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Which bore is best for low volume playing in mariachi band?



 
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jjverb
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject: Which bore is best for low volume playing in mariachi band? Reply with quote

I have a question about bore for C trumpet playing. I started playing in a mariachi band, all new to me, and I am strictly a part-time trumpet player playing keyboard in a jam band. I play trumpet for 2-4 songs per weekly performance.

Anyway, I was invited to play trumpet in the mariachi band. I have a Courtois C in pretty good shape that works well. However, I would like to purchase an upgraded C, used ($600-800), or new Yamaha or Carol.

I was thinking med bore, but I talked about that with a person that thought ml bore might serve me better.

Here is the dilemma. The mariachi band (2 guitar, bass guitar and accordion and all sing) is unamplified. Thus I have to hold back as much as possible or I blow away the string instruments.

So is there a reason to have a particular bore that will allow me to keep the volume way down?

I am not a pro or semi pro band or orchestral player. Just want to have fun and really enjoy this experience with a better horn than I now have.

Thanks - John
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JVL
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello
i'd better put a Soulo bucket mute rather than consider the trumpet for that issue...
best
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bach_again
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Which bore is best for low volume playing in mariachi ba Reply with quote

jjverb wrote:
I have a question about bore for C trumpet playing. I started playing in a mariachi band, all new to me, and I am strictly a part-time trumpet player playing keyboard in a jam band. I play trumpet for 2-4 songs per weekly performance.

Your current horn is probably fine.

Anyway, I was invited to play trumpet in the mariachi band. I have a Courtois C in pretty good shape that works well. However, I would like to purchase an upgraded C, used ($600-800), or new Yamaha or Carol.

What model of Courtois is a Carol an upgrade over, I wonder? Courtois make very very fine instruments.

I was thinking med bore, but I talked about that with a person that thought ml bore might serve me better.

Here is the dilemma. The mariachi band (2 guitar, bass guitar and accordion and all sing) is unamplified. Thus I have to hold back as much as possible or I blow away the string instruments.

So is there a reason to have a particular bore that will allow me to keep the volume way down?

No. The bore has little to do with the dynamic level. That's all determined by the player. Pretty sure I can make a serious noise on my M bore Martin, and I can play soft on my ML Stomvi. It's the Indian, not the arrow.

I am not a pro or semi pro band or orchestral player. Just want to have fun and really enjoy this experience with a better horn than I now have.

I am not aware that Courtois ever made poor quality horns. I had a Courtois cornet for 6 years and the only issue was poor lacquer. The horn itself played superbly. Invest in lessons. I doubt you need a new horn

Thanks - John


Hey John, points addressed in bold. If you have a Courtois in good order, that is better than any Carol and probably equal to any Yamaha - it becomes a point of preference. Chances are if you have issues with dynamics, it is you, not the horn. Consider lessons, mutes and or something like a flugelhorn potentially for gigs where you need to play real softly. ACB sell a great doubler's flugel at a very good price.

Best,
Mike
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Steve A
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's going to be hard to get a characteristically mariachi sound with this suggestion, but one easy way to cut back on the perceived volume would be to try a flügel cup mouthpiece, like the Curry TF. It's a lot easier to play unobtrusively with a deep cup like that, and I haven't found when playing them that there was a big sacrifice in range/endurance/agility.

As far as the characteristic sound goes - I'm not an expert in the style, so take the value of this opinion as being about consistent with what it cost you, but it doesn't sound to me like a style of playing where you're going to get the sound you want by making a drastic equipment change (or playing approach change) to get a soft sound.
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Turkle
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am just a little confused as to why you would want a C instrument for this.

When I think about blending with a soft mariachi style band, I immediately thought about a nice Bb cornet. Used cornets are always cheap and you would be able to play soft and mellow when you need it and they can still brighten up if you want to hit the jets.

My King Master from the '30s would fit the bill just fine but there are any number of great options out there.
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cheiden
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen enough mariachis to know that a typical trumpet won't bury the band. Understand that trumpet is fairly directional. When you need to make way for the singers point your bell away.

I don't think a change in bore size is warranted. And a typical C trumpet isn't going to make things easier either.
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adam.arredondo
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first great mariachi trumpet player, Miguel Martínez, was chosen by the leader of Mariachi Vargas to be added to the ensemble because of his ability to blend in with the band. His success owed to the combination of several factors, most importantly (1) he had impeccable control over the instrument due to thousands of hours of dedicated practice to refine his technique, (2) he varied the speed of his vibrato to blend with the violins (usually eighth note pulse) or stick out of the texture (usually quarter note triplets) without playing too loud.

Jeff Nevin summarizes as well as one can in a single book what makes Mariachis do to sound the way they do in his book, Virtuoso Mariachi. I highly recommend reading it and listening to as many of the classic recordings as you can.

Also keep in mind, many C trumpets are designed to project over an orchestra in a large hall. If you have access to a Bb trumpet I think you'll find it (and maybe a larger mouthpiece) easier to play quietly and not overwhelm an intimate setting.
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dr_trumpet
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:29 am    Post subject: Re: Which bore is best for low volume playing in mariachi ba Reply with quote

jjverb wrote:
I have a question about bore for C trumpet playing. I started playing in a mariachi band, all new to me, and I am strictly a part-time trumpet player playing keyboard in a jam band. I play trumpet for 2-4 songs per weekly performance.

Anyway, I was invited to play trumpet in the mariachi band. I have a Courtois C in pretty good shape that works well. However, I would like to purchase an upgraded C, used ($600-800), or new Yamaha or Carol.

