Greetings from Michigan

Gendreauj

New Member
Hi all,
I am an cornet/trumpet player. Always had it on my bucket list to play a musical instrument. When my oldest child start piano lessons, I decide to start trumpet lessons. Did find out quickly I preferred the cornet over the trumpet. In the United States, the cornet is treated like a red headed step child. So since the cornet is a valuable part of your brass band culture, looking for insightful from other players.
 

John Brooks

Well-Known Member
Welcome. I'm east of you in Ontario. Sadly have to agree with Vegasbound about the lack of activity. Not sure I agree with your "red headed step child" comment but maybe that's true in your specific location. There are a number of brass bands in the U.S. and the movement has been expanding in recent years. I hope you find something helpful on tMP.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Hi all,
I am an cornet/trumpet player. Always had it on my bucket list to play a musical instrument. When my oldest child start piano lessons, I decide to start trumpet lessons. Did find out quickly I preferred the cornet over the trumpet. In the United States, the cornet is treated like a red headed step child. So since the cornet is a valuable part of your brass band culture, looking for insightful from other players.

Welcome to tmp, I hope that you will find support here and maybe be able to offer something to others at some point too. Whilst I did try them out I’m neither a Cornet or a Trumpet player; other instruments seemed to suit me better and to me being a part of the Band and playing my part in what it does is the most important thing. Of the two instruments I too prefer the Cornet but as far as I know the two aren’t mutually exclusive; dependant on which music group they are attending on that day my Cornet playing friends here play either Cornet and Trumpet. I’m really not sure that you have to pick between the two, sometimes people are best served by going with the flow.

Over the years I’ve played many different instruments in the band and from each one - and in each seat too - there are things to notice and to learn that help you both now and in the longer term too. So whether it’s a Cornet, Trumpet or Fluegelhorn on parts of your road ahead it all seems good to me; I suggest that you play whatever you can wherever you can.

Thinking along the lines of multiple instruments reminds me of the recent passing of Alan Lumsden. He was a music Professor and professional Trombonist in some pretty respected organisations, so really quite an expert musician. When you dig down just a little deeper you discover that played a variety of different instruments and did so to a high level.
 
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Jack E

Well-Known Member
Hi all,
I am an cornet/trumpet player. Always had it on my bucket list to play a musical instrument. When my oldest child start piano lessons, I decide to start trumpet lessons. Did find out quickly I preferred the cornet over the trumpet. In the United States, the cornet is treated like a red headed step child. So since the cornet is a valuable part of your brass band culture, looking for insightful from other players.
Welcome to the forum, Gendreauj - as Vegasbound has pointed out, it's a bit of a shadow of its former self at the moment, and the main cause of that is not Covid-19, but lockdown.
The band I've been playing with shut down at the end of March, and the way we are getting messed around at the moment, with yet another month-long national lockdown starting today, and mutterings from government that it could be extended, and them saying we could have another one imposed immediately after Christmas - but that "we should have the virus beaten by next spring!" (yeah, right . . .) - I wouldn't even care to bet on what year brass bands will properly get going again.
Having got that bitter, twisted and cynical rant off my chest, it is always good to hear from players in other countries, so welcome aboard - and even though the forum is in the doldrums, I can assure you that any requests for advice / suggestions / encouragement, etc, will always be picked up and get a response - and we will be pleased to hear how you are getting on.
With best regards,
Jack E
 

