Picc!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by JackD, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    736
    1
    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    Well I tried out one of my college's picc's for the first time today (first time I've ever played one of these little things).

    It's great fun! I was very happy that I could play a nice F on it, but the F# and G were not quite there.

    I've got a few stupid newbie questions to ask though:

    1) How do you hold the thing? (This is a Yamaha Custom 4 Valve) It has a finger hook, but I thought you used the little finger for the 4th valve? :?:

    2) What about tuning? I was suprised to see there were no movable slides - unless alternative fingering is the norm? Anyone have a fingering chart in that case?

    3) I was using my Schilke 15B - a mouthpiece I bought primarily for lead playing. I got a bigger (nicer) sound on my Bach 1 1/4C but the range was cut to shreds using that mouthpiece (That may have been affected by my attempts to play Brandenburg for 30 minutes straight though :oops: ) The sound with the Schilke was still pretty nice though - my question is are there specialist 'picc' mouthpieces, or is the 15B ok?

    I'm definitely going to pick one of these up at some point though - I enjoyed it a lot!

    Cheers,

    Jack.
     
  2. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    1,491
    587
    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    You can use the little finger for the 4th valve. You can also use the index finger of the left hand. I use the left-hand index finger. Think of the pinky hook as being there only for page turns, or when you have a quick change from your picc harmon, to your picc bucket mute, to plunger. (Just kidding...)

    Some piccs have rings or triggers, though many don't. The slide adjustments would be quite small and most piccs require a certain amount of "lipping" to play in tune anyway, so you certainly can do it all with the lips. If you're playing D trumpet parts on picc in A, you generally tune the 4th valve to play the "Low F" (1st and 4th valves) in tune. It's a good idea to learn the idiocyncracies of any picc you enter into a love/hate relationship with. On the Getzen I hold conflicted feelings for, I split the difference between sharp upper Cs and flat lower Cs, and then tune the low F. At that point, playing C# 2 and 4 is less flat than 1, 2, and 3 is sharp.

    Yes, there are special picc pieces, and yes, the 15B is okay if it works for you. Some players use their Bb mouthpiece on picc. Some use the same rim and cup, with a different backbore. Some use the same rim but a shallower cup. Some use a smaller, shallower mouthpiece. Sometimes a player's picc mouthpiece is designed specifically for picc, sometimes not. There's absolutely no hard and fast rule.

    (Hey -- after 20 years owning a picc, I was finally paid to squawk on the thing this last Christmas. That means I'm qualified to comment, right? Right?)
     
  3. kanstulmeha440

    kanstulmeha440 New Friend

    18
    0
    Feb 6, 2005
    Detroit
    I was told to use the index finger of the left hand for the 4th valve, and to use a shallower piece, and that when you're playing high you can't think the same way as on trumpet. With trumpet you visualize the air going through the horn and out the bell, farther out as you go higher. With this thing it's better to think of playing into the horn, but you still have to keep the same air compression as normal. The sound really cuts out when you're blowing really hard.
     
  4. dizforprez

    dizforprez Forte User

    1,097
    1
    Nov 2, 2003
    on those yamahas you can push your finger against the 3rd valve slides water key to get the slide out. it will help you get some of the notes in tune.
     
  5. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    736
    1
    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    Thanks for the tips - I did notice that the Yamaha had incrediblly tight compression - I tried removing a slide without pressing down the valve, and the pop was enormous!

    I'll try that water-key tip.

    Cheers,

    Jack.
     

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