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subego Aug 3, 2013 06:07 PM
Brass Players
I'm considering taking up a brass instrument.

For those who play brass, what attracted you to your particular instrument(s)?
 
besson3c Aug 3, 2013 07:49 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4241166)
I'm considering taking up a brass instrument.

For those who play brass, what attracted you to your particular instrument(s)?
I play the trumpet professionally, I actually just finished a week of teaching a band camp, so there are a number of ways to answer this that are fresh on my mind:

- The trumpet section is the leader of any brass section, since they play the highest notes in chord voicings, often the melody, and are the most audible

- The lead trumpet player in that section is the leader of all winds

- The trumpet is an incredibly technically challenging instrument, I like this challenge

- The trumpet is arguably the closest instrument to the human voice

- The trumpet is the least expensive brass instrument

- The trumpet is used in both classical music and jazz (as well as any other band with horns)

- The trumpet sounds great with the tenor sax, which makes it work out well in jazz chamber groups

- Some people get off on "scream" trumpet

- Trumpet players often have to double instruments: the flugelhorn, piccolo, C trumpet, cornet, etc. musicians get paid more when they have to play multiple instruments on a gig :)

- There are a lot of gigging opportunities for the trumpet outside of the usual settings: e.g. military funerals and other ceremonies, playing fanfares, church gigs, etc.

- It is easier to fly with a trumpet than it is, say, a tuba
 
subego Aug 3, 2013 08:10 PM
Interesting. Thanks for the reply.

I assume you play a bunch of different brass. What's your second favorite? You've successfully scared me off the trumpet. ;)
 
besson3c Aug 3, 2013 08:57 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4241174)
Interesting. Thanks for the reply.

I assume you play a bunch of different brass. What's your second favorite? You've successfully scared me off the trumpet. ;)

Trombone can be cool. What interests you about brass playing in general?
 
subego Aug 3, 2013 10:30 PM
I guess that's what I'm trying to investigate. I like brass when it's not screechy, so that's a key component.

Also. Brass players rock.

Another part is of what little actual playing experience I've had, it's been with brass. In grade school I played the baritone, but that was upon request from the conductor, who saw my blubbery chassis as a good frame upon which to build some bass. In hindsight, I wished I had chosen the flute, just to look ridiculous sitting up front with tiny girls who were four years younger than me.

That said, I'd still gravitate towards the baritone if I saw this as less of a solo endeavor. I mean, I could, but I don't know if it's the best choice. The trombone is definitely something I've been thinking of. I'd have the (minor) leg up of using the same mouthpiece.

OTOH, valves appeal to me.
 
besson3c Aug 4, 2013 02:41 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4241180)
I guess that's what I'm trying to investigate. I like brass when it's not screechy, so that's a key component.

Also. Brass players rock.

Another part is of what little actual playing experience I've had, it's been with brass. In grade school I played the baritone, but that was upon request from the conductor, who saw my blubbery chassis as a good frame upon which to build some bass. In hindsight, I wished I had chosen the flute, just to look ridiculous sitting up front with tiny girls who were four years younger than me.

That said, I'd still gravitate towards the baritone if I saw this as less of a solo endeavor. I mean, I could, but I don't know if it's the best choice. The trombone is definitely something I've been thinking of. I'd have the (minor) leg up of using the same mouthpiece.

OTOH, valves appeal to me.

Which brass instrument has the most appealing sound to you? You should probably go with that.
 
ghporter Aug 4, 2013 08:25 AM
I don't play a brass instrument, but I have some input. Some of the most moving music I know of is led by brass. I'm particularly fond of "Pictures at an Exhibition," (the Solti-Chicago Symphony version, especially), and there are a lot of non-brass passages...but the passages that get your attention, that start your heart pumping and get your emotions shifted into high gear, they're brass. Some are higher, "lead" bits, and others are broader, richer parts that feature lower-pitched horns. But it is the unique sound of brass instruments that grabs your attention, gets you emotionally involved, and finally resolves this piece.
 
Laminar Aug 5, 2013 10:35 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4241180)
Also. Brass players rock.
2..
 
OAW Aug 5, 2013 12:58 PM
Trumpet. Because chicks dig it. ;)

OAW
 
besson3c Aug 5, 2013 01:10 PM
Subego, if you don't dig the shrill sound of some trumpets, it might be worth considering that there are many ways to personalize one's sound, including taking all of that edge off, with equipment changes, approach changes, etc.

There are ways to make a trumpet sound more like a french horn, and one way is by playing flugelhorn, but you can even come close to this super mellow sound on a Bb trumpet.
 
besson3c Aug 5, 2013 01:14 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by ghporter (Post 4241207)
I don't play a brass instrument, but I have some input. Some of the most moving music I know of is led by brass. I'm particularly fond of "Pictures at an Exhibition," (the Solti-Chicago Symphony version, especially), and there are a lot of non-brass passages...but the passages that get your attention, that start your heart pumping and get your emotions shifted into high gear, they're brass. Some are higher, "lead" bits, and others are broader, richer parts that feature lower-pitched horns. But it is the unique sound of brass instruments that grabs your attention, gets you emotionally involved, and finally resolves this piece.

Pictures is pretty cool. It sounds like you might also like one of the seminal recordings of brass ensemble music, and that is the The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli:

The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli - Canzona per Sonare No. 2 - YouTube

this is a track in that recording session
 
subego Aug 5, 2013 01:35 PM
I'm a huge fan of "Pictures at an Exhibition", even the original piano arrangement. The Ravel version does have some great horns though.
 
shifuimam Aug 6, 2013 09:11 PM
The drool valves in brass instruments always grossed me out.

That being said: take up tuba. Then you can do this:

Family Guy - Fat People And Tubas. - YouTube
 
besson3c Aug 6, 2013 10:04 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by shifuimam (Post 4241549)
The drool valves in brass instruments always grossed me out.

That being said: take up tuba. Then you can do this:

Family Guy - Fat People And Tubas. - YouTube

A lot of instruments have really gross elements. A lot of woodwind players suck all sorts of liquor stash. So I can back into their mouths, french hornists spit all over themselves, drummers drool out of one side of their mouth, etc.
 
besson3c Aug 6, 2013 10:11 PM
Some lead trumpet players have hashished their pants playing high notes.
 
shifuimam Aug 7, 2013 04:58 PM
I don't know what either of these posts mean, but I DO remember playing oboe as a kid, and I was always grossed out by the spit coming out the end of the thing.
 
subego Aug 7, 2013 09:54 PM
Ask besson about his sackbut.
 
ghporter Aug 7, 2013 09:59 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 4241340)
Pictures is pretty cool. It sounds like you might also like one of the seminal recordings of brass ensemble music, and that is the The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli:

The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli - Canzona per Sonare No. 2 - YouTube

this is a track in that recording session
That's beautiful music. Thanks.
 
besson3c Aug 7, 2013 10:18 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by subego (Post 4241752)
Ask besson about his sackbut.

You know, there are actually University early music programs where people study and learn to play those early period instruments such as the sackbut. I've always been fascinated by these early instruments. Have you ever been to the musical instrument museum in Phoenix?
 
subego Aug 7, 2013 10:27 PM
I have not, but I tend to prefer period instruments on baroque (and earlier) pieces.
 
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