Gendreauj

New Member
Welcome to the forum, Gendreauj - as Vegasbound has pointed out, it's a bit of a shadow of its former self at the moment, and the main cause of that is not Covid-19, but lockdown.
The band I've been playing with shut down at the end of March, and the way we are getting messed around at the moment, with yet another month-long national lockdown starting today, and mutterings from government that it could be extended, and them saying we could have another one imposed immediately after Christmas - but that "we should have the virus beaten by next spring!" (yeah, right . . .) - I wouldn't even care to bet on what year brass bands will properly get going again.
Having got that bitter, twisted and cynical rant off my chest, it is always good to hear from players in other countries, so welcome aboard - and even though the forum is in the doldrums, I can assure you that any requests for advice / suggestions / encouragement, etc, will always be picked up and get a response - and we will be pleased to hear how you are getting on.
With best regards,
Jack E
Thanks I am happy to be in the forum Thought the forum would not be so more cornet friendly. Not so obsessed with high notes, egos etc. A more cooperative outlook on playing. Since the pandemic I have changed my trumpets a few times and changed all of my mouthpieces.
My horns are Getzen 800 Eterna cornet and Getzen Canadian Brass trumpet. Most of my mouthpieces are Bach megatones. Have a Bach megatone clone and a Bach 6 long shank mouthpiece.
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
Some Brass Band players do have egos but by and large there’s always an adjacent player with a large pin ready to ‘pop’ someone’s inflated ego. Brass Bands are a lot about team work too whereas some other music groups are more about individuals. Most people tend to hang on to what instruments they own and it’s usual for a Brass Band to supply the instrument rather than the player (so instruments are loaned to the players). Historically we’re poor in the U.K. and instruments cost a lot so the Band owns them. I have my own Trombone and a cheap old Bass but the Band owns the Sovereign Tuba that I play - I hate to think how much it would cost me to buy a Sovereign of my own and many folk here just couldn’t consider such an expense.

Overall I’ve found that Brass Band players tend to use the mouthpiece that comes with the instrument. I find it important to match a mouthpiece to me (and the instrument) but perhaps I’m a gear head.

As for Cornets well Brass Bands don’t need the piecing sound of Trumpets and normally have no value for the extreme high notes - when needed we have an Eb Cornet for such stuff. A Band’s Cornet section is about ten strong and they play plenty loud enough. We value melody in Bands and so enjoy the more rounded and ‘warmer’ tones of the ‘superior’ Cornet.

Of course there are some Jazz, Big Band and Wind Band Trumpet players here too and ‘the rules’ are slightly different for them, but the ‘melodic’ Cornet is by far more popular in the U.K. than the Trumpet.

Anyway enough singing the praises of Cornets, whilst I play a Tuba these days the best instrument ever is of course the Trombone ;-) .
 
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Jack E

Well-Known Member
Overall I’ve found that Brass Band players tend to use the mouthpiece that comes with the instrument. I find it important to match a mouthpiece to me (and the instrument) but perhaps I’m a gear head.
I don't think that makes you a gear head, 2nd Tenor - unless both of us are! I don't constantly chop and change from one mouthpiece to another, and I doubt that there is a 'perfect' mouthpiece - but I am pretty certain that the essental thing is that mouthpiece, instrument and player match each other.
When I had my Regent baritone, the Besson 7 mouthpiece suited it and me nicely, but when I passed the Regent on to my band and got the Packer baritone, with a slightly larger bore, the Besson 7 made it feel a bit choked, and the Wick 6BS was a better match, and much easier to reach the higher dynamics.
A long time ago, I read a book about motorcycle engineering, written by Phil Irving, who designed the Vincent 1000cc V-twins, and he stressed the importance of what he called 'proportional tuning'. His approach was to ensure that an appropriate state of tune was chosen for the bike, depending on the use to which it would be put - roadster, scrambler, trials bike, sprinter or speedway bike - and then all components and dimensions, such as carb size, jets, valve size, cam profile, compression ration, and exhaust, were chosen to match that purpose and the required state of tune.
As he said, there's no point in fitting a huge carb to a bike if the valve size and cam profile don't allow for a large and fast enough airflow to take advantage of it, nor is it appropriate for a roadster meant for use in heavy traffic, as the pulling power at low revs will be very poor. In such a case, the bike will perform far better, and give much better fuel economy, with a smaller carb. Equally, he said, there's no point in fitting large valves, high-lift cams, and a high compression piston, but using a small bore carb which will strangle the gas flow.
So there is no 'best' carburettor - and I think no 'best' mouthpiece; it's a question of making the whole system match, from your lungs to the end of the bell. At least, that's in my unhumble opinion! (I had my humble opinions surgically removed, years ago . . . )

