The choosing of an instrument

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by trumpetsplus, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. SAS

    SAS Pianissimo User

    Jan 7, 2015
    I'd pick the Schilke over the Bach Strad because I think they sound better. But, I'd pick a good professional 40's/50's horn over a new Strad anyday.
  2. edfitzvb

    edfitzvb Forte User

    Jun 10, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I think every player feels a loyalty toward any trumpet that has "gone to war" with them and not let them down. I really like vintage horns, but I have to say this; I just recently bought a 21st century Yamaha Xeno Chicago artist horn. I can find no flaws. It is one sweet horn.
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    My view is that the horn finds us, not the other way around. Those that truly do any meaningful research are few and far between.

    I always go to the music store WITH my students. The owner has 5 to 10 instruments in the price range and we don't just start to play tunes. We warm up at home, then in the store some long tones on each of the horns are played. I take mental notes even at this stage, then come some simple slurs C-g, g-c, C-c, c-C, G-g, g-G. The slurs ALWAYS show how the horn fits the player, how easy changes in pitch are navigated, intonation, response, etc. By now we only have 2 or 3 instruments left. Now come a couple of scales, first slurred, then legato tongued, then staccato tongued, then perhaps double and triple tongued if the student is far enough along. A further decision criterea: how immediate the attack is heard and felt.

    By now usually only 2 horns are left, the student and parents are amazed at how THEIR CHILD so clearly discerns instruments. When we are down to two instruments, I come in. I play both horns to the students/parents and we talk about what they hear and the differences (if any) between my results (slurs, scales) and those of the student. NOW we play some easy tunes and test things like what happens dynamically. Through the previous process, the student is warmed up and VERY sensitive to small changes. We test control at low and high loudness levels, we test where the tone gets that trumpet brashness and if that point is controllable. Many horns "splat" uncontrollably with the students mouthpiece, embouchure state when we start playing loudly.

    So now an hour has gone by, there really are no questions left and everyone is happy with the choice. AN HOUR.

    I am going today to pick up my Bach 229 CL that has been heavily modified by an artisan about 70 miles away. I will only need a couple of minutes to judge the response of the horn using the techniques above. Granted my scales will be a couple of octaves and my simple slurs will cover more range. The shop owner and his customers will not have to leave because of the noise however and I am sure that some of the customers will even come and ask about the process.

    My process requires 2 sets of ears and an hour or two as well as a well stocked music store. Many of my students walk away with Yamaha 4xxx or 6xxxx, simply because they offer students some pretty incredible objective performance for the money. Still, we never KNOW until we a have a reliable process to compare and stick to it over decades.
  4. deecee

    deecee New Friend

    Sep 20, 2014
    Just curious-what modifications did you have made? Were you satisfied with the results?
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Tunig bell -but with braces, a shortened 25 Bb leadpipe, additional weight on specific locations and some other stuff I don't talk about. It is exactly as I expected. The sound has more "รค" in the sound instead of only "ou".
  6. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    I believe the same thing happens with professional trumpet players ----- whether that is because they made money for sponsorship, or because a company --- Schilke, King, Holton, etc -- would make them and instrument according to the pro's specification ------ (Maynard, Dizzy, Onady -- etc. you will find that all of these pros changed and upgraded equipment. ----

    in another thread here --- the famous Gary Onady verifies that his teacher and mentor Claudio Roditi - also changed instruments at the pro level --- perhaps in just the last few years ----- it never stops....... changing horns and such
    ((Interesting because Kanstul still has him photo'd as a featured player:
    But alas he is also listed on the Adams site as well:

    Asbeit, the Adams listing for Claudio dates to 2011, and the Kanstul is up to 2013. Perhaps Claudio made his switch to Kanstul in only the past couple years. ))

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