The chicken or the egg?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Trumpet Dreamer, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    Or, the mouthpiece or the horn? Which is more important? Yes, I know the single most important item is the player. Then perhaps the mouthpiece, and finally the brass instrument itself. But this post is in response to another thread on Kanstul flugelhorns in which the mouthpiece question came up.

    Just wondered that since I can make any of my trumpets sound almost identical to a flugel horn, and can make my flugelhorn sound almost like a trumpet by simply substituting a different mouthpiece, which, in your collective valued opinion, is the most important?

    And as far as players go, my former teacher could make any of my trumpets litereally scream with joy...including my YTR-2335! Just to illustrate that in the end, it is the player. Hope to be able to someday do the same!
     
  2. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    I love this question. I've been saying all along that the Mouthpiece is the real instrument and the trumpet is just a colored amplifier with buttons. Nobody ever became famous on trumpet because of their finger dexterity. It's all in the chops ..... and that's where the MP is.


    Turtle
     
  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    The mouthpiece or the horn? With this question... Do you have a death wish? OK here is my position.

    Play a mouthpiece by itself... A kazoo... a very expensive kazoo.

    Play a trumpet by itself; without the mouthpiece. It plays and has a decent sound... oh sure, the range and technique is a little limited (at first) but it sounds. And the chops... they are physiological in nature and design and will adapt. These muscle groups can learn to play on ANY mouthpiece and even the trumpet WITHOUT a mouthpiece. So from my perspective... no chicken or egg analogy. It IS the trumpet.

    By the way, the chicken is egg's way to make more eggs. So there you have my eggsulent egg theory as well. Maybe a little scrambled, but I bacon you to come up with a butter one; pepper please!
     
  4. TrumpetMD

    TrumpetMD Fortissimo User

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    I was thinking of saying "the mouthpiece". I think I could use my mouthpiece on several different horns and still play comfortably. I don't think I could use a bunch of different mouthpieces on my trumpet and feel the same way.

    However, after reading Gary's reply, now I'm just hungry. :D I'll have mine over hard with hash browns.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
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  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    It is the relationship between the 3 components - player, mouthpiece, and instrument.
     
  6. turtlejimmy

    turtlejimmy Utimate User

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    You have not heard my mp ....... it sounds way better than a kazoo. More like a duck.

    Does a duck sound better than a kazoo??? Are you kidding, I'm from Oregon! DUCK! :lol:

    Mine is like a VERY expensive duck call.


    Turtle
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Neither.

    The "sound" that the audience and ensemble members "hear" is more the style of the player than the frequency response of the instrument. I often find that those "obsessed" with dark make life toughest in the group because there is no balance in what should be in their head and what is. Dark players have to play louder to be heard and the "thicker" sound buries any sense of cooperation.

    You can't make a trumpet sound like a flugelhorn or a flugel sound like a trumpet. You can darken a trumpet sound up and brighten a flugel sound, but there is still light years between them. I will go so far as to say, if you haven't spent time with a real flugelhorn, you have no idea what you are missing.

    I don't understand the purpose of the question. If it is my big band, you get thrown out if you don't have a flugel, period. If it is my concert band, you get thrown out if you don't have a trumpet. In your practice room you can believe anything that you want.
     
  8. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

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    I do not disagree with you. And the statement was that my trumpet, with a flugel mouthpiece, will sound very dark and almost like a flugelhorn. And my flugelhorn can sound almost trumpetlike, depending on the mouthpiece. Note the emphasis here is on "almost" and "trumpetlike", not identical to or exactly the same.

    And for further amplification on the question, it was posed based on my primitive experience that while there is a difference in all of my trumpets sound, the difference in mouthpiece selection has a far greater impact on the character of the horn and the tonal quality, more so than simply changing horns and using the same mouthpiece.

    And I'm sorry to say that it appears that I've never spent time with a real flugelhorn, thus my observations are rendered meaningless.
     
  9. patkins

    patkins Forte User

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    The player is first most important, the trumpet is next most important, and the critical choice of mouthpiece is most important; but without practice you have a candidate for eBay.
     
  10. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    I can tell even the most subtle of differences between thetrumpet and flugelhorn, but when I fill the flugelhorn with substantial air and force to bring out the desired emotion of the piece, the listener in the audience... not so much...

    Here is a review of one of our quintet's performances at Gilly's from the Music Critic at JazzAdvocate:
    "The Quintet opened the set with some hard driving jazz and Conrad Jessee leaned over to me and said, "You're not kidding when you said they can play BeBop!!! That was just the beginning of a great night of music. Flugelhorn player Dr. Gary Onady made that instrument sound like a trumpet and Jack Novotny coaxed some incredibly rich sounds out of his tenor saxophone."

    This critique is from a trumpet player I might add, and he is referring to my performance when using my Getzen 4-valve Eterna.

    I feel it is important to "paint" a performance to the interests of the audience. Getting feedback such as this is very helpful to the performer and relays the perceived truth as to the effectiveness of the communication.
     

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