Sympathy for the less fortunate

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gzent, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I know, it's hard to believe that a trumpet player can have sympathy for anyone, but I do have sympathy for the less fortunate.

    I really do feel for those who have to use multiple Bb trumpets to achieve their best.

    As an owner of Harrelson trumpets since October 2008, I have no need to own multiple Bb trumpets.

    I have, at present, a couple other working Bb's, a fairly well preserved late 50's Conn 10B with Coprion bell, and
    a modified Getzen 300. I would feel comfortable gigging on either in a pinch. I keep them around just for amusement,
    not for using regularly. Sometimes I play the Conn just to remind me how good it is compared with it's peers, but yet,
    how far advanced my Harrelson Summit is in comparison. I use the Getzen as an a "mule" for experimenting with various mods.

    I'm very glad that I can do everything I want to and need to with my Summit in any genre.

    I wish more of my fellow TM'ers could experience the "freedom" of not being limited by their instrument, but just
    by their skills.

    If you are ever passing through my corner of Minnesota, send me a PM and I'd be happy to let you try my Summit Bb and
    Bravura C. Or, treat yourself to a trip to Harrelson trumpets in St. Paul.

    Donald trumpet likes this.
  2. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    I have a small accumulation of horns for amusement but I could play everything on my grandfather's Buescher 400, which is the horn I learned on. It's fun sometimes to play the other ones. I'm working up the Conn 12-B Coprion for the spring concert, and for the Memorial Day concert I think I'll use my Holton 48 Deluxe. Then back to my Lightweight 400 that has become my main horn.

    Strobe likes this.
  3. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    I've got a couple Conn cornets too, a 10A from the 50's and a 26(?) from the 20's.
    They are cool. But just cool, not same level as my Harrelsons.
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    ...especially those genres that require four notes around high G, none of which actually is high G ;-)
    Kesh likes this.
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Was that supposed to be a slam, or funny, because it failed at both. :cool:
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I've flipped back and forth over the idea that a single instrument is well suited to every genre and style. I've done this with trumpets, cymbals, snare drums, drum kits as a whole, and guitars, both electric and acoustic. I have yet to find a single instrument that really genuinely does it all. I've gotten close with a couple of things, but typically I find that the more generalized an instrument is, the more I find that while it "can" do everything pretty well, it doesn't do any one particular genre great. You really do need to specialize, or else you find you are compromising something somewhere.

    Greg, I know where you've been as a musician, so I know you know your stuff - you've been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I also believe that your Harrelson is a fantastic instrument to play. Having said all of that, I'd bet that in certain genres next to other horns that are a bit more specialized for that type of sound, your horn may not quite measure up from a sound perspective. It will get it done, but it might not be ideal.
  7. mgcoleman

    mgcoleman Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 22, 2010
    I look at this a bit differently. If I was the best I could be (and I am definitely NOT), I could possibly do everything I needed with the right single horn. As things are and as I am, I need multiple horns because I am not the best I could be. Yeesh...I hope I didn't just do a full circle with that logic!
    Strobe likes this.
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I'll stick my nose in where it doesn't belong and say that trumpets alone can play less than 10% of all the world's composed music. None have I yet found that can play the sound that works for the genre of bluegrass music, and that's one of the three most popular music genres in my neck of the woods, the other 2 being country and gospel.
  9. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    Even though I own multiple horns, most of them aren't for regular playing. I tend to use the same trumpet and cornet (and flugel, but I have only the one) for everything I do. I will use different mouthpieces to suit the genre I'm playing, though. I tend to collect cornets, though, because I think there's a lot more variation of sound (and wraps) in them than in most trumpets, which interests me. My regular players are good enough for my skill level...they are capable of more than I am, so I'm happy with them.
  10. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Good point. I too would first change a mouthpiece before I would select a non-Harrelson instrument just to
    get a different sound.

    Let me just add, those that think "heavy horns are all dark" are just plain wrong. My Summit has a #1 leadpipe, very middle of the road
    and a 10G bell, which is toward the darker side of Jason's charts (Leadpipes & Bells - Harrelson Trumpets). However,
    my Summit has far more sizzle / edge than my Conn 10B or Conn 10A with similar mouthpieces.

    Switching from my Summit to a "normal" trumpet feels like putting in a mute when I do A/B comparisons.

    If anyone is skeptical, but serious about "seeing for yourself" I would suggest you arrange to play your current horn and a suitable
    Harrelson trumpet in a large, live room. You will be amazed at how much easier the Harrelson can fill a large room and how much better
    it sounds. I didn't truly appreciate what I had with my first Bravura until I played in a gymnasium with my big band. I heard the echo of myself
    much clearer than the rest of the trumpet section, including the lead player, who is a monster screamer. It was at that point that I learned that
    with great power comes great responsibility. You learn after playing these horns a while that you can back off significantly and still be putting
    out a strong, clear, powerful sound.

    Again, check them out for yourself in a large room. I was a "Harrelson hater" when they first appeared on the market. I thought it was all
    marketing BS. Then I swallowed my pride and played one back to back with my favorite horn and listened to Jason play back to back with his
    horn and my favorite. It became pretty clear that what I thought I heard from my vantage point as a player was clearly not what was being heard
    in the audience.

    So, keep an open mind...I'm glad I did.

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