Is a C trumpet easier to work with piano?

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

  1. JediYoda

    JediYoda Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 25, 2010
    State of Confusion
    My instrument of choice has been my yamaha C...for over a year and a half.
    Even though I finally got my Olds Recording back from being refurbished I find the C is so much easier to use.
    In fact I have been known to use both at mass and depending on the pice I am playing!!
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

    Jun 6, 2010
    Keep trying ...
  3. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    Okay, I HAVE to get into this one.....

    As a horn player I own two Bb trumpets, 2 cornets, (2 more on the way) a C trumpet and a flugel. I would have more but I keep selling horns to finance new ones. (I am married, or I would have a CLOSET FULL!!) I have to agree that if you are not reading music, the key of the horn is moot. You are playing "by ear" and the intervals determine the next pitch. I think the OP's problem was that as a guitar player he was already thinking chord changes previously learned while trying to play in a different keyed instrument and keep everything together. I do understand the problem.
    Owning a C trumpet, I would have to say that the Bb is a better choice for today's sound with guitars. If you were playing "Greensleeves" or something from 100 years back or further, use a C trumpet. The Bb is a fuller fatter sound with a denser core and a more satisfying sound (to my ear at least) for today's musical needs. I see where some players here use a C and evidently are able to get a good result. For me in that setting if I used a C trumpet I would start to lose work.
    Just my observations, take them for what they're worth...
  4. craigph

    craigph Piano User

    Mar 12, 2010
    This is an observation rather than a suggestion...

    I have an old trumpet in storage that can be converted from Bb to A. I have always thought that playing a A trumpet would be far easier when playing with a guitar-centered jam group than Bb, given the keys guitarists normally play in. E and A are probably the most popular keys. I would much rather play is G and C respectively (on an A trumpet) than F# (uggg) and B (on the Bb). I know for a lot of people the key, (or how many sharps and flats) may not matter but I was jamming without any sheet music it would be far easier (for me) with a more trumpet friendly key.
  5. sonicgeo2

    sonicgeo2 Pianissimo User

    I wouldn't say it's easier. I'd say the easier of the two is Bb because tuning is easier. I find C trumpet tuning much more squirrely. My two cents.
  6. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    Instead of "wanting to bring your trumpet along for some time" why not just bring it and give it a go. If you aren't reading music, playing by ear is what you'll be doing. So dive on in and see how the water is. First-hand experience is way better than anything we can tell you.

    Now - that said - how well do you know your Bb? Are you comfortable playing in F# and B? It is the presence of the guitars that will move you into concert keys of E and A. If you are fine with playing in F# and B, then your Bb will work fine. If you aren't comfortable in those keys on your BB, but playing in the keys of E and A (on your BB) is easier for you, then a C trumpet will make things easier.
  7. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    The short answer is no. Any stock C trumpet you play is not going to sound like a typical Bb and just isn't going to put out the sound needed for live pop, rock, funk, soul or blues. Learn to play by ear and you will be better off in the long run.

    That said, there are times when having a C trumpet comes in handy.
    I use mine mostly in my church choir. My situation is however different than most. My C trumpet was custom built to have a broader, darker sound specifically because a "normal" C trumpet will cut right through a typical choir with its brilliant overtones.

    Also, in my choir not only do I often use my C to play choral parts, I often improvise background parts on the fly during performances. Having the comfort of playing sans transposition allows me to me fluidly improvise rather than having to "think" about being in a different key than the piano and organ.

    my 2c,

  8. oldlou

    oldlou Forte User

    Aug 28, 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    I fully agree. My prime usage of trumpet and cornet is with concert bands and playing in church. I have a hard time understanding trumpeters who complain that it is too difficult transposing to concert pitch on the fly. I know many that do it effortlessly, myself included, because I am old and have done it for many years and most of my at home 'woodshedding' is straight from a hymnal, doing that transposition. I do have a fine C trumpet, but it rarely gets used, except when a conductor demands it.

  9. ourcelay

    ourcelay New Friend

    Sep 27, 2010
    Buenos Aires
    ¨I've played it & I like it, but don't want it for anything but my own pleasure.¨

    I think there´s nothing more important that your own pleasure!
    By the way C and Bb trumpets have some notes that sound high or low but if you play both you need to have clear how to tune the notes in each trumpet, probably could be easier if you lern to transpose.
    Studie the scales and patterns in all key could help you too.
  10. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    When I was doing a lot of church playing I always felt that the harmonic structure of the C trumpet sat better with the pipe organ than the Bb.
    I dont know if this applies to the piano, I have not played much with one.

    Regards, Stuart.

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