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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Sharp Decrease in Bb post piccolo? in the General forums; Is it normal for a player to have a sharp decrease in Bb competency after starting Picc? I purchased a ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User MSfortissimo's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    SF Bay Area

    Sharp Decrease in Bb post piccolo?

    Is it normal for a player to have a sharp decrease in Bb competency after starting Picc?
    I purchased a yamaha piccolo and am thrilled. I progressed quickly and am starting to piece together the tartini trumpet concerto. However, when I go back to my normal trumpet I can't play nearly as well as usual. My playing sounds extremely mellow, I can't play above d in the staff and my projection is a joke, I used to be able to easily play high e. I am thinking about dropping the picc but it's so much fun and I feel great when I play it. Is this normal and is there any trick to getting around it? I've been doing vizzuti exercises which seems to be helping a little bit. But not a huge amount. The amount of notes I am missing in school band is becoming embrassing. HELP!?

  2. #2
    Forte User bagmangood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Bostonish & San Francisco

    Re: Sharp Decrease in Bb post piccolo?

    Getting a picc doesn't mean you can spend less time on the Bb - for most people its an entirely different instrument.

    Also you might be practicing picc too much (very easy to do, especially when you first get it). Many people suggest no more than (say) 20-30 minutes on the picc a day, when you are practicing trumpet for several hours a day. I find that that is generally enough for me to work on picc technique and play some music, with feeling any of the bad side effects of playing too much piccolo
    Bb: Courtois 305 "Elite", Holton Al Hirt Special (~1966), Benge 3x with Upturned bell (1973)
    C: Bach C180-239 (Akwright conversion),
    Cornet: Conn Wonder (1900)
    Picc: Selmer Paris, ~1971

  3. #3
    Piano User stevesf's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: Sharp Decrease in Bb post piccolo?

    The first thing that comes to my mind is that perhaps you are approaching the 2 horns the same way. This is wrong...they are two different animals and must be tamed differently.
    You can not over muscle a pic or it will "shut down" on you. Relax and let the horn do the heavy lifting for you.
    On a larger horn you still need to play relaxed but it can handle more volume of air before it "shuts down" if at all.

    If you plan on keeping up playing both horns, devote quality practice time on both. (I originally thought of saying equal practice time but this is not true. Maybe 1/4 pic, 3/4 larger horn)
    In time it will become second nature on how to approach each horn.
    Last edited by stevesf; 09-03-2011 at 07:49 PM.
    Steve Shults

    Yamaha 6310Z - Bb Trumpet
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  4. #4
    Piano User Haste2's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Re: Sharp Decrease in Bb post piccolo?

    I think the other guys pretty much nailed it. The picc requires using your airstream in a different way, meaning if you go back and play that same way on your regular trumpet, it won't work. So, yeah, don't play your picc for too long, especially since it will beat your chops up a lot. I don't see how anybody can play on them for a long time.

  5. #5
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Sharp Decrease in Bb post piccolo?

    Any switch needs to be practiced. The difference between a picc and a Bb is the same as a Bb and a trombone.

    Practice switching more and you will be fine. The Tartini can be practiced on the Bb too. It will really help your low chops.

    I see no need to intellectualize the process. Practice more, and switch more. You will be fine.

    Haste, playing the picc does not beat ones face up. Only the players themselves can do that. We learn to play them for a long time, by playing them a long time!

    I also do not change my airstream. No need for that. What changes is what my ears expect. That needs to be learned (by doing).
    Last edited by rowuk; 09-04-2011 at 04:39 AM.
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