Soprano Cornet tips please

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by dpritchett, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. dpritchett

    dpritchett New Friend

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    Aug 26, 2009
    OH,CANADA...eh!
    I'm about to start playing soprano again with a large brass band, and I'm concerned with endurance and range. I'm playing on an older boosey & hawkes imperial Eb, with a curry 1 1/2cc mouthpiece. I generally practice everyday about 1hr. I get a great sound, and have a decent range, but I would like to build on this. I tend to use too much pressure, which can kill endurance. Any help specific to the soprano would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. duncancampbell

    duncancampbell New Friend

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    Dec 17, 2008
    Hi dpritchett,

    I played soprano in a local youth band for three years, and I found that endurance and range are both mental things. The sound of the soprano floats over the band quite well at mezzo-forte, and the harmonic interaction of the sound from the rest of the band will produce overtones that sound exactly like a soprano cornet. Once I started coasting on that, I found I had much more energy for the louder and higher sections. It's like biking along a gentle downhill slope for about 20 minutes followed by a steep hill for 10. It's not hard if you don't waste energy on the easy stuff.

    For range, make sure you don't warm up starting low and moving high. I did that for a while, hoping to use the same air for all registers, but what it did was set my face to play low notes. Also important, don't warm up too methodically. You'll set yourself up to overthink. I found I get the best warmup when I just pick up the horn and play whatever I've been listening to, maybe a couple flexibilities, some excerpts from whatever I'm playing (often the exciting high ones). Stay as light as possible, practise playing very quiet in the upper register.

    Good luck and hope this helps,

    Duncan
     
  3. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to TM, dpritchet!

    Try a Schilke Eb with a Purviance 8 cornet mouthpiece. ZING!
     
  4. dpritchett

    dpritchett New Friend

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    Aug 26, 2009
    OH,CANADA...eh!
    Thanks Duncan,
    I'll give that a try. This band is much larger than the one I used to play soprano in, so I'm gonna need that extra energy for the high forte moments just to be heard.
     
  5. dpritchett

    dpritchett New Friend

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    Aug 26, 2009
    OH,CANADA...eh!
    Thanks for the welcome Vulgano Brother,
    My Imperial works pretty well, and I'm not ready to fork out the $$ for a schilke just yet, although I'd love to play on one.
     
  6. sparxIII

    sparxIII New Friend

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    Nov 1, 2003
    Toronto ON Canada
    - never 'over' play

    - rest often ..... you don't to need to play every note on the page when 4 or more other players have the same thing

    - know when to 'lead the charge' (bell out a bit)

    - know when and how the hide ( bell into the band... play into the rep. player)

    -it's better to be sharp than out of tune ( a flat sop. sounds dredful)

    - a Sparx 4E mps. works very well on sop.

    - forget the B&H and Besson products...... get a Yamaha Xeno, Schilke, Smth-watkins or Blackburn sop.

    - always remember a gig is over 2 hours long with the 'big stuff' near the end

    - you will need a high Eb (high C on sop.) at the end of the night. ..... pace yourself all night!

    Cheers,
    Ted
    SparxMusic.com - Cornet Mouthpieces and Brass Accessories
     
  7. dpritchett

    dpritchett New Friend

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    Aug 26, 2009
    OH,CANADA...eh!
    Thanks Ted,
    I appreciate the advice! I rememeber your CSB days. I'm a Salvationist as well. I've actually switched to my 3c megatone m/piece with better results, but I am interested in your m/pieces. How does your sop piece compare in size to the bach 3c, by the way I also use this for my Bb cornet as well. I'm wondering what you would suggest for both horns? I am a front guy on the Bb at the church. Of couse we all want everything right...endurance, sound, and of course range. I'll look forward to hearing from you! Thanks again, and all the best!
     
  8. sparxIII

    sparxIII New Friend

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    Nov 1, 2003
    Toronto ON Canada
    - Sorry , for the late respones...

    if you are coming off a VB 3C a Sparx 3C will work well on Bb and Eb

    Cheers,
    Ted
     
  9. n4t3

    n4t3 New Friend

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    May 13, 2009
    rockford Illinois
    Looks like there a few salvationist on here now, i play sop. in the divisional youth band in chicago. my bach 3c works best, though i would love a sparx mpc.
     
  10. guyclark

    guyclark Piano User

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    Feb 28, 2008
    Los Gatos, CA
    HI, DP!

    As you know sop is a tough beast to master. (or even not be hurt by!). Much of the advice already given is good. I would avoid the really shallow mouthpieces, because your tone will suffer, as will those sitting in front of you!.

    I played sop in the Chicago Brass Band for it's first four years, and came back to play NABBA in 2008 when my replacment fell ill a month before the championships. I was initially given a Yamaha sop (the top of the line model) which was ok for me, but went flat in the upper register with my preferred mouthpiece (a Warburton 1D and 12* cornet shank). It refused to respond to my "requests" for a high D, although high Eb was there.

    After a year or so of dealing with this, I found a damaged Schilke on eBay and bought it. I had to have Schilke repair it, ending up about the cost of a brand new sop, but mine has the copper bell, which I was told was generally made for export to England, from whence I purchased it. It had ALL the notes I needed, and in the right places, so I can't praise Schilke sops enough!!! The less said of my experience with Bessons, the better.

    Saving your energy for those exposed parts is probably the best advice so far given. Your main purpose is to "shimmer" on top of whatever is going on underneath you, except at big endings, when you can really crank it, AS LONG AS YOU ARE PRECISELY IN TUNE!!!! Audiences really seem to dig it when you reach the big finale and the sop is wailing over the top of the band. That's about the only time that's allowed, however! ;-).

    Don't hurt yourself, or others around you!!

    Don't waste a lot of your energy with warmups, unless you really need to (if you do, my thought is that you're not practicing enough). Save your energy in the concerts for the most important parts, and get them in tune, and you'll be a star!

    Listen to othe good sopranos. I had the fortune as principal cornet in the Illinois Brass Band to sit in front of Nick Drozdoff, and then Jim Sobacki for many years, and absorbed alot of what they did. I also listened to the best bands in the world's recordings and noted how the sop fit in with the rest of the band. When Chicago represented North America at the world brass band championships in Kerkrade NL back in 2005, I was able to hear the other bands and their sops, before going on myself, and that was helpful to me as well. Listen, listen, LISTEN!!!

    If I can't be principal, or conductor, I want to be sop. ;-)

    Guy Clark
    principal cornet, Silicon Valley Brass Band
     

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