Where to go next

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by stephenwright, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. stephenwright

    stephenwright New Friend

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    Hi Manny I'm sure all of this has been covered elsewhere on the forum and I've seen bits and pieces to tackle the question I have but not all in one place and not all exactly relevant to what I'm trying to ask.

    At the moment the only trumpet in my armoury is a Bb Bach Omega which I enjoy playing immensely and have been playing (although not this model) for some 7-and-a-half years or so. I live in the UK and have completed my Grade 8, which may or may not mean anything to you. I've also been doing quite a lot of orchestra playing although at the moment it's currently quite a dry period for me I'd like to see about investing in a piccolo or Eb/D trumpet. At my current stage I do feel like I've "paid my dues" on the Bb as I've reached a reasonable level but I don't really know which one to go for next.

    There is a pretty enormous gap in my Baroque (solo) repertoire at the moment and I'd love to try my hand at exploring some of the Telemann/Fasch/Mozart concertos which would point towards a picc. I've also read that outside of the Haydn/Hummel/Neruda concertos there's not much to be played on an Eb in terms of solo repertoire.

    The above points towards a picc, though I hear they're horrendously difficult to play and tune. My tuning isn't great at the moment so that would be a significant drawback but I'm ready to work at it if it can realistically be overcome.

    Any thoughts you'd be willing to add to this I'd be most grateful to hear. I guess this is a long-winded way of saying: In my case- Eb/D??

    Stephen
     
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Stephen,

    First of all, welcome back, it's been a while.

    I'm not a big fan of Eb/D combos because of the intonation hasles that plague most combo horns. I like one or the other.

    Past that, the piccolo is a nice way to go, I think and if you figure out a good mouthpiece many of the intonation hassles are workable but you have to become a bit of a Sherlock Holmes in your investigations of them.

    I say go for the picc and wait for a good Eb. Those concerti you mentioned are all eminently playable on Bb, of course, and it builds a good lip to do so.

    Others will weigh in and have other opinions but that's what I'd do, given the same circumstances. Good luck, amigo.

    ML
     
  3. stephenwright

    stephenwright New Friend

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    Dec 28, 2005
    England, UK
    Thanks Manny, I know it's been a while but I've been sitting and watching carefully over the past while. My situation's slightly different these days insofar as I'm at uni and taken the decision not to go on a music degree (history & philosophy) means I get less practice/reading time but I'm trying to stick to it.

    Stephen
     
  4. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Dubai, UAE
    Stephen,

    I've just started out playing in orchestras and have found most of it sits fine on a Bb provided you work at the transpositions. Where sound is an issue and I want a lighter approach I bought a ml Bach C...and,as a bonus, the transposition for orchestral D,Eb and E parts was much easier ...which was much cheaper than a good quality dedicated E/Eb. With the difference I bought a Kanstul picc for solo repetoire and I'm dreadful at it..but getting better.

    I know that it isn't the typical way to go but seems to work. Well no-one's complaining at least.

    Regards,

    Trevor
     
  5. stephenwright

    stephenwright New Friend

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    Dec 28, 2005
    England, UK
    Thanks Trevor that was an interesting response. The one orchestra I do play in the Sheffield Chamber Orchestra there's only 2 of us and my principal uses a C trumpet (Yamaha of some sort) to transpose parts in Eb/D. I get on fine with either of these though when trumpet in E pops up she'll be laughing at me. A C trumpet would be worth consideration but I think I'm likely to go for a picc. Can I ask what you've discovered to be the main difficulties you've experienced when you picked up the new instrument?

    Stephen
     
  6. Hardnut

    Hardnut Pianissimo User

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    Hey Stephen it sounds like you and I are in similar positions - I'm off to uni next year although not to do Music (Psychology instead). I'm taking my Grade 8 this year - can I ask what pieces you did for your exam?

    I too have religiously stuck to the Bb trumpet, but I do not feel that I am quite ready to branch out to another horn. However, from what I understand from my trumpet teacher, the next logical step to take would be to invest in a piccolo trumpet, and progress from there.

    Chris.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  7. stephenwright

    stephenwright New Friend

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    Dec 28, 2005
    England, UK
    Chris, pleasure to hear from another English trumpeter. I don't want to deviate too much from my own thread, but I played Andante et Scherzo, Ballet Suite and Polka. Can I ask about yourself?

    To bring this one back to the point, a friend of mine who is a teacher had an Eb he wasn't using at home so he's lent it to one of his pupils who's doing the Haydn 1st and 2nd movements for Grade 8, the reason I mention this is it's an example of where someone at an earlier stage to you and me (I think) has started moving onto a smaller instrument- an Eb.

