Peashooters. Do they still have use?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by FutureBC, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. FutureBC

    FutureBC Pianissimo User

    Jul 25, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    Hey guys,

    I was looking at a bunch of horns on eBay, and I keep seeing all these vintage peashooters that go unsold. I have a peashooter myself, and I see why they don't sell. It's hard to imagine using one in a performance.

    So what use do these horns have besides decoration?
    And why were these so popular back in the early 1900s?
  2. EdMann

    EdMann Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 20, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Just got back from No. Kentucky. Pretty country.
    My Conn 22B is near the top of my pile o' horns. The old peashooters were designed before the advent of electric PA's and mics, had these narrow bell flares, projectile sound. With the right mpc, they sound fantastic, as does my Holton Llewellyn and Vega Standard. Different, but workable in many settings, such as brass quintet, even big band, and what an easy blow! .438 bore. Just a huff of air and you're present. Real fun. What not publish the ancient horn on your list?

  3. FutureBC

    FutureBC Pianissimo User

    Jul 25, 2009
    Northern Kentucky
    It is, it's the number 3, the "unnamed ancient horn"

    it's a good looking horn. People talk me it resembles conn or blessing peashooters. It's kind of a shame, it has good valves and everything, I just can't find a use for it.

    And thanks, up here in northern Kentucky, it's all farms until you hit the Ohio river. Ha!
  4. Brass crusader

    Brass crusader Mezzo Piano User

    Well, the peashooters are simply not adequete for today's halls and sound requirements. If you're playing a small jazz venue that you don't need a lot of sound for, but still want to be clear, go for it. But in terms of section playing, they aren't going to blend well or project well.
  5. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Peashooters came out in the years between WWI and WWII, and were Jazz and Big Band horns. Materials were scarce, as materials were committed to the war efforts, and then recovery areas. Conn made a lot of Stencils, and they have a specific sound.

    I cannot say they have a bad sound, but agree with Brass Crusader, they don't blend so well. I know of a young player who had one as his first horn, and sounded good in a concert band. He upgraded to a Conn Vintage 1.

    In any case, a nice peashooter is good to have in the collection, and brings out a lot of talk at dinners. Practice a nice couple of Old Jazz Standards on it... it impresses the oldies.
    Cheap as, some godd design features, Love the underslung 3rd valve throw ring you see on some of these horns. Keep them working guys.
  6. gbdeamer

    gbdeamer Forte User

    Oct 16, 2008

    Yeah, they have a distinctive sound and are fun to play. Definitely not an everyday player IMO.

    I take mine out for fun. Picnics, games, etc...
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I didn't have any problem blending with mine, a 1939 Buescher Aristocrat, but while it has a narrow wrap, the bore is not "peashooter" size but instead the same medium-large bore on all of my other horns. The only significant distance is a 4 1/2" bell instead of the 4 3/4 inch bell of my later Bueschers.

    That's also something we need to make sure we define. Some people call a medium-bore horn a peashooter regardless of the wrap, and other people call a narrow-wrapped horn a peashooter regardless of the bore size.


    Pictures linked here:
  8. Buck with a Bach

    Buck with a Bach Fortissimo User

    Dec 29, 2009
    Canton, Ohio
    Okay, what is the difinitive definition of the term "Peashooter" then?Just to follow the next logical step. Combination of bore and wrap? Or just the wrap?................Buck:dontknow:
  9. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    I thought that peashooters needed to be small bore at least...
  10. gglassmeyer

    gglassmeyer Piano User

    Apr 28, 2006
    Cincinnati, OH
    While having my valves replated on my Yamaha YTR-734, I brought a Cavalier peashooter to concert band rehearsal and it really didn't fit well. It also had a lot of intonation problems, but at the time was the only other horn I had. A section mate let me borrow a King Symphony Model 20 - Silver Sonic and that was a nice horn.
    This peashooter is pretty easy to play though, so not bad as a student horn.

Share This Page