I was thinking med bore, but I talked about that with a person that thought ml bore might serve me better.

Here is the dilemma. The mariachi band (2 guitar, bass guitar and accordion and all sing) is unamplified. Thus I have to hold back as much as possible or I blow away the string instruments.

So is there a reason to have a particular bore that will allow me to keep the volume way down?

I am not a pro or semi pro band or orchestral player. Just want to have fun and really enjoy this experience with a better horn than I now have.

Thanks - John


John,

I played 714 shows in a mariachi band with the instrumentation of two trumpets, guitar and acoustic bass. We never buried the singers, we never covered the guitar or the bass. It's all in approach, not instrument.

What instrument did I play for this? An old English Besson trumpet, lacquered black, with gold lacquer trim. It was a nice, light horn that allowed me to open up just enough when I needed, but not work at the softer dynamics to achieve a focus, controlled tone.

A good trumpet? Perhaps...I made it work. I've seen mariachi players playing Yamaha student horns, old Olds Ambassadors, and other student level horns all the way up to the Mendez horns, the Kanstul and Bach mariachi horns, and so on.

It's all in the player, what they learn to work with, and what they have to use.

As far as C trumpet goes, if it works, why spend money on a new horn? The C trumpet is not the traditional choice, nor would I play the gig on a C trumpet. But if it works, it works. If you are looking to buy something, and you have already learned repertoire on the C, maybe that's the best choice.

Good luck with you playing!

AL
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razeontherock
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great responses. I agree that a deep v cup mouthpiece may give you easier control over quiet dynamics, practicing is your best investment, lessons will do you more good than a horn, and a cornet would be the horn to look for if you go that route. That being said I do have an ACB doubler flugelhorn I could part with
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John Mohan
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just play quietly.

Sincerely,

John Mohan
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jjverb
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muchas Gracias! What valuable comments and I sincerely appreciate them and have learned immensely from each one.

We did our first gig last night at a fund raiser and it went really well. It was a walking job so i had to bring my tablet on a stand along for a few of the songs I did not have memorized. Volume was OK in a big hall with lots of people talking at their dinner tables. Many good compliments.

The strongest impression from the replies is keep my Cortois. The lead pipe says .470 and the serial # is 84012. No other markings except the usual. And I am really comfortable with the horn over the last three years owning it.

Three other "real" mariachi's in the group are in their 80's that started playing the genre when they were 7 or 8 years old and they decided to have a trumpet since they never played with one before. I am "the young one" at 74. One of them plays in my jam band (kerrvillejamband.com) and that's how I got into this in the first place.

So a crash course over 8 weeks, never having played the music before, here I am. No problem playing the music, and range will build up in time. And having gigs almost every week now will really help. 30 songs and counting so far.

I have to stick with the C because of the transposing issue. Too much to think about at this point.

My biggest thanks goes out to allowing me to save a thousand or two staying with the Courtois. It has a brace that needs resoldering, a little bit of finish issues, but otherwise looks fine.

I don't think a mute of flugel would work, but thanks for the info. After last nights gig and all your helpful comments I feel better about the whole thing.

Thanks again, Juan (John)
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roynj
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Juan, That's great news! Incidentally a .470 horn is considered a large bore for a trumpet. It may feel small, but it's quite large. Most ML horns are .460 or thereabouts. And M bore horns are .450 or so. The best suggestion is to vary your dynamics as a function of the venue. Don't worry about those string instruments one bit. They can play plenty loud to balance with you. Good going!
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jjverb
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put my first gig with the band up on Facebook. Sorry for the long link.

https://www.facebook.com/Mariachi-Y-Tejano-Band-227278221245766/?view_public_for=227278221245766
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OldKing
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The city I was born in, grew up in, and still live in, is filled with Mariachis.

A. I have no experience playing in them. It's a very cultural thing, all tunes are memorized, very, very traditional.

B. There are usually two trumpets.

C. There is no such thing as playing too loud.

and D. Everything's on Bb.

Here's a clip, I think at Mission San Jose (the most famous mission down here). Bajo sexto (bass), Rinquinto (I think in Eb?), Violin, and two trumpets.

Link


And a medley from the most famous bridge on the river:


Link

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BeboppinFool
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OldKing wrote:
The city I was born in, grew up in, and still live in, is filled with Mariachis.

A. I have no experience playing in them. It's a very cultural thing, all tunes are memorized, very, very traditional.

B. There are usually two trumpets.

C. There is no such thing as playing too loud.

and D. Everything's on B♭.

I would say you can trust anything Kent tells you (OldKing above).

When we were in San Antonio for ITG my wife and I paid two different roving Mariachi bands to play for us (you have to tip them before they'll play for you) and there was no C trumpet, only two B♭ trumpets. They played quite loudly, and we enjoyed the heck out of it!

Thanks for posting those video clips, Kent, and it was great to see you at ITG!
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amzi
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The quintessential mariachi trumpet was the Conn Connstellation, a nickle plated small bore horn noted for having a lot of edge to the sound. Kanstul makes a silver plated version the 991, however, most of the mariachi trumpet players I see in this area are playing silver plated ML bore Bach 37s.

With the volume of the accordion player on your clip you don't need to worry about being too loud or having too much edge, he was pretty much all I could hear.
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Last edited by amzi on Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ed Kennedy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://centerstage.conn-selmer.com/artists/jose-hernandez

Bach 19043RL Mariachi.
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amzi
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd forgotten about the "new" Bach Mariachi. I've heard that there are some of the more notable professional mariachi musicians are using them.
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