I was in Germany last week checking out some possible new bells for my trumpets. In the course of conversation, some information came out that I wanted to include in a blog.
Here it is:
Not Necessarily for the Recreational Player
Or, in longhand:
Less than 1% of all trumpet players need to play double high C, or match the XXXX Philharmonic/Symphony trumpet section, or have some other specialized playing need.
Unfortunately, both instrument and mouthpiece developers use the most gifted players from this less than 1% as test subjects, even making signature models. This enables them to be able to declare that "(This player) plays X brand - therefore so should you".
Maybe these endorsees do play such equipment, and, of course, these products will be very good, but that doesn’t mean that they will be best for every player, especially those for whom just creating a note is still a bit of a challenge. The particular professional cited has a highly honed skill which must be complemented by his critical choice of equipment, whether it be mouthpiece, trumpet or other.
During a recent visit to one of my colleagues in Germany, they revealed that they had spent much time and effort in developing a 4 valve Eb trumpet for a world famous soloist. The result was an instrument that he was extremely satisfied with. However this trumpet was so specialized that the maker has not been able to find another player who is comfortable playing it! Sadly it has been withdrawn from the market.
We have often used un-skilled or even beginners as part of the panel used to alpha test our Jaeger trumpets and mouthpieces, believing that if it is easy for them to play it will be easy for anyone to play. I have often quoted my young student, who, when presented with 2 different examples of my work (an early model and a current one) commented that one of them was so much easier to play, that it wanted to dance!