Importance of practicing on Bb?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Anonymous, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    Hi Manny-

    I was just talking to my teacher, and he mentioned that he always does his routine practicing on C trumpet because he plays it on 99% of the work that he's doing. He said that he doesn't know why a lot of players swear by warming up and practicing fundementals on Bb trumpet. I can see his point.

    So, is there a specific reason people like Mike Sachs, Phil Smith, and many other great players stress the importance of Bb trumpet practice?

  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    The Bb is less cantankerous in some ways and more so in other ways. It is capable of producing a brassier tone on many notes than the more compact sounding C trumpet. The intonation on most C's is squirrely and is less so on most Bb's. Each has it's challenges.

    For some, playing in the altissimo register is less challenging on the Bb than the C. You can't play a low concert E on a C; on a Bb you can.

    For most, they'd rather play Zarathustra on C trumpet than on Bb. You have to have a tremendous control of the Bb to get away with that. It would be child's play on a piccolo but who would want to sound like that on a piece like that. I love playing the Bb because it's a different sound than the C and I like both too much to forsake either.

    I say: play it and enjoy it always.

  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    Cool, thanks! I was thinking the answer might have to do with some technical aspects of playing the Bb to produce a better sound on C, but I can identify with your answer much better. I just put down my Bb playing some opera arias and know it's much easier for me to sing on my Bb. It has such a warm sound and feel.

    Thanks for the response!
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    Nov 2, 2003
    I actual had a conversation with Mike Tiscione about this yesterday. He was telling me to do more stuff on B flat to help fill out the lower parts of my sound on C.

    If it works for Phil Smith that is good enough for me to try it. ;-)
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    Man that's what I think too. If Phil does it, Sachs does it, Manny does it...I should probably do it too!

  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    You can throw in the following while you're at it of guys that started the day with the Bb:

    Jimmy Smith
    Nat Prager
    David Zauder
    Seymour Rosenfeld
    Harry Glantz
    William Vacchiano
    Mel Broiles
    Johhny Ware

    and those are only the American guys... I haven't even scratched the surface with the Brits, past and present.

  7. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  8. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    Even if I am doing a run of cocnerts on the C trumpet (unlikely, but it has happened) I will still start each day on my Bb.
    I find that if I start on my Bb I start the day more capable of hearing the tone I want for my playing. I prefer my sound on my Bb to my C (this could be the result of years of UK habits) and even when playing C I want to sound more like I do on my Bb.
    I have tried starting days on my C trumpet. I found that the C then works well, but everything else is thrown out of pitch. If I start on my Bb, they are all much more accessible.

    Even if I am doing gigs on a cornet, I still warm-up on my Bb trumpet - the Bb is my homebase, from there everything starts well. From any other starting point, the day seems out of balance.
    This confuses the heck out of any cornet players I might be working with (if on a brass band tour or something). I can be found warming up on a trumpet in the morning, yet appear with a cornet later. I have been known to pack the Bb purely for warm-up purposes.
  9. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    I find that my playing is happier when I do initial warm up on Bb. If I have to play later in the day and warm up on the C I am fine. I have fewer playing problems and seem to be more secure.

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