Volume 9A – The Trumpet Chronicles

mendez1I started to just update Volume 9 after last night’s practice, but figured I would “thrill” the couple of you who actually read these chronicles with a new entry.

I called it “Volume 9A” since it is a continuation of Volume 9.  Catchy name, huh?

Consider the following scenario…. two trumpets, same make and model, about 3 years of difference in manufacture date, one in silver plate, and the other in lacquered brass.  The brass one was bought from Goodwill, and the silver horn was battled for in a heated eBay auction.

It would be reasonable to assume (uh oh) that both horns would have similar playing characteristics, right?

Nope.  Not even close.

As I shared in the Volume 9 entry, I finally had gotten the tuning slide unstuck from my brass Ambassador, so I thought I’d take it to the band practice and see how it did.  I am using the same Denis Wick mouthpiece that my friend Donnie gave to me.  I will remember to write down the size for you eventually.

I didn’t notice it previously (because I didn’t have anything to compare it to), but it is much easier to push air through the brass Ambassador than the silver one.  I immediately noticed that I had so much more sound with minimal effort through the brass Ambassador.  I noticed that I was having to force air through the silver horn, where it just flowed through with the brass one.  The tone on the silver trumpet seemed to be dampened or muffled.

I have better tone and projection of sound with the brass horn, with the effort to do so being much less than before.  This is weird to me, as there has never been any difference to me in air flow while playing a flute or saxophone.  I used the same amount of air and effort to play my first Bundy flute as I did playing my Selmer Signet professional model flute.  If there WAS any difference, I’ve never noticed it.

And, as a neophyte trumpet player, I thought all the gibberish about this cup and that bore, and this rim configuration was nonsense.  There couldn’t be that much difference.  Could there?

There is.  There really is.

My own informal tests have proven it.  Why else would I play better using a completely different mouthpiece than the tried-and-true Bach 7C on which everyone starts trumpet?   Why else would two of the same model of trumpet play so differently?

So…. (it pains me to say this)  I admit that I was wrong in my thinking about trumpets and mouthpieces.

Humph…. proven wrong by a $30 trumpet!!