Strad "Tightness"

Discussion in 'Horns' started by jazz9, May 7, 2008.

  1. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    So I bought a Strad. It's used, and it's a great horn. It plays very open and is the most responsive horn I have ever played. I can play from low F natural (3rd valve slide adjustment to allow for fuller extension of the slide), not including pedal notes, to the first A above the staff with no effort hardly at all. It is very easy and fun to play, but it tightens, for lack of better words, when it gets above that. I can play the notes, it just feels like there is something holding me back. I don't really know how to explain it. Anyone else experience this?
  2. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    I had the same problem with mine,
    I replaced the tuning slide with a rounded one and that helped even up the blow a bit
    A cheaper/more efficient way to go about it might be evening your blow across the registers. Try to use the same amount of air for notes in all registers.
  3. gchun

    gchun Piano User

    Dec 10, 2003
    I know what you're talking about. I also experienced some very flat high d's. Bob Reeves did a few things that really helped improve the horn.

    1. valve alignment
    2. replaced stock waterkey with Amado on tuning slide
    3. Removed 1 vertical brace on the outer slides that receive the tuning slide.

    Later, I replaced a bell brace with a Minnich adjustable sound post.

    Its hard to say what helped what since three things were done at once, but the entire horn became a totally different animal. The horn spoke more evenly, the pitch on the high D was improved, and in general, the horn seemed to be more vibrant and responsive. My guess was the valve alignment evened out the response, removing the braces and adding the amado lessened the "choked" feeling and made the horn "ring", and the soundpost help focus the horn after removing the braces.

    Rounded slides weren't readily available at the time (20 years ago!!). I'd be very curious how one would have affected the horn.

    One downside. With two braces removed, the bell started to sag from using a gig bag. No more gig bags!!

    Last edited: May 7, 2008
  4. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
    I've had a lightweight Bach with a 43 leadpipe on it for 20 years. It plays great in the upper register.

  5. JazzEars

    JazzEars New Friend

    May 8, 2008
    South Florida
    The 43 and the 72 play more open since they have a larger bell. I think they also have a larger lead pipe. I have a 37 hybrid horn. John Bello, a great trumpeter out of New York had it before me. He put a 43 pipe on the 37 trumpet. It plays great for me.

    I'd be very cautious hybriding a horn - it might decrease the value of the horn.
  6. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    After looking at some your posts from December to the present, my "internet guess" is you're still developing as a player. I read but a couple pages, and if you're studying with a teacher, keep applying yourself.

    Whatever range and endurance is ours to be had will come our way with diligent practice if we're going about it the right way.

    Enjoy the new horn!
  7. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    I play a 37 bell Strad and agree with Richard. The resistance you feel is probably more a function of your level of development than the trumpet itself. These are not the type of trumpet that lets you just blow as hard as you can to squeak out a note. Your range has to be secure to get the best out of the instrument.

    Rounded tuning slides and open lead pipes are great ways to fine tune a trumpet once you have sorted yourself out (but beware everything is a compromise)


  8. jazz9

    jazz9 Piano User

    Dec 5, 2007
    Chilhowie, VA
    Well, I am certainly not a beginner if that is what you guys think. I have played for about 7 years, but have not ever had a really great teacher for trumpet. My range is about high Eb to F on most days, but it isn't very strong. I have squeeked a double G and a hint of an A, but that is it. I might try a rounded tuning slide, but I don't know how to make the leadpipe more open. I talked to a local trumpet pro and he said horns at this level are supposed to be that way. They are supposed to slot better with more resistance or something along the lines of that. He also said I am going through a transition period for the horn as I have only ever had and played student level instruments.

    camelbrass, that is one thing I am mostly for sure I am not doing. I have focused for the past year on not using air for range, but embouchure for range. I can play a quiet high C pretty well on this new horn.

    Anyway, thanks everyone for the help!
  9. hagertheherald

    hagertheherald Pianissimo User

    Jan 26, 2008
    Cleveland Ohio
    Have heard people say the standard lead pipe and tuning slide helped their high notes. If memory serves, one rumor was of a player in the Canadian Brass who tried a reverse lead pipe and then went back to standard for the "feel" that came with playing against some resistance to hit a higher note.

    For range, what helps me is to practice lip slurs in Arbans. Am still looking for someone who can play lip slur #21 at the tempo marking, which I believe is 1/4 note=112. If anyone can tell me how they do it, believe the control will only help in the upper stratosphere.--HH
  10. bagmangood

    bagmangood Forte User

    It can also be a matter of getting used to the horn, often you don't real get a feel for all the nooks and cranies of a horn for a few months, and then if you change anything, it can take some more time for adjustment. Don't worry about it so much and play it for a few weeks and tell us what you think then

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