Lessons & horn or horn & lessons

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MVF, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. MVF

    MVF Pianissimo User

    Sep 10, 2010
    I'm a recent returning player of about 2 months. I think I've got enough of my chops back to start taking lessons. I have the '51 Olds Special that was my first trumpet, but I really loved the Connstellation I played in high school. I actually bought one on eBay, but ended up returning it because the valves were so bad.

    I've kind of decided to get a Kanstul because; their factory is close enough for me to go to, Zig's reputation- I haven't found any complaints about their horns, the assortment of models, and finally, one of them is a copy of my beloved Connstellation. I just really like the idea of supporting someone who has been such a contributor to the industry.

    My question is this;
    Since I know I liked the Connstellation, should I get the 990 to learn on? (It also has the benefit of being one of their lower priced models.)
    Try what they have (that I can afford) and buy whatever I like most to learn on?
    Or should I keep playing the Olds, take some lessons, and then pick a horn?

    I guess what I'm asking is how much did your tastes in trumpets change as you progressed? And would it be better to take lessons on the better trumpet, or develop my skills on the Olds and then step up?

    There are so many threads that say the horn doesn't matter, but there are just as many where somebody gets a new horn and goes on about "It's so much easier to play and my tone is better than it's ever been and I've added three octaves to my upper range!"

    If I am totally missing the boat on any of this, please feel free to let me know.

    TIA, Mike
  2. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008
    My vote is to wait. Keep playing the Olds, take some lessons.

    The better you get, the more you'll appreciate the differences between the horns you play. Also, the longer you wait, the more money you can save, which will increase your options when you buy.

    I waited an extra 2 years after I decided I wanted a new horn before I finally pulled the trigger. During that time I played LOTS of horns (mostly from the wall at Dillon's) and by the time the trumpet I wanted came up for sale on the internet, I was ready for it.

    Foe what it's worth I think anew Kanstul is a great choice. Vintage horns are cool, but as you discuvered the "affordable" ones usually need a bit of work (and sometimes luck) to get them back in shape.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The range thing is way off base.
    Zig is some of the best there is though. Being close is a BIG advantage.

    My taste changed in trumpet - I needed MORE of them as I improved!

    Lessons are invaluable - the earlier the better. Bad habits are tough to unlearn.
  4. MVF

    MVF Pianissimo User

    Sep 10, 2010
    Yeah, that was supposed to be a joke. I started to write "three notes" and then thought "what the heck, let's have some fun with it" and made it three octaves instead.

    I can definitely relate to what you're saying- I'm a knife collector and I can already see a lot of my knives turning into trumpets!

    From what I've been reading, besides the trip to Kanstul (nice of him to have models that correspond to so many popular horns!), I need to try the Jaeger-Diamond, and if I can find one, a Yamaha New York. I doubt I''l be able to afford the Yamaha even if I do find one, so the Kanstul 990 and the Jaeger are probably the frontrunners.

    I really thought I'd get more discussion on this topic- am I beating a dead horse?
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    there is no way of knowing how a thread will take off. It is common knowledge that a little bit of knowledge is dangerous. Once trumpet players figure out how DIFFERENT horns sound, they have a serious problem..........
  6. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    You didn't say how long you where away from the horn.If it was a number of years,your body has gone through more than a couple changes.I know mine has, and that now at age 60, I wouldn't be able to keep up with my high school self. Try taking lessons for a while ,and then see where you are at on the trumpet. This way you can also get some feed back from your teacher as to which model will be the best fit for you.
  7. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    As a comeback player, I completely agree with Al's post. Yes, I do love the Connie, but even so, I play my Olds Recording and vascillate back and forth, but still favor the Connstellation:dontknow:. Bottom line, it's not the mouthpiece or the horn as much as the nut behind the mouthpiece! Best wishes in getting back in the saddle. Competent instruction is very valuable to your progress!
  8. tptmusicaz

    tptmusicaz Pianissimo User

    Dec 12, 2006
    I'm not a comeback player, but I've played on the Connstellation for 22 years. I'm actually going to be trying out the Kanstul 991 (same as the Conn, but silver plated with gold trim). The 990 is the nickel plate with brass trim just like the original. I'd say get a few lessons with what you have and get some chops going again, then if you want to go for the Kanstul, go for it.

    Good luck,

  9. MVF

    MVF Pianissimo User

    Sep 10, 2010
    Thanks guys. Kind of what I was afraid you'd say. Even with the problems it had, I did like the Connstellation better than my Olds -but then I don't have the Recording!

    Al, a number of years is putting it mildly- that number would be getting very close to 40. Thanks to some straight front teeth (caps) and some of the stuff I've learned off the internet, in some ways I think I'm already ahead of where I was before- of course, in others, especially endurance, I'm way behind. I've even forgotten some of my music notation.

    I am finding out that I knew next to nothing about playing the trumpet when I was younger- a real tribute to ignorance in action. I had terrible technique in many ways, but still managed to play first chair first in one of the best HS bands in CA. All I can say is that we had a really good band director and he knew how to get what he needed out of us.

    Anyway, having played at that level makes this a little frustrating, but knowing how little I knew then, how much I'm learning now, and the chance to take lessons makes it pretty exciting too. Being more mature I appreciate things about music and the sound of the trumpet that I completely missed when I was younger.

    Sorry for the wordy reply, can you tell I'm excited?
  10. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    MVF, you indeed have a true dilemma. I had the same dilemma when I started my comeback after 40 years off. I had my original 55-year old Selmer Invicta but it did not sound good when I played it. I also found my original Olds cornet and decided to find out if there was something that played better. Now "many" trumpets later (I won't say how many in case my wife reads this), I still have not found any that play significantly better than my original ones.

    By the way, the Special is a great trumpet. If you keep playing it, you will learn more about how to make it do great things. It just needs to be trained a bit, sort of like your favorite dog.

    I am near you and have been to Zig many times. He makes great trumpets so I would not discourage buying one. He may have actually been the one that built your Special (depending on what year it is). Say Hi when you go in (but don't expect a warm, mushy response - he's his own man).

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