calling all cornet players!!!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by wannabe_cornet_player, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. Right all you very talented lot, prepare to split you sides laughing at me...

    I want to learn to play cornet, partially to impress a special someone in my life, partially because I've been getting into brass band music recently, thanks to the special someone.

    Here are the facts:

    1 - no money to buy instrument
    2 - no spare time thanks to the education system
    3 - no awareness of any band round local area
    4 - no ability to read music what-so-ever


    I am very willing to learn and when it comes to music, i can pick things up rather well.

    I was just wondering if anyone could provide me with facts, tips when starting out, or any general information reguarding this trully amazing expression of sound (woo, deep! :p)

    I am very tempted to ask to 'borrow' this special someones cornet when visiting but I want to try and impress her so any help would be very greatfully recieved.

    I know it sounds odd, and probably impossible to learn without actually having a cornet, or musical ability, but it's worth a try...

    Thank you all!

    w_c_p :)
  2. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    Not sure why I read this, as I'm not a cornet player at all. My advice (based on my own attempts to play the cornet) is to go along to a training band (you'll need to tell us where you live before we can help with that!) and get someone to teach you the flugel ;).

    You say you don't have the time or the money or the ability. Well if you've never tried, you won't know about the ability. The others - well, you have to be committed in order to take up an instrument and succeed.

    So, unless your heart is in it - go and buy her some flowers or chocolates!
  3. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    im sure everyone can be a little help if you tell us where abouts you live so we can perhaps tell you a nearby band of learning standard and a tutor. You may find you live near someone that has a spare cornet and is willing to teach, so the best bet is to tell all of us kind people where you live ;-)
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    As has already been stated, if we knew your location this would be a lot easier.

    Speaking as a teacher, if you are willing to put the work in, it is perfectly possible to achieve some semblance of playing in quite a short period of time, if you are willing to work.

    Many bands (and local education systems) have instruments that they might be willing to hire/lend. Likewise local music shops - many of them do very good deals on hire/purchase.

    You won't know your ability on an instrument until you start trying to learn it. One of my students is the deputy head of the school I spend my Tuesdays in - she had never read music before her first lesson, she had ever played any instrument. She is now quite a competent trombonist and is even getting her head round tenor clef!

    Find an instrument (Ebay? - avoid all the cheap Indian models - if you want advice on one, please feel free to Private Message me), then find a teacher in your locality, then be prepared to work very hard.

    Best of luck
  5. wow, thanks guys, your all really helpful

    Sorry to put such a random question to everyone, the reason for the heir of mystery is that my 'special someone' is also a member of TMP so i don't wanna give too much away.

    She let me play her cornet the other day, I managed a (very bum sounding) C, D and E (i think :-s)

    (if she see's this, my cover is blown... :p)

    I live in york, where i'm at uni (hence lack of time & money).

    What i was looking for was any tips on getting a clearer sound, which valves to press for each note etc

    Thanks for being helpful though guys, keep any (obvious for you lot) information coming, technical jargon could sound good :p

    Oh, n i'm saving up for the flowers & choclates...:D
  6. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    (C, which you have already found, can be used as your starting point)
    you can gradually get higher (in semitones) with the list below, try to make each note as good sounding as possible before progressing to the next one. Remember - your lip muscles will not be used to this type of excersise so don't expect instant miracles! Not trying to put you off but it could take weeks/months before you develop a nice sound, on the other hand you may find out after a week that you are a natural! Dont tense your lips up as such, just try to keep the corners of your mouth firm (without over-exaggerating) and the centre of your lips can be controlled (eg. try playing a bottom C then close the hole in your lips slightly and then open them slightly, you will notice that the 'open lip' sounds beter!) keep this in mind when trying to get the sound you want. (also - listen to recordings of other cornet players - this gives you a target of what sound you would like to achieve! Honest, it really works!)

    Back to the scale:
    try to get a good sound out of each note before progressing and hold each note for as long as possible (wait a few moments after you have ended the note then progress). Whatever you do, dont try and concentrate on buzzing your lips or anything like that ;-)
    C = no valves pressed
    C# (Db) = all three valves pressed
    D = 1st and 3rd valved pressed
    Eb (D#) = 2nd and 3rd valves pressed
    E = 1st and 2nd valves pressed
    F = 1st valve pressed
    F# (Gb) = 2nd valve pressed
    G = no valves pressed
    Ab (G#) = 2nd and 3rd valves pressed
    A = 1st and 2nd valves pressed
    Bb (A#) = 1st valve pressed
    B = 2nd valve pressed
    C = no valves pressed

    When you are comfortable that you know this scale and can play it without sounding like "comb and paper" then you are really on your way to becoming a cornet player! ;-) (there is another 6 notes below that scale and rougly 12 notes above (some players can manage 19 notes above!)
  7. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    I think the best thing for you to do is to get a beginners brass book.
    'A Tune a day' or something like that, which will tell you all the valve combinations and give you basic information about how to start blowing!

    Maybe get a mouthpiece, or steal this special someones and practice buzzing on the mouthpiece until you can do that well, then practice the basics when you have the chance on a cornet.

