What does it take?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by codyb226, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    To build trumpets? Really, say that I wanted to become the next Jason Harrelson, Andy Taylor, Dave Monette, Vincent Bach. What would be good to have? That was a broad question, so how about this next one. If there was an opening at Harrelson trumpets and I went to apply, what would be a good thing to have on my resume? A engineering degree? I would really love to build custom horns that Taylor and Harrelson trumpets do, but if I were to apply what would be good to have?
     
  2. amzi

    amzi Forte User

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    Get a job in a good repair shop. Go to one of the instrument repair schools. Become a machinist and learn CNC machines. That would probably get you there--that and many years of experience.
     
  3. Wondra

    Wondra Pianissimo User

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    Jason did hire a guy that worked at the shop for a while and he had a degree in instrument repair - it provided a good base. The rest of what he learned was via being an apprentice, so many of the proprietary techniques are learned from the builder.
     
  4. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

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    Found this site: Band / Musical Instrument Repair Schools Comparison Chart Seems kinda costly and only something to do if you're willing to go to school. But boy if I could I'd join ya. You should also ask what are the job prospects and pay like. I imagine like many things, job prospects are going down.
     
  5. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    All of the top artisans that I have met have a common talent: great ears. The mechanical part can be learned by many but building a great horn means that the artisan has the ability to hear what moving a brace 1/10" does, or even more important, the ability NOT to hear what one expects, rather what is really happening.

    This may sound funny, but most of us are very confident about what we think. When building a horn, the customer needs to feel a connection. THAT separates the Harrelsons and Monettes from many others. They do not build horns that the customers think will work, rather have their own followings for what THEY have found to be optimal.

    If you want to be the next artisan, you need a solid foundation in building instruments. That is easiest as a repairman. Then you need some other players with good chops and ears that keep you grounded. Your ears need to guide every step.

    At the end of the day, you need someone that answers emails, telephones, writes invoices and keep the bookkeeping in order. If the bills don't get paid, and customers don't know where their horns are, the experiment is OVER.
     
  6. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    That is what I was thinking.


    I really have no want to go to school for this. I was basically just wondering if I ever do want to do this. Dont really know yet...
     
  7. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Ivan, you out there, any words of advice for our good Cody? I think these questions really need to be asked by the guys who have done it. If you really have the passion for this, I would not even think twice abot getting on the phone and asking this to the person in our current world who has done this the longest AND with the best track record... and I could not think of a better person than Ziggy Kenstal (ahhh except for maybe Ivan here on TM). From reading other blogs about Ziggy, he seems very approachable, but again, I would ONLY recommend connecting with him IF you are serious with heading this direction for a career.

    Otherwise, don't be waisting Ziggy's time with questions, especially since he is still working on my order to build my 1526 flugelhorn at this current time.
     
  8. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    That was something I was thinking, ears like a great trombone player that will move his slide very little to get the right pitch. I was thinking of just working for someone, not starting a new brand.
     
  9. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

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    I am not that serious about it, but I may.
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not talking about that kind of "ear". I am talking about someone sensitive enough to hear what someone else feels - things that they DON'T necessarily say. The art of communication happens in the subconcious.

    Most people do not "hear" what moving a brace 1/10th" does. Some may "feel" the difference in response. To the artisan and tuned in player, these can be quantum jumps however. "Hearing" a more relaxed approach, a bit more refinement, a more immediate response are what I am talking about. Receive instead of transmit.
     

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