Spartan for Life
???? Barrington trumpet
1968 Besson 2-20 trumpet
1960's B & H Embassy trumpet
1967 Conn Connquest cornet
???? Devillier (stencil) Trumpet German?
???? Besson 609
1957 Besson 8-10 Trumpet
Portage Senior Center Dance Band
Kalamazoo Checkers Swing Band
I prefer triggers over saddles and rings. I lost a piece of my ring finger on my left hand in a loggin accident, so I had to start using my midde finger to operate the 3rd slide.....this is makes playing awkward. Try throwing both 1st and 3rd slides with one less finger holding on to your trumpet and you'll see what I mean. So I paid a visit to my local frankenhorn(trumpet tech) to see what he could do for triggers. After spending a lot of time with him he came up with triggers that would work well for me. Having the triggers built and installed on my Olds cost me more than the horn but it was so worth it.
When I bought my Silver Flair my frankenhorn was busy with his anual repair work from the schools and did not have a lot of time to spend on 3rd trigger for my horn. We are still working on it hopefully it will be on the horn soon.
Olds Ambassador(only one left, need more)
King Silver Flair - main horn
Amatuers practice till they get it right, Professionals practice till they can't get it wrong.
I only perfer a trigger when I march. When I play jazz or concert music I like to have the control of rings and saddels.
King Model 601 (my favorite horn so far)
Vincent Bach 3c and 5c
Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps 08, 09
Choctawhatchee Stylemarchers 07,08
I find it is more natural for me to squeez then it is for me to extend my thumb. Plus I think the saddle makes the grip more cramped. It is a no brainer to grip aropund the trigger but the saddle is always in the way of where I would like to grip. So by default I have to grip around the sadle with a much looser grip then I like since I would tear the saddle off the slide if I griped it like I like to grip my trumpet. I also feel like I am cause more wear to my slide because it does not move as nicely as I would like because you are torqueing the trumpet as you extend your tumb. The upside is that you can start with a tighter slide. For smooth trigger work your slide has to be polished with like a 1000 grit diamond past so it moves easy and smoth in each direction. This means that by default you have had to remove more material then on the saddle set up to gurantee that it moves useily. So their are trade off's. I am actualy wanting to have a trigger put on my 1st slide on my Reynolds Medalist and the adjustable 3rd ring replaced with a fixed ring. I am going to have this done right before I send it out to get silver plated. I need to find a leadpipe though that I am sure I am going to like. I have a Pilczuk Accusonic but it was not selected by play testing I just happened upon it. It is awfuly open and I would prefer something with more taper to more closely match the OEM leadpipe. IF the trumpet was not so free blowing I would not worry about the open nature of the replacement leadpipe I have on hand. I am just afraid it will go from being free blowing and darn near perfect to Flip Oaks free blowing where I need the lungs capacity of Lance Armstrong to play it!LOL Fear is a horrable thing to use to make decisions I know I seldom fall into that trap.
I love the 1st valve trigger on my Martin Magna. I guess after a while you develop a feel for how far to press. It's kind of like driving a stick shift the first few times its tough but after some time you develop an instinctual feel.
1963 Martin Magna
1924 Buescher True Tone
My thumb is OK with the saddle, but no arrangement of left hand fingers is happy with the 3rd slide ring. It is easier to work the trigger loop on my Olds Recording, but still hard to be precise, and it gets stuck out by the compression of the valve unless I release it very quickly. I think I will vent that valve so it will return if I don't release it on time. I feel it would be easier with triggers in both places - Mendez-like. (If I had a horn like that it would be the ONLY thing I had in common with him!)
Jeanne Pocius recommends a loose grip holding the trumpet with left thumb and index finger, balancing it on those two (mostly on the index finger), and not using a "death" grip. In that scenario there is an arch-shaped space between the palm of your left hand and the horn. I have been trying that and it is more comfortable and easier on your chops. That has the horn supported by the top of my left index finger under the bell and the top of my right thumb which is under the leadpipe and between 1 and 2. If my first valve slide had a ring instead of a saddle (as on my Stage 1 C) then the left thumb can support the horn in the ring. But then if my thumb is at the top of the ring it wants to torque the slide out of parallel and then the slide hangs up. Jeanne also says to use your left third finger to push out the slide ring and your fourth finger in the ring to pull it back. It works but I am still not very coordinated with those fingers. That's why I had trouble with the French Horn.
Oh, well. I'll keep trying. It's grow or die!
I started on a Connstellation which had the 1st valve trigger and 3rd valve adjustable ring. It is a great combo. I now possess a
1930's Selmer 20A Pre-K modified that is the same. It too is great. I believe the adjustable 3rd valve ring has advantages to the
fixed ring on the upper slide.
Now, my 1940's F. Besson trumpets have the 3rd valve ring underneith which changes the hold to gripping the horn with the index finger above and the rest below the 3rd slide for the ring. It is comfortable after using it for a while. There is no 1st valve saddle or trigger, but the trumpets are built so well, I don't miss it.
I have a Smith Watkins with the saddle on the 1st valve and I rarely use it. It has good tone.
I would never imagine using dual triggers. My brain would deny it. I'll stick with my vintage Besson trumpets and get the best out of them.
I've had two trumpets with 3rd slide triggers (Olds Recording and a Conn Director) ... they both worked perfectly. I've had more trumpets with problems with rings than with triggers .... No ring (), the wrong ring, stuck and sticking valves that make it impossible to use the slide, or slides that would not move easily with the ring, soldered rings in the wrong place for my long fingers, etc.
Not for me it doesn't ..... AND, a trumpet without a trigger REQUIRES CONSTANT TENSION to keep it closed. That effects your trumpet playing adversely. A trigger needs NO TENSION to say closed. And you don't need a slide stop (which your trumpet most likely doesn't have) to keep it on the instrument, either. A trigger also puts a little more mass in that slide area, which according to my favorite trumpet builder, helps the stability of the horn and would probably help the stability of most horns. My Recording doesn't need any indication of how much it's opening when I work the trigger, it's always perfect. It's a natural movement, pulling on a trigger, whereas the gesture of "opening your hand" to work a ring is not at all natural. But, to each his own. Triggers can be installed on most trumpets.
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