What should I do?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by sop17, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. sop17

    sop17 New Member

    I have now been playing soprano for about a year and a half with my band, but at school I have continued having lessons on my Bb cornet. I don't really like switching between the two as I find that playing the Bb makes sop harder. Over the last year I have found myself practicing sop every day, but only playing my Bb cornet the morning before I have a lesson. Now this term I told my teacher I wanted to play just sop in the lead up to the nationals, which was ok. However now she wants me to go back to playing Bb cornet. I've told her that I don't like switching between the two, but she thinks it is a good idea to carry on both to develop a broad range and become a more rounded player. The problem is when I have lessons on Bb cornet I feel as if I am only playing it so that I can get the grades. I've told her that I know I won't do as well on sop, but then its not all about grades. What do you think I should do here? Ifeel as if I should be playing sop as that's more important to me, but then she could be right that its better to keep up both. What would you do? Do most sop players still play Bb cornet reguarly or just stick to the one instrument?
    Any advice much appreciated!
  2. sop 1

    sop 1 Member

    hi sop17. iv been playing sop for 16 years at the top level in wales,and havent played Bb at all. stick to sop as you cant really play both at the same time! if you want anymore help just ask ok?
    hope that helps
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2006
  3. smila

    smila Member

    Hi - I think you should stick to sop.
    It's not true that playing more than one brass instrument can make you a better player, it can actually damage your omniture. I play euphonium, wanted to carry on baritone, but my band teachers advised against it, saying I should stick with just one.
  4. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Play both - you'll be a better player and be more valuable to whichever band you play for. A pro trumpeter will carry a Bb trumpet, a C trumpet, an Eb or D trumpet and a piccolo trumpet in high Bb and use all of them, along with flugel and cornet as required, so sop and cornet should be OK! Regularly playing over a wider range is more likely to strengthen your embouchure than do any harm.

    The secret is to play both instruments every day. Even if you're doing all your serious practice on sop, at least warm up on Bb and play some exercises. (When I played sop I used to learn tricky pieces on the Bb to perfect fingering, rhythms etc then transfer to sop when it begins to get easier!). If you play both and become a better player then everone is happy!

  5. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Agreed. Whilst I'm no authority in the field of brass, I went through a spell of playing trumpet, soprano, flugel and Bb cornet, whilst occasionally playing in orchestras on god only knows what else! So by all means, as long as you have some sort of practice schedule involving both instruments, I dont see why you cant become fluent in both, it also comes in handy if you are asked to help other ensembles out as I have found out recently.

    Good luck :tup
  6. andywooler

    andywooler Supporting Member

    Have to agree with David here - I did tmpt/flug/cornet/sop for more years than I care to remember. Whilst no longer playimg Sop, I do have the Eb/D for Orchestral work and would guess it gets used every other gig.
  7. rutribal

    rutribal Member

    I'd also have to agree with the last couple of posts and say you should ideally learn to play both. I have only really been playing sop seriously for the last few years, but have spent over 20 years on trumpet and cornet and it is the time and effort spent on these that have helped my sop playing develop. Nowadays, I mostly play sop, but there are times when I have been required to play trumpet and also cornet and the ability to switch is very useful and will come with time and practice.

    Being able to play both will also give you a better opportunity to widen your playing experience as just playing soprano rather limits this experience to banding.
  8. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Also bear in mind that in any band there are 9+ Bb cornets yet only 1 sop!.
    Whilst it would appear that there is a demand for sop players, finding a seat (especially with higher section bands) can be very difficult as (for 1st and champ) you have to be REALLY good. Whilst you still need to be good to do Bb at higher sections your odds are better.
  9. I enjoy dabbling on other instruments from time to time, but tenor trombone is my main instrument right now, find out which 1 you prefer, and then just find out what you want to do, its all very well us all telling you what suits us best, but it might not suit you, just experiment, and stick with what works best, good luck!
  10. sooooper sop

    sooooper sop Member

    I've played sop at all levels, 9 national finals (7 at the the Royal Albert hall), my advise is to stick to sop untill you're a bit older, then try Bb trumpet /cornet. Once you develop as a player you can switch instruments untill then stick to one (SOP!!) it's the hardest to play so you'll end up a better player (maybe I'm a bit biased!:rolleyes: )
  11. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    Continue to play both! Develop your upper high register on Bb this will help your sop playing.
    As has already been stated, most trumpet players will do 80% of their practice on all styles of music on Bb. The remaining 20% will be on instruments specific for the job.