    Start small and gradually work your way up.

    Oh and try listening to some recordings of top cornet players, Philip McCann, Roger Webster, David Daws to name but a few, listen to how they do it and try to imitate them (just not McCann's Vibrato!)

    Good luck...
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2004
  8. YBS Caz

    YBS Caz New Member

    Hey ya,

    You say your from round York?? I know a good starter band called Nestle Rowntree, based (you've guessed it) at the factory near the theatre. Try searching for a website to contact them, I know the lady conected with them is called Audrey.
  9. Hey guys
    Seriously, thanks alot for all that, the scales were just what i needed!
    I know its a bit of a complicated position to be in, but that info was exactly what I was looking for.

    To further my dilemma (and make it more obvious if she reads this...) my special someone is actually a stupidly long distance away and I don't get to see her every day (*sobs*) but when I do, I keep begging her to let me have a go on her cornet (I think shes getting angry... :p)

    She's taken me to see her band play and a few others, and i'm really getting into it :D
    And like i say, all that information was just perfect. If I can learn the theory then it's a step, and hopefully I can impress her with all the technical talk! :p

    Cheers guys, and keep it coming (if theres any more I need to know???)

  10. The Cornet King

    The Cornet King Active Member

    Yes! Don't even think that you can become a bander unless you are regularly indulging in large quantities of ale! :guiness

    Although you say above your a student, so no problems on that front!

    Might be worth purchasing the Associated Board Theory book, Grade 1, teach you all the music theory, notes, rhythms, meanings of words etc.

    As for Cornet technical Jargon.... :-? have to get back to you on that one.
  11. ScaryFlugel

    ScaryFlugel Member

    I would be really wary of trying to do it all yourself from a book. The trouble is, with nobody to guide you and listen to what you are doing, you have no way of knowing if it's right or not. something that works in the short term may hold you back later when you try to get cleverer! Then if you are doing something fundamentally wrong, which quickly becomes embedded, you may end up spending years trying to put it right if you do actually get hooked and want to take it further.

    With a teacher, you have someone who can see what you are doing and adapt the book to suit you – not everyone starts playing C’s – what about G’s? And someone to help prevent the bad habits setting in. Plus of course, there aren’t that many romantic ballads in Tune a Day – a teacher could teach you some really soppy tunes to play to the love of your life!

    If you really can’t bear to have regular lessons, then you still should try and get someone to start you off and check out your technique (fnarr) every now and then.
  12. I didn't think of that. Bad habits could stick quite easily with me, being a student and all :p
    and as for the ale, if I could afford it, i would, but budget is EXTREMELY tight!

    I'm liking the idea of soppy songs too woo my sweet heart! That would be an excellent idea.

    I'm used to teaching myself various instruments so i shoudnt be too bad at this one... hopefully
  13. Lil Miss

    Lil Miss Active Member

    i just wanna add that this whole idea of yours is very sweet and I hope the "special someone" really apreciates it :) i wish i could help ya ( me being a young cornet player and all) but i'm not really a great person to ask questions, i'm still learnin myself.
  14. lewis

    lewis Member

    If your uni, surely there must be someone who plays the trumpet or cornet? Bribe them with few pints and see if they get you on your way!
  15. six pints

    six pints Active Member

    aww i was going to say that! at my uni we have a for sale board, if u have something similar put a message up saying ur situation and someone will reply!

    good luck!!
  16. akwarose

    akwarose Active Member

    aww *blushes* special someone (aka moi :p) is very impressed!!!

    w_c_p is sittin behind me lookin very sheepish and feelin very embarassed coz i discovered his secret b4 he managed to impress me :p

    aww, thanks for the thought olie, i love you no matter how badly you play the cornet :p
    do u want me to pretend i never saw this so u can carry on in 'secret' and i'll still be amazed when u finally manage it? :p

    jelly tots darling.... xxx
  17. gggggaaaaarrrrrrrr!!! My secret is out, damn it!

    Thanks for all the help tho peeps, i'm starting to learn, bit by bit (yeah right, truth is, i still suck! :p)

    Sam, thanks for the lovely reply! :p :oops:

    I WILL be able to play cornet by the time i'm 25 - it's my new goal.

    you know i'll never manage it tho :p

    i'm gonna try and stick to it, over christmas i'll set my self a goal of playing a perfect C every day i'm round, then maybe progress onto 2 or maybe even 3 notes a day :-o

    Sam - jelly tots (and ice cream... :p)

    Everyone else - thanks so much for the help!
  18. Bex_Euph

    Bex_Euph Member

    I think that this is a really sweet story Im sure ur girle was very touched by all ur efforts!! she must feel very special!! Good on you for making the effort :clap: :p
  19. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    jelly tots? :p
  20. skweeky

    skweeky Member

    listening to bands and other cornet players is a great way to improve because subconsciously you try to copy their style and sound. For example most players start to sound like their tutors after a while, its a proven fact! Try listening to Jim Shepherd, David Daws or Roger Webster. They are just a few. You should consider listening to them, it will give you something to aim for! ;)
    As a beginner, if you dont hear others play, you dont know what youre trying to achieve!

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