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Trumpet Discussion Discuss what would you say to this guy? in the General forums; What would you say to a guy with a high school education, that had never had trumpet lessons before, if ...
  1. #1
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    what would you say to this guy?

    What would you say to a guy with a high school education, that had never had trumpet lessons before, if he complained that ‘conventional equipment wouldn't let him do what I wanted to’ on the trumpet?

    http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/99...11trumpets.htm

  2. #2
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    quote from theAtlantic.com
    Monette was also practicing a lot, and "conventional equipment wouldn't let me do what I wanted to" on the horn. Playing pop tunes on tour with the band for a year, Monette strained to make his instrument sound the way he thought it should. The sound that came out was too bright, reminding him of the brass section of a football marching band or the blare at a high school hop. Moreover, the sound was limited in its expression. Nothing Monette played or heard others play matched the sound in his head -- a textured, layered sound that could evoke a wide range of human emotions. To describe it in painterly terms, the standard trumpet sound was like the landscapes in an L. L. Bean catalogue -- all surface and no depth. Monette was looking for a sound that was exposed and vulnerable. Rembrandt, or Van Gogh. He was certain that something was wrong with the way trumpets played, and he was determined to change it. But how?

    While he pondered this question, the band traveled the Midwest, playing clubs in East Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan; in Palatine, Illinois; in Madison, Wisconsin. The touring was entertaining but unfulfilling, and when Monette, at the age of nineteen, fell in love, he quit music. For a year and a half he did "nothing musical," supporting himself by working as a custodian at a JCPenney department store in Milwaukee, where he lived in the same apartment building that had housed Charlie Schlueter more than ten years before, when Schlueter was just beginning his symphonic career, with that city's orchestra. Then one day Monette was asked to deliver a package for Penney to a local music shop, where he soon found himself in a long conversation with the owner about instruments. That conversation, he says, inspired him to enroll as an apprentice at the Allied Music School, an instrument-repair school in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

    By the time he moved to Elkhorn, Monette was so frustrated by instrumental limitations of tone and timbre that he was nurturing a "crazy dream." He would learn how to make instruments and then build them himself. Most trumpets on the market were -- and still are -- mass-produced, but that was a symptom rather than the source of what Monette perceived as the basic problem. He wanted a response from a trumpet, a "completeness of sound," that he couldn't find.
    I would have told him to quit whining and stay in the woodshed until he developed a REAL sound on the trumpet.

    A "textured, layered sound that could evoke a wide range of human emotions..." "...a "completeness of sound," that he couldn't find..." BAH! What a crock!

    I'll refrain from posting any of my other "sentiments" on the subject...unless of course this winds up in the cage!
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

  3. #3
    Forte User MUSICandCHARACTER's Avatar
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    Very interesting article.

    I have one major problem with Monette. Price.

    And if Monette trumpets made that much difference, why aren't the ideas copied extensively by others?

    Kanstul copies the mouthpieces -- I think more to show that they can be sold for far less at a good profit.

    What does the Destino cost, $5K? Hand made to Doc's specs. That is high IMO, but nothing like $10K to $50K for a Monette (as stated in the article).

    Sometimes lessons and formal training give you a leap forward. Sometimes, it puts you in a box. Obviously, Monette was never put in a box and could think outside the boundaries. There is no doubt in my mind the Monette would double, triple or increase sales 10 fold if he offered a model in the $2500 to $4000 range. I cannot imagine using Getzen valve blocks that a horn could not be made for that amount with a large profit included. But what do I know?

    I do know this, I will never play a Monette. Even if it was better than anything around, it would be like driving a Rolls Royce. I would never feel comfortable.

    Jim
    Dr. Jim Fox
    Licensed Mental Health Therapist
    Owner: www.allbrassradio.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by trickg
    quote from theAtlantic.com
    Monette was also practicing a lot, and "conventional equipment wouldn't let me do what I wanted to" on the horn. Playing pop tunes on tour with the band for a year, Monette strained to make his instrument sound the way he thought it should. The sound that came out was too bright, reminding him of the brass section of a football marching band or the blare at a high school hop. Moreover, the sound was limited in its expression. Nothing Monette played or heard others play matched the sound in his head -- a textured, layered sound that could evoke a wide range of human emotions. To describe it in painterly terms, the standard trumpet sound was like the landscapes in an L. L. Bean catalogue -- all surface and no depth. Monette was looking for a sound that was exposed and vulnerable. Rembrandt, or Van Gogh. He was certain that something was wrong with the way trumpets played, and he was determined to change it. But how?

