Quality of Horn Related to Skills

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by uatrmpt, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. uatrmpt

    uatrmpt Piano User

    Nov 29, 2003
    I've been lurking for a while and haven't had much time to post but there's something that I've been pondering for quite a while.

    Do you think that the quality of horn that a person has is, or should be, related to the skill level of that person. In other words, can a really good player justify having a more expensive/better horn than someone with lesser playing skills?

    I think everyone knows what I'm talking about. The 7th grade beginning student with a brand new Bach or the hack in community band with a Monette. Of course there are many variations on this and examples for the opposite (pros playing beaters and 50 year old horns).

    I'm a college student and want a new horn -- something better, something different than my Bach (no, I'm not a Bach hater -- yes, my Bach is a good horn). I want to stand out. I'm tired of being one of the thousands of students playing a carbon copy horn; however, I'm afraid my playing level doesn't warrant anything other than what I've got. I'm decent, but I'll never play professionally.

    Could you, or do you, get away with playing a top shelf horn in an amateur setting? What kind of reaction did you first get? Any jealousy from the other players? What do you pros think about this?


    (aka mafields627 on TH)
  2. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    There's some discussion going on here: http://www.trumpetmaster.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1415&start=0 which is relevant to this question I think.

    You probably will encounter some resentment if you buy a £40,000 horn and don't practise. Essentially though, I would say there is nothing wrong with playing a top of the range trumpet in an amateur band, as long as you realise this trumpet on its own will not make you sound any better than you are.
  3. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    BY GEORGE, HE'S GOT IT :lol:

    "The rain in Spain..............."
  4. lonelyangel

    lonelyangel Pianissimo User

    Nov 8, 2003
    Yes Wilmer, Jack certainly has got it. He is a very smart young man who is serious about his trumpet playing and whom I have had the pleasure of meeting at several of my recent gigs about town. He is also studying with a great teacher, Mr Paul Archibald.

    Matt, dont make the terrible mistake of thinking that a Bach is not a top shelf horn. When I was 15 years old I set my heart on owning one and saved all my pocket money for a year and worked as hard as I could in the school holidays until I finally could affored to buy one - mail order from Giardinellis. You can easily find a Bach trumpet that will last you for a whole career.
    On the other hand, if you fancy something different - get out there and try all the horns you can. A new horn can really give your playing a boost simply by inspiring you to do more enthusiastic and dilligent practice. It certainly has that effect on me.

    All the best, Noel.

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    The other mentioned thread is a long one, but this is an interesting take. I showed up oh about 5 months ago at a symphonic band rehearsal. A new guy (to me) was there. The principal and myself have a great relationship and play very well together. This guy had a $4000 horn and knew less about it than I did. He did not like playing 3rd! I don't care what I play so I offered him the second part. He proceeded to mope and played all over the solos (pretending they were "soli") and just being a jerk. The principal has a beautiful old Bach which he sounds great on. At break this guy trashes me a little bit about my Guarnerius. THEN he says that no one ever sounds good on a Bach (slamming the principal).

    His motive, to see if he could in this small community wind ensemble convince people he deserved the 1st chair. Ha! We outplayed him and his $4000 horn and he was a jerk. He was asked not to return. Bottom line, a horn does not make a player.

    Will other people be jealous? Perhaps, unless you are a nice guy and let them play your horn (I let anyone play my horn -- one day a guy dented my $120 mouthpiece and then dented the horn ... I just smiled and had the dents removed).

    I am with Noel on this one. There is nothing wrong with a Bach. A good horn does inspire one to practice more (most of the time). But a top-shelf horn, even at the lower end of the price range is always worth having. Noel saved for a new Bach. I saved my summer money for a Yamaha euphonium (I was once a top-flight euphonium player). I played it for a long, long time.

  6. DrunkIQ

    DrunkIQ Pianissimo User

    Nov 21, 2003
    Austin, Texas

    I am not a professional race car driver but if I had the money then I would have a ferrari in my garage.

    I am sure I would rarely use it as it is not a daily driver. I also know I could never take full advatage of it's design.

    I am sure a lot of poeple would think a car like this would be wasted on an amature driver like myself.


    If I had the money then I would also like to buy a nice plasma TV. I am colored blind and will never be able to take full advantage of wathcing it. I do not review movies, shows or analize special effects for a living.


    When I buy Tennis shoes I tend to buy expensive running shoes. Yeah I am over weight, I have had 4 back operations and I will certainly never run in them any time soon. Some would think those are a waste too.


    1. I am sure many Ferrari owners do not put many miles on their car and are far from being professional drivers.

    2. I am sure many people own nice T.V.'s and I bet some even wear glasses. How many of you go buy a cheap TV because of these reasons?

    3. How many of you really buy payless shoes because you will not take full advantage of a nice looking running shoe?

    4. When I was in middle school we had people playing on strads and schilkes... Their families had more money then mine.

    In the end I really don't care what anyone thinks. If I had the money I would have nice cars, nice shoes, a nice entertainment center, a nice house and nice horns.

    It also has to do with financial priorties, if I did not want to be a single home owner I would have a much nicer car, a nicer entertainment center and one hell of a horn collection. There is a guy that sits next to me at work. We make about the same amount of money. He rents a room from a friend, has a nice car, keeps adding to his guitar collection (he can't even read music) and has some of the coolest gadgets I have ever seen.

    Unlike the person Jim dealt with, I know that if I could ever afford a Ferrari that I could probably not beat someone in a race. I would probably get smoked by somone that has a $15,000 car....

    Just remember that if you are fortunate enough in life to own nice things you should still be humble about it.

  7. mheffernen5

    mheffernen5 Pianissimo User

  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Generally speaking, most music shops with student rental programs will have Jupiter... that seems to be their target market. Just do a little digging through your yellow pages and phone up some music stores and see... or contact a local school band teacher and ask. I'll bet they'll know where to track down Jupiter in your neck of the woods.
  9. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX

    I am living proof of the above statement. I feel like I owe it to the horn I have to practice often AND effectively. Being a military musician, I like to call myself semi-pro because I do make a living playing trumpet.......I'm just not at the level of say, Noel. I am however striving to get there and the equipment I use is helping me out. :D
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I have often wondered this same thing myself. I have played on Strads since I was 16 - about 17 years. They (all two of them) have been great horns to me and when I'm practicing dillignetly, are more than enough for my needs, which are holding down the 4th book in a Big Band, and playing trumpet in a show band.

    I have wondered over the last couple of years if a Schilke, or some other horn better known for a brilliant, commercial type sound, might be better for me considering the music that I play, but at my level, until I have "extra" cash lying about, most likely, I will just stick with my Strad because I'm not sure that I'm good enough to really take advantage of what a different or "better" horn might have to offer me.

    Unless you feel that your Strad is somehow hindering you as a player, I'd stick with it. It isn't the industry standard for nothing. Maybe it is resting on the laurels of it's past reputation these days, but a good Bach Strad is a solid, workhorse of a horn anyway. Besides, you can always do what I did and have some minor mods and tweaks done to it to change it's performance. I recently made a couple mods to mine and have been pretty pleased with the results. If you want to check that out:


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