As some of you may know, I am currently performing every Friday and Saturday in my Dixieland band in Branson. What some of you may not know is that I am performing on a trombone! And that instrument is constructed entirely of plastic and fiberglass. Yes I am a confirmed Pbone performer and you may want to read more about this instrument in a couple of my previous posts-
My choice of the Pbone was decided upon in order to fill several needs.
• I have always wanted to play trombone
• The Pbone is very inexpensive
• I formed our Dixieland band in order to have someone with and some place to play
My choice of the Pbone was a very fine decision for I am now performing regularly with some great musicians and playing a style of music I truly enjoy playing, and getting paid for it!
Now back to the pTrumpet.
After spending an adequate amount of time playing on a pTrumpet, I concur with a well-known trumpet player when asked what he thought of the Ptrumpet. His response was, “It plays and sound just like a plastic trumpet”.
Just as the Pbone duplicated the dimensions of a trombone, the pTrumpet has also closely duplicated the trumpets dimentions with a few exceptions. Because of the possibility of the exposed hook usually reserved for the little finger of the right hand being broken off, the manufacturer extended the width of the hook all the way to the bell section which protects the ring from damage but also changes the vibrations of the bell. This added bracing obviously changed the tone of the plastic instrument.
The one area where I was most concerned on the pTrumpet was the valve action. The valves are supported by valve springs located at the bottom of the valve casing. This, although not the optimum location, seems to work reasonably well. Do remember that most of the earlier trumpets and cornets were fashioned the same way and were used successfully by many accomplished players. Even thought the valve action was adequate, this is one of the three areas I found to be disappointing.
The second characteristic which I found hard to get used to was the tone. Brass and plastic do not vibrate the same and for that reason I found the pTrumpet to be lacking any real trumpet sound. Its sound can be described as dead in timbre. I found no edge or center to the sound and for that reason alone I would say that if you want a trumpet sound, “you aint gunna get it”. Tossing the plastic mouthpiece in the trash and replacing it with a real mouthpiece will help improve the tone.
One area which I was very surprised was its intonation. The model I played was more in tune than some “real” trumpets I have played! Although this was a big plus, the other problems such as tone and feel greatly outweighed the passable intonation.
If you want an instrument that will attract attention and cause people to start conversations with the question “What is that”?; get one. But if you are expecting to replace your brass trumpet with the pTrumpet and get the same results, you will be very disappointed.
Visit their site and read up on this instrument at- pTrumpet.com
One more thing-
The statement “pTrumpet is the world’s first-all plastic trumpet” is incorrect for when I was about 12 years old, I distinctly remember a playable, plastic, full size trumpet at Jack Manthie’s music store in Moline, Illinois. It was made with red, white and blue tubing and bell with a matching plastic mouthpiece- and yes it played and sounded like a plastic trumpet.