Quirky instruments.

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Thirteen Ball, Nov 2, 2004.

  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Isn't it weird how instruments have funnly little quirks about the way they play? I've always been a bass player so can only speak about that, but it seems like a thousand instruments all made exactly the same way, will all play differently.

    My first Eb bass - Massively flat on middle C, except if you play it on 2+3. (Which should flatten it further, shouldn't it? :? )

    My 2nd Eb bass - Middle G horribly sharp unless played on fourth, or 1+3, yet all other open notes in tune.

    Current BBb Bass - Middle B natural massively flat on 2, better on 1+3 or 4, (Which again, should flatten it further) but all other 2nd valve notes as near as makes no odds. Except low D-flat which is the opposite, being always sharp!

    Confuses the bejaisus out of me. Anyone any similar experiences? Is it just Basses or do we have quirky cornets and other things out there?
  2. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Every instrument has its own personality when it comes to tuning. When I switched from the Sovereign bari I'd been playing for the last fifteen years or so to a new Yamaha, everything was different - took me six months to figure out exactly what to do with my fingers.
  3. Rambo Chick

    Rambo Chick Member

    well how about this for quirky?

    after recently purchasing a shiny new flugel, i was utterly dismayed to find that it contains wrong notes!!

    im sending it back!
  4. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    Well my trombone came like that, but I've been playing it for about 6 years and I seem to be getting rid of them now!
  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    The more you practice, the more you use them up. Let your instrument live in its case too long and they multiply.
  6. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    I think the bloke before me must've left a few absolute ringers in my current BBb. Every so often I find one and it just makes me wince with embarrasment.

    Although switching to a Dennis Wick 1XL mouthpiece :shock: has helped shift a few!
  7. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Anyone know of a soprano cornet that plays in tune???

    It would save me the bother of trying to do it myself! :)
  8. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Now that's taking the fun out of it isn't it? Half the fun of a sop player is the occasional massive overpitch/split 'oops where did that top C go' combination!

    Just like it's fun listening to a BBb Player trying (and failing) to play those flippin triplets in harmony music! (Guilty as charged your honour, send me down.)
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Yes - Blackburn!
    I am assuming at this point many people will be saying "who?"

    Blackburn are a small US hand made instrument maker. Their trumpets (especially the piccolo trumpets) are absolutely stunning. A last year (2003) I had the pleasure of playing the prototype soprano cornet and was blown away. It played in tune!!!! It made the most gorgeous sound and the intonation was spot on.
    It took me about a year to get over the shock!
    I tried the finished model this year and it is just as amazing.

    I have played in bands using Schilke, Sovereigns, Getzen, all sorts - all of which have had their little "idiosyncracies" (polite way of saying that they don't have very good intonation!).

    If I was playing soprano in a band regularly, I would have a Blackburn - they are simply light years ahead of anything else that exists. I think the main problem with them is that only trumpet players will have heard of them - and a vast number of them would join you in saying "who?"
    Yes, they are expensive (even more expensive than the unbelievably over-rated (in my opinion) Schilke), but for an instrument that plays like that - it is worth it.
  10. Incognito

    Incognito Member

    I agree about the schilke, it IS over rated. I havent had cause to try a Blackburn but it would definitely be worth a look.

    The soprano cornet is a bit of a cinderella instrument and has had lots of different wrap designs over the years and various experiments.
    You just need to look at the various sovereign designs to see that its not an easy thing to design well.

    I still think the old Imperial is not a bad instrument and fairly easy to blow.
  11. Incognito

    Incognito Member

    And another obvious point is that if a cornet cost £3000 its still cheaper than a bass and if you are going to play it every day for 30 years then the price becomes less of an issue.
  12. BbBill

    BbBill Supporting Member

    Tonight we had a Xmas concert in the community centre where we have our practices, just after the start, my 3rd valve decided not to work and was very stiff, (typical, just when we were playing carols with 4 flats!) On looking at it during the interval, seemed to be a rough guide. Decided not to waste anytime on it and went out to the lockup and got the one I used to play on, gave it a splash of valve oil and the beast was woken up again!

    Thing is, playing it in the 2nd half, I found the older soverign easier to blow, better sounding, and valves alot quicker, (or the mince pies made me play better!) They are the same instruments, the current 1 is 1999 and the older 1 is about 1995. Played on the old 1 up till a couple of months ago, when the other fella left for uni and I took the newer 1. Both of them have recently been in the bath and got a full service, just need to file the rough edge off the guide, but Im thinking on just playing the old 1 for a while, as I was quite chuffed with it again!

    The bath didnt seem to help the 2 of them, they still seem to be infected with wrong notes tho!!
    Tuning aspects between the 2, dont know, it was only carols.......! :rolleyes:

Share This Page