Is a C trumpet easier to work with piano?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by vndk8tr, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. vndk8tr

    vndk8tr New Friend

    Dec 25, 2009
    I jam with a bunch of guitarists/singers (I do guitar also) on weekends. I've wanted to bring my trumpet along for some time, but it would involve some fairly complex, instant transposing by ear (we all work from memory, so I can't even sight read). Would it be easier to get a C trumpet, since guitars are piano tuned? I just don't have the experience to know this, but if it does make it easier, I have a chance to get a C trumpet on the cheap. I've played it & I like it, but don't want it for anything but my own pleasure. I always use a B flat at gigs. I hope somebody can help me decide. Thanks.You can contact me here or send email to [email protected].
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    If you are reading melodies and changes in concert pitch a C trumpet can make the job much easier. The Bb is the instrument of choice for almost everything, and good players can transpose melodies and improvise over concert pitch chord changes with no problem.

    I can't.

    I use my rotary valve C, which looks funky, and can fake my way through.

    Adjusting to the C trumpet can take some time, especially regarding intonation. The C trumpet is "out of tune" in a couple of ways. Notes like Bb and A are almost always sharp, e's and Eb's at the top of the staff tend to be flat. Other intonation issues arise because we are used to the Bb, and accept its out of tune notes as normal. Nope, they aren't normal.

    Some of the early challenge is that we might read an F, for example, and blow like we do on the Bb, when we should really blow like playing a G.

    If you wan't to come across like a purist, and wish to play with them, then learn to transpose.

    I, personally would vote for the C, because it sets you up for all kinds of church and orchestral gigs, and you get more gear to play with.

    Have fun!
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I promised a while back not to be cynical anymore but, you have got to be kidding
  4. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Like VB, I can't transpose on the fly either, and was considering one for church as well. Guess you'd have to practice a bunch on it first though.....Buck:play::oops:
  5. Graham

    Graham Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    It's NOT TOO COMPLEX with a Bb trumpet! Just take anything you're playing UP ONE TONE. If the key is c, YOU PLAY D! if the key is Eb, YOU PLAY F!

    Remember this and save yourself the money and intonation confusion of a new horn, and contribute furthermore to your musical education.

    THAT BEING SAID, however, if you feel more comfortable playing with a C trumpet, test one out that has the best intonation for YOU. It will probably cost at least $1000 for a good one, but if you're willing to outlay that kind of investment, it'll be a new and exciting experience/horn to work with.
  6. Phil

    Phil Pianissimo User

    Jun 7, 2009
    Besides the fact that the transposition is only a whole step up for Bb trumpet, the Bb would work best with guitars and singers because it has a bigger fatter sound than a C trumpet. If you were to invest in a C trumpet and practice all the intonation kinks out of it, you would probably get weird looks from people in the crowd trying to figure out why your sound is relatively wimpy compared to the guitars.
  7. jdostie

    jdostie Piano User

    Feb 20, 2008

    Maybe I'm being obtuse here, but if you are playing by ear and not reading, doesn't the whole question of instrument pitch and transposing go away (except for some of the things I have read about the sound/tuning that is)?
  8. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    It's really not as difficult to transpose written music as your thinking. It's more a matter of practice than anything else. I'd just get in the habit of transposing, it's much cheaper.

    Also, you'd be surprised *I was* the number of players who shy away from any type of transposition.
  9. AndyC180chicago

    AndyC180chicago New Friend

    May 1, 2009
    What should he be kidding about?

    that he plays trumpet with guitarists, singers, and pianists? I'd say it's a pretty solid question.
  10. ogauge47

    ogauge47 Piano User

    Dec 26, 2008
    Metro Detroit, Michigan
    it is a matter of opinion, but personally I feel more comfortable if playing solo with a piano to play on a C trumpet

Share This Page