    While he pondered this question, the band traveled the Midwest, playing clubs in East Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan; in Palatine, Illinois; in Madison, Wisconsin. The touring was entertaining but unfulfilling, and when Monette, at the age of nineteen, fell in love, he quit music. For a year and a half he did "nothing musical," supporting himself by working as a custodian at a JCPenney department store in Milwaukee, where he lived in the same apartment building that had housed Charlie Schlueter more than ten years before, when Schlueter was just beginning his symphonic career, with that city's orchestra. Then one day Monette was asked to deliver a package for Penney to a local music shop, where he soon found himself in a long conversation with the owner about instruments. That conversation, he says, inspired him to enroll as an apprentice at the Allied Music School, an instrument-repair school in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

    By the time he moved to Elkhorn, Monette was so frustrated by instrumental limitations of tone and timbre that he was nurturing a "crazy dream." He would learn how to make instruments and then build them himself. Most trumpets on the market were -- and still are -- mass-produced, but that was a symptom rather than the source of what Monette perceived as the basic problem. He wanted a response from a trumpet, a "completeness of sound," that he couldn't find.
    I would have told him to quit whining and stay in the woodshed until he developed a REAL sound on the trumpet.

    A "textured, layered sound that could evoke a wide range of human emotions..." "...a "completeness of sound," that he couldn't find..." BAH! What a crock!

    I'll refrain from posting any of my other "sentiments" on the subject...unless of course this winds up in the cage!
    haha, i would probably say the same thing...i would also add that Bud ( and many others) dont seem to be "limited" sound or production wise by assembly line horns.

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    Jim,

    You have many good points, but what about this?

    On price:

    Couldn’t we say he charges that much because people will pay it? If people will pay it I would not consider it over priced, but I will say it is FAR out side of my price range.

    On formal training;

    I would say lack of skill is a worse ‘box’ to be in than the ‘box’ of having an education.


    '”first learn craft, it will not prevent you from being a genius”


    now it seems to me that Monette has acquired the skills necessary along the way to know what he is talking about( I would guess), but it seems clear to me that he didn’t start with them. I would seriously doubt that a person at his level would have the ear or general knowledge to have the end goal in mind as the article makes it seem he did. Also, the article makes it seem like this guy couldn’t play the trumpet because most trumpets out there are pieces of junk.

    What say you, ignorance or arrogance?

  6. #6
    Forte User MUSICandCHARACTER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizforprez
    What say you, ignorance or arrogance?
    I think that was my point, only a bit more subdued. Mr. Monette is taking some great valve blocks (Getzen) and building a unique horn around it. Bravo. Is it arrogance -- hmm -- maybe.

    But one thing for sure, it is sheer marketing genius. I love the no return policy on the mouthpieces. If you don't like it, tough. YOU didn't acclimate because these are the best mouthpieces in the world. Yes sireee ... Sell mouthpieces from $250 to $400 a pop and it is YOUR fault. Genius.

    Do you really think it takes 10 months to build a Monette? Hey, you have to pay for them first. Add to the mystic by making people wait. And in the meantime you have money in the bank. Just short of a Ponzi scheme! Give the money to Maynard to come on board.

    The proof, they say, is in the playing. Look at all the Monette mouthpieces on eBay all the time. Lots of them.

    It might not be arrogance. I wouldn't say Mr. Monette is a design genius either -- the only proof I have of that having not played a horn is the lack of copying the Monette features. I will say Mr. Monette is a marketing genius.

    I still think that is why Kanstul copied the mouthpieces. I think if there was a lot of merit to the design factors, Kanstul might copy the horns too.

    Jim
    Dr. Jim Fox
    Licensed Mental Health Therapist
    Owner: www.allbrassradio.com

  7. #7
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    It is often said when you are trying to sell yourself at job interviews and such, that you are worth whatever a prospective employer is willing to pay for you. The same could be said for Monette horns; they are worth whatever people are willing to pay for them.

    NOTHING about Dave Monette or his horns can be scientifically calculated, at least not according to the article. According to the article, Dave has an extraordinary sense of timbre and tone (whatever!) and he uses that as he mystifyingly crafts these one-of-a-kind horns. Yep, just scrape a little metal off of a mouthpiece and Voila! Instant better tone!

    (you MUST be catching my sarchasm by now)

    But, Dave has amazingly created this mystique around his horns, and that is why they continue to sell. He better ride that wave for as long as he can because with folks out there like Flip Oakes, Roy Lawler and Leigh McKinney creating the kind of horns that they are, without all the mystique and mumbo jumbo, he truly has some first class competition.
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

  8. #8
    Fortissimo User gzent's Avatar
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    'Reinvention of the Trumpet' ? PFFFT!

    More like using good old fashioned smoke and mirrors marketing to make a ton of money selling horns to yuppies!

    Time will tell. If in 20 years there are a bunch of near copies of these horns being produced, as is the case of the original Bach, F. Besson, Benge, Olds and Conn horns, then perhaps you can say he was an innovator. Until then its all hype.

    Greg

    PS - BTW, how long have these horns been around? Hmm...
    Stop acting like someone shot your dog.

  9. #9
    Utimate User trickg's Avatar
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    Greg, I remember people talking about Monette trumpets in my high school days so they have to have been around for at least 20 years.

    There are some horns that incorporate some of Dave's ideas too:

    Courtois
    Taylor
    Edwards/Getzen

    However, they aren't selling for the price of a decent, new automobile.
    Patrick Gleason

    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"
    "At my signal, unleash hell."
    - Maximus Decimus Meridius

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