Playing Cornet AND Bass

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Despot, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Despot

    Despot Member

    According to Fink, Vincent Bach advised against using overlapping mouthpieces as it would be detrimental to your embouchure.

    So does the reverse apply, could you successfully play Cornet and Bass with no ill effects? (Presuming you had sufficent time to practise both!) Or some other combination of instruments?

    I know because of contest rules against it, brass banders generally don't double, but this doesn't apply in the outside world. I recently had to do a "double take" when I saw a well known french horn player playing BBb Bass is a concert band!
  2. Hman1

    Hman1 Member

    I wouldn't recommend it ! I am a tuba player (BBb currently), but in the last couple of years I've played Cornet, Horn, Baritone, Euph and Bone in my band to be 'helpful' on occasions when other players have been on holiday or, on occasions, just not turned up !!

    I've become reasonably adept and switching (sometimes Tuba and Cornet on the same day) but my tuba playing has definately suffered and I have now had to call a halt to trying to be helpful and fix my embruchure. Besides - why don't any of the front row cornets ever get asked to fill in on trom or tuba ! ???
  3. Vegasbound

    Vegasbound Active Member

    I think that Hman1's post shows that the old adage 'to double you have to practice twice as much' is still the best advice refering to an equal amount on both instruments!

    And of course the more instruments you play to a high standard the more chance of getting a gig!

    for example Legendary trombonist Tom 'Bones' Malone (he of Blues bros fame) plays on the tonight show band live TV 5 or 6 nights a week and plays piccolo trumpet down to tuba and flute to bari sax and beyond.
  4. I echo Hman's advise. I have had to double, and switch from trumpet on down to tuba, and still do to some extent, but even with much practise on both, it is not better than staying with the chosen instrument.
  5. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    I don't think it's advisable, having said that I've played Eb bass in training band and then cornet for the normal 2 hours afterward without ill effects (yet), if anything it relaxed my lips and warmed them up.
    I reckon if the embouchure is so different that it doesn't affect so much for a short while, but if you did (say) tenor horn and cornet that are closer together you might have more problems.
  6. winterman

    winterman Member

    Well it, obviously, is not ideal (unless you are a pro and have all day to practice) - but it is most certainly do-able (speaking as someone who has, in the past, jumped between Cornet and Bass at a 'medium' level and back again in the same day week in week out, and still does a few dep'ing jobs on other instruments when they are desperate).

    I wouldn't recommend doing it but I would agree that ,with the difference in embouchure, it is very "do-able" to train yourself up on both but it does take A LOT of extra work!
  7. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I don't know whether it's recomendable or not, but my music teacher told me about someone who used to practise on Euphonium but he actually played cornet....
  8. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    We were having a lark around in the bandroom playing Mission Impossible on different instruments to our usual ones - I chose BBb Bass! My lips were vibrating that much inside the mouthpiece it sounded like I was flutter tonguing! Got a class super C though! ;)
  9. countessduckula

    countessduckula New Member

    I once was insane enough to play Bb Bass in one band and Flugel in another. (I will admit to having been moved off my precious Bb to play Tuba/Euph/Bari - another story). Gave up doing both when it became painful -literally- going back down onto the wee flugel! So in the end went back to the Bb Bass onl. Its where I belong!!!!
  10. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    I'm trying to keep up my flugel playing since moving to bass trombone, however I find I don't even have enough time to practise the trombone to my liking. Sometimes I get out the flugel just to play something without having to think about positions all the time. My sound has definitely gone downhill, but I don't think it's irreparable, and it's more to do with me not playing it every day any more. My flugel range doesn't appear to have suffered much, which surprises me every time I get it out. Also, if anything, playing bass trombone requires a lot more air (which I'm still struggling with - partly due to asthma, partly due to being unfit), so it means that flugel is really "easy" on that front now. I have read elsewhere about other people who successfully play 2 instruments with a large mouthpiece size difference, however they do play both for equal amounts of time every day.

    So in response to Despot, I believe it's possible but the person would have to play for longer every day to maintain ability.
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Not directed specifically at you flugelgal, but then for this theory to be correct, the likes of Glyn Williams & James Morrison would not be able to get a break from practice.
  12. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    Ah, but I'm sure they play a lot more than the likes of me in the first place!

    No offence taken, my opinion/comments are purely based on my own limited experience :biggrin:.
  13. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I've given this topic a bit of thought in the past and I do believe if all the physical support is correct and in place, it is possible to jump between instruments. Quite a few teachers do this on a daily basis without too much disruption to their normal playing.
  14. True. I do this with students, but it isn't the same as playing for an extended time.
  15. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

    I'm surely not the only person who's thinking why on earth would anybody want to play cornet and bass and expect to be good at both???? :dunno Am sure now lots of people are going to jump in with both feet and tell me I'm wrong......
  16. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I have to say.....this was probably a joke but my band's Bb bass player says we now wants to play sop!

    My teacher reckons that playing an instrument with a larger mouthpiece after playing cornet (for example) relaxes your lips
  17. catto09

    catto09 Member

    I dunno. Reckon it probably is Possible. Euph player by trade, but i played cornet for a little while (safe and sound at home, where only I and a select number could hear me) as well without any negative effect on my euph playing...
  18. flugelgal

    flugelgal Active Member

    Well, from my point of view, I have been a flugel player for over 20 years, and I love playing flugel, but I offered to learn bass trombone as my band already has a flugel player and I don't like playing cornet. I'm still a flugel player at heart, so I want to be able to still play it if the current player gives up or decides he wants a change! Here in Ireland there aren't other bands at the same standard just down the road that might have a spot for a flugel, plus I really like this band, so I doubt very much that I'd leave to play it elsewhere. I'm not a band hopper! :biggrin:

    I'm sure that other people have similar and different reasons - variety, or the band(s) require people in different sections, or something like that.

    Some of us are just crazy, DMBabe ;)
  19. Rebel Tuba

    Rebel Tuba Member

    During my youth I played Eb Bass at School, Bb Bass on the weekend with my area band and three nights a week played trumpet in dance was soooo easy then, EVERYTHING was so much more flexible
  20. DaveEb

    DaveEb Member

    Got to say the old adage "jack of all trades and master of none" springs to mind there are some who can master all but are few and far between. You see quite a few players swapping round the band certainly in lower sections to help the band by filling in a gap, but they would be better sticking to one for playing quality's sake, but hats off to them for being bandsmen.

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