Jens' Yamaha trumpet rant

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetjens, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I always liked the story about the Olds Mendez model. They cloned Mendez's French Besson, and Mendez was totally unimpressed, until they valves were lapped down to the point of being leaky, just like the much played Besson. Too often when trying out a new horn, we want it to be just like our old one, only more so, and are often disappointed. Only if we allow the instrument to seek it's own voice, can we truly say that we've tried it out.

    p.s. Jens, welche Alarmanlage Hersteller?
  2. TrentAustin

    TrentAustin Fortissimo User

    Oct 28, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Great post, Jens. Don't we know by now it's not the arrow, folks? I wonder if people back in Louis' or Glantz's time were so worried about equipment like we are. I think so many of us "hear with our eyes".

    I love that story about Mendez as well!

    I commend Yamaha for making horns with great character. I love some of the horns that Yamaha is putting out (especially the LA and the RGS... that RGS has been lost in the shuffle of all the higher ticket items) IMO I will never send a student towards a Bach when horns like Sonare and Yamaha are out there. Great horns, great quality. I had an LA I liked a lot, then I got back into playing Monette horns. It became a much harder transition for me to jump back from the 993 to the LA. Now I have a lot of horns with big specs (my Marcinkiewicz and Monette are examples) but I'm also practicing 5-8 hours daily. Perhaps when I get a gig (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) I'll stop shedding.

    Looking forward to having a pint with you in Banff, Jens.


  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Ahh, the post with the meat! Thank you Jens! You have made my day!

    I am in the Frankfurt area (the Yamaha specialty shop in Neu Isenburg is about 30 minutes away! I am sure we would not have much to "debate" about other than maybe at the end of the evening who drank more...............

    We will see about the Vizzutti blend. Presently, one of the easiest horns to pick out of a wind band (or any other) section is a Xeno - regardless of who is playing and with what mouthpiece. Yamaha really stretched the envelope of choice there, and that is not one of my favourite horns when blend is an issue - even in amateur ensembles. Perhaps not as critical as in a symphony orchestra, but none the less an issue.

    When is the Vizzutti model available? Will you be doing the introduction in Germany? Do you need someone to carry the case?
  4. ecarroll

    ecarroll Artist in Residence Staff Member

    Jul 13, 2005

    Just to clarify -- and you probably already know this -- Yamaha was making valve clusters ca. 1970 for Schilke's M (student) Series, not his professional trumpets. I'm certain of this as my father worked in the Schilke shop, as did I off and on.

    The early Yamaha trumpets were indeed Schilke designs.

  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    as I see it:
    Jens makes a very good point about big mouthpieces and their non-necessity. I agree with this philosophy wholely when we are talking about players with a solid daily routine. When we address amateur players that do not have regular practice time, my experience shows a different picture.
    Let us look at what happens:
    First of all, when you compare a 1 1/4C to a 3C to a 5C to a 7C, you only see "microscopic differences" in the rim size. The inner rim determines the "length" of the vibrating tissue, the rim shape determines how "comfortable" it is and the cup volume determines how many overtones get into the horn at what strength.
    When playing softly, the lip tissue is not subject to major stress, but the smaller size can offer substantial advantages in "focus" (less mass to get into motion=faster accelleration=cleaner attack) albeit, only when the lip is properly conditioned by regular practice!
    When playing low notes or loudly, a small lip length must move further(deeper into the cup) to move the same amount of air as a longer lip length.
    When playing high notes, the smaller mouthpiece offers an advantage of the shorter vibrating length and less damping by the lip mass.

    So I hope the mechanics are a bit clearer because now comes the ringer: Players with irregular or inadequate practice habits, play more consistently with a larger mouthpiece because there is simply more room for error AND the additional lip mass means that they do not have to "relax" or "support" as much to play loudly. Yes, an amateur player often needs more cup volume and lip length to balance other sins. I believe this gets many players into big mouthpieces when they are young, and lack of knowledge keeps them from using a setup which focusses better later.

    Of course, we have some pretty impressive players that use exclusively large equipment. We also have playing so massive that plexiglass shields are being implemented to save the hearing of the other players in front of the brass section.

    Jens's rant about mouthpiece size makes perfect technical sense. It is possible to scale our dynamics. A smaller mouthpiece can provide a more secure focus when playing softly and offer more security in the upper octave (provided one practices on a regular basis).
    What is missing, is a relook at the trumpets function in the orchestra. If we accept that 30% softer but with more color could be desirable, there is NOTHING that should slow us down. Scaling color but maintaining big equipment will not work. A large cup volume will always dampen the overtones more. That means to get a "brilliant" sound with big equipment, we HAVE to play more loudly. Check out any of the recent recordings of the Beethoven symphonies using natural trumpets. There you get the fortississimo blare at a mezzo forte volume. A definite advantage and improvement in "color".

    I really doubt that this "crusade" will bring any widespread immediate results. The notion that we need the biggest, fattest, densest sound in the universe is very much ingrained into everyday thinking and a cooperative attitude concerning volume of sound in ensemble playing is not necessarily at the top of most trumpet players thinking. Still, if we start to count how often we are asked to play less loudly, or how much we have to practice to play some high lick reliably, we may just realize an advantage by trying something radical - like a smaller mouthpiece.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  6. cornetguy

    cornetguy Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 12, 2005
    Saint Paul, MN
    Schilke did use Yamaha valve clusters even in the Custom model horns in the 1970"s they only used them on their most popular models. I have a B1 that has a Yamaha valve cluster. The Schilke Loyalist website has information about this.
  7. derekkress

    derekkress Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2007
    Montreal Qc Canada
    This really makes sense now.You have summed up this post right on the money! It's also like golf players who have the same hang ups we do.They too are also looking for the miracle club(trumpet) and ball(mouthpiece).The only secret, be in top physical shape(mind and body), intelligent/focused practice sessions , "compete" by playing in as many different playing environments as possible and listen to what these artists are saying!They know what they are talking about!Just for the record I'm one of those crazy lead cats that play on big equipment(hopefully for the focus and not to hide my sins!)
  8. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    I remember reading the HL Clarke papers (How I became a cornetist) and he was constantly searching for better equipment.

    Still, your point is very well taken...that personal work will do more for your playing than a shiny new horn.

    The only thing I'll say is that (just like Clarke was after), equipment "can" make your job easier. It's not the total answer...but it can help. Maybe some of these Yamaha horns will be at some festivals over the course of the next several months. I'll look forward to giving them a try.

    This subject is very interesting to me though. I have enjoyed reading the posts. Thanks to all..
  9. shooter

    shooter Piano User

    Jan 12, 2007
    I'm one of those amatuer players that for whatever reason, started with a 7c and ended up on a 1.5c over the course of, say, 25 years. I can't really remember who told me to do this, but the reason was that "the better you get, the bigger mouthpiece you need for a more full and clear sound". I guess I just fell for it like everyone else. I will say this however; I like my sound better now.......I feel like the bigger mpc takes some of the "edge" off, which some players may not like. I can also play just as high with a 1.5c as I ever could with a 7c. Now, one could argue that I'm just a better player now, but when I put in one of my smaller mpc's, I sound horrid. My articulation goes right down the toilet, and my sound is way too brash. I'm always willing to try new things though......maybe I'll try the 5b Jens recommended.
  10. derekkress

    derekkress Pianissimo User

    Oct 8, 2007
    Montreal Qc Canada
    If it don't need fixing leave it alone!

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