Small Bore = higher notes

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by mlhend2002, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. mlhend2002

    mlhend2002 New Friend

    Dec 30, 2008
    Salisbury, NC
    I have been playing trumpet since 1973 and have a question. I have heard that smaller bore trumpets make it easier to play higher notes, but at what point or bore size does this rule not hold true. Also, I would think the sound would get thin and the low notes would greatly suffer. I currently play with a .462 and a .459 bore and thought of moving to a .455 or smaller bore. I have noticed my lip get's worn out sooner playing on my smaller bore than on the larger bore. Are there trumpets that are small bore than are more free blowing and I would not tire as fast? I currently play with a GR Chuck mancuso 65.5S Mouthpiece which I absolutely Love and recommend for high/low notes and a Big sound.
  2. MFfan

    MFfan Fortissimo User

    Sep 13, 2006
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    My small bore Czech horn (probably 438) does have more resistance than my others (.459 or so) and does make the higher notes more secure for me and they are quite penetrating. However, it can also play pretty mellow with gentler blowing in the lower registers. It has a smaller -than-current reciever size, so a regular mp doesn't fit in very far, but is sill usable by adjusting the tuning slide. I have recently tried an deeper v
    cornet mp, which fits all the way to the cup. I really like the change to a mellower tone quality it plays with good quality in the lower register.
    A friends' Conn 2B is a small bore, but plays easily and has a great tone. I am not familiar with any current ones. I guess when you get tired also depends on you constituion along with the horn's characteristics.
  3. mlhend2002

    mlhend2002 New Friend

    Dec 30, 2008
    Salisbury, NC
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Top lead players even play everything from standard Bach ML 37 to very large bore horns from Schilke, Callichio and Benge.

    if we look at how sound is produced (vibrating lips) we see that range is a software and not a hardware issue.

    That being said, there are generalities found in equipment used by many top players that play high a lot:

    lighterweight instruments not heavily braced

    smaller and shallower mouthpieces

    This will not help a player without a mature embouchure much.

    For the sake of argument, a free blowing horn will make high notes harder to play for the player that has not earned them. Why? The resistance often felt in a horn is efficiency, the horn is doing MORE of the work. Take that away and your chops have to do more! For the player with great high chops, a little inefficiency can help tune the time between breaths, reducing the probability of suffocation or hyperventilation.

    There is absolutely no correlation between bore size and "free blowing" just as there is no law that says that you need a large bore horn to get a "fat" sound.

    If you need more endurance in the big band setting, you may just be playing "too damn loud". If you are using microphones, make sure that the monitors are not too loud, they make us work harder! We will NEVER be able to play louder than the PA!!!!

    Moral of the story: no short cut. Range is earned not bought. Once the chops are there, we have several parameters to optimize the experience.
  5. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I agree with Rowuk - changing bore size will not give you any range you do not already have. I have played on a variety of bore sizes, and have found that no matter how big or small the horn is, I have the same range. I just have better ENDURANCE on a ML or M bore than on a large. I have more endurance on my poly-bore V Raptor than on my .459 Xeno. It's all a matter of preference, comfort, and PRACTICE - nothing more than that.
  6. BobList

    BobList New Friend

    Nov 10, 2003
    Baltimore, Md.
    Nope... my Selmer (.470") lets me play extremely much higher than a ML bore horn...but I play a ML now because everything else is easier for me on it.. Benge 3X

  7. BobList

    BobList New Friend

    Nov 10, 2003
    Baltimore, Md.
    Oh, and before 80% of the list PM's me, the high note horn isn't for sale... :^)
  8. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I play a .459 bore and do well in the high range. It is the endurance that will creep up on you. If I need an extra boost I will switch mouthpieces and go to a 3E and if I am playing constantly high I will use a 3F. Experiment with mouthpieces and see what happens.
  9. bigtiny

    bigtiny Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2005
    I can't play as high, as comfortably on my Benge Claude Gordon (large bore) as I can on my Benge 3x+ (medium large bore). However, I also cannot play comfortably in the higher register on a Benge ML (medium large bore) either.

    How the attributes of a horn (weight, bore, etc.) affect ones ability to play high, or get a better sound, or whatever is TOTALLY SUBJECTIVE!!!

    My first pro horn was a Holton MF Horn which I bought because I was a big Maynard fan (hey, I was in 9th grade!!! =:-) ). Bad idea! Playing that horn damned near killed was just too big and heavy. Was it a 'bad' horn? Absolutely not -- well made played fine. Other guys play them and blow great. It just didn't have the right attributes for me.

    Some players are able to play on pretty much any horn with little difference in the effect that the horn has on them. Others (like me) are greatly affected by small differences. As I said, it's totally subjective.

    That's why players spend so much time playing different horns (sometimes even different horns of the same make/model), because many of them experience great differences between each of them.

  10. john daniel

    john daniel New Friend

    Sep 20, 2005
    appleton, WI
    Resistance is a prerequisite of tone. If you don't get it from the horn, you might get it from the mouthpiece. If you don't get it from your equipment, you have to make it yourself with your embouchure.

    There are many aspects to creating resistance with our equipment, bore size is only one of them. I play nothing larger than a .450 bore, but with the way Schilke designs horns, this doesn't feel tight to me at all. The reason is because the resistance is so "soft" or shall we say "yielding". You can push into the horn and it doesn't stop you. Even as you push into the resistance of the horn, it doesn't necessarily have to sound bright or edgy, like so many horns. And of course many trumpets today are not really designed to be pushed around much. It is all a matter of personal preference and practice.
    Schwab likes this.

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