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Coming Back! What Horn?


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MDHorn
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Joined: 27 Sep 2017
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Location: Ft. Washington, MD

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Coming Back! What Horn? Reply with quote

Hello, all:

Strongly considering a comeback after nearly forty years, and I'm stepping out on faith ('cause that's about all I got right now!) I'm trying to make a decision in two areas: what horn to get and method book to use.

PURPOSE AND EXPERIENCE:

Looking to play with the church choir and musicians. (The lead player has been trying to get me to play for years once she found out I played in the marching band in college - she's getting older and could use some help. She plays a silver plated shepherd's crook cornet, but I am not sure of the brand or model.) The church has a large, no make that a HUGE sanctuary and all instruments are always miked, either on a stand or clip on. We play mostly contemporary gospel music, one standard hymn each Sunday, Christmas music, both traditional and contemporary. There are a couple of other kids (teens) and younger adults that play, but l rarely hear them. Some saxes, flutes and clarinets, a couple of violins, a trombone, full rhythm section with the drummer in a cage, and whoever else happens to show up on Sunday.
I played through junior high and high school, three years in college marching band, mostly second and third, sometimes first in a REAL pinch. Played third in Europe for the Broadway musical "Raisin'" for five months in '79. I'm not looking to play to put food on the table (I made THAT decision in '75 by NOT becoming a music major I college!), just trying to use a little of the gift God gave me to help make a joyful noise unto the Lord!


HORN:

I currently own a 1939? King Master Model cornet with a first valve trigger but no third valve slide adjusting ring. It was a restoration that was purchased for me by my dad around 1973 for use in high school and I was the only one with a cornet (back then, as the school system was so short on brass and long on strings that no one wanted to play, it didn't matter if we had a trumpet or a cornet.) It still looks quite good, but it needs some work (PVA, first and second valve slides leaking a little and I have not gotten an estimate yet, and I'm considering it a project horn for now.

Anyway, I'm open to any and all suggestions: student, so-called step up or intermediate, pro, new, used, vintage.

BUDGET:

I'd like to state the absolute max is $1,000 US (and that might be a stretch.)

METHOD BOOK(S):

Used to have an Arban, but never made it very far in it (probably sealed the decision to NOT be a music major!) Can't locate it and probably never will. Don't remember what else I used in middle school many years ago. Any thoughts?

I wish to start up on my own initially to get back in the saddle with the thought of some lessons down the road, maybe. I live in the Washington, D.C. area, so finding a good teacher should not be a problem.

Looking for suggestions on these matters, and please provide the reasons for the suggestions given. I realize that it will be your opinion, and at this point, I will take everything into consideration.

Sorry for the seemingly endless rambling, but at my age, stuff happens - sometimes!

Thank you!
MDHORN
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Last edited by MDHorn on Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:31 pm; edited 2 times in total
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome back!

I love the Arban book, but I think it's way too difficult for a beginner or comeback player just getting going again.

If you're going to take lessons, you might hold off on getting method books until you meet your teacher, who will recommend books that s/he likes students to use. If you just can't wait, though, here's one that I think has the right kind of material at an appropriate level: 100 Progressive Lessons for Trumpet for the Beginning or Comeback Player, by David Hickman.

Same goes for instrument: see if your teacher can help with selection. If you're going to get started now, though, I'd suggest a student-level trumpet. Maybe a music store has a used student instrument in good condition back from a rental program. If your comeback journey goes well, you can go on a horn safari later to reward your efforts.

I'll just offer one tip about coming back, but I think it's important: there's a tendency to want to pick up right where you left off, but really, it's better to approach it more like a new beginner. Set your expectations like that, and you're less likely to get frustrated with the work required to get going again. Good luck!
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do not waste your time on a student trumpet. Spend a few more dollars and get a used pro horn. The difference won't be much, since most parents are willing to over pay for a student trumpet.

Plus a pro horn is more likely to have been respected.

Finding a teacher to guide you, and give you the added incentive to not waste the money you are spending on lessons, is a really good idea.

I have never been a fan of Arbans, nor most method books, which probably has contributed to my lack of practice over the years.

But you can probably learn a lot just playing through the sections at a tempo you can handle. While I am not an expert, I personally don't consider it really difficult.
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Dayton
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on picking up the horn again! As far as what horn to play, you'd typically play a number of quality horns and go with the one that works best for you.

After so many years of not playing, however, it might be difficult for you to make an informed decision right now. Thus, you might simply want to consider a good versatile trumpet to get you through the next few years until your playing has advanced to the point where you'll have a sense of what works for you. Given your budget, you might consider something like a Getzen 700S, a great horn that you can find used for around $700.

As for comprehensive method books, I think that Harold "Pappy" Mitchell's four-volume "Mitchell on Trumpet" is the best available. Volume 1 should keep you busy for quite a while.

