Piccolo trumpet - penny lane

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by startingsop, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. startingsop

    startingsop New Member

    Our bandmaster has approached me because someone in our non-competing community band would like us to play Penny Lane (by the beatles). I am the nearest thing they have to a soprano player, and I am not very good. I am considering buying a piccolo trumpet to play the piece. Several questions arise: 1. Would it be easier than trying to play it on my sop? 2. How good are the cheap piccolo trumpets (or how much would I need to pay to get something playable?) 3. Would you consider this as an option of you were in my shoes?
  2. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    1) Probably not.
    2) Most cheap piccolo trumpets are a complete waste of money.
    3) No; I would stick with the sop and make the best of it.
  3. mjwarman

    mjwarman Member

    Last note would be a top C or D on the Sop dependent upon arrangement. D on the original or C on some I've seen since, so whether it's easier to try and play on your sop would depend upon your range ability. I usually borrow a Picc if we are playing it, the band bought a cheap Virtuosi Piccolo Trumpet and it was all sorts of awful!! So bad in fact that during a concert the 3rd valve jammed completely just before the entry and I ended up having to play it all up the octave on my trumpet, which actually ended up being easier!!
  4. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    1 - In the same way that playing a Soprano doesn't immediately give you extra range over your Bb cornet playing, neither will a piccolo trumpet. If you can't play the note on one instrument you won't be able to on the others either.

    2 - AVOID CHEAP PICCOLO TRUMPETS. If you can find a second hand decent one then go for it - you can sometimes see Getzen, F Besson or Benge ones on Ebay, all of which are fine "starter" piccolos. If it looks too cheap, it is probably cheap for a reason.

    3 - Stick with the sop. Purely personally I wold always do this on a piccolo, but that is because I currently play piccolo trumpet FAR more often than sop (I own 5 piccolos and only the one sop, lol)
  5. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for a really interesting question. Well, I've found it interesting and have learnt from the answers above and form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piccolo_trumpet .

    It seems that playing it on a Soprano Cornet is the most practical way forward; that's the way I read the answers. It might help others to support you if you gave details of the particular arrangement you are being asked to play and also what the highest notes on it are (Top C or D or what?). As you feel that you are 'not very good' it might be that the piece is 'slightly beyond you just now' (loads of stuff will always be well beyond me) and should be put to one side (hopefully to be forgotten?) whilst you gain experience. IMHO playing is for fun first and (IMHO again) your MD is asking a bit too much of you, why sweat about something when really there is no need?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  6. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I know of one brass band arrangement, by Darrol Barry and the soprano part for the solo goes up to a high C. I seem to remember that it avoids the rapid tonguing solo from the original near the end of the piece (given an octave lower to the solo cornets, if I remember rightly). However, I wouldn't swear to that.
  7. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    PS, I am in general agreement with the others on here. If you've never played a piccolo trumpet before, it isn't a short term solution. And whether you get one for Penny Lane or for any other reason, PLEASE avoid the cheap ones. I guarantee you will end up regretting it.
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    The top note is a G on piccolo in A. A brass band arrangement, if one exists, is likely to be in a different key anyway which might be less, or more, helpful.

    As a general rule I can play higher on Bb trumpet than piccolo trumpet. All the piccolo adds is control, but it takes time to learn how to play it effectively.
  9. James Yelland

    James Yelland Active Member

    Transfer the part to the E flat tuba. It's the sort of thing Canadian Brass or Mnozil Brass would do, and the audience will love it!
  10. hobgoblin

    hobgoblin Member

    My suggestion would be to do it on sop. By your own admission you are 'not very good' so might as well sound not very good on an instrument you already have rather than splashing the cash to sound bad on something even squeakier.
  11. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    What I suggest is you "approach" your bandmaster and suggest he pays TrumpetMike expenses to come and do the gig....that way he gets penny lane played well on picc, an you can just relax and enjoy the concert!
  12. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    I actually quite like this option, lol
    (and thanks for making me laugh)

Share This Page