    Also, when required, I tend to practice more difficult sop parts (as printed) on Bb until I have worked out the "mechanics" (e.g. akward fingerings, difficult passages etc). When up to speed then I start working on Sop at pitch.
  12. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    i would play both - but consider playing on similar (or maybe even the same) mouthpiece, particularly the rim specifications. that way there is no risk of embouchure damage.
  13. brittm

    brittm Member

    I don't know you and I don't know how long you've been playing - or indeed how experienced you are but I'll put my orr in anyway!

    Bb is the cornet/trumpet player's bread and butter. If you move away entirely, you'll risk narrowing your chances of fullfilling your potential. I've always known my strength is in playing high, whether it's on a Bb, Sop or Picc. My teachers, whether brass band related or not have always advised me to keep the Bb going. It was good advice as it made me develop my sound, improve my technique and to stop hiding behind my strengths (although some may beg to differ).

    My advice is to forget what you consider to be your limitations and make the decision in your own mind to be good at both. Have you ever heard the Australian James Morrison, he really challenges the concept of limitations and just plays the music.

    Cheers and good luck.

    Soprano, Desford
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2006
  14. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    I was just going to say the same thing! I play both sop and Bb trumpet on a Bach #1 mouthpiece.

    I would say that if you restrict yourself to sop then there's a world of stuff you won't experience. If you play trumpet or cornet too then you can do orchestral, quintet, ten-piece, big band, military band, wind band, etc. As far as I know, the only place you can play sop is in a brass band. And jump at the chance of a regular big band spot as it's just the best way to improve your sight-reading...
  15. davidquinlan

    davidquinlan Member

    I'm not sure it would damage your embouchure as such. In my experience, poor technique, inadequate breathing and excessive use of pressure are the main causes of embouchure damage.
    However, you are right with regard to mouthpiece, the Warburton range come to mind. I use a sized 3 rim, but have MD cup for trumpet, FL for flugel, DD cup and BC cup for cornet. Will be trying out the SV/S for Sop/Piccolo trumpet soon.
  16. starperformer

    starperformer Member

    yeah, i've got a lot of experience of those too!
  17. Adrian Horn

    Adrian Horn Member

    Play both and don't limit your options. Playing your Bb will help strengthen your Eb playing and vice versa. Ideally use a mouthpiece with the same size (or similar size) rim so that your embouchure can remain constant on both instruments, although feel free to use a deeper cup for Bb or shallower cup for Eb to get the sound you are after.

    As other people have mentioned those of us who play trumpet regularly swap between instruments in all different keys, and even those of us who play piccolo trumpet often play with a mouthpiece of similar diameter to or regular Bb.

    It is often said that you should have the same range on both Bb and Eb instruments so if you can play a good top C on the Soprano then you should be able to get a good Double F on the Bb cornet/trumpet. So working on a good high range on the Bb can only help your Eb. Just practice sensibly and work on air and support.
  18. Do what ever you enjoy!
    Dont do what ever is a chore.
  19. Jacob Larsen

    Jacob Larsen Member

    When I was playing soprano with Århus Brass Band some years ago I was a student at the conservatorie and I always practised my sop parts on Bb trumpet to get the sound bigger on the sop. I think its importaint to practise highparts like sop and piccolo trumpet on the largest instrument you´ve got the get a flow through the music. When you get the flow going and know all the intervals etc. practise the once again on the sop..
  20. Brassy Lady

    Brassy Lady Member

    I would agree with sooooper sop on this one. I recently played with a young guy who was flitting between Bb and sop, and although a technically competent player, his intonation and quality of tone suffered on both instruments. If you develop on sop, it will probably be easier for you to switch if you need / want to.
    Good Sop players are rare and special, so if that's what you really want to do, stick to your guns!
    Good luck!!

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