Magic Horns

Discussion in 'Horns' started by wiseone2, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I have stated many times that the player is the most important factor in sound production.
    No horn has made a sound without a human being attached to it.
    Ten players using the same mouthpiece and horn setup are going to sound like ten different guys. Each one will have his own unique way.
    I have many times witnessed fine players trying an instrument and each one having a different assessment of that horn's pros and cons.
    I have also heard great players using student caliber horns, they were, for this listener, equal to the expensive horns of the players choice.
    I saw Freddie Hubbard with a cheap Conn student model horn that sounded glorious. Lee Morgan was constantly using horns the looked like h*ll.
    When I met Sergei Nakariakov he was using a beatup Getzen with a 10.5C Bach mouthpiece and he sounded marvelous.
    It aint the's the man behind it.
  2. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    So, are you saying we should all ditch our fine horns and go back to our piece-of-s**t Conn Directors? I don't get your point.

    I believe that each of us should buy the horn that we like the most and practice making great music.

  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    You did not hear me!
    My point is that magic horns don't exist. A high priced mouthpiece is not going to make me a better player. A MF mouthpiece is not going to make me play like him.
    A good horn in the hands of a good player is going to sound as the player wants it to sound.
    A $10,000 horn in the hands of an unskilled player.... you fill in the blanks.
    The magic is in the player, a horn is but a tool.
  4. richtom

    richtom Forte User

    Dec 7, 2003
    I understand what wiseone2 is saying. As long as the horn is playable, the good player will get it to do what he/she needs it and wants it to do.
    There is the famous story about when Mendez was going over to Olds. He loved his worn in Besson and when he played the first new Mendez model he didn't like it at all. The valves in his old, beloved Besson were very worn and leaky and once the Olds technicians "loosened up" those new valves, the great Mendez was mighty pleased with the new horn, but it certainly wasn't "perfect" anymore.
    Me, I'm thrilled that I can get the sound I want with simple, affordable Bach and Yamaha (a piccolo) trumpets.
  5. Welk

    Welk New Friend

    Jan 8, 2004
    Montréal, Canada
    OK, I agree with that but there is a physic point here. A silver plated horn WILL sound bright. A gold plated horn will sound dark... this is physical, the tone color of different metal vibration. You can't denied that. Of course a begginer student will have a crappy sound on a 3000$ gold plated horn, but he will have a dark crappy sound. The main reason why people get to buy different mpc/ horn is for the color of the sound they what to play. then they does the rest of the job. If you want your wall painted green, you gotta have green paint, but it will be you that will apply this paint on the wall and make a good job or not. Different horn have different caractheristic... it is the job of the player to use those caracteristic to get the job done right!
  6. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    A silver plated horn will look like a silver plated horn. That horn played by different musicians can take on a whole spectrum of colors.
    All horns plated in silver do NOT sound bright. The same can be said about gold-plated horns. Faddis plays a gold plated Schilke, dark does not come to mind when describing Jon's sound. When I play Jon's horn I sound like me. I have played Wynton's hernia provoking horn........... I sound like me.
    In most american symphonies, silver plated Bach C trumpets are still much in vogue, bright is not the term most would use to depict those sounds.
    We, the players make the music.
    The player is the magic.
  7. trpguyy

    trpguyy Piano User

    Nov 26, 2003
    So I suppose the reason I suck on my Bach and sound great on my Schilke is because of me? Your theory sounds good on paper and I agree with it to an extent, but the horn can make or break a player. Give a medium bore horn to someone who plays on an XL bore horn, and they won't sound like themselves.
  8. Ash

    Ash Pianissimo User

    Jan 18, 2004
    Play what you want, don't bother with what other people play. Simple.
    P.S. I play like me on any horn, but when I bought my horn, it did sound different.

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Of course a begginer student will have a crappy sound on a 3000$ gold plated horn, but he will have a dark crappy sound.

    You give the beginner too much credit. A bad player can make a $3000 horn sound shrill. There is a point of diminishing returns. A horn can make a difference, only to a point. Then it is up to the player. You could give me an Indy car and I would not qualify for the 500. But no one would qualify for the 500 in my VW Beetle, even if it does have a turbo.

    Two errors can be made. One, you blame the equipment when you practice 1 hour a week. On the other extreme, you blame yourself when you practice 20 hours a week on a leaky Conn Director. When you get to a certain level, you need a professional horn and piece. Then a lot more practice.

    One of my favorite books is For The Love of It by Wayne Booth. Its subtitle is "Amateuring and Its Rivals." He is an amateur of the highest quality on Cello. He spends about 1 hour or more a day practicing. He figures if he spent 40 years, one hour a day studying trilobites he would be a world renown trilobite expert. But 1 hour a day on a musical instrument makes you a good amateur.

    We practice and play for a large part of our lives -- and most of us become the best of amatuers. Some are pros. But don't we do it for the "Love of It?" If so, we need the right tools -- and the right attitude to practice.

  10. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    This looks like fun so I'll ad my 02 cents.

    I'm one of those annoying guys that always says 'can I have a go' when somebody I play with has a horn I don't know a lot about. Recently that has been a mates new shiny silver B1, a new Yamaha (6335S) and my beloved Taylor and Kanstul Chicago are of course totally at either end of the weight spectrum. By the way the Kanstul's in lacquer and it really doesn't matter about the Taylor because it weighs 3 1/2 lb so a few grammes here or there don't really matter.

    Apart from small tonal differences at the margin (particularly in the higher registers) I pretty much sound the same on all these horns for 90% of my playing providing of course I'm using the same mp. Does that means I should just play the 6335 because it's the cheapest...well no. If the only criteria was sound then at a level we'd all play the same trumpet and that would be really boring..that's why they invented Bachs!! :D

    Just my take on it.



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