Made of Glass vs Made of Steel

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Satchmo Brecker, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I think that it's an interesting observation that you made about there being different camps. I tend to be from your second category, but I don't consider myself "made of steel" - it's just what I have adopted that fits my lifestyle and the music I play. I guarantee that if I started working playing more classically oriented music, I would probably change my routine a bit to something a bit more consistent, even if I didn't try to utra tweak my gear.
  2. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    I wasn't hung up on gear for 30 years, playing the same horn and almost the same mouthpiece for all that time (except a couple of years diversion to cornet) -- but I did take a keen interest in the gear when I changed to a Strad, then to my current pair of horns. Now I've settled on my new gear my interest/focus on the gear is waning again while I just play.

    A bit like when I changed cars I think.

  3. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I used to think that gear was just gear and that it was all more similar than different. I've had a couple of experiences recently that have shown that gear can be very different, even when it looks nearly the same. These experiences have been playing on various horns in the exhibit hall at both the National Trumpet Competition and the Maryland Trumpet day festival. Even between two horns that are similar in weight and appearance there can be a world of difference in how they blow and play.

    All the same, once you find the horn and mouthpiece that has the kind of sound and response that fits you as a player, IMO it doesn't do much good to dwell on it too much. At that point I think a player needs to take responsibility for themselves and get to work to make the gear work for them.
  4. Dave Hughes

    Dave Hughes Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 19, 2010
    Rochester, NY
    Uhm, I do like to talk about equipment, because its a little of a hobby--I can also hit you with double a's for two hours straight...Soooo, OP, where would I fit?
  5. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I'm not a pro but the really good players that I know all seem to be the 'steel' category. I guess my list of trumpets (and corresponding collection of MP's) give me away as being closer to glass. But, even that is way more than I can really claim. I'm likely more like cellophane (pretty thin and not very strong).

    But, let's face it, there are a lot of players who stress quite a bit over the equipment issue.
  6. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    I guess we all like talking equipment...I was thinking more about mindset. Camp steel seems to think the player makes the horn, camp glass seems to think the equipment makes the player. I had in mind the story I read about Arturo, I think on TM, about how someone was asking him all about his horn, as if the horn made the player, and evidently he disagreed. He then took some students student level horn and proved his point. And like I said, these are really stereotypes...most players probably lean one way or the other but not completely. And bottom line, proof is in the pudding.

    Now I suppose you'd be in another camp altogether...those who think being able to blast out high notes all night makes them a great player and those who don't. But I digress... ;-)
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    To illustrate the horn makes the player/player makes the horn thing just a bit, it takes me back to my 2nd and 3rd year I attended the Rocky Mountain Summer Music Camp in Fort Collins, Colorado. (And this one time, at band camp....)

    The 2nd year I was there I was 1st chair in the #2 jazz band, and in that band was a girl playing an older lacquered something or other. One of the songs we played was the love theme from the movie "Ice Castles" and rather than having just one person play all of the trumpet solos, our director broke it out into sections so that we all had a chance to play some of it. I lead it off, another girl picked it, a guy named Rob picked up the high stuff, and then this other girl finished it out. Her part sounded pretty bad, and afterward my Mom commented that part of why she sounded bad was that she was disadvantaged by the horn she was playing. The rest of us were all on Bachs or Yamahas - standard pro level stuff.

    Now we come to the third year. This girl rolls in with a shiny silver plated Strad and I heard her entry audition through the door while I was waiting to take mine. Not good. I don't know where she wound up - by that point I was in all of the Honor groups - 3rd chair overall in the Honor band, Principal trumpet in the Honor orchestra and I think I brought up the tail as 4th in the #1 Jazz band. The reason I don't know where she wound up is because I simply didn't see her - she never advanced past where she had been the year before and she wasn't in any of the ensembles I was in. I'm not saying this to brag - simply to point out that her upgraded equipment didn't seem to help her much - at least not at the time. My Mom blamed her performance on her horn, but I contend she'd have sounded that way anyway.
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Not to take this thread off track too much, but what years were you in Ft. Collins. I lived there from 1977-1978; and played in the Colorado State University big band the Statesman. We did some clinics with students. Could we have done a clinic together?
  9. veery715

    veery715 Utimate User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Ithaca NY
    I don't like discussing equipment. Bore size is boring. Triggers, saddles, o-rings, heavy caps, mouthpiece throats - none of that is at all interesting.

    Finishes, valve guides, leadpipes, and stuff like that is a big yawn. Copper, yellow brass, Re-O-Loy, coprion, sterling silver: just a bunch of metal.

    Cup shape and articulation, rim shape and comfort, mouthpiece gap, Tweekers, harmonic balancers, Xons, rounded tuning slides, reverse leadpipes, french beads - who cares?

    Tuning bells, one-piece bells, two-piece bells, fast tapers, slow tapers, french tapers, morse tapers, straight thru valves, Hamanaga valves, perinet valves, rotary valves, 4th valves, fourth valves, ovoid valves, short-throw valves, bottom-sprung valves, stainless steel valves, nickel-plated valves, monel valves, stuck valves, sticky valves - silly minutiae!

    Why anyone would want to talk about Yamaha vs Bach vs Lawler vs Stomvi vs Olds vs Marcinkiewicz vs Adams vs Austin Winds vs Wild Thing vs Eclipse vs Harrelson vs Monette vs Taylor vs Blackburn vs Getzen vs Carol vs Jupiter vs Conn vs Courtois vs Selmer vs Schilke vs V Raptor vs B&H vs Besson vs B&S vs King vs York vs Kanstul vs Scodwell vs Blessing vs Shires - I have absolutely no idea.

    Not to mention flat buttons, rounded buttons, inlaid buttons, dished buttons, lightweight buttons, heavy buttons, small buttons, large buttons,...
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Nope - I attended the summer music camp there in 86, 87 and 88, just prior to my Senior year of HS, and aside from that, I actually lived about 180 miles away in SW Nebraska. When I was there, David Shaner was the man in charge of a lot of it, or at least where the brass was concerned. My first year there he also directed the Symphonic band, the #2 band next to the Honor Band, which I didn't make that first year. The second year I was there Rober Jager was the clinician who directed the honor band, and my last year it was Robert Mayes. David Shaner also directed Jazz band #1 my last year there. Great guy and one heck of a trumpet player!

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