Holding an English-style cornet

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by B-Flat Cat, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. B-Flat Cat

    B-Flat Cat Pianissimo User

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    I recently joined a British-style brass band as a 3rd cornet. I purchsed an English-style cornet (1st and 3rd slide triggers instead of Bach-style thumb crook and finger ring). Up until now I have always played a trumpet and had never even held a cornet. I find that holding the cornet for any period of time causes a lot of discomfort in my left hand. I realize it is a smaller horn than a trumpet and I do have fairly large hands and I am on the flip side of 60 with the attendent joint issues, but I can hold on to my Connstellation comfortably for as long as I need to or play guitar 'til the cows come home.

    I'm going to ask my section leader about it, but I would like to hear from forum members with the same experience (assuming I'm not unique with this problem). Is there a recommended grip for the left hand on this style of instrument? Are both slide triggers operated by the left hand or should I grip the horn in such a way as to continue using my right thumb on the first slide trigger as I am used to doing with my Connstellation?

    I just finished practicing cornet and I'm going to see if we have any Ben-Gay in the house:-P
     
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

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    Left thumb for 1st trigger . Cornet held by left hand, with right thumb either resting between first and second valves or just under lead pipe. Leaving right hand free to work valves, little finger outside the finger ring.
     
  3. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    I had a similar problem transferring from my Boosey and Hawkes Trumpet to a Getzen 700S. The left hand needed to be two up and two down which forced a Vulcan salute. The back of my hand and the base of my fingers ached for many months. It gets easier, and the slide operation actually begins to work more naturally as you stretch. Drumming exagerated patterns with my left fingers seemed to help. Yes, I too have 60 y.o. hands with very short fingers (shorter than my palm) and have worked with hand tools for a lot of my life. Keep practicing, use your linament if you have to (I avoided it because I had no idea how it would impact with the finish on my trumpet) and the pain will go away - eventually.
     
  4. vern

    vern Piano User

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    I use my left thumb on the 1st valve trigger and ring finger (and little finger) on 3rd valve trigger. Now I've got trigger finger ROFL (just kidding).
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  5. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    I find that "canting" the cornet slightly so that there is little or no angle between my arm and wrist on my left side, rather than trying to hold my instrument straight up by cupping my wrist helps me not to feel strain in my wrist and hand. What you do have to aware of is the person on your left can get an elbow in the face
     
  6. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    Strangely I've developed the same grip - see my avatar - same photo is in one of my albums. Essentially the left wrist is straight meaning that I find it easier to push the valves straight down too.
     
  7. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    Very similar grip Ted I think I'm just a little more open with my body line but that's the only difference I can see
     
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    That's interesting. I don't know how many other cornets are built this way, but the Bach 184 is built on an angle to let your wrist do just that. The finger rings, trigger, etc are vertical when the cornet is held at an angle. Here's a not-so-good picture of mine to illustrate the point.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

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    .... and just for comparison - here's my Weril Pocket Trumpet and valves


    [​IMG]

    The string - well it's a G string
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
  10. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

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    Okay Ted thongs for that photo, On topic now, I think most corntes are built roughly like that Dale, I just find to get the angle of the wrist right form me I have to exaggerate that a little. Of course I have seen people take this notion too far and play with the wrist almost clawed over the horn with it hanging under their fingers. (usually flugelers and Soprano players for some reason) It looks very uncomfortable and looks to put a lot of stress on the right hand.
     

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