    Stephen
     
  8. Hardnut

    Hardnut Pianissimo User

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    Gosh I wasn't aware that you were allowed to use the Eb for Grade 8 - I thought it had to be done on Bb: I chose the 2nd and 3rd movements of the Haydn to avoid the high Eb in the 1st movement! The other pieces I am doing are Fanfare for the Common Man, and the 2nd Arban study.

    I always intended to get reasonably proficient on the Bb before I branched out into other horns, but from what I've read in this thread, it sounds like using the different types can complement your overall development - do you know what stage/ age your teacher's pupil is?
     
  9. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

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    Dubai, UAE
    Stephen,

    With Manny's permission I'll give my very inexpert impressions of picking up the picc. It's not rocket science but I found I needed to be very focused..at first it all seemed very un-natural and I was very aware of playing as efficiently as I could. Although I'm always conscious of intonation on my normal trumpet I become super sensitive on the beastie...bad notes seem to be that much more obvious.

    As Manny has said the right mouthpiece was (and still is) an issue. My picc is a small bore and most of the recommended mouthpieces had me sounding like Donald Duck with a cold!! Articulations were less than subtle as well.

    As with most things 'trumpet' I've started simple, tried to get as good a sound as in tune as possible and I'm working from there. Brandenburg is still some way off but Trumpet Voluntary has them calling for more.

    Regards,

    Trevor
     
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

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    Things certainly seem to have changed in the instrument order since I was your age (not THAT long ago). When I was looking for a second trumpet to add to my weapons copboard I was told that the Eb/D was the route to go. I still consider this to be quite a valid route.
    As Manny has said, the intonation on the Eb/D instruments can be very "interesting" but I would suggest that it is often no more so than on a piccolo. It is also closer to the playability of a Bb than a piccolo might be. It will also aid you if you are ever thinking of playing in a brass band. Most bands have a soprano cornet that they are willing to lend any potential players - if you are already familiar with playing an Eb instrument then the "issues" that often arise will be slightly fewer than they could be - having lived in Huddersfield for my university time, brass bands can be a nice source of pocket change, especially if you get a reputation for being a good dep - if you can offer them cornet, soprano and flugel, then your options are nice and open.

    One of my biggest issues with seeing younger players performing is that although many of them hold a piccolo, I have yet to hear very many play it as well as they play the bigger instruments. They are a very different instrument and playing one is something that many people seem to think they are ready for before they probably are.
    If you do head down the piccolo route, make sure your fundamentals on the Bb are sorted out BEFORE you pick up the picc. If your range is not ready for the piccolo, it won't make matters easy.
    If you are going to be playing the standard youth orchestra repertoire, the chances are high that you aren't going to come across many pieces that require a piccolo, yet a D or Eb could be very useful.
    If you are looking to get some local amateur choral society type gigs (Messiah etc) then let's be fair - the chances are high that for your first few gigs you will probably be playing second or third parts (that's the way you tend to get the first gigs) some of which are unplayable on a piccolo (the part goes too low).
    There is very little of the piccolo repertoire that is unplayable on a D - and those pieces that would make you squirm to think about them (Brandenburg, Richter, Stamitz) are probably not going to be your first pieces on piccolo anyway.

    Have you discussed this with your teacher?
    They will know your playing much better than we do and will be in a much better position to advise you what might be most suitable. For my students (of a similar standard) the determining factor of whether they are ready for piccolo is basically their range - if they are struggling around the D/E mark, then they need to work on their Bb playing before I will let them borrow a piccolo (I have a spare one that I have been known to lend out, the local music authority also has a piccolo and Eb/D for students to borrow - might be worth checking what your local music service has).

    As for the C trumpet thought - I would think of C trumpet more as a lifestyle choice than an aid to transposition. I will admit that they are very useful to own, but definitely not necessary (especially in the UK) - if you can transpose well on a Bb, that will hold you in good stead. If you can't transpose you need to get practising - forget about buying a new instrument;-)


    As with many things in life - there is no "right" progression. A lot will depend on you and what you are thinking of doing. For me the progression was Bb trumpet (age 8, upgraded age 13), Bb cornet (age 9, upgraded age 14), Eb soprano cornet (age 13), D/Eb trumpet (age 16), Piccolo Bb/A (age 19, although had borrowed one earlier (to do Brandenburg:stars: )), C (age 23), piccolo G (age 25 I think). Not saying that is the "right" way to do things, just giving you a bit of personal trumpet history.
    I know some older players who still don't own a piccolo, they just don't play that sort of music.
     

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