piccolo trumpets

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by christineka, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. christineka

    christineka Pianissimo User

    Feb 24, 2010
    I must confess, I haven't played much since having my first baby. I haven't had time. I play horn most of the time- and usually just for the community production of Messiah. I even played only every other year for many years, due to babies. About a year ago, I bought myself a bugle in celebration of my son becoming a boy scout. I then registered myself as the bugling merit badge counselor and had to learn all the calls. I found that a bugle in a large house with 8 people is very useful. I no longer had to yell to call the kids from all corners of the house and even from outside the house. Bugling is now done many times daily in my home. I pulled out my trumpet and found I can play!!! I can play high b! I've been playing through the 1st trumpet part for Messiah and I can play it!!!! I never have been able to before. Now I'm wondering- just wondering, perhaps planning for the future, what are decent, low cost piccolo trumpet brands? I've always wanted to play "The Trumpet Shall Sound" (just for myself- not in public), but it's too tiring on trumpet. I had this idea that maybe I could save towards a piccolo trumpet, but I know nothing about them. Thank you!
    rowuk likes this.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    The piccolo trumpet is a beast to play, and can take quite a bit of practice to get it to sound like something other than a toy. Pitched an octave above the Bb trumpet, they do not make the high notes twice as easy (bummer!). A good value is the Getzen Eterna. Like many other piccolos it has a fourth valve to help with the lower register and comes with two leadpipes in Bb and A. The Trumpet Shall Sound starts on a sounding d below the staff, which is in the pedal range of the piccolo. Using the A pipe and fingering with 1st and 4th valve lets us reach the low d.

    By all means, see if you can try one--they are fun and frustrating at the same time.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Christine, you crack me up. I always really enjoy your sense of humor. The bugle story made my day! If you lived near me I would loan you my picc and give free lessons. A mom calling her flock with a bugle, that is just too cool!

    My female students have actually had an easier job of learning the picc than the male students. The reason: less testosterone! This is not a joke. When we pick up a new instrument, our ears tell the brain to change things to meet expectations. In the beginning, many of my male students simply blow the crap out of the picc trying to get a big Bb sound. This makes them think that it is stuffy and unresponsive. The ladies seem to selectively hear better (well I have been together with my wife for 35 years - I had to get that factoid in.....). They simply have that ability to back off and let the instrument do its thing. Still, it would probably be too tight to master the Trumpet Shall Sound before Christmas without a lot of quality time invested.

    Great deals are used Getzens, Selmers or Stomvi.
  4. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Yes, I know that in a few seconds I will be swamped by a deluge of enraged comments like "But it's Chinese".
    And even if it is: The Classic Cantabile Picc at the moment is the one I am using most of my collection of piccs (which includes a Selmer, a Stomvi, a Scherzer and a Roland Meinl). It's the one that is kindest to my hands (which have been likened to shovels), while still having acceptable intonation, good valves and is very responsive.
    IMHO, it's the ideal beginner's picc - at a price tag of less than $ 250 new, with case, cleaning kit and pari of white gloves. No objections, Christine, if you're going for that one to try the beast out.
  5. Cornyandy

    Cornyandy Fortissimo User

    Jan 9, 2010
    East Yorkshire
    Not by me bud you know how I feel about chinese horns
  6. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

    May 27, 2014
    i think the amati pics are not so terrible. they are a selmer knock-off. especially for the trumpet shall sound, which doesn't go above the concert A above the staff, the intonation may be somewhat passable. they take a trumpet mouthpiece, and blow pretty freely for a pic. you can get one for less than a thousand dollars new, which for a pic, is cheap.

    another option might be a D trumpet. somebody mentioned getzen, and their recommendation would extend to the D as well, in my opinion. a D trumpet will be a little closer to what you're used to in terms of the blow. maybe you can even get yourself on a gig playing 2nd on the messiah. the part's already in d, so you can just read. depending on what mouthpiece you already have, you may not even need to change for the smaller horn. you can certainly see what the part is like by playing it in Bb (not D) on your Bb to learn the notes. its not so much the range, but the endurance, that is the challenge on this one.

    thanks for a really neat post.
  7. christineka

    christineka Pianissimo User

    Feb 24, 2010
    Thanks guys for the advice! I knew playing the piccolo trumpet was not easier, but for some reason, every soloist we have had for years has played "The Trumpet Shall Sound" on a piccolo, except the one, professional guy, who played on his C trumpet. I've played 2nd trumpet in Messiah my first year (I had a baby and it was doable to play only four choruses.) and then another year, when I opted to sing with my oldest daughter (who was not quite ready to play violin in the orchestra), but by the end of rehearsals, couldn't stand only singing, when we were lacking a 2nd trumpet. I play horn because there are two of us and usually, there are two or three trumpet players most years, so I'm not needed in that capacity.

    I'm not looking to play fancy stuff this year, but setting goals and working on them throughout the year. I'm going to continue bugling. My son is also a beginner, but he's finally to the point, where he can play the duets I have on the shelf. It is really fun to play trumpet duets with my own kid!
  8. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    For piccolo trumpets, "decent" and "inexpensive" might be mutually exclusive. I bought an Amati to fool around with and my teacher, who has significant expertise on the piccolo, said it was quite good. It really is Selmer clone, pretty well built but my picc playing ability prevent me to say much more about it. Not a bad deal, that's all.
  9. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

    May 27, 2014
    D trumpets have practically disappeared in the US, far as i can tell. but listen to john wallace play baroque music on one.
  10. ExtraTeeth

    ExtraTeeth Pianissimo User

    Nov 13, 2008
    Perth, Western Australia
    I have a Benge D/Eb that I've only managed to play a few times in public in the 20 or so years I've owned it. Most recently Ist part in Barber of Seville overture. This is scored for D.
    The Benge has a nice light compact sound somewhat like a picc. but not so extreme. Kind of what you'd expect really. Probably has something to do with the narrow bell.
    The D is also more useful for the lower parts of a baroque ensemble.
    The only problem is that unlike the picc. which is a full octave away from what you're used to (so makes some kind of sense to you're ear), on the D you're a long way from home so takes a while to adjust.

Share This Page