Sounding Taps

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Ed Lee, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    The time has come to pass in my locale whereas I no longer offer to sound live TAPS at funerals for first responders, honorably discharged or retired service personnel or at Memorials. The county Veteran's Affairs Office, Veteran's organizations, Sheriff's Office, Fire and Rescue Departments and communities have accepted the recorded DOD ceremonial bugle and thus denied me and a very few others the opportunity to provide such honors. Personally I haven't charged, although lately I've accepted honorariums.

    Although I am still able to sound the 24 notes of TAPS within a reasonable 25 mile radius of Jackson NC, with my age and deteriorating heath the time is fast approaching when I will not be able to, or to continue playing any other brass instrument. My NOTICE has been posted on many local public bulletin boards and letters have been sent to he churches, funeral homes, and other organizations.

    This saddens me, but such is reality!

    Ed Lee
  2. ChinTurret

    ChinTurret New Friend

    Jun 8, 2015
    Northern Virginia
    I am a member of Buglers Across America that provides free Bugler services to veterans. It's a wonderful service to serve. It may provide an alternative to the bugler in a box compromise.
  3. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Ed,

    I am sorry to hear that your health is deteriorating to that degree. There is really not much I can say, but I do understand your feeling. When I was first diagnosed with my Thyroid cancer, the surgeon gave me the lecture about not possibly being able to play again, and then having to deal with that possibility.

    We (family) have been listening to your Carols CD, and have been playing it as back-ground for our family over the past week. Your generosity is appreciated.

    Have a Merry Christmas - all my best to you and yours.
  4. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    In my opinion the use of a recorded bugle is a travesty (as long as there is a competent musician to sound Taps), but around here it seems to be what people want. I have a friend who lives in a nearby town who sounded Taps for the VFW for years, as a veteran he felt that it was an honor to do so. Rather than accept an honorarium he always asked that the amount, whatever it was, be returned to the VFW. One day he attended a VFW function and Taps was sounded on their brand new electronic bugle. When he inquired about their new bugle he was told that they had saved up the money he had donated back to them until they had enough to buy the electronic bugle so they would no longer be requiring his services. Unbelievable! The VFW in the city I live in also has an electronic bugle and as such does not need a live bugler any more. It's been more than a year since I sounded Taps for a funeral or memorial service. And the last time I did the "electronic bugler" was offended that he wasn't allowed to "sound taps".
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Peter, I must now use my old power lift to get out of bed, cannot walk our dog, and daily max out on Rx oxycondone pain reliever as isn't much relief. Been there on stronger stuff and don't want them again. I've appointment with neurosurgeon on Monday Dec 28, 2015 at hospital 87 miles distant. I expect MRI or at least CAT scan, but at issue is can I withstand such surgery from a coronary aspect. Been there once already for my back, and for my heart. Pumping the diaphragm playing escalates the pain, but if I don't practice la dee dah my music will end as so many avocations already have. I do know what my Christmas present from my wife is.
  6. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi Amzi,

    I read more into your reply, it sounds like the Bugler who lost his job to the electronic version, must not have been doing it for the Vet, but for himself. Or his ability in the real situation was not up to standard. The BAA is a great organisation, and they have a standard of sorts, but they do reiterate that the Bugler is not the centre of attention. To have an organisation use your services, then publicly tell you that they replaced you with the battery version, is an insult; but clearly they were intending to insult him. More to the story IMO.

    I agree it is a travesty, and I am serious in my belief that every trumpet player should play a Bugle or Natural trumpet as their first instrument. A Bugler will have a range in less than 6 months to the Bb... that's 6 notes on the Bugle. 6 Months investment, and it is easier for the player to get the notes under his fingers, he has a basic understanding of the range of the trumpet, and he is able to play TAPs at a competent level. A lot of trumpeters that take up Bugle think it is shxt-easy. The news is that it is not, and just having the notes does not make one a Bugler.

    A routine I use is Getting outdoors, and using a British Bugle as a signal instrument, to echo back to another Bugler. That will be the test. Stand 200 metres apart, and blow clearly facing upwind to your partner - see if he hears it clearly, and if you can do it in tune and with a solid tone. I have news for a lot of you, you won't get that with a trumpet.

    In any case, I think Ed has done it true and has served well. Bugling is a dying skill - sad but true.
  7. barliman2001

    barliman2001 Fortissimo User

    Jul 5, 2010
    Vienna, Austria, Europe
    Here in Austria, TAPS is an unknown ceremony; but electronic bugles are as well. But it seems to me, from what I've heard, that people more and more are not willing any more to accept different interpretations. Any deviation from their listening expectancy is not seen as freedom of interpretation, but as "wrong". And therefore the electronic bugle with its never-varying samenes is what people want. And remember that Brazilian wedding trumpeter TM was talking about a few weeks back? Some buglers certainly were in that class...

    And here, for the enjoyment of real buglers...
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Hi Ed, Sorry to hear of your worsening health issues. Prayers to you.

    The last Taps I sounded was for an uncle. An army honor guard showed up, and with it, an electronic bugler. The detachment commander had no problem with me sounding Taps, so the "bugler" just went with me over to the spot where I was to play. She was very interested in how to actually produce a sound with the mouthpiece, and gave me some tips on the proper angle to hold my field trumpet...:lol:
  9. fels

    fels Piano User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    I was not in the Military. I was in Boy Scouts. Eagle. Bugle merit badge.

    I have always played taps for funerals if requested. Or funeral services. Played for a reunion of 82nd Airborne. Very nervous. But was pleased to do it.

    But then it may be karma.
    When in junior high school (middle school) i played taps the afternoon JFK was assassinated.

    After 9-11 i played a funeral mass for one of the airplane victims.

    I have never understood the taped bugle issue other than expediency.

    This is not an ego post - just noting that there are probably lots of trumpet players, who know taps, and are willing to play if asked.
  10. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi barliman2001,

    That is so poor, and that is why a good bugler has to play well - or it is not worth doing. More good buglers are needed.
    The electronic is poor - and totally bad if they have to use that switch in an obvious manner, and don't bother to check batteries... insulting to all involved.

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