Once you've made some progress with that you might consider adding Hering's "50 Recreational Studies" or "40 Etudes," and Clarke's "Technical Studies." Arban's "Complete Method" is a great book, but perhaps not the best place to start a comeback. If/when you do start working from Arban, you should consider purchasing Eric Bolvin's "Arban Manual."

I'd strongly encourage you to take lessons as early as possible in your comeback. That's the best way to ensure that you don't start off with bad habits that can be very difficult to address later on.
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zaferis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too would suggest finding an instructor and looking for a pro horn (new or used).. IMO step-up trumpets are not worth it. Good for a true beginner that is upgrading (during a rental program) away from their first trumpet.
Most step-ups aren't that much better and certainly don't hold any value.

I love the new Bach's, anniversary model, Artisan, etc.. but there are plenty of good ML 37's 43's and 72's on the market..
Xeno's, and other pro Yamaha's
Getzen pro models
Schilke

Sonare is another viable trumpet (basically a Bach 37 knockoff with a Blackburn leadpipe) find a ML bore and stay away from the sterling setups.

Welcome back and good luck
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pinstriper
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having a hard time believing your old horn needs more than $100 worth of brass tech.

That leaves $900 for lessons.
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Bulgakov
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not quite in the same boat, but have a somewhat similar need. I'm a fairly new player and I was looking for a good "step up" horn. I received some great advice from several posters, and many spoke highly of the Getzen Severinsen as a great pro horn that can be bought for under a $1000.

I just passed on this one (only because I was offered a really good option from a fellow Trumpet Herald member). I was in contact with the seller, and it sounds like a great horn. It just had a $200 go-over from the local music shop, including having the dings removed and a chemical bath.

He's willing to ship.

https://madison.craigslist.org/msg/d/doc-severinsen-getzen-eterna/6285819959.html

I don't know if that is of any help or not, or whether you would rather have another cornet, but I thought I would pass that on.
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MDHorn
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: Coming Back! What Horn? Reply with quote

Thank you all for the advice that has been posted to this point. This is what I truly love about the forum - a willingness to share the knowledge one has gained over the years, be it two, twenty, fifty or "more than one cares to say." Will wait on a few more replies before posting specific responses. Again, thank you TH members!
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Louise Finch
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi MDHORN

Welcome to the forum. Since the player you are eventually planning on playing alongside is playing cornet anyhow, I'd personally suggest, if the repairs wouldn't be too expensive (and I wouldn't expect a valve alignment or tightening loose slides to be very expensive), having the minimum of repairs done to get your cornet in good playing condition. Once you've been playing for a while, you'll be in a better position to decide whether trumpet or cornet would better suit your playing situation, and what make/models would best suit you. Good look with your return to brass playing.

Take care

Lou
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blbaumgarn
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:11 am    Post subject: Coming back what horn? Reply with quote

I messaged you but forgot to say that I am practicing on a king cornet and a tromba plastic horn. It has been a few weeks and I can look for a trumpet. May have a deal going with someone on here. I don't want to spend a ton of money and there are good used horns out there. The thing about the Arban book is you can pick out basic pages and warm up on them, then advance to tongueing and other studies and play them at your own darned speed. I paid $32 for a new one and with the few things I still have on a shelf I will get by. Again, best of luck.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Echoing some others here:
1) Find a used pro horn, the Getzen in that Craigslist ad looks good, though the bell appears to be “drooping” a bit.....should be a fairly easy fix.
2) ASAP.....lessons!! I think that will speed your comeback more quickly than any new horn.
3) Skip student or “intermediate” level horns, especially the intermediate models (which usually are just student horns with cosmetic upgrades. I happen to think intermediate horns are just marketing for the instrument makers; the idea is for a parent to eventually buy three horns for student, a student level, the intermediate, then a professional horn).
4) This will differ from some other opinions, but I would buy a trumpet rather than a cornet, especially since it sounds like the church band does some more contemporary material. I think if you buy another cornet you are going to want to replace it with a trumpet in the near future. Another good place to shop for a horn is Trent Austin’s Austin Custom Brass, Trent is a member here, and is a good guy, in addition to being one h*** of a fine player.
5) Try to find a horn that you really like, rather than making price the primary factor; it might give you some extra motivation to practice....which of course will make more difference to your comeback than ANY horn.

Best of luck, HAVE FUN, welcome to TH!

Brad
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kehaulani
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in a weird situation, but for our purposes could be considered, technically, a come-back player.

I think dstdenis gave some great advice regarding getting a good teacher first and then having his/her input into a book and horn.

If you start self-taught, I also recommend Harold Mitchell's books. I love and have used the Arban book extensively; also the St. Jacome and Franquin and all are great. I've also played David Hickmans Comeback player book.

There is something about some of Hickman's exercises that are just uncomfortable about them. YYMV. The Arban, St. Jacome and Franquin jump around a bit (some more than others) but the Mitchell has comprehensive lessons in a progressive way. It's more manageable.

