Trumpet characteristics/features and efficiency

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bwanabass, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    The "problems" with bad tuning are from nature and are due to whoever/whatever created life and the basic principles of the harmonic series. PLEASE DO NOT BLACK LIST THIS COMMENT. This is a fact of life that we manufacturers must accept. We cannot change, for instance, the fact that the 5th harmonic is flat in comparison to the tempered scale. My idea of design is to create such clarity of feedback to the player that pitch compensation is so automatic that they do not realize it - rather they say "Wow, this trumpet is so well in tune"

    Yes there are devices such as the Jack Holland Pitchfinder which enable the player to lower and raise any note. But the trumpet playing public to a large degree do not want these devices (as evidenced by the fact that there is a large stockpile of these at the home of the inventor's heir). Players want to get their low D and C sharp in tune but not their fourth line E.

    Merri Franquin had a wonderful design C/D trumpet (which Roger Voisin played for years) which essentially negated the use of anything longer than 2 and 3 valves (imagine not having to use 2 and 3 for high A flat!), but it, too, died. There have been attempts to revive it, the latest being by Clifford Blackburn for David Hickman from concepts drawn up by Bryan Ewing, a DMA student. This 5 valve design appears to be quite clumsy. I have started making a 4 valve C/D, based on my quarter tone C, initially for my own use.
     
  2. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

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    Yes, I realize there are issues with tuning among the notes in the harmonic series.
    I also realize that there will be additional issues when notes from the harmonic series
    are being played together with instruments that have a tempered tuning.

    What I wish is just that manufacturers could find another way of getting horns more
    in tune than at the expence of eficiency (yes I know, rowuk, we need to breathe . . . ;-))
     
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps a bit of synergy?

    Strong players need the horn to do things differently than weak players, so the Artisan takes that into consideration when balancing things.

    Weak players talk a lot about efficiency and dark sound, but at the end of the day, The horn best for them has nothing to do with either aspect. My first post with the lake and the toilet actually hold the secret: when we hear ourselves better, the horn is easier to play and will be considered efficient, regardless of how much energy is turned into sound. The strong player uses more of the room sound in making decisions, the weak player relies on what reflects from the bell, music stand or a close by wall.

    I think this word should be banned from use by trumpet players as it is meaningless.
     
  4. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

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    absolutely!!!!
     
  5. Sofus

    Sofus Forte User

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    Yeah!

    Every good player knows that all you need is

    FAST AIR ! !

    :cool:
     
  6. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    i think rowuk has come closest to understanding the original question, which probably had not too much to do with the discussion that grew out of it, which was very enlightening nonetheless. sometimes if i'm having a difficult day on the horn, i know which rooms in my house i can practice in to make it easier. i think the original poster was asking if there are certain identifiable features available on trumpets that would tend to make a certain type of horn play "easier", and we could probably agree on what some of those are. whether or not those features were desirable for a given trumpeter in his daily work would depend on what that player needed. for instance, a great many orchestra players play a bach c with a 25 leadpipe and a 229 bell, because it tends to produces a certain sound desirable in a symphony orchestra. it takes a strong player, and you wouldn't start a beginner on one. neither would you play it in a jazz band. a beginner would probably work best with a smaller horn designed to produce a pleasant sound with much less effort, and hopefully be in tune in the middle register. someone else might look at a horn with a reverse leadpipe, an ovate tuning slide, a lighter build, some kind of stepped bore, and a faster bell flair. the orchestra guy would probably not go looking for a new horn among a batch of bobby shew yamahas. of course within any genre, there are many different variations, and these are only general tendancies. we know that two supposedly identical horns will blow completely differently to the same player. a horn that is advertised as "efficient" may or may not make the right sound, and there can be a lot of disagreement about whether or not a certain horn that feels "efficient" to the player in a practice room projects to the back of a large hall. a guy joining a full time trumpet section would be well advised to look at horns that were similar to what he was playing with. somebody who had to play in lots of different situations might need a horn that could do more than one thing well, or maybe have more than one trumpet or mouthpiece set up. there are so many horns out there, even if we could define "efficient", in or out of the scientific context, it might be hard to recommend a certain kind of horn without knowing what the player expected from his trumpet. a high school student who played in concert band, orchestra, and jazz band, or an amateur player who plays in a quintet, a community orchestra, and a big band on the weekends, should probably look at something flexible enough to perform passably well under all of those circumstances, especially if he only has one horn. a specialist can look for a horn that tends to play best under specific circumstances. the rest is personal preference, well developed fundamentals, and a good ear.
     
  7. Bwanabass

    Bwanabass Mezzo Piano User

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    Yes, Rowuk hit it. Feedback is a key part of this that I hadn't considered. Yes, we want sound projecting out, and it is wonderful to have the benefit of hearing your sound in the space. However, depending on the setting, a player (strong or weak) must rely on that feedback from the horn. For example, playing a small club or even a bar with a rock band is a setting where I have tremendous difficulty hearing myself. I find myself overcompensating at times in an effort to get that feedback. With all of the other noise (a 9 piece rock band), I can't get that bigger room feedback and have to rely on sound coming back to me from the bell, or even through a monitor system.

    The better I can hear myself, the better I feel and the more conservative I can be with my energy expenditure. Part of my original question had to do with how design characteristics affect this, and many responses here supported what I was thinking in the back of my mind, which is that it is all subjective and depends on what the player is comfortable with in terms of blow, resistance, etc... Efficiency may be quantifiable, but in the end it all comes down to the person with the trumpet to their lips. Thanks for the discussion.
     
  8. strad116055

    strad116055 Pianissimo User

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    ok, bwanabass, you've just provided the essential information in 4 words: nine piece rock band. you've just made it a whole lot easier to respond as to what might be "efficient", or appropriate, for you. i would consider you a specialist, and i have a 3 word answer: tight, light, and bright. you want a horn that lights up fast, and you're mainly interested in a lot of upper partials in the sound, to get you out over the band. the feedback from your horn should not be used in aural terms only. a tight horn will start pushing back at you when you start to overblow, giving you a warning that you might want to consider backing off a bit. with amplification, you don't need a big sound. you need sizzle, mostly, and good slots. you can't really hear how loud you are playing in a rock band. the sound of the band will most likely be louder than you can play. you need to develop a muscle memory of what your optimal volume feels like, (not the loudest you can play, but the loudest you can play and get through the gig without killing yourself) and stay there. let the sound man do the rest. if you don't already have one, you can get a little plastic shield that attaches to the mic stand and reflects some of your sound back to you. and don't forget to wear your ear plugs. a schike B6, or one of the medium bore S models might do the trick. maybe some other people will have suggestions that aren't quite as pricey.
     
  9. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

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    This is what I use in the loud rock world:

    APM Page

    It works quite well, and it really takes all the other feedback issues out of the equation. I can play whatever trumpet I want, no matter how loud the environment -- because I can hear myself.
     
  10. Gxman

    Gxman Piano User

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    An efficient trumpet is the one that plays while you look at it.
     

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