointed and make a the player reading them defensive.

    Looking back in time, in ancient times teaching consisted of bending ones body and will to the needs of the activity and the equipment, unlearning what we habitually do and forming new habits. In other words, changing ourselves to the needs of the equipment we use. We cannot simply do what our bodies want to do or we will ultimately fail we must teach our bodies to use the equipment or we will simply fail.

    In the case of a knight using a weapon, each weapon has its own natural rhythm and characteristics, if we refuse to change our body use to the needs of the weapon in our hands then some weapons will not function well in our hands and we will prefer just a few weapons that we can perform well with. A well taught and accomplished fighting man can pick up any weapon available and use it well adjusting his body use to the weapon. There is a correlation here with trumpet playing.

    I believe that 300 years ago a new apprentice trumpet player upon joining a trumpet guild would not be allowed to utter the words "I dont like this trumpet it doesnt sound good, and its a bit stuffy can I have a different one". On the contrary I believe that he would be told in no uncertain terms to quit bellyaching and learn to play the only instrument he will ever get period, and if he bellyaches again he is kicked out and his teeth are broken.

    We today can try and own any of a thousand instruments cherry picking until we quite by chance end up with the only instrument we are capable of playing well. Is this where we have ended up after hundreds of years of improvement, less capable bellyaching players who due to poor body use have to use just one instrument and are incapable of using the very best trumpets and they refuse to learn the skills necessary to become decent performers.

    I am not trying to belittle anyone here but I see a lot of players who refuse to learn skills and then blame the instrument for their failures.

    There is no easy way of saying this, If you have a problem playing a top quality professional instrument then the problem lies with you not the instrument.

    I have played and owned many instruments and every time I have hit a problem with an instrument I have not thrown it away and tried to find an instrument that did not have that problem, I realised that I was the one with the problem and set about fixing it. Consequently I now have a range of trumpets and cornets that all sound fabulous.

    Look at motorsports, take a professional driver put him in an underpowered compact car and he will shock with his ability to make it set fast lap times. take a professional trumpet player and give him any decent trumpet and he will blow up a storm. The equipment does not matter the player and the players skill matters.

    It is my opinion that the better we are the more agnostic we are and it matters little what we play if it is half decent. All trumpets and cornets play well and sound gorgeous, they just do.

    I am the first to admit that different trumpets are different and have different tone and core, and we should choose the instrument that we prefer due to its flexibility tone color and core but this does not mean that we can blame the instrument for what essentially amounts to poor playing.

    We are the weak link it is time to stop blaming our equipment and start learning how to play it properly.

    The words of Rowuk are as gold dust, believe everything he says you can take it to the bank.
  10. Franklin D

    Franklin D Forte User

    May 23, 2009
    The Netherlands
    It is true that we may be glad with mr. Rowuk here. He protect us by his honest reasoning, experience and tact from the majority of BS and incompetence of the other forum.

    But by saying that Rowuk is always right, you have the pretention that you have the knowledge and experience to judge that. That's the reason I asked to the OP: how do you know that? Your words are in fact a statement of how you think of your own capacities, I quote:
    "Rowuk is in my opinion the most knowledgeable player and teacher I have ever seen, the things I have discovered or worked out about trumpet playing have all been confirmed by him and that leads me to have enormous respect for him". So the gold dust exists on basis of confirmation of the things you already worked out. So in fact your judgement of Rowuk is based on hope, hope that he is right and with that, you will also be right.
    But this is about you not about Rowuk, I really like his posts and I suspect that he sees a lot of things the right way. But sometimes I think he is not right and so still human. Two examples: he said that trumpetplaying is easy and as a general statement I think that is not true and that that is objectively possible to argue. Second, in the discussion above with Bb Bill he took the position that Bb Bill was more or less wrong by hating a VB horn. But with hating you can't be wrong, that is a fact. I hated my Adams F1 flügelhorn, wanted to get rid of it. Why? I blamed the intonation but in fact I hated it cause it was so light weighted. A really lousy feeling. Could I overcome that by practice, better body use or adequate teaching? No, that paper horn should still be light weighted. Could of course be a good horn for somebody else.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018 at 11:59 AM

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