Going onto cornet

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Blackleygirl, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Blackleygirl

    Blackleygirl New Member

    I've just switched onto cornet from horn to help my band out and to be perfectly honest, I hate it. I'm finding it very frustrating that I can't get higher notes on the cornet and I really don't like the sound I'm producing, its very forced and "clucky". Playing the cornet also hurts, my head hurts and my front teeth feel like they have loads of pressure on them, is this god's way of telling me to stay on horn?

    I know its early days but has anyone got any tips on how to improve my sound and range?

    Thanks in advance

  2. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Anne - daft question time - why did you change?

    If it is just to help a band out, maybe this was a moment of generosity too far. The old notion that if you can play one brass instrument you can play them all is, sadly, not always true. Some people are much better suited to one style of instrument than another.
    There are, of course, people who can swap between bass and sop and just about get away with it, but they are the exceptions.

    Have you considered taking a lesson with a cornet specialist, just to check that you aren't doing anything silly?
    It could be that the mouthpiece you are playing on is not suited to your embouchure (chances are quite high, I imagine), or that the way you are holding the instrument is not helping matters. There are many reasons why it might not be comfortable.

    Any advice you get online can only be so useful, none of us can see what you are doing, what you are playing on, how your embouchure is set up etc - get a specialist lesson and you will probably find that much more useful than any advice you get from a bunch of people who can't see what you are doing.
  3. Lauradoll

    Lauradoll Active Member

    Or go back onto horn and join another band.....
  4. Blackleygirl

    Blackleygirl New Member

    That would be a really easy (and attractive) option, but I've played for the band for all of my playing career and they're currently in dire straits cornet wise so I stepped up to help out. I keep hoping that flocks of cornet players will come our way so that I can go back on my beloved horn but can't really see it happening so have to make the best of it and at least have a go!!
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    One thing NOT to do is force-feed your playing on cornet. You can suffer maybe permanent dental damage by using too much pressure, and you will find that you may have to step down to a much larger instrument in time (and the problems may not stop there if you are not careful). Have you taken time out to relax the muscle groups supporting the embouchure? The thing is if you are used to playing with a certain amount of pressure on horn, you will have to start from scratch again on cornet. From the very basics of production and breathing control you will have to slowly build up stamina and range. Ask advice from remedial brass instructors (if you can find a decent one) about suitable exercises to get back on track to enjoy playing again. It might be that you have transferred a barely noticable problem on horn to cornet and you are suffering as a consequence! Best of luck ... it won't be easy!
  6. HorniKaz

    HorniKaz Supporting Member

    Are you mad Anne?

    You've always, always played horn! Tell them that you're finding it 'painful' & I'm sure they'll understand (don't forget, I know some of them too!!)

    A few words of advice....... STEP AWAY FROM THE B FLATTY THINGY WOTSIT!!:biggrin:
  7. SuperHorn

    SuperHorn Member

    Hi Anne,

    I did exactly the same thing. I played Solo Horn for 17 yrs and I decided to switch to Principal Cornet as the previous person left and there are no decent cornet players around (or willing to leave other bands). I hate to tell you, I practised every day for 2 hrs for months to get used to the cornet again.

    Choosing a mouthpiece is most important - I started to play on a Denis Wick 3 - a bucket to most solo cornet players but helped my transition. This helps you to produce a good sound but more difficult to hit high notes. However, producing a good sound is better than getting frustrated with trying to get high notes.

    I then changed to Denis Wick 4 - this still produces a warm sound and easier on the lip and high notes.

    A Denis Wick 4B is perfect for high notes but doesn't give in my humble opinion quality sound.

    I hope everything goes well.

    Advice - I know everyone gives the same advice however, I went back to basics - ascending scales (G major - C slowly) and long notes whilst channeling the air through the instrument and remember - Practice, Practice & Practice it's so rewarding.
  8. I have known MDs that believe that "true" bandsmen/women will play whatever the band requires of them.

    This is NOT TRUE.

    Yes, some folks are able to "float" round the band - others need to dedicate themselves to the instrument that suits them.

