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Thread: Instrument doubling

  1. Instrument doubling

    I know many euphoniumists double on tuba or trombone, but how about trumpet? I started on trumpet in Jr high and switched to baritone horn in the 9th grade and stayed with it. I'm 74 now and playing euph, but am thinking about picking up a trumpet just for my own enjoyment. Will playing that small mouthpiece from time to time negatively affect my euph embouchure?

  2. #2
    Some people could double on trumpet without bothering their chops, but I'm not sure everyone can. I don't think it would work for me, for example.

    The trumpet requires more air pressure, less air volume, and tighter chops in general. Any of those factors could mess you up if you can't separate the physical and mental requirements of each.

    The "right" person may be able to do this successfully. It certainly wouldn't hurt to try it for a while and see what happens. Just keep an eye out for conflicts between the two instruments' requirements and the output you get.

    The British artist James Morrison covers the whole realm of brass instruments. Somewhere on YouTube is a video of him playing every instrument in a brass band...all during the same piece. That's pretty fast switching! But I'm not sure his euphonium sound is ideal.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
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  3. Thanks, David. I'll try to find the video, but I'm no James Morrison, haha. I might try it and just stay aware.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    Thanks, David. I'll try to find the video, but I'm no James Morrison, haha. I might try it and just stay aware.
    You're welcome! And if you find that video, please post the link here. I looked and must not have chosen the right search words.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Besson Prestige 2052,3D K&G mouthpiece;JP373 baritone,T4C K&G mouthpiece;Bach 42GO trombone,T4C K&G mouthpiece

  6. #6
    franz, that's a good one, but there is another. The one I remember was during a concert and he was on stage in front of the brass band. Thanks for posting, though. The other one may have been pulled by now or something.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium

  7. #7
    I know of a video where James Morrison plays every instrument (except drums) in a Big Band:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T-V7CA1Ksg

    Obviously, this video is doctored, he does not have that many siblings...

    But here's a video of him playing trumpet, trombone and flugelhorn at the same concert, together with a Brass band:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6wrgcdZmXk

    (it is an edited video, there's also a Euphonium and a Baritone in front of him, but he isn't shown playing those)
    Martin Monné
    • Wessex Festivo, 4-valve compensating (2017)
    • Hirsbrunner HBS 378 Standard, 4-valve compensating (1983)
    • Mahillon Bass Saxhorn, 4-valve (1927)
    • Anton Hüller Tenor Horn, 3-valve (Early 20th Century, HP, wallhanger)


  8. #8
    I'm not a pro or anything, but I own a substantial collection that I play for my own entertainment frequently. My embouchure is most suited for alto, but I'll play whatever I want (darn it!).

    In my experience, I've never done anything that hurt my tenor embouchure. The first one to take a hit for me has always been Trumpet. Contributing factors might be my disdain for the instrument and the fact that I was never great at it. I never really enjoyed Bb Trumpet so I don't play it very much. I do enjoy playing my Ventil-Fanfare from time to time, but as I've tried to expand my range to Eb Tuba, I find my stamina really suffering on it. Sure, I can still hit a high concert Bb on it, but not all day. It wasn't long ago that I could squeak out an Eb6, but it's not happening today.

  9. #9
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    This thread reminded me of a recital by Dr. Ben Pierce (professor of low brass at the University of Arkansas) followed by discussion at Ball State University a few years ago. Dr. Pierce certainly proved he is a virtuoso on both euphonium and tuba. After the recital, someone asked Dr. Pierce how he managed his practice on both instruments. He responded that he played euphonium until his lips grew tired then picked up the tuba.
    Perhaps Dr. Pierce’s practice method of playing the smaller instrument first might work for you if you choose to add trumpet to your instruments.

  10. #10
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    To introduce another dimension -- and I hope no one is offended by this -- and with the full disclosure that I'm 72 and zeroing in on 73 ...

    My experience in several community bands is that ... let me put this delicately ... the trumpet seems to get a lot more challenging to play in tune as one ages. A LOT -- just based on my observations. A lot of people in their 60s seem to be able to do it okay. But I can think of only one guy I personally know in his 70s who could pretty reliably play in tune. He was a long-time member of one of the US service (field, I think) bands, but in the past year I notice that he's moved from playing regularly in one or two organizations to subbing. All the other 70+ (and some were in their late 80s!) trumpet players I've played with just couldn't sustain reasonable intonation.

    I've had similar experience with trombone players (section mates). There's a point where they just won't go near a 1st part and struggle with some of the 2nd.

    I'd love to get a flugelhorn and try to play it. But based on my own experience playing high 2nd trombone and 1st trombone parts, I know I wouldn't have a prayer of doing it well at this point. And if I did, I'd expect it to degrade in just a few years.

    As I've said in another thread, I don't want to be that guy: the one who can't manage to play in tune. My own recommendation for doubling at this age is not to go in the direction of one of the high brass. If you're inclined to, then definitely first try it out for your own enjoyment before taking it on the road. I may still get that flugelhorn at some point. But I doubt it would ever be leaving the house.
    Gary Merrill
    Wessex EEb Bass tuba (Denis Wick 3XL)
    Mack Brass Compensating Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J9 euph)
    Amati Oval Euph (DE N106, Euph J, J6 euph)
    1924 Buescher 3-valve Eb tuba, modified Kelly 25
    Schiller American Heritage 7B clone bass trombone (DE LB K/K9/112 Lexan, Brass Ark MV50R)
    1947 Olds "Standard" trombone (Olds #3)

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