With best regards,
Jack E
 

Gendreauj

New Member
Thanks 2nd tenor. I am in the right forum.
I don't think that makes you a gear head, 2nd Tenor - unless both of us are! I don't constantly chop and change from one mouthpiece to another, and I doubt that there is a 'perfect' mouthpiece - but I am pretty certain that the essental thing is that mouthpiece, instrument and player match each other.
When I had my Regent baritone, the Besson 7 mouthpiece suited it and me nicely, but when I passed the Regent on to my band and got the Packer baritone, with a slightly larger bore, the Besson 7 made it feel a bit choked, and the Wick 6BS was a better match, and much easier to reach the higher dynamics.
A long time ago, I read a book about motorcycle engineering, written by Phil Irving, who designed the Vincent 1000cc V-twins, and he stressed the importance of what he called 'proportional tuning'. His approach was to ensure that an appropriate state of tune was chosen for the bike, depending on the use to which it would be put - roadster, scrambler, trials bike, sprinter or speedway bike - and then all components and dimensions, such as carb size, jets, valve size, cam profile, compression ration, and exhaust, were chosen to match that purpose and the required state of tune.
As he said, there's no point in fitting a huge carb to a bike if the valve size and cam profile don't allow for a large and fast enough airflow to take advantage of it, nor is it appropriate for a roadster meant for use in heavy traffic, as the pulling power at low revs will be very poor. In such a case, the bike will perform far better, and give much better fuel economy, with a smaller carb. Equally, he said, there's no point in fitting large valves, high-lift cams, and a high compression piston, but using a small bore carb which will strangle the gas flow.
So there is no 'best' carburettor - and I think no 'best' mouthpiece; it's a question of making the whole system match, from your lungs to the end of the bell. At least, that's in my unhumble opinion! (I had my humble opinions surgically removed, years ago . . . )

With best regards,
Jack E
I am definitely a gearhead and a shopaholic. Have owned many many mouthpieces, trumpets, cornets etc. After buying intermediate and professional trumpets, found my existing mouthpieces didn't fit the sound I wanted. Switched over to Denis Wick Heavytops and Bach Megatone mouthpieces. Formerly played on 1.5 and 3 sized mouthpieces. Sold them and bought 4, 5 B, 5 C mouthpieces. Sold the Denis Wick 4 trumpet mouthpiece and are selling 4 cornet mouthpiece. Currently have a Canadian Brass 3 megatone clone Mouthpiece, Bach megatone 5 B and 5 C trumpet mouthpieces. Do have a Bach megatone 5 B and soon a long shank 6 cornet mouthpiece.
Was the same way, when I skied.
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
I am definitely a gearhead and a shopaholic. Was the same way, when I skied.
Gendreau - if you enjoy experimenting with different gear, why not? When we're at work, we have to follow orders from the boss - when we're at leisure, we can (and do!) please ourselves :)
With best regards,
Jack E
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
“A long time ago, I read a book about motorcycle engineering, written by Phil Irving, who designed the Vincent 1000cc V-twins, and he stressed the importance of what he called 'proportional tuning'. His approach was to ensure that an appropriate state of tune was chosen for the bike, depending on the use to which it would be put - roadster, scrambler, trials bike, sprinter or speedway bike - and then all components and dimensions, such as carb size, jets, valve size, cam profile, compression ration, and exhaust, were chosen to match that purpose and the required state of tune.”

I very much like that general concept. I’ve not seem it expressed in that way before but it is a perfect example of the practical importance of both ‘horses for courses’ and of balancing any system, when my brain is in gear I try to carry the concept through into my day to day life too.

Mouthpieces are part of a sound system along with the instrument, technique and the player’s physical form. You can’t easily - if at all - change the instrument or the player’s physical form but selecting a suitable mouthpiece and using it with the right techniques can make a lot of difference. Research, careful experimentation, note taking and progressive small changes over several months can result in benefits - I expect it to be a slow process, I ponder on what I find and I adapt what I do as I go along.

There are plenty of manufacturers who will tell you how their product will transform (meaning improve) your playing but I take such claims with a ‘pinch of salt’. I’ve yet to find a mouthpiece that’s the promised ‘silver bullet’, but when I’ve coupled careful selection and much practice (for technique improvement) together the results have been pleasing.
 
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