What about the lower trumpets?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by gsmonks, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    How about at least a mention on the site of the lower trumpets? Like the contralto and bass? Even the contra-alto?

    I get a lot of use out of my contralto and bass trumpets and have a number of different types.

    Mouthpieces for the Bb trumpet player doubling on bass trumpet is a subject that often comes up. The Bach 15EW is made for such a player and is my mpc of choice on some horns.

    I most often use a Schilke 24 in my contralto horns and am looking at buying a Tilz 20.00 mm medium/shallow. The latter is intended for use in low period natural trumpets but I want to give it a whirl in the contraltos. Many contraltos use an alto horn mouthpiece, which sounds okay, but . . .

    At some point I want to organise a trumpet 4-tet consisting of 2 Bb's, 1 Eb contralto and 1 Bb bass trumpet. Maybe even write for it, both classical and jazz.

    One can never have too many trumpets.
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Vidin, Bulgaria
    :shock: ask your wife ROFL
  3. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    I recently acquired an "F" contralto trumpet, with no mouthpiece. A Bach 9AT turned out to work just great in it (although I didn't get around to trying my Schilke 24 before ordering the Bach).
  4. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    You're joking, right? :-P
  5. nieuwguyski

    nieuwguyski Forte User

    Aug 9, 2004
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    I have a Holton F contralto trumpet that came with the original mouthpiece, a Holton 9AT. I know it's the original mouthpiece because, believe it or not, I bought the horn new. I don't know if the Holton 9AT is a copy of the Bach 9AT, but in my opinion it's too deep and V-cupped to give a true trumpet tone. It's also too narrow to allow honking on the low notes, and if you can't play REALLY LOUD low notes, what's the point in having a contralto trumpet? (At this point I'll point out that I'm aware of the difference between a "low F" trumpet and a contralto, and claim that the contralto deserves to be played with authority down to its lowest note.)

    Years ago I had an email exchange with a fellow, whose name is long-since forgotten, who was unnervingly enthusiastic about alto-voice brasses. His holy grail was a truly authoritative (that is, LOUD) alto trumpet voice. He had a Bach contra-alto trumpet and a custom mouthpiece that combined the rim width of a large alto horn (tenor horn, to some) mouthpiece with a bowl-shaped cup the depth of a Schilke 24. He wasn't satisfied with the result, and when I happened to post on the TPIN email list that I had a Holton contralto, he swooped in for info.

    I informed him of the existence of the vintage Conn alto trumpet, with a .485" bore, and the then-just-recently-discontinued DEG "alto cornet" (DEG's description), with a .500" bore. Last I heard, he had bought a DEG from John Lynch (the repair tech and plater, not the mouthpiece guy), and was happily playing very loud, rather bright, alto tones.

    There. I've contributed to a mention of the lower trumpets. We now return you to your regularly-scheduled high notes...
  6. gsmonks

    gsmonks Piano User

    Bruno Tilz makes a period trumpet mouthpiece with a 20.00 mm cup in both shallow and medium shallow. I use a custom mouthpiece that's generally this idea but I'm going to give the Tilz a whirl in the near future.

    The Schilke 24 is more of a Bb trumpet mouthpiece, although I've used mine in alto trumpets. Its purpose is for playing REALLY LOUD on the Bb, and being a really loud, sometimes obnoxious person, the 24 was a perfect fit for me! :play:

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