New Band instruments

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by ABERDEEN LOON, Nov 19, 2009.



    Hi everyone.

    I helped start a new band up here in the Northeast of scotland back in April - Deveron River Brass . We started with what ever instruments we could get our hands on by Begging, borrowing and.....Ebaying! At the time we thought that this would do as we thought that we would hover at about the 16 - 20 players mark.

    As it turns out, there were a large number of players in the area that were not playing for one reason or another, but wanted to. We now have just under 30 players and have had to tell some other people that we do not have an instrument for them! This is obviously not ideal! The instruments that we do have in a lot of cases are playable, but only just. For example I am playing a Besson Accademy Bass Trombone! (Not bad though considering it's age!)

    As we have now completed the application and been accepted and confirmed as a Charity, we are applying to as many places as possible for money for instruments.

    So here (after a fair amount of waffling) is my question that I would like to post to your collective wisdome... What instruments to go for! Between the members of the band we do have a fair amount of experienced players, but also some youngsters.

    I have always been of the belief that it would be better to get all of the same make where possible. but is this really necessary for a new band? Tuning and intonation are always a problem in new/lower section bands, so should we add to the problem by mixing instruments. This would therefore suggest that all of the cornets should get a Sovereign, or a prestige etc. But you would not give a youngster a large bore cornet.. or would you? As I am not a cornet player, I don't know.

    Another thing, would it be better for all the instruments to be york, or Besson, or LMI for tone or does it not really matter?

    On the question of trombones, I would also tend to go for one brand for sound. So I would probably go for Conn (but this is purely personal as I have played a vincent bach Bass trombone and I hated it - I think that the bells are too big and there is not enough edge to the sound) Ideally I would like a Rath, but then I wake up! :rolleyes:

    I know that there is a fair amount of waffle above, so feel free to harang me for not being clear if I have not made my point very well!

    Let the debate commence!
  2. 3rdcornetsolo

    3rdcornetsolo Member

    It does depend on your budget and mix of standards of player but from how you have described the mix i would buy Yamaha cornets and flugel.

    But I would advise trying any instruments before making a decision.
  3. catto09

    catto09 Member

    I agree that you should definately try instruments. But i wouldn't stick to one brand - get a couple of different brands on trial (3 cornets/1 euph/1 bari/1 horn/ etc.). Prestige Cornets are apparently not up to the hype. Horns are very much players preference. We had a prestige and a york preference up on trial and some prefered the york, some prefered the besson.
    Would avoid yamaha in anything other than cornets and flugels. Plating is excellent, but not as good instruments as others


    Any more help that people can offer?
  5. 3rdcornetsolo

    3rdcornetsolo Member

    Depending on the timescale you have on buying new instruments I wouldnt discount the Yamaha for lower brass as there is a new tenor horn to be released early next year with a baritone and Bb Bass to follow shortly after.

    The guys at Brighouse are playing on the Bb basses at the moment and love the instruments and the band have recently taken delivery of a new Euph too!


    I have only ever played a yamaha bass trombone, so would be interested to see what the other instruments played like. There does seem a little snobbery when it comes to yamaha for some reason in brass band circles. Interesting to see that a higher section, sucessful band is playing yamaha!:)
  7. 3rdcornetsolo

    3rdcornetsolo Member

    I think to date Brighouse Cornets, Flugel, Bb Basses and Euphoniums are all playing on Yamaha and Hammonds Cornets and Basses also play Yamaha.

    I think there is an element of snobbery amongst players regarding Yamaha... recently one cornet player (who shall remain nameless but plays for one of the above mentioned bands) was desperatley searching for a Besson Sovereign Prestige in lacquer as they did not want to play on a Yamaha (as they said 'they're not as good').

    The amazing thing was this individual had never actually tried the Yamaha... but when they DID try them side by side preferred the Xeno that the rest of the band were playing on!

    Equally I know some of the critics have valid points and certainly the current Yamaha tenor horn is not as good as the Prestige, nor is the current baritone better than the competition. However, I know Yamaha are working hard to improve this and the new tenor horn (currently being played by Sheona White), baritone (Katrina Marzella) and Bb Basses (Simon Gresswell and Michael Norton) are fantastic!
  8. catto09

    catto09 Member

    on a side note - if you need instruments quickly - we have 3 Courtois tenor horns, inclusive price is around £1,200 - £1,500


    We did think about that a while ago, but are ok for horns at the moment. If it was the sovereigns that were for sale, jill would have jumped at the chance, but Jill didn't like the courtois at all when she played for Granite city: major Tuning issues!


    thanks for the offer though. :p

    Good Luck for the weekend! :tup
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    :eek: ... I thought they would have been sold by now! Didn't you ask about selling prices a while back?
  12. catto09

    catto09 Member

    yep - but no-one wants them :p. Nevermind - make good instruments for youngsters