Regarding instruments, the choices are wide open. Check with the first player and see if playing a trumpet is OK. If cornet, I'd consider a Getzen Capri cornet. For trumpet, there are many choices. One is my Severinsen (https://www.trumpetherald.com/marketplace.php?task=detail&id=100247&s=Severinsen), I offer no flowery words to get you to buy it. Just a possibility.

You're in the D.C. area? Check out Chuck Levin's Washington Music in, I believe, Wheaton. Killer store.

And regarding a teacher, you're right. With the symphony, several colleges in the area, as well as the premier service bands, there's an abundance.

Good luck in your journey.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Sonare TRC 800 that I'm looking to sell for $1000. This trumpet is German made in collaboration with Blackburn Trumpets with the following features:

Genuine Blackburn lead pipe (designed specifically for this horn, it’s like a #19-348 with a slightly different venturi)
Medium Large Bore (.459)
Patented Micro Lok valve alignment system
4.78” hand-hammered, cryogenically treated bell, designed for optimal projection

This trumpet has a focused easy blow that is even and consistent throughout the horn, and has secure slotting with great intonation - you'd probably like it a lot.

I work on Andrews AFB, so we could probably hook up a time for you to give it a whirl - with you being at Fort Washington, you aren't that far away.
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trickg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for method books, there's a ton of stuff that can work and help - Clarke Studies, Arbans...heck, even playing out of an old hymnal would help.
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"95% of the average 'weekend warrior's' problems will be solved by an additional 30 minutes of insightful practice." - PLP
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marathoner
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MD Horn -Check your private messages
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MDHorn
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the replies!

Horns:

There were several suggestions that when the time is right (whenever that will be) that I skip buying a student or intermediate/step-up horn altogether and go straight to a professional horn:

Bachs (various models mentioned)
Yamaha Xeno, on other por models
Getzen 700S and Severinsen
Shilke
Sonare

Let's assume for a moment (or for the foreseeable future) that due to finances, a student horn on the lower end of the budget is my only option. Any specific/particular models to consider buying - or avoiding altogether, be it new, used, or "vintage" however old that term means?

(Note: I have not ruled out fixing the cornet.)

Lessons:

I think that lessons will have to be put on the back burner for a while - we are a one income family with an 11th grader that wants to go to college without going into debt (or his parents, either - thank God he's an good student, so he's well on the way.)

Thanks again TM members for the replies!
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MDHorn wrote:
I think that lessons will have to be put on the back burner for a while - we are a one income family with an 11th grader that wants to go to college without going into debt (or his parents, either - thank God he's an good student, so he's well on the way.)

Thanks again TM members for the replies!

Having gone through two children, who were excellent students, going to college let me offer some unsolicited advice.

The junior year you should be planning on possible schools, visiting them, and consulting with someone on planning financial strategies. Waiting for the senior year is too late for some options.

Good luck.
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MDHorn
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, LittleRusty. With help from our extended church family and our homeschool community, that's exactly what we're doing and we're all over it.
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dstdenis
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MDHorn wrote:
Let's assume for a moment (or for the foreseeable future) that due to finances, a student horn on the lower end of the budget is my only option. Any specific/particular models to consider buying - or avoiding altogether, be it new, used, or "vintage" however old that term means?

Yamaha 2335 (or 2330) would be a safe choice, depending on condition. These come up often on eBay, and some sellers offer a trial period during which they accept returns. I've seen them in the $100-$300 range (I'd be wary of some of the less expensive ones unless I could inspect it or the seller offered a trial period.) I owned a predecessor of this model several years ago, and I can vouch that these are good instruments.

I'd also consider other name-brand student instruments found in music stores as long as I could inspect it or have a trial period. I wouldn't get one of those cheap no-name instruments found on Amazon or eBay.

Depending on the size of your lips, you might be able to get along with the mouthpiece that comes with it, or you might need to budget for a replacement mouthpiece with a wider inner-diameter rim. These start around $40-$50. Good luck!
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:29 am    Post subject: Student horns Reply with quote

Are you looking for a cornet or a trumpet? Most of my experience have been with cornets. Holton 602 trumpet or cornet are excellent choices and reasonably priced. Yamaha and Bachs will cost more. The Conn Director cornet/trumpets and Conn 77 B trumpet are good instruments. The coprion bell on the Conn Directors and some of there other Conn models has a very mellow sound.

Although it is not a student model, I would look at the Getzen 400 model.
Jupiter 520 M shepherds crook cornet and the Jupiter 600 M trumpet are modern instruments at a reasonable price.

I have owed Bachs, Conns, Getzen,Yamaha,Jupiter and many other other brands.

Focusing on playing my recently purchased Yamaha 2330 Shepherd's crook cornet.
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