The inevitable, a crunched horn!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Repair and Modification' started by trickg, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Well, it finally happened to me. I finally, after 22 years of playing trumpet, accidentally damaged a horn to an unplayable condition. You have to figure that the longer you gig, the higher the probability that eventually, something is going to happen that will damage your instrument.

    I was at a gig on Sunday night and unfortunately the venue was small and our staging area was VERY tight. After the band loaded in and set up, I needed to put a couple of things away, namely my accessory bag and my ProTec trumpet/flugel combo case. As I handed my accessory bag over the drums to the drummer so that he could put it behind him, I wasn't paying close enough attention and knocked my horn and stand over with the combo case. When I heard the clunk, I looked over to see that my horn had fallen (of course!) right on it's second valve slide side. Oddly enough, it wasn't the second valve that ceased to function, but the third that got locked up.

    So there I was, at the gig, with a horn that would not function. I looked at my watch, which said about 4:51. I was a 30 minute drive from home and downbeat was at 6:00. I jumped in the car, drove like a madman home, jumped into my tux there, (I brought it home because I knew that it would take me longer to change at the gig site) grabbed another horn and made it back to the gig, 2 minutes to go till down beat.

    The upshot of this whole thing is that I sent the horn home with the trombonist, who is a talented brass tech, and it looks like not only will I be getting my valves repaired, but he and the other brass tech are going to throw some modifications on it that I have wanted to do, but haven't because I haven't taken the time to take my horn in. We are looking at moving the forward bell brace back, and Todd is going to make a custom receiver and mount that. At some point I need to go in and play it so that they can fine tune it for me. Wish me luck!

    Anyway, I just thought that I would share that.
     
  2. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Ugh, my sympathies.

    I've got a gig Saturday on a concrete floor with dancers falling over our monitors. I dropped my third slide there a few months back and was very fortunate to force it back in enabling me to continue. I'm always worried at this particular gig and whenever a drummer gets near my horn.

    I pitty the poor sax player next to me, he's got at least ten-thousand bucks invested in Selmer Paris alto, tenor, bari and a sterling Yamaha flute, all sitting there with no room to spare.

    Dave
     
  3. W Scott

    W Scott Piano User

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    Dec 8, 2003
    Carson City, NV.
    I can sympathize, I've seen it happen before. That's why I NEVER unpack my horn until setup is complete and I never use a stand. I'm either holding the horn or it's in the case. Sounds as those the accident might be a blessing in disguise if the repairs enhance the horn.........

    Bill
     
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Baltimore/DC
    Fortunately, Todd's greatest talent is not as a basic brass torch guy, but he seems to have a knack for knowing "things" to do to a horn that make it play better.

    Fortunately, it was me that damaged it. Although I suppose that I could go the other direction and be extra careful from now on, I doubt that I will simply because I see this an an anomoly and not as something that I should expect. Like I said, I've been playing for over 22 years and this is the first time that I have done anything other than dent a horn. I once accidentally dropped my last Strad on its bell, putting a nice crease into it, and I didn't play it until it had been repaired, but I could have used it in a pinch.

    I just hope that the new mods will make it sing and scream.
     
  5. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I suppose this is why some people have double cases for just Bb horns. They have the backup with them. But that would worry me some ... I have seen one horn get crushed in a case when a rack of chairs fell over.

    On the bright side, some players really say a repaired horn plays better. Not that you would crush your horn on purpose -- but sometimes rebuilding it makes it a better horn. You can hope!

    M&C
     
  6. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    And, M&C, there is always the concern that the case with the back-up horn might decide to "take a walk" half way through the gig. I know I try to never leave a horn in the dressing room at a concert: if I need two horns then they are with me at all times. If I only need one... then I only take one. If we do a dress rehearsal followed by a 2 hour "break" to run home and change before the concert, the horn(s) go with me. (Why are tuba players so darn trusting?)

    But then, I'm not a professional who makes his living at the game so I know there are going to be a different set of "needs" and a backup is one of them. I would certainly at least try to keep the spare on the bandstand where its within eyesight of myself or one of the other band members at all times.
     
  7. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Baltimore/DC
    I can't say that I have ever really thought that I had a need to bring along a spare horn, although Sunday night it would have saved me quite a bit of driving and time.

    As for whether or not repairing this horn will make it better, who knows? It has been "repaired" before, but only for really minor dings. I accidentally dinged the bell somehow or other that I can't really remember at the moment.

    What I do know is that Todd is really good at making horns better so hopefully I'll have something quite a bit different when it's all said and done. Who knows, I might even have him reverse the tuning slide! :)
     
  8. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Because you would need a forklift to steal it? :D

    I know some union players have insurance for both damage and stolen horns on the job. I guess it would be pretty hard to "hide" a tuba on the way out the door. A trumpet on the other hand .....

    M&C
     
  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    *AHEM* "And just where do you think you are going with that grand piano?" :lol:
     
  10. BADBOY-DON

    BADBOY-DON Piano User

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    Jan 23, 2004
    Gig Harbor Wa.
    OUCH!

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 1963....My friends and I were late for a gig at Pacific City Oregon. A friend of ours had this old 1960 Pontiac convertible from hell. They stopped bye my apartment to pick me up, left the engine running, our drummer, and driver...popped the trunk for me to put my old Olds horn into the trunk..
    (UHHH? The trunk is filled with drums, three trumpet, folding music stands..etc etc. NO ROOM for my horn!!!!
    Our driver told me to get into the backseat and shut the f***up!! He gets out...grabs my horn outta my lap, walks back to the trunk..and after a few moments of "re-arranging the musical items....I hear the trunk lid slam shut!!
    He hopes back into the driver seat and mutters something about how much room their was in the trunk!!!
    Famous last words...as he slams the car into reverse....

    YOU GUESSED IT!!!! This horrific crunch followed by this terrible sliding-grating noise is coming from under the back wheels.

    HE HITS THE BRAKES!!!! WE ALL HOP OUTTA THE CAR!!!!
    WHAT LUCK!!! IT WASN'T MY HORN that he forgot to put back into the trunk...but it was our lead trumpeters horn instead!!!

    Luckily, he had another back-up Martin horn with him....although it was a very very very very silent trip...all the way to the beach from Portland Oregon.
    Truth is....I had never seen such a flattened bell on a horn in my life!!!
    I don't think Larry Rouse...ever payed him for that horn....but if memory serves me....No one knows for sure who dented the hell out of that old Pontiac left rear fender and trunk. The only thing that was that the writing on the note the basher left on the old Pontiac's windshield read: "5 people are watching me leave my name and address on this windshield.

    When Larry read the note and made the phone call: Hummm! It was a local "Dial a prayer #?"
    Shame, shame on Larry!!!!
    but then again...we'll never know (in this lifetime, anyhoo? :oops:
     

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