    Also, I think that the cornet requires the most dedication in terms of daily practice etc.....
  9. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    I know how you feel. When I first came back to my home town band, I went from Bass trombone, to BBb Bass to Soprano cornet, all in the name of helping out a band. You do silly things when you are really in love witht he band you play in.

    As for the cornet playing, sometimes just sticking it out can be the key. I am not saying "practice and you'll get there" although what I am saying is rather close to that. As a Multi-instrumental teacher, I find it way easier to teach and carry a trumpet than my baby Bronnie ( a sov EEb tuba). Now when I spend too long playing big instruments, it takes a while to get my trumpet lip back in properly. But if I stick it out, but not force it, in anything from a week to just under a month, I can get my "reasonably good sound" back. I don't claim to be a virtuoso, but I do get a nice round sound, and when I am in form, I am a minor rd from completing a full 3 octave range EASILY.

    So if you wanna play cornet that bad, take your time. Do proper warmups. The worse thing you can do is dive in deep every time you pick it up. Play lots of long notes, listen to your sound, and be gentle.
  10. elkartian

    elkartian New Member

    i play trombone and euph and at moment trying trumpet alot too i think main thing is use a good book like herbert l clarke technical studies from www.juneemerson.com and never try to play high notes until ya are capable just gradually work up building the chops.always rest when ya tired. and warm down with low soft notes after each practice session. my advise is if ya really love the tenor horn stick on that ,its no fun playing an instrument if ya hearts not into it so tell them in ya nand ya wanna go back on horn
  11. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I don't know how to improve your tone, but as far as range goes. I would start with the bin only about 10 feet away. Practise everyday (at least 5 tosses). Then each day move it back or so...by the end you ought to be able to chuck that chunk of brass in the bin from across an auditorium!!

    (seriously though, like some others have suggested, if you are really frustrated, you may want to try to go back to your natural instrument. I've switched about instruments several times and while I don't mine 'taking one for the team' for short spells, it is silly to make something that can be so fun, unfun)
  12. sterlingsop

    sterlingsop Member

    Oooooooh brave decision Anne! If you want to, I will sit with you for a session to see how you're blowing, and I'll be able see if it's technique or something else that's giving you pain. It could be the size of mouthpiece you've got or any number of things. Give me a ring and we'll sort something out xxx
  13. Big Twigge

    Big Twigge Active Member

    I am playing cornet after a significant spell on flugel using my 4Fl Wick mouthpiece (I think!). The cornet mouthpiece with the band cornet was a 4B, one that I had always used in the past, however I really struggled to get a nice sound out of it this time - it was very airey and horrid sounding. I found a besson mouthpiece of my sisters and am getting on a million times better (it's much deeper than the 4B so much easier to produce a nice sound and still ok range wise).

    If you're definitly going to stay on cornet...I advise a mouthpiece that you get on with, I still can never believe the difference it makes!
    Good Luck!
  14. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Not surprised you hate it...why anyone would want to play a peeshooter in Bb is beyond me :biggrin:
  15. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    And everyone knows that to go down in pitch is a promotion, whilst to go up is a demotion!! :biggrin:
  16. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    Yeah well I'm doing a Sunderland and am on the fringes of the top flight, but will ultimately spend most of my career just outside the top flight :biggrin:
  17. I changed from cornet to euphonium some years back and i hated it; however now i absolutely love it and realise it suits me far better and its really important to me, but if you really are actually experiencing discomfort then maybe its just not for you. Can i suggest that you just try and help your band find another cornet player instead of putting yourself through this? I understand you really value your place within the band and you really want to help.
  18. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    See you know it makes sense, euphamaba beats the pee-shooter anyday!
  19. I have to agree it is rather beautiful!!(Especially if you've got a tone like David Childs!):D
  20. mattster

    mattster New Member

    anne its your big bruvver here.get back on horn.the longer you stay on cornet the more likely you are to stop blowing all together.find a teacher have a few lessons put some work in and you'll find yourself moving up the sections.a teacher might get offered jobs with bands that they cant do and if they think your good enough they will ask you,that way you get your face known.