Lower brass

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by simonstl, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    There is nothing wrong with low brass. I play tuba and tenor horn too. The only "problem" is that we need more practice time to get additional instruments covered! If you practice switching, it works.
  2. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    Thanks, everyone. I'd looked through earlier posts, searching by instrument (trombone, euphonium, etc.), and this is much more positive than I'd expected to hear. Maybe just posing it as a big question rather than as a specific situation helps.

    What I'd seen before was mostly about different mouthpieces and embouchures, but it sounds like the lower instruments can be complementary in lots of ways, if a bit different.

    I'll keep an eye out for an opportunities to go lower, while still enjoying the trumpet.

  3. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    I started on trumpet and ended up playing baritone and tuba just as much as trumpet. Really if you can read bass clef and treble clef you are styleing since that is the bigest obstacle for many. The barriton though does have some music written in treble cleff I do not know about the Euphonium since those have really come on strong over the last 18 years with many schools switching to them and doing away with the baritone. I think this is due to marching band really because a Baritone is so much easier to master then a Euphonium especialy when you switch to 4 finger Euphonium. The mouth piece for a Baritone is very simalar to a trombone mouthpiece. I found it super easy to make the switch or switch backa nd forth dureing a concert between Baritone and Trumpet.

    Tuba is another beast all together. The hard part for a trumpet player when trying to play a tuba is to relax your chops tothe point that you think you are going to drop the note. Seriously it is like you poped 4 muscle relaxers and tried to play trumpet. It is very very hard to play both a trumpet and a tuba in the same concert because they reguire such a drastic difference in the amount of tension held in the chop's!!!

    Since my School gave me two tuba's and two baritones one for school and concerts and one to keep at home for practice I did not mind doing it since it was free and I was helping the school. Even when playing tuba or barritone I used to get in about 15 minutes of trumpet practice after I was done with my 1-2 hours of practice on either the baritone or tuba. Since I regularly switched between the two I would alternate until it was close to a concert I would play the tuba one night and the baritone the next. I always though made sure to get at least 15 minutes on my trumpet at the end of practice. The reason I waited until the end is that it is easier to tighten my chop's up at the end of practice then it is to relax them at the begining.m When ever their was a concert comeing up I would focus on what ever instrument and part's I had to play and forget about the musical instrument round table.

    I have never played bass trumpet but would love to have one. A valved trombone though would probably be easier to find used and the price would be cheaper since their was a time when valved trombones where super popular. Most of the Baritones,Euphoniums and Tuba's on ebay are either insanely priced or they need a lot of work. For this reason alone I have begun to look at Jupiter's line of Tuba's and Baritones because their price is right and I am just going to play for myself and maybe lay down some tuba jazz stuff for YouTube. Low brass can do anything that you would do with say the trumpet in terms of musical ability but you seldom see this type of work. Their are Jazz Tuba artists out their. You can get funky and lay down some wild stuff. Usualy when we hear low brass it is not very sophisticated they usualy serve two functions! One to support the rich sound of the other instruments int he band by adding low frequencys in. 2) They normaly help keep time along with the peercussion section.

    As for the baritone often my band teacher would take various clarinet part's and arrange them for the baritone section when their was no part in an origanal score for them. When she did that it made for some of the preetiest and most lively low brass sounds most have heard. Most clainet parts are lively,fast paced and have dramatic coverage of their register for low brass it was about like playing Flight of the Bumbel Bee all the time or dizzy finger's. My band teacher was very very big on have a solid low brass section that was inovative and different and I was lucky to play for her!

    So if you want to try something that will be an easy transition for you anything that has a mouthpiece not much bigger then a trombone will pose little problem for you just relax a litte. If you want to play the tuba expect to get frustrated the first week or two but after that you should be good to go. You have to relax your chop's almost totaly. Oh when you play into the low portion of the register on tuba sometimes you can not read your part because everything start's to blur or dance around due tot he vibrations so you do not want to look at a digital clock or anything like that when you go low or it will make you dizzy kind of like trying to read while you are rideing in a car.
  4. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
  5. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    My Band Director (a Low Brass player) has always said that the "Tuba is the velvet cushion upon which the entire Band sits".

    My #1 Son plays Tuba, #2 Son Trombone, and I have a Tenor Horn, so I have a bit of an afinity for low brass, but the world really spins around trumpet players and their trumpets, doesn't it?
  6. FlugelNoob

    FlugelNoob Pianissimo User

    Jan 5, 2009
    Toa Payoh, Singapore
    For us, it was: If music were to be a skycraper, tubas would form the base and euphoniums the pillars, while trumpets the antenna.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  7. andy-rockstar

    andy-rockstar Pianissimo User

    Jan 6, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    I picked up a baritone just so I could play TubaChristmas a month ago. I had never played a baritone, and last played tuba over 10 years ago, so it was a slight challenge at first to get the embouchre right. A few days of practice put everything in place--range wasn't an issue at all; I just had to build a little endurance and gain a feel for lower notes. TubaChristmas was a ton of fun and I look forward to doing it every year (but I want to switch to tuba just to do it right).

    I got the TubaChristmas music in Treble Clef so I wouldn't have to make that adjustment. When I played tuba it took me a while to sight-read anything because I didn't know Bass Clef very well. I had to get by trying to translate notes into fingerings. If/when I pick up a tuba in the near future I plan to get a beginner's book so I can get a better feel for Bass Clef.
  8. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    andy-rockstar, I figured you would have no problem seriously going from trumpet to baritone is easy as can be!!! I barley even noticed much difference really thinking back I was a kid so my memory is not super sharp but I do not remember any diffaculty at all. the Tuba was a different story like I said it was hard to relax the chop's!!!Plus the corner's of your lips are inside the mouthpiece not pined done and back like when playing a trumpet so the feed back is also very different . The baritone unless youhave a really small face and small lips your corners of your lips are still outside of the cup they are just outside the rim barely but the feed back is about the same as when playing a trumpet.

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