I must admit, I have been shaking my head that a piccolo trumpet was ever considered for a big band/jazz band lead chart. Maybe I am being simplistic, but the answer is a simple and EMPHATIC "No."
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1956 Conn 80A Cornet
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I'm thinking that if you really can play (I say play, not hit) the notes on picc, and stay up there for a while on the picc but not on the Bb, then you have the ability to do it. The picc does not make this register all that much easier to produce, just safer to play with, with a sound much more acceptable in orchestra/classical settings.
Big band lead is specialty playing, I hate to launch this debate or even sound like I'm giving that advice but perhaps you're using the wrong mouthpiece for lead playing on your Bb. It might be worth trying some lead MPs to see if it makes a difference. Might give you a better lead sound too. All caveats applicable to MP change should be considered. Guidance from a experienced lead player who can teach as well would be best.
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1930 Couesnon cornet
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Creates strength (Lao-Tzu).
Thanks for all of the responses guys, I kinda figured that the sound would be off. I'll start working more on range with the Bb, it probably dosent help that I was playing on my usual Greg black 0c mouthpiece. Thanks again
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I remember an outdoor concert a few summers ago, where a military big band (I can't remember the name; the concert wasn't especially notable; my apologies) had a soloist who switched to piccolo trumpet for some high note work. Nothing spectacular, but I clearly remember him saying "when I got my first picc, my teacher called it a 'hernia tube'"...
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1966 Conn 5A Victor cornet
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I could imagine the picc being a great solo instrument in a jazz setting. It just ain't lead material.
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I concur with the general opinion that the picc is not suitable as a lead instrument in big band; but, as many don't seem to have noticed (a few did), the fact that the OP can produce the range on picc and not on normal Bb means that he/she/it has the range and that probably something is wrong with the trumpet-mouthpiece combination normally used.
I experienced the same phenomenon when I was suddenly put into lead the first time - had to cover for a sick colleague. My combination of trumpet and mouthpiece just did not work for high range - imagine a Bach 37 clone with a 1 A megatone for lead work. Hard work. I switched over the instrument for my Jupiter 812R (Monette clone) and got myself an Arnold & Sons 3C Double Cup mouthpiece and hey presto! I had the range... Now, I've settled on a 1952 Olds Special with a Stork Vacchiano 4E for lead work. For me, that combination is the ultimate.
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