Simple/compact/casual backup instrument for brass player?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MatthewVanitas, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. neal085

    neal085 Mezzo Forte User

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    I had the same conundrum you mentioned. I wanted to be able to play impromptu and just jam with friends on guitar. A few weeks ago I was playing my trumpet with a straight mute with two friends on guitar while about 15-20 people were conversing in the same room, some only a few feet away. A cup, Harmon, or bubble mute would be even quieter. A stemless Harmon is amazingly quiet.

    I have a 90-year old King Liberty that I carry around at all times with just a stone-lined straight mute, and yesterday I played accompaniment on trumpet for a few people singing hymns. It was rather unorthodox, but it worked.

    Having said that, I know nothing about the french horn, except I've been led to believe it's a completely different animal than a trumpet.
     
  2. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

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    pocket trumpet, can get a good used one for (Jupiter 416) for $100-150 if you are savvy.
     
  3. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas New Friend

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    That does sound promising; I take it cornets have a similar variety of available mutes? Cornet just sounds a bit more exotic than regular trumpet, are pretty available as used instruments, and from what I've read are more mellow.

    Are flugelhorns pretty muteable too? Is that still the closest transition instrument to French horn, in terms of embouchure, etc?

    Pocket trumpets are pretty cute, and I have read up a little on the subject off and on. I'm still not totally clear on "pocket trumpet" vs "pocket cornet", except apparently there's some difference in what mouthpiece they take. Though I'm not entirely sure how I can tell from eBay writeups which are which.

    One semi-related thing: apparently there's a "short" or "shepherd's crook" cornet which is even more mellow. Any validity in looking for one of those?

    The above all in the event that she wants to stick with modern brass rather than a simpler fipple instrument.
     
  4. Newell Post

    Newell Post Piano User

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  5. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    It seems like that pocket French Horn would put her in an upper tessitura. If she doesn't have developed chops on her regular Horn, that might cause her problems.

    (But I do thank you for that link. Might be my next toy.)
     
  6. motteatoj

    motteatoj Mezzo Forte User

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    never heard of a pocket cornet.
    Shepherd's crook cornets just mean that the bell tubing is looped down a bit before going up, looking like, well, a shepherd's crook.
    "long cornets" are more trumpet like but still shorter.
    Pocket trumpets are not only smaller and more compact, but they generally have smaller bells, tighter wound tubing and therefore much more robust when schlepping around.
     
  7. bamajazzlady

    bamajazzlady Mezzo Forte User

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    Cornet and/or kuhlohorn.
     
  8. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Although mine (Carol) has a regular sized bell and accepts normal trumpet mutes.
     
  9. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas New Friend

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    Okay, just about all the recommendations have been for orchestra/band brass so far. Is anyone opining on the other side and think I should get her a non-brass fipple instrument (ocarina, tinwhistle, recorder, Native American flute) so as not to confuse her embourchure, expose her to a different-handling instrument, etc?


    So the brass options thus far:
    - Regular trumpet: not inclined to this since it doesn't really feel like pressing boundaries, being a pretty popular instrument. Embouchure very different
    - Cornet: a little odder than trumpet, mellower, maybe more compact in the short models? Same embouchure issue.
    - Flugelhorn: mellower still, embouchure maybe a little similar to French horn? Smaller than French though not tiny. Slightly pricier than used cornets.
    - Pocket trumpet/coronet: kind of a novelty, but very cute and packable
    - Pocket French horn: still trying to read up on these, but it appears they're largely cheap Chinese novelties that some can arguably get okay music out of and others think are wallhanger junk. So like the pocket trumpet scene but with even fewer reliably good options. Cute as heck though.
    - Kuhlohorn: I'd never even heard of these, but they seem cool and vaguely French horn-ish. But the only place I can find them is ebay.de, and a lot of them are old and beat up, or are pricier. But I'm glad I learned of a new instrument today.

    Flugelorn is sounding pretty viable so far, but definitely up to consider all the other options. I'll probably end up directing my cousin to this thread if she wants a brass gift, and otherwise talking with her about small fipple woodwinds if she wants to try things out that way.


    This guy seems pretty spun-up on them: Pocket Cornets Home

    From what I understand of him, they're pretty much the same thing (or even that most pocket "trumpets" are more cornet-like in build), but they vary in what mouthpiece they're set up with. But maybe I'm not grasping the issue.
     

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