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Thread: Any thoughts on the bass trumpet?

  1. #1

    Any thoughts on the bass trumpet?

    Just started this thread because I was wondering what any of your opinions on the bass trumpet are and how they play.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Texas, where every thing is bigger & BETTER
    I think it would be fun to have one to mess around with. I wanted one when I saw this video from Schargerl, but as far as I know it's still a prototype.
    Yamaha 642s Neo

  3. #3
    I have toyed with one, but only for a brief time. It was fun to play... a little like a large baritone horn. I suppose that made it easier to play in some ways, but I did not get to play it loudly. No doubt it would be brighter than a euphonium.I'm betting someone on the forum has dug deeper than I.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Indianapolis area
    I have one & use it for jazz...and for Rite of Spring or Janacek Sinfonietta once every 27 years.
    I have an old Holton 58 that I am about to sell. It's a pea-shooter bore, I'd say less than a 2B,
    which I think is .500.
    Use the SMALLEST mouthpiece you can tolerate. A small-shank standard euph or trombone mouthpiece like a 4AY, BAch 4/5/6.5, or 51D is WAY too big.
    I wouldn't use anything bigger than a 12C. I have some very shallow brand X thing. I HATE it, but it's the ONLY thing that works for me.
    Under NO circumstance should you use a euph mouthpiece OR blow it like a euphonium...or even a baritone,
    for that matter.
    I'll sort through the hard drive & see if I have any live recordings.

  5. #5
    Do you have any idea what you're going to ask for the Holton 58 and any pics of it?

  6. #6
    Difficult instrument to play, much more so than euphonium or trombone. Not an awful lot of repertoire for it, but it's very fun and rewarding to get to be the big star of the show in one of the few pieces that do call for it. A good one is going to cost you significantly more than a new top-of-the-line compensating euphonium.

    Snorlax is right that you should play it with a much different technique than you do euphonium, baritone, or even trombone. It can be very unforgiving. You definitely shouldn't use a euphonium mouthpiece but I disagree that you need something smaller than a 12C, but that really depends on the instrument.

    There are a few different styles of instrument - the three piston valve instruments are most useful for jazz and sound more like a valve trombone than they do a low trumpet. This type is the most affordable. Bach, Conn, Kanstul, Getzen, etc. fall into this category. You see these used in orchestras once in a while when the players don't have anything else. A good player can pull it off.

    Then there are German and Austrian rotary instruments that are intended for polka or balkan types of music. They are larger bore, have larger bells, and are more like a marching baritone than a trumpet. Cerveney, Dotzauer, Gopp, Schagerl, Kuhnl & Hoyer, Miraphone, some models of Meinl Weston, etc. fall into this category.

    And finally there are the symphonic style instruments, which really have a trumpet-like sound and are usually in C which facilitates some of the tricky high register stuff in the Ring but sometimes also in Bb. Manufacturers of this type of of instrument include Alexander, Thein, Latzsch, Helmut Voigt, and other models by Meinl Weston.

    I put together a youtube playlist a while back of some of the good bass trumpet playing I found:
    Last edited by bbocaner; 05-01-2015 at 06:37 AM.

  7. I used a Mack Brass bass trumpet to play in a trumpet ensemble a couple years ago; not sure I'd recommend that brand because the plating where I handled it started to wear off only just one semester. Intonation was difficult to get a handle on, but that may be the case with most brands. In that setting I had to have a sound concept that was very much "large trumpet" instead of "small euphonium" so that I could blend with the other trumpets.
    Assistant Director of Bands
    Assistant Professor of Low Brass
    East Central University

  8. I've been interested in the Wessex rotary bass trumpet for sometime and am wondering if anyone else out there has any experience with them. It seems as if it would make an interesting instrument on a solo recital or as a novelty encore after a euph solo.
    The Wessex is very affordable and in silver a very elegant looking instrument - a least in the photos.http:
    BMB F tuba 445s
    BMB CC (BAT) 865s
    Mack Euphonium 1150s
    Wessex F Cimbasso

  9. #9
    The Mack brass bass trumpet is a copy of the old Bach design, which is absolutely identical to the Bach valve trombone in every taper, except for the way it's wrapped. Bach has a newer design that's better, but I've played some of the originals too and they are pretty good, but are really a valve trombone sound, not a bass trumpet sound. I've seen some facebook and youtube videos of people who I know are good players playing the Mack, and none of them can play it in tune, so that tells me something.

    The Wessex is a copy of the czech-made Lidl Bb 3-valve bass trumpet. I'm sure Jonathan will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that they just put their name on one of the standard chinese models in this case and it isn't one of their instruments that they've helped develop like their unique tuba and improved euphonium designs. It is odd to me that the Chinese would choose to copy an instrument that can already be purchased at rock bottom prices, and that isn't known to be a particularly good instrument (the Lidl) rather than something that is well respected like an Alexander. I have not tried one of the Chinese ones, but I have tried a real Lidl. Very good sound, extremely trumpet-like. Intonation was almost unusable.

    If you want a trumpet-form instrument that you can hold out in front of you, and you aren't going to get hired to play the Ring or Rite of Spring or any of the other handful of pieces with parts, you are probably better off with a marching trombone -- AKA flugabone or flugelbone. Used ones are a dime a dozen on the ebay and they are a heck of a lot easier to play and have better intonation than a cheap bass trumpet. King, Kanstul, Olds, Dynasty, Blessing, Bach. All of them are decent.
    Last edited by bbocaner; 05-01-2015 at 08:30 PM.

  10. #10

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