Features to Consider when Buying a Trumpet

When deciding on which trumpet/cornet to buy, there are a few guidelines that need to be addressed. The bottom line cost is one of the most obvious questions for most people. Unless you are interested in the ultimate, hand fitted, custom made, work of art, one of a kind horn, you should expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,500 for a quality instrument. When I speak of the ultimate, one of a kind trumpet, I am reminded of a situation many years ago when a college first told me about  his friend who was making truly one of a kind,…

Even More Interesting Assumptions Proved and Disproved

It seems as if there is an endless list of miracle changes which can be made to your trumpet to make it play better and this is just another idea I wanted to test for myself. Some have criticized me for not “using more individuals and instruments” as test units or not doing “blindfold” tests. Some feel that I have not entered enough variables into my testing to make my observations conclusive. To these comments I can only say this; these are my findings and from what I have tested, I feel very confident that I have answered the questions…

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More Interesting Assumptions Proven and Disproven

In our never ending quest for truths and the American dream, I came across this assertion which sounded very plausible, yet questionable. On one of the more popular trumpet bulletin boards I found a reference to a trick which apparently Mr. Armando Ghitalla was given credit. The writer mentioned in passing that “Ghitalla did a lot of experimenting with paper clips, and various hand fashioned doodads, placing them in the backbore of the mouthpiece and other places”. Now I am not a strong fan of placing paper clips in my instrument but the name Ghitalla raised my interest. If this…

The Definitive Guide to Trumpet Mouthpieces

Trumpet Mouthpieces – Getting Started Most instrument manufacturers also make mouthpieces which are produced under their own name and are included with the purchase of their instrument. Beginning trumpet and cornet players will not need to go through the endless quest to find the perfect mouthpiece as the more experienced players often do for the younger player needs to be more concerned with basic practice habits and steady improvement on his/her instrument and less concerned with what Mr. Trumpet player uses to play his style of music. To be perfectly honest, if I’m asked what is the best trumpet mouthpiece,…

Dime or No Dime?

On one of the more active trumpet discussion boards this month was a question about inserting a dime in the third valve lower cap to change the sound of your trumpet. Being the skeptic I am and will always be; I decided to test the concept. I played with the dime placed in the bottom of my third valve for two weeks and today removed it for my testing. During the two weeks with the dime in, I neither felt, heard nor recognized any change in timbre, accuracy, response, range endurance, amount of money made or any other factors in…

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Musical Engraving

With all the new developments in technology, we sometimes forget how things used to be accomplished and for that reason, I thought some of you might be interested in another lost art in the music business. While teaching at our university, I offered music writing manuscript as an elective and enjoyed working with our students in placing musical notation on staff paper which was at that time the only way to get the job done. With the advent of computer software we can now complete the same amount of work in record time with a much more profession product at…

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History of Dance Cards

Dance Card From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia A dance card or programme du bal (also known by its German-language name, Tanzkarte) is used by a woman to record the names of the gentlemen with whom she intends to dance each successive dance at a formal ball. They appear to have originated in 18th century, but their use first became widespread in 19th century Vienna, especially at the massive balls during Fasching before Lent. Dance engagements card for 11 January 1887, showing a list of all the dances for the evening – valse, polka, lancers and quadrille; opposite each dance is…

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Trumpet Valve Tightness and Compression Issues

Many times trumpet players will discuss a topic which can be confusing to a beginning student, i.e. valve compression. The term valve compression is usually misused for there is very little compression in any section of a trumpet. Air is free to move through the instrument for there are obviously two openings, one at the mouthpiece and the other at the bell end. What most discussions are centered on are the tolerances or space between parts through the instrument. These areas usual are the gap between the valves and their corresponding valve casings, the first, second and third valve slides…

The Ups and Downs Of Playing On A Cruise Ship- Part 2

I just got home from a cruise and spent some time visiting with the musicians on the ship. I asked them some questions that some of you may be interested in hearing. The ship was one of the largest and the band was from all over the globe. The instrumentation was two trumpets, one trombone, two saxes, a bass, keyboard, and drums. Every musician was a good reader and the trumpets were very fine solo players. The tenor, who you would expect to be the jazzer, was a little light. The best musician in the band, in